Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Crabby Affair

it is an absolute obsession to be thin. if you're human. the irony of it all is that we want our food to be rich, fatty, succulent and greasy. if you've had foie gras you probably remember the flavor us buttery, delicate and rich. in addition, you probably know that it comes from goose or duck liver. what most people don’t know is that in france, the goose liver achieves its buttery consistency by a process called gavage which translates to force-feeding. gavage results in an overly enlarged fatty liver. that is why, foie gras literally translates to “fat liver”.


if you’re a beef lover then you probably know that kobe beef is derived from a process of over-feeding cattle and caging them in small spaces to limit their movement. on the plus side, kobe cattle gets a daily massage from their handlers, the better to promote a generous marbling of fat and meat. end result? wagyu beef literally melts in your mouth.

which brings me to my next point, i was going around the legaspi village sunday market and came upon a stall that had a pile of steamed alimango (mud crabs). alimango is different from sea crabs that are usually thin with spindly legs. mud crabs are thick with a dark black green shell that turns into a gorgeous orange when you drop it in a kettle of boiling water.

alimango is prized for its fat, the succulent orange fat that is stored between the shell and the lung area. we scoop it up over rice and watch it melt. the taste is slightly bitter, salty and sweet. it has a buttery consistency that leaves an aftertaste that coats your tongue long after you’ve consumed the dish. alimango fat can also be prepared “binuro” style, pickled in salt and spices. quickly cooked with garlic and olive oil, you can use it as a sauce for pasta.

by the time i got around to visit the stall, the pile of alimango has been literally wiped out by regular buyers. the come on is a pair of alimango that has been cut in half and sits on top of the pile. you can literally see the fat coating the inner parts of the shell, compressing the sponge like lung area of the crab.
by the looks of it, the alimango probably died of heart attack. it was that fat.

No comments:

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails