Crackin’ crabs: Local veteran invents cracking device
There are many types of seafood from shrimp and clams to oysters and crawfish. There’s an almost endless variety of fish including catfish, trout, bass, redfish and much more. Nearly every restaurant in Pearl River County and the surrounding area offer a tasty delicacy from the Gulf of Mexico.
Perhaps one of the most sought after and well-liked types of sea creature is the crab. Seafood lovers can choose from Dungeness, Alaskan king, snow and blue crabs or try all four.
Before one can savor the delicacy of the crab’s meat, they must first break through the hard outer shell.
Some use a butter knife while others use crackers that sometimes just don’t get the job done.
Oftentimes, pieces of the shell get stuck inside the crabmeat, finding their way into people’s mouths.
Former 101st Airborne Division Army veteran and Picayune resident Danny Martin witnessed this issue as he watched his wife, Sherry, struggling to eat her crabs.
“My wife loves seafood and she would open the crabs with a butter knife,” Danny said. “I thought to myself, ‘there’s got to be a better way’ and thought about making a shell cracking device.”
Danny originally hails from Lafitte, La. He served in the United States Army from the 1962 to 1964 as a paratrooper and airplane mechanic. He was a member of the 101st Airborne Division.
Sherry and Danny have been married for 35 years, which was about the time Danny designed his product, Jaws for Claws.
Danny is a former factory machinist and made a sample set of his product for his wife to use at home.
“At first, we didn’t know how to go about getting the invention made,” Sherry said. “Jaws for Claws was patented in 2006. It took us a while to find someone to make it.”
In October 2010, production began on Danny’s invention and the couple received their first shipment in July of 2013.
There are two varieties of the crab-cracking device, Jaws 1 and Jaws 2.
Jaws 1 has a sharp blade and is designed to break through the shells of blue crabs with ease.
Jaws 2 is characterized by its sharp tooth design and can be used to enjoy dungeness, snow and Alaskan crabs.
“It works great,” Sherry said. “It makes eating shellfish more enjoyable. Once you use Jaws for Claws to eat seafood you’ll never want to eat it without them.”
The couple keeps sets of the crab crackers in their vehicle and luggage.
According to Danny and Sherry, the cutter doesn’t crush the shells, thereby leaving the meat in perfect condition.
“I’m glad he invented Jaws for Claws,” Sherry said. “It certainly makes my shellfish experience so much better.”
When he’s not busy thinking up more inventions, the soon to be 76-year-old enjoys attending reunions of the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles. Next February Danny plans to relive some of his Army days by parachuting at the 101st Snowbird reunion in Florida.
Jaws for Claws sell for $12.99 and can be purchased locally at PJ’s Coffee, MeLinda’s at the Top of the Hill, and the Picayune and Waveland Claiborne Hill supermarkets.
The cutters may also be purchased on Amazon.com and www.jawsforclaws.com.
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