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Crab sticks (also called imitation crab meat, seafood sticks (UK), fish sticks (U.S.) or labeled as krab) are a type of processed seafood made of surimi, or finely pulverized white fish flesh, that has been shaped and cured to resemble snow crab legs.
Sugiyo Co., Ltd. (スギヨ, Sugiyo) of Japan first produced and patented crab sticks in 1973, under the name Kanikama. In 1976, David Berelson, Riva Berelson and The Berelson Company, San Francisco, US, working with Sugiyo pioneered the introduction worldwide. This is still their common name in Japan, but internationally they are marketed under a variety of names, including Krab Sticks, Ocean Sticks, Sea Legs and Imitation Crab Sticks. Legal restrictions in most jurisdictions now prevent them from being marketed as "Crab Sticks", as they do not always actually contain any crab meat.
Statistics on U.S. production of fish sticks confirm that production has increased dramatically, practically doubling since 2000. No wonder - they are a popular choice of snack, as well as a surprisingly interesting addition to various dishes.