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Food & Beverage

High-end imitation crab offers savor and succulence, not shells

Once derided as fake, high-quality simulated seafood is catching on

The market for "surimi" fish paste, used to make imitation crab, is expanding rapidly.

KANAZAWA/NIIGATA, Japan -- Crab is a delicacy enjoyed in winter in Japan, but imitation crab sticks made from fish, surimi or kanikama is mostly sold in summer.

To meet this demand, the country's leading seafood processors are rolling out high-quality imitation crab meat that mimics the flavor and texture of the genuine article. Prices for surimi are climbing as the product catches on globally, and Japanese processors companies are trying to raise the value of imitation crab meat by introducing new products that combine the flavor profiles of male and female crab to create the illusion of an ocean-fresh catch.

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