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Yangcheng mitten crabs: an exquisite autumn delicacy
Last Updated: 2016-10-14 13:08 | Xinhua
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For centuries the mitten crabs have been considered a delicacy in China as well as other parts of East Asia. As the chilly wind begins to sweep across the country in October after the Mid-Autumn Festival, t he season for savoring mitten crabs has come around , and the best ones are produced in the Yangcheng Lake .

Yangcheng Lake is a freshwater lake about three kilometers northeast of Suzhou City in Jiangsu Province, east China.

It is the most famous area of origin for the Chinese mitten crabs .

The best time of visiting the lake is September and October in Chinese lunar calendar because the mitten crabs turn juicy during this period with special delicious flavor .

Taking a real bite of famous Yangcheng crab is becoming an increasingly expensive culinary experience. Most crabs produced in Yangcheng Lake arrive at the dinner tables of the five-star hotels in Shanghai and Beijing due to limited production.

Normally a pair of crabs – one male and one female – served in Shanghai f ancy restaurants cost a bout 300 yuan (4 7 U.S dollars ) or more .

So many people prefer driving to Yangcheng Lake on their own trips and taste the delicacy in a crab hous e, a type of eatery run by local crab farmers , which offers a simple yet authentic dining experience .

Crab houses, surrounding the lakeside, usually consist of a three-story building which includes holding areas where live hairy crabs are transported by farmers from their cages and delivered to the chefs .

Traditionally, mitten crabs are simply steamed whole to preserve their delicate flavor and moisture. Nothing else is added, no additional ingredients or spices or other flavorings. The y are then eaten with a dark vinegar dip which enhances the natural crab flavor.

W hat makes the crab such a prized delicacy is the abundant rich, creamy golden roe . If you are tasting the roe for the first time , the lushness will overwhelm your taste buds.

It tastes sultry and buttery, delivering a sense of being suspended in the momentary euphoria of gooey, sweet and warm lusciousness.

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