History

SHE CRAB SOUP | a history

The Scottish settlers in the Carolinas are often credited with the introduction of crab soup to the region. When they arrived in the early 1700s, they brought with them their famous seafood bisque recipe, called partan-bree. Their original crab soup was pale in color and included rice.

She Crab Soup, as it’s known today, was created mostly on a whim when Charleston mayor R. Goodwyn Rhett asked his butler, William Deas, to “dress up” the crab soup for a dinner party he was hosting for President William Howard Taft. Deas removed the rice and added the usually discarded, but now very important roe (crab eggs) to the soup, which gave it more flavor, a thicker consistency, and its signature orange hue.

 

“Why is called SHE Crab Soup?”

Although the soup is made with both female and male crab meat, it isn’t authentic She Crab Soup unless it contains the female’s crab roe.