Your crabs are so … hairy

Your crabs are so … hairy

Foodies rejoice: Hairy crab season is here, though it's gonna pinch your wallet
Hairy crab
Hairy crab season makes its slow crawl just in time for October holiday.

One of the highlights of fall -- other than October holiday -- is hairy crab (dazha xie) season.

Although these little critters sound like something between an urban legend propagated by your mother and a gift from some of the girls on Tongren Lu, they are truly the tastiest part of autumn. But this year, if you go for the real deal -- crabs from Yangcheng Lake -- you’ll pay dearly for it.

According to Shanghai Daily, the price of hairy crabs from Yangcheng Lake, Jiangsu “will rise 10 percent this year compared to 2008.”

Will it be worth it?

Well, the first hairy crabs from Yangcheng Lake came in yesterday afternoon. According to the Suzhou Yangcheng Lake Hairy Crab Trade Association, recommended retail price is RMB 340-400 per kg for “a male crab weighing 200g or a female crab weighing 15g.”

Experts sampled 20 male crabs at random yesterday and the average weight was 206g, a little heavier than last year.

Although there's something to be said for eating a hairy crab from Yangcheng Lake, if you're okay without the name brand, crabs bought now at Tongchuan market can go for as little as RMB110 per kg.

Tip: Male crabs (which have more meat) are best in September and female (which have roe) are best saved for later in the season, October and later.