Imitation or counterfeit?

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 13 07:00:02 UTC 2011

No mystery--imitation crab meat is steamed pulverized pollock with
additional flavorings and texturizers. The process has been around for
over 50 years and originated in Japan. But in many situations the name
is shortened to "imitation crab", so the point is not particularly

Imitation crab is ok, imitation haddock is not--for one thing, imitation
crab is not billed as crab, imitation haddock is billed as haddock. One
is a substitute, the other one is a fake. (We also now have imitation
scallop and imitation lobster made in a manner similar to imitation
crab--and "imitation scallop meat" would make no sense; there is also
imitation shrimp, made by a different process--and, at least in Holland,
the resemblance is more in shape and color than in taste or texture.
Can't say I've actually tried any imitation shrimp in the US, except in
a Buddhist restaurant, where they were made completely differently.)


On 10/13/2011 1:34 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> At 10/13/2011 12:06 AM, Victor Steinbok wrote:
>> The problem with hairy crabs is that there is outright fraud (as in the
>> other cases), so "imitation" is not quite right--"imitation crab" is not
>> fraudulently presented crab. But "counterfeit", to me, has an "Ersatz"
>> quality to it, so that does not seem quite right either. It's the same
>> issue as someone serving dogfish in place of haddock
> There is "imitation crab *meat*", where the meat is from some other
> sea creature (I won't guess).  A past and perhaps still present
> scandal.  There, and also for dogfish replacing haddock, I think
> "imitation" (imitation crab, imitation haddock) is OK.
> Joel

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