Hungry? Grab a Crab

Live Seafood in Vending Machines
Hits the Spot for Chinese Commuters

They’re alive, they’re packaged in custom-fit boxes, and they’re available in three sizes. An unusual idea by a Chinese entrepreneur, to sell individually wrapped hairy crabs in automated machines at underground stations in Nanjing, has become a hit with train riders.
The crabs, which are considered a delicacy in Asian cuisine, get sedate in the 5 Celsius degrees of the machines, but are ready for consumption. A selection of bottled sauces are also available, to season the snack, that comes in small, medium and grande sizes.
Now, before you go around bad-mouthing the Chinese because of their eating habits, do we need to remind you of the several food shows on U.S. TV about just that, the world’s massive variety of food tastes from a multitude of cultures?
Take the rite of passage for young boys of an Amazon tribe, for example, who hunt, cook in banana leaves and eat big, hairy tarantulas, using their fangs afterwards to ever so casually clean up their teeth.
Such fearsome delicacy, by the way, is often featured at annual dinners of the New York Explorers Club, whose membership reads like a who-is-who in the history of human conquests, from the first climb up the Everest’s summit, to glaciers at both poles, to the surface of the moon, and beyond.
And don’t even get us started with the French escargot, or the main dish celebrated by the Bushmen of the African Kalahari desert, or the nourishing diet consumed by the survivors of that Andes plane crash in the 1970s. It’s Ok, we’ll stop it now.
But didn’t the famed Automats use to neatly pack Spam too? And coming to think of it, there’s something about those defrosted shrimp cocktails trays we buy in a hurry right before the big game that’s quite unsettling. So they like their crustaceous still running, so what?
Or you’d rather have the desperate Chinatown runaway crab Colltales told you (scroll down for the story) about last week? A few drops of lemon and you’re good to go.

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