Shanghaiist, like most Shanghai residents, enjoys munching on a little hairy crab during the autumn season. Last year alone, the city’s hairy crab enthusiasts consumed some 50,000 tons of the tasty sea creature.
But do we really know where all those crabs have been?
In a country famous for its knockoff DVDs, Rolex watches and Mont Blanc pens, it seems only natural that Chinese counterfeiters would break into the lucrative hairy crab business sooner or later. The target? The beloved Yangcheng Lake crabs, the Louis Vuitton of the hairy crab world. But no need to fret, the Shanghai Daily reports the Suzhou Yangcheng Lake Hairy Crab Association is willing to get nasty on pirates like the RIAA on Napster:
“To fight counterfeiting, the Suzhou Yangcheng Lake Hairy Crab Association now attaches metal rings and logos to the crustaceans for customers to check its identity.
Many hairy crabs are raised elsewhere, but the consensus, or the mythology, is that the Yangcheng Lake hairy crabs are the best — and they cost more. Those who raise them want to ensure that their crabs are recognized as No. 1, and priced accordingly.”
Still doesn’t solve the problem of fake tags. Don’t want to get burned this season by crafty crab counterfeiters? Abstinence is the only fool-proof way. Still hungry? Heed this advice before you decide to get crabby.
Photo from ShanghaiDaily.com (with original artwork by the author).