Eating weird things in China

by Leolaia 48 Replies latest jw friends

  • Leolaia

    LittleToe....I'm sure they had it, however, I can declare that when I visited Malaysia, a member of our party dared to drink the can of "Bird's Nest" drink, which contained in the ingredients "genuine bird's nest". He said it tasted very, very disgusting. That same trip, when we were in Singapore, we ate some "Carrot Cake" at a Chinese restaurant, and I can tell you, that ain't no carrot cake I know of.... On this trip, when I was in Japan, I finally drank some "Pocari Sweat" and "Calpis" (which we pronounced "cow piss"), and neither were very good.

    Freedom96....Domino's, ha! Let me tell you, we went to a place called "Mr. Pizza" that supposedly had genuine American-style pizza. Well, they had lots of cheese, marginal crust, and lots of toppings....but they forgot just one thing....the sauce! Very strange.

  • mustang

    The Chinese there call large white radishes (like Daikon) "Carrot". However, Dragon Lady says that most "Carrot Cake" has Taro (the white Yam with the tiny purple streaks, not the Purple Yam of Hawaii and the Asian countries) as the main ingredient. So, the "Carrot Cake" may have Taro or the Daikon like Radish and be mixed with the overly sweet (to my taste, which does err on the sweet-tooth side) gelatinous rice pudding stuff. After that, the whole concoction may be stir-fried w/ egg!!!!.

    Since DL doesn't look over my shoulder or at this website, one of my survival secrets is that I don't eat Chinese food in Sing: I eat MUSLIM food!!!

    That reminds me (shameless plug): In Singapore, don't miss the Banana Leaf Restaurant @ Little India. It is less than a block north of the new NE MRT (Purple) line Little India stop on Race Course Road.

    Of course, you can find a "hawker centre" @ most of the bigger transit stops or shopping/office centers.

    Bird's Nest Soup is always around. You can get it at the higher end restaurants or go to Chinese Herb Shops and get it in the box, along with your Ginseng. I even get the canned drink here in the states; (of course I shop in Chinatowns). Wot the hey, that reminded me that I have/had one last can in the cupboard; so I'm chugging it as we speak J

    The Bird's Nest Soup drink is rather like a Cream Soda, but it has the little doobers like tapioca pearls that the Asians always find a way to put in any liquid. The glue that the swallows secrete is sweetish; that is what these particular little doobers are. The Asians seem to like gelatinous sort of liquidy stuff; sometimes it makes me suspicious. (The black seed clusters in Basil Seed Drink look quite like tadpoles.) Also, I don't like the way they clog your drinking straws L

    Yer making me "re-live" being there; speaking of which: did you make it to a "Snake Restaurant" yet J ????


    Working on being a Singapore "Ex-Pat" Class

  • Country Girl
    Country Girl

    ermnmm... im kinda grossed out.


  • gumby
    ermnmm... im kinda grossed out.

    Your prolly just pregnant...that's all.


  • Leolaia

    Hey, mustang, you just solved one mystery for me -- cuz I wondered for years what the heck that thing we are was. It definitely had egg in it, but rather was eggy in some unclear way, I just knew it had no carrot and it wasn't cake. So tell me, what really is bird's nest? Is it really bird's nest, or just a fancy name for something else?

    We some some Muslim food in Malaysia. The halal food seemed to be a notch better than some of the other stuff we came across. I thought it was funny how KFC is halal.

  • mustang

    OK: Birds' Nest Soup is made from the bird nest of one of the Swallow's. These are the partly black birds with the tails that look like an open pair of scissors. These Swallows prefer to nest on ledges and crevices on the side of cliffs. Therefore, they are hard to get to; the birds selected that as a defense mechanism.

    But somewhere along the line, the Chinese discovered that the nest is held together with the "glue" (mucous, I think) secreted from the Swallows. The glue is sweet and tasty. So, this has become a delicacy.

    Now, this is DANGEROUS work: the collectors swing on ropes and dangle over the edge of the cliff. They sometimes fall. The difficulty makes the price go up; the demand makes the workers take the risk. So, the cycle goes and meanwhile the Swallows keeping pumping the nests out!!!

    I don?t know what steps are taken in preparation and what the criteria of cleanliness is. But generations of Chinese have passed this delicacy on to us, so any problems must be innocuous.

    I like the "roti prata" bread and mutton (egg or cheese optional): you "dunk" as you go and clean the bowl up with the last of the bread. The bread is very much like the "Indian Fry Bread" the Navajo's make. This stuff is fantastic!!!!

    (How about that: I get the East AND West Indians into the same subject matter!!!)

    Most of the vendors are of Indian descent but are frequently from Malaysia or Singapore itself. Many have never been to India. Being from Malaysia, they are likely Muslim. So the stands advertise themselves as both Indian or Muslim food.


  • Billygoat


    I went to what we call a "horse-off" this weekend. It's a pot-luck dinner put together by people that own and run Spanish mustangs. We eat food and talk about our horses, and then look at and visit with the host's horses. They had a small 9 month old donkey. He took a shine to me, and followed me everywhere. He was very pesky, but cute. He kept trying to eat my sunglasses, my clothes, my keys, anything he could get his little lips on, including my face. I kissed him on his soft muzzle 400 times, but he preferred to nibble at my nose. What a doll. I don't think I could eat a donkey. <sniff>

    Oh that's so cute! I don't think I could eat a donkey either. My little dog looks and acts exactly like Donkey on "Shrek". I would think of my little "Henry" the whole time.

    But Leo, your stories are fascinating. I've really enjoyed them!


  • LittleToe

    As Mustang said, it really is a soup made from a nest...

    Regardless, I'm sure the canned version probably tasted even worse than the fresh (??) thing.

    Glad you're having a great time

  • Bangalore

    Chinese food in China seems to be far different from the Chinese food they have in the Chinese restaurants here.


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