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by Fred McMillin
Crab & Chardonnay
Some 20,000 years ago, river crabs were a cave-dwellers' delicacy in the Near East.
"Sugar crabs" of the Yangtse River were popular in China 1,200 years ago.
Delicate line drawings of crabs were featured in the landmark, three-volume cookbook titled "The Important Things To Know About Eating and Drinking". The author was Chef Huou, who prepared the Mongolian feasts for Kublai Khan.
Marco Polo found in China markets dedicated exclusively to the sale of crabs.
Explorers in the New World found "crabs in abundance."
By the 16th century the crab had reached the royal tables of Europe. In France, Catherine de Medici served fifty of them at a grand banquet for Elizabeth of Austria.
The Rest of the Story
It took a while, but the appreciation of crab is now worldwide, as is the appreciation of its ideal companion, Chardonnay wine. Here's an outstanding one.
Wine of the Day
1997 Mirassou Harvest Reserve Chardonnay
Postscript— A Vocal Crab Fan
Nearly 100 years ago, a new dish was created in San Francisco, Crab Louis Salad. One of the guests at the Palace Hotel is said to have ordered so much so frequently that the kitchen temporarily ran out of crab meat. He was none other than the magnificent Italian tenor, Enrico Caruso, who incidentally was born 127 years ago this week.
02/16/00—Meet a Master
02/14/00—A Fine Valentine
02/11/00—A Tale of Two Mumms
02/09/00—It Takes a Village
02/08/00—The Flora Aura
02/07/00—The History of Wine
02/04/00—Our Winery of the Century
02/03/00—A No Flaws Shiraz
02/02/00—Monterey On Display
02/01/00—The Ashbrook Outlook
This page created February 2000