Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Food for thought

Just thought I'd share this with you!

"Beijing's penis emporium by By Andrew Harding, BBC News, Beijing

There are many thousands of Chinese restaurants around in the UK and everyone has their favourite dish, but only in China itself do chefs specialise in a range of slightly more unusual delicacies.
Many of the restaurant's guests are wealthy businessmen
The dish in front of me is grey and shiny.
"Russian dog," says my waitress Nancy.
"Big dog," I reply.
"Yes," she says. "Big dog's penis..."
We are in a cosy restaurant in a dark street in Beijing but my appetite seems to have gone for a stroll outside.
Nancy has brought out a whole selection of delicacies.
They are draped awkwardly across a huge platter, with a crocodile carved out of a carrot as the centrepiece.
Nestling beside the dog's penis are its clammy testicles, and beside that a giant salami-shaped object.
"Donkey," says Nancy. "Good for the skin..."
She guides me round the penis platter.
"Snake. Very potent. They have two penises each."
I did not know that.
Deer-blood cocktail
"Sheep... horse... ox... seal - excellent for the circulation."
She points to three dark, shrivelled lumps which look like liquorice allsorts - a special treat apparently - reindeer, from Manchuria.
Government officials... two of them... they're having the penis hotpot
The Guolizhuang restaurant claims to be China's only speciality penis emporium, and no, it is not a joke.
The atmosphere is more exotic spa than boozy night-out.
Nancy describes herself as a nutritionist. "Not long ago, a particularly rich real estate mogul came in with four friends. All men. Women don't come here so often, and they shouldn't eat testicles," says Nancy solemnly.
The men spent $5,700 (£3,000) on a particularly rare dish, something that needed to be ordered months in advance.
"Tiger penis," says Nancy.
Bull's perineum is also a delicacy
The illegal trade in tiger parts is a big problem in China.
Campaigners say the species is being driven towards extinction because of its popularity as a source of traditional medicine.
I mention this, delicately, to Nancy, but she insists that all her tiger supplies come from animals that have died of old age.
"Anyway, we only have one or two orders a year," she says.
"So what does it taste like?" I ask.
"Oh, the same as all the others," she says blithely.
And does it have any particular potency? "No. People just like to order tiger to show off how much money they have."
Welcome to the People's Republic of China - tigers beware.
Sliced and pickled
"Oh yes," she adds, "the same group also ate an aborted reindeer foetus.
"That is very good for your skin. And here it is..."
Another "nutritionist" walks in bearing something small and red wrapped in cling film.
My appetite is heading for the airport.
Still, I think, it would be rude not to try something. I am normally OK about this sort of thing. I have had fried cockroaches and sheep's eyes, so...
There is a small bowl of sliced and pickled ox penis on the table.
I pick up a piece with my chopsticks and start to chew. It is cold and bland and rubbery.
Nancy gives me a matronly smile.
"This one," she says, "should be eaten every day."


Blogger P1P said...

MMMMM, fried cock, just like mother used to stir fry. I have never understood the meat eaters that will happily chow down on veal but kick off at the thought of eating dog.

I used to feel that I had missed out on some stuff by being vegetarian but after reading this post I feel no urge to give up being veggie.

2:53 AM  
Blogger Binty McShae said...

I ate cock in Hungary once. But it was the feathered variety...

10:27 PM  
Blogger Dr Maroon said...

Yeah, right Binty.

8:14 AM  
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