I am back in China and am continuing to expand my culinary repertoire. Hairy crabs, pigs ears, escargot (Chinese style), cow stomach, more snake, etc. The Chinese sure do not seem to waste much when it comes to food - if a part of an animal is edible, they eat it.
Had the hairy crabs for Thanksgiving (both lunch and dinner), plus for lunch on Friday. They literally are crabs with hair on them. Hearing about them, I pictured a crab which had gone to the hair club for men. Thankfully, it wasn't that bad - the hair is mostly just on their legs, plus a large patch on their claws. These crabs only are available for 2 months out of the year for some reason, and we are in the middle of that period. So just about every restaurant has specials for them. They taste similar to the crabs we have in the states, though perhaps a little more tender meat in them. Cooked by steaming them. The style of eating is just as messy as we are in the states - and perhaps even more so. No shell cracker or little fork to work with, just your chopsticks, fingers, and mouth. I made a bit of a mess.
Ok, here's some food that will probably gross some of you out. Not so much because it is gross, but because of emotional attachments we sometimes have for the animal. I was surprised when this showed up on the table today - didn't think it was on the Chinese menu (but it is on the Korean menu, though I hadn't seen it yet). The meat tasted a bit lamb. So, what was it? Dog soup.
Had some Cabernet Sauvignon from a Chinese vineyard. It was pretty obvious that they don't serve wines in China much - it took three waitresses to figure out the bottle opener. And the wine was served in beer glasses. Overall the wine wasn't bad, though not one I'd look for outside of China. Very smooth - kind of like a Beaujolais Neauvous.
What am I doing in China on Thanksgiving, instead of eating way too much turkey and stuffing and watching Dallas attempt to play Football? Good question. I needed to come here for work and checked my schedule for the next available time. Forgot to cross check against the US holiday schedule (I am still a US employee, so get US holidays) so didn't realize I was supposed to be off until after I had booked the trip. Bummer. I am considering taking a comp day or two to make up for me missing my holiday.
Interesting, the stereotype of Chinese is that they eat a lot of rice. But for most meals, we haven't had any rice. Have eaten Chinese food each day. Various vegetable and meat dishes, and usually a soup. Just no rice, as we would serve them at Chinese restaurants in the States. Guess having rice is an Americanization of Chinese food.
Did do some sightseeing to an Ching or Ming dynasty (the guys showing me around where not sure which) emperor's garden. Nice place. Lots of interesting architecture and such. Did also do some shopping and bought some souvenirs and Xmas gifts at great prices. Also bought a painting for my wall in Korea.
It is amazing how the Chinese use bicycles for basic transportation. Items which we would deliver by truck, they deliver by bicycle. Caught a few on film, but missed some of the best ones. Probably the most loaded I saw was a single speed tricycle loaded with 10 water bottles (similar in size to a US 5 or 6 gallon bottle). That is about 100 kilos/200 lbs. of water. Platform pedals and a heavy, single speed bike. Fred or Bob - let's see you do that on the next Pumpkin Ride. Here's a shot of a guy delivering electronics…
Flight here sucked. Thinking of it, just about every flying experience I've had to, from, and within China has been pretty bad. Crowded planes, other passengers not following the standard flying etiquette, concern about getting bumped or getting delayed by the bureaucracy, etc. Part of the fun of international travel, I guess. Isn't making me put China on the top of my list of places where I'd want to travel to.Previous Post - Back to Menu - Next Post