How much would you be willing to pay for a snow crab? If it’s less than $46,000, you’d be losing at a recent auction in Japan!
A Japanese bidder likely set a new world record after paying five million yen for this winter seafood delicacy. The snow crab is finally in season in the Tottori region, and some people are obviously willing to pay more than usual, ok – a lot more than usual, in order to have first dibs.
The crustacean typically sells for big bucks at Japanese auctions, but five million yen is definitely a first. “I was surprised it went for such a high price,” local government official Shota Inamono said.
The male crab weighed 2.6 pounds and came in at 5.7 inches in length.
Tetsuji Hamashita, the president of a fishery wholesaler, is the lucky winner who purchased the crab. It will be served at a glitzy restaurant in Tokyo’s Ginza district.
The Ginza district is a popular, upscale shopping area. It boasts internationally lauded department stores, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. It is one of the most expensive and luxurious streets in the entire world.
It is indeed a fitting home for such an expensive crab.
“I know it’s extreme, but it’s the custom. I am sure the taste of the crab matches the price,” Hamashita told CNN.
Snow crab hunting season began on November 6, and it’s typical for prices to start high on opening day. Auction-goers believe it’s lucky to buy the first and best catch of the season.
The snow crab is a rare delicacy in Japan. It is found in the waters off Totorri, between Osaka and Hiroshima. Snow crabs are typically harvested in the winter when it’s colder.
The crab is nicknamed the “five shining star,” referring to its shape, long legs, fat, and rich, creamy meat.
Five million yen for a snow crab is a first, but such large purchases are nothing new for Japan. A Japanese sushi entrepreneur paid $3.1 million for a giant tuna at Tokyo’s Toyosu fish market in January.
Also last year, a pair of premium melons sold for $29,300. Tottori is used to such mind-boggling numbers. Last year, a snow crab sold for $18,000.
Organizers suspected the crab would go for closer to three million yen. When the crab sold for five million yen, the crowd cheered and applauded for obvious reasons.