Eating weird things in China

by Leolaia 48 Replies latest jw friends

  • Leolaia

    Well, I guess I can say that on my Asian trip I knowingly consumed three new animals I had not eaten before (my apologies to vegetarians on the board who might cringe at the way that was worded). First off, pigeon. On my birthday in Beijing we ate at a very pricey, fancy restaurant at the hotel and we thought we'd try to pigeon to see what it was like. Turned out, it tasted halfway between duck and chicken. However, the restaurant just had to include the damned head in the dish.....

    I don't know about you, but it kinda ruins my appetite to see the head of the animal served up in the same dish. In fact, after trying the pigeon, it kinda ruined my appetite for the chicken dish too! But when in China, eat as the Chinese, I guess.... The funny thing is that we all pretty much didn't want to eat the pigeon because of the head, and so we left it uneaten and told the waiter we didn't want it, but when he left the restaurant the pigeon still followed us -- boxed up by the waiter so we wouldn't forget it....

    Later we went to Dunhuang, a town on the Silk Road near Mongolia in northwestern China, and we had the pleasure to eat at a donkey meat restaurant:

    Fortunately this time there was no severed head to contend with. I made sure with my Mandarin dictionary that what we ordered on the all-Chinese menu was indeed "donkey meat". It was quite tasty. It tasted just like corned beef -- except it was very lean. It was so good that we ordered two servings of it. It was also served with what tasted for all the world like spaghetti with a weird spicey sauce that supposedly came from one of the Buddhist caves at Mogao in Dunhuang. Donkey meat....good.

    However, we saved the best for last. Our second day there we visited the dunes and took camel rides through the desert. It was my first time on a camel.

    I took the second picture while riding on my camel, the middle member of a three-member camel train. Well, I think you can see where this is going. At the restaurant at the hotel, we had among the many choices: "Braised camel's paw" and "Assorted slivers of camel's hump". Having just ridden a camel, and relishing the opportunity to both ride on and eat the same animal in the same day, we all decided to go with the hump:

    To be honest, we had absolutely no idea what to expect. We knew that the hump is where the camel stored water, so we had no idea whether it was going to be a grotesque spongy mass, some foul-tasting organ, etc. It was a little daunting ordering the camel's hump, and when the waiter came with the hump dish, in the distance we were only able to see the carved pumpkin, and we all feared that this was the hump! Fortunately, what arrived looked like a typical edible Chinese meat dish. The camel hump tasted like beef, but it was rather tough yet fatty. It turned out to be the best tasting dish at that meal.

  • Leolaia
  • mustang

    Let's see, I'll comment while reading your post:

    Lots of duck, that is good, most of the time. I like the sweet meat but I do avoid the fat. Ducks are WATERPROOF, you see: they are professionals at water-sports and are insulated from the inside out!!!

    So, they finally got around to goose: they split the head, cross-section wise. It would have made a loverly exhibit in an anatomy class. It reminded me of those sectioned nautilus sea shells. So, you are staring square @ the BRAIN!!! By this time the host had pegged me for a beer drinker: not really, but KEEP IT COMING!!!!


  • mustang

    OK, chicken FEET!!!! They finally got me to eat those!!!

    You know those militarized binoculars that were popular a few years back??? The ones with the green, "rubberized" coating that waterproofs them? Well, the consistency was like that. It was fairly tasteless, kind of a jelly like mass. I suspect the binocular covering may "chew up" similar but the taste would be a little more sulphurous.

    More reading....


  • mustang

    And then we on the way to visit Old Town Shanghai (back to that in a moment).

    We stop for lunch. Out comes a steaming bowl of DRUNKEN SHRIMP. These are live fresh-water (I'm told; they did look clear and see-through glassy) shrimp. They are cooked SLIGHTLY and are still SWIMMING, IN A BOWL OF CHILI SAUCE!!!! I can't get out of this one: so a slug of beer, down the hatch & two more quick slugs of beer. It was kind of crunchy is what I remember?

    OK, back on the road. Old Town Shanghai is lovely, but there are NO skyrises to compete in the world's tallest building frenzy. It is two story, maybe three tops and is riddled with canals and bridges. There are lots of shops and things are held in a restored fashion. It is a national park, although people seem to live there.

    So, we go here and there and stop for a snack. Suddenly our host comes rushing towards me from a kiosk with a clear bag. There is water in it; and something yellowish. Yes, it is a swimming goldfish.

    Now I recall lunch. And I recall our college students of yesteryear's pastime: SWALLOWING GOLDFISH!!! OH, NO!!!!

    Dragon Lady explains to me that it is a custom and a charm: release the goldfish, make a wish and it swims away with your wish and to bring your luck back to you!!!

    I am very relieved and happy to release the fish from the steps of the quay going into the water


  • Golf

    Glad to know your well fed. Enjoy.

    Guest 77

  • mustang

    It helps to have "relatives" and friends in these places (built in interpreters and so forth). But you're not always sure whose side they are on


  • Shutterbug

    Thanks to you I now have a sure fire way to lose weight-----go to China. The tricky part will be getting out of there before croaking from starvation. Bug

  • frenchbabyface
    don't know about you, but it kinda ruins my appetite to see the head of the animal served up in the same dish

    Well it would have ruins my appetite too ...

    thanks for the information about the tast of those meat (it may help one day)

  • SixofNine

    Pretty cool that they let you pick out the camel you wanted to eat. It's almost like picking out your lobster, save for the hump and hoofs and hair.

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