Slashfood Writer 'Addicted' to Imitation Crab
A Slashfood writer is addicted to imitation crab, going so far as dipping the stuff in pesto:
It's so colorful and friendly, and you can buy it by the pound! Normally, I'm pretty averse to food that doesn't really look like ... food, but the juicy texture! The way it separates in my mouth! It's just dry enough to eat as a finger food and oh, you bet I do eat it as a finger food.
Curious (and a little horrified), I investigated. According to a whitepaper imitation crab, Surimi is the primary ingredient, which in turn is made of Alaskan pollock. In addition, it contains a combination of cryoprotectant materials such as sugar and sorbitol (so it'll freeze well); starch and egg whites (to stabilize the "gel matrix"); and vegetable oil. But it gets scarier:
Flavoring is added to surimi to make it taste like crab meat. These flavorants can be natural or artificial, but typically a mixture of both is used. Natural flavoring compounds include amino acids, proteins, and organic acids, which are obtained through aqueous extraction of edible crabs. Artificial flavors can be made to closely match crab meat flavor and are typically superior to naturally derived flavorants. Artificial flavoring compounds include esters, ketones, amino acids, and other organic compounds. Additionally, seasonings and secondary flavorants are added to the meat to improve the overall flavor. Common ingredients include nucleotides, monosodium glutamate, vegetable proteins, and mirin.
Om nom nom.