Hello from Yuka from Ichiroya. The above photo is crab meat salad we had tonight.
The crab meat is the product called `Hobo kani'. Here is the advertizement of this product:
Hobo means `almost' and kani is crab. This is one of the imitation crab meat (crab sticks). I heard this type of imitation crab meat is quite popular in foreign countries. It was surprising to hear they sell those product named as `surimi'. I heard surimi is quite popular in European countries-in France, surimi is eaten more than 3 kig a year average per capita, it must be much more compared to Japan. In Italy too, we heard surimi is a very pupular and familiar food for everyone, Is that true?
Tonight, I served the above salad to Ichiro and Masanori (he is our son-in-law, he is staying with us for Shoko, our daughter gave a birth of their second child). I told them, our friend gave us the crab meat(it is not true). Kani, crab makes luxurious supper!
After taking a bite, they both said, the crab meat taste good! I asked a couple of times (Kani wa oishii? Does it taste good?). They said yes. Then I told them, this is Hobo kani. They believed what they ate was real kani.
There are many imitation crab meat (we call them Kani kama) from many years ago but this Hobo kani made by the leading surimi company (Kanetetsu) is really like kani. From the photo, you can see the look is really like kani. The texture, the uneven flakes, the softness and taste of course is really like kani. Ichiro said, I am OK with Hobo kani. Kani is quite expensive but Hobo kani is so reasonable!
The above advertizement video of this product is so funny. The crabs are so angry and blaming the chef. `You told us we are so good! What do you mean you don't need us any more? You should explain what's going on! Wait, Chef, wait a second.....'
They made a second version of advertizement and in that video, crabs are waving a flag of surrender in the shelf of supermarket. This company made `Hobo hotate' (almost scallop) also!
Those surimi products are made from white fleshed fish and surimi-based products are not new, they have been around from quite a long time ago. White fish with no particular strong taste are suitable for surimi and can be made into many different type of surimi products. (I did not know `surimi' in foreign countries seem to indicate only imitation crab meat).
The biggest surimi product company is Kanetetsu which was started as a small fish paste store in 1926!
Here is the Englihs web site also:
Tecchan, is the mascot character boy of Kanetetsu, wearing a happi coat and hachimaki hair band. I think everyone knows the advertizement song of Kanetetsu.
Their products have been always around, I think. They were too famiiar, I never thought about this company before. In 1990, they implemented `no artificial preservative poicy' for all their products. Not many Japanese know surimi is popular food in foreign countries. It is not a fancy products, but I feel good to know the things we like in our ordinary life are liked by people in other counries!