I can't think of anything better than beginning the new year with friends and a bag of crustaceans. Priscilla and Angelo took me to the yummy and messy The Boiling Crab in Sacramento, where lobster, crawfish, shrimp and crabs are sold by the pound, steamed and simmered in bags of garlic, spices and sauce. My goodness, for a girl who will passionately eat anything that comes out of the sea, this was heaven in a bag— and you get to eat it with your hands! There's something deliciously childlike about feeding yourself with your fingers— it puts you literally in touch with your food and well, it's just fun.
As I was cracking open my saucy King Crab legs, I couldn't help but think of the Alaskan crab fishermen who brave the violence of the Bering Sea for our bellies. When I lived in SF, I was an avid watcher of the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch— I cheered on the crew of the Cornelia Marie, Time Bandit and Northwestern as they charged into icy mountainous waves to haul up giant cages of spidery treasure. I'm not a big fan of television, but I was strangely captivated by this show, and often think about it when I watch the fishermen head out to the far tamer Black Sea in Istanbul.
The absence of plates and cutlery makes dining at The Boiling Crab a saucy, garlicky mess— a blissful saucy, garlicky mess. I've never experienced such a thing— how fitting to start a new year by trying something new!