Just as Shanghai’s hairy crabs come into season, there’s something fishy going on in the Ningbo fish market. A number of disgruntled consumers have been trying to out the fish mongers’ seasonal crab scam. One person reported that their mother had purchased a crab tied-up with 31 meters of string; the water-sodden string used to secure the crab’s claws accounted for 20% of its total weight.
This isn’t the only scam you have to look out for on the local fish market. Consumers in Shanghai and Wenzhou found that their shrimp had been stuffed with gelatin, increasing their weight by 20 – 30%.
Last week, a restaurant in Qingdao was caught trying to scam customers by listing the price of shrimp dishes per shrimp rather than per dish. A man complained when his dish, with 40 shrimps at 38 RMB each, came to 1,520 RMB.
Crab is such a big business in autumn that an air hostess in Hangzhou quit her job to begin a freelance career. Her services include crab-peeling and hand-feeding.
Beijing girls have other ideas about how to handle their hairy crabs. In the summer of 2014, a group of hotties wearing Daisy Dukes and pirate hats were spotted taking their pet crabs for a walk on the high street.
by Daniel Cunningham