Ooooh yeahhh, crab lovers rejoice for it is that time of the year again when Suzhou’s Yangcheng Lake (阳澄湖) hairy crabs go on sale! Thank God the algae that bloomed in Lake Tai in Wuxi and Dianchi Lake in Kunming decided to spare the Yangcheng Lake so we can still have crab this year.
Hairy crabs are also sourced from lakes like the Gaochun Lake and Taihu Lake in Jiangsu Province and others from Anhui Province, but Yangcheng Lake crabs are supposed to be the tastiest. And they look like they’re bigger this year too (wonder what they’ve been fed!):
The crabs caught yesterday weighed 182.5 grams on average, 22.5 grams heavier than those of last year. The male crabs are an average of 209 grams and female crabs 156 grams, a rise of 22 grams and 11 grams respectively.
The biggest weighed 275 grams and was expected to sell for 500 yuan (US$65). Yangcheng Lake hairy crabs are said to be the tastiest, and will cost 260 yuan per kilo this year.
See that Rolex-touting crab above looking swanky with three watches? That picture (and many others) have been making the rounds on the Chinese internet. As Rebecca Mackinnon explains, 河蟹 (“he xie”, or river crab) is a near-homonym of 和谐 (“harmony”, also pronounced “he xie” but with different tones). And we all know they’ve been going on about this “harmonious society” thing since Hu Jintao became President. His predecessor Jiang Zemin’s political contribution to CCP dogma was enshrined in the Theory of the Three Represents or 三个代表 (“san ge dai biao”), of which 带三个表 (“dai san ge biao” or “wearing three watches”) is an anagram. Somewhere along the line, some smart aleck started taking pictures of crabs wearing three watches, and since then those pictures have been making the rounds.
We’re now waiting for the next smart aleck to start a mashup-meme on the “八荣八耻”社会主义荣辱观 otherwise known as The Eight Honours and Eight Shames, the current president’s claim to fame and what he will be counting on to enter the communist pantheon that includes all his predecessors. And yes, in case you haven’t noticed, this is the only blog that’s able to mix food with politics. It’s the only way we know how to make Chinese politics a bit more, erm, palatable.
Photo from Aspirine Need U