Red food manifests in variety of different products. Everyone knows cherries and tomatoes; many are experts in red wine. During one of my recent visits to Moscow, I ordered the Crabs of Kamchatka. A few minutes later I was served the impressive slender claws and legs, which were over a half-meter long and which were … red. They were presented on a large plate with lemon and home-made mayonnaise for dipping, and had unexpectedly mild, juicy-sweet taste.
The Crabs of Kamchatka are a kind of king crab whose legs’span can be up to 1.8 meters. They are found in the Okhotsk and Bering Seas, close to Japan. The crabs were one of the wonders of the Soviet economy. Few products were available in Russia and one of them was the crabs. They were so common that buyers had to be persuaded that they had to consume them. “Everyone has to taste how delicious and tasty the crabs are,” announced Soviet advertisements of the 1960s.
Considered a delicacy outside of Russia, one of the surprises that waited for me during the first trips abroad after the 1985 perestroika was the price of the Crabs in the supermarkets which ranged from thirty to a few hundred euros.
Back in France after my recent Kamchatka Crab experience in Moscow, I saw the same impressive claws and legs on the market. The Royal King Crab was among the products in the seafood stalls in the 16th arrondissement, beautifully displayed in the crushed ice as only French market vendors know how to do.
Good to know:
If you decide to cook the Crabs of Kamchatka yourself, you will have to boil them in 30 l of water and 4 l of wine for less than 15 min.