In Autumn, China’s New Rich Crave the Rare Hairy Crab – Robert Marquand

From The Christian Science Monitor:

The power meal of a rising urban class is found in one lake near Shanghai.

Crab is prized in China year round - it's a dish with "special moment" written all over it in the Chinese family. But in November, when the hairy crabs of the Yangtze delta start developing egg roe, a special passion takes hold. And this fall, it has reached new depths.

The object of recent Chinese desire is a feisty fist-sized freshwater bottom-dweller harvested from a single lake near Suzhou. Known as the Yangcheng Lake Hairy Crab, it enjoys a unique habitat: iron-rich soil that leaves a yellowish tint on the claws, a hardpan lake bottom that forces the crab to develop muscular legs, and shallow sun-filled waters that supposedly promote robustness. The combo makes Yangcheng the Rolls Royce and the Vidalia onion of China's crab world.[Full Text]

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