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.