Yuck or Yum?

I’m just beginning to explore the wonders of Chinese food.  I grew up eating it all the time, but before I left for this trip, people kept telling me, “It’s different in China.  What you know is AMERICAN Chinese food and it’s not authentic.”  I am here to report that the Chinese food that I’ve eaten in the United States is somewhat authentic… but there’s so much more.  Imagine if you’d never eaten fruit and someone let you try an apple.  You’d know about one type of fruit, but you’d be missing all the wonders of raspberries, peaches, grapes, and all the other amazing varieties.  I’ve only been here a few days, so I’m just starting to see the array of options in the Chinese diet.  Here are a few of the most delicious and strange ones I’ve encountered:

1. Homemade Noodles and Dumplings: Yum!

2. Large animals in a Pot: Yuck. Ok, I just saw these on a menu and didn’t even try them.  Maybe I’ll work up the courage.

             (Pictured above is chicken head, and below are turtle, pigeon, and duck head dishes.  Click photos to enlarge.)


3. New Kinds of Tofu: Yum.  This one was fried on the outside, and almost gooey like custard on the inside.

4. Corn Ice Cream Pop: Yuck (but I tried it). This is not corn on the cob.  It’s creamy corn-flavored ice cream inside a wafer-like crust.


5. Lots of dishes with Egg: Yum.  I was surprised that it went well with shrimp.

Don’t worry.  This will not be the last food post from China.

Categories: China

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17 replies »

  1. Sara I love that you are posting about the food! So much culture in a bite of food, right? And the heads….when I was in Spain (and my Spanish translation book failed me because I was in a part of Spain that spoke Catalan) I order Aros Negri, thinking I would get something like ‘blackened rice’. The rice was delicious but, the six fish heads sticking out of the rice was somewhat distracting!

    I am so happy to travel with you via this blog! I only wish I could taste some of what you’ve posted! You have me thinking I’ll order Chinese tonight! Have fun Sara!

  2. I’m jealous — it all looks delicious. Except maybe the corn icecream… but I’m glad you tried it at least. Corn is awfully sweet, so it’s not so crazy to make an icecream themed around it…

  3. mmmmm…………….
    my mouth is watering right now!!

    i agree with you, Ms. Krakauer; the egg dishes look DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    especially the shrimp.
    here’s a tip, you can put some shrimp soup (if there is any with the dish) onto the rice and it’ll be even more awesome!!!!!!!!!
    the dumplings are actually called Hun Dun, but sound like Hwin Dwin. even so, they’re still dumplings. the noodles look great!
    the tofu dish looks good, i tried those at home, and they’re pretty good.
    for the chicken, pigeon, duck, and turtle dishes, i don’t think the heads can be THAT bad, although i’ve never tried one before. but then again, i probably won’t eat the pigeon or turtle head.
    i’ve also never tried a Corn Ice Cream Pop, do you think you’ll want to eat it again?

    can’t wait for more blog posts!!
    😉 ~ anna

  4. We’ve been facing our own food dilemmas here in Costa Rica. Can’t wait to share more

  5. i wouldn’t try any of the animals in a pot either. The corn ice cream pop is an interesting idea though! Have fun in China!

  6. Hello Ms. Krakauer,

    When we got this post on saturday we were eating at a friends house. She is from Taiwan. Great food but when they mention that something is spicy they mean Spicy!!!!!

    When we go to Brasil we have our own personal favorites and other foods we just stay away from. One of my least favorites are chicken feet. We tent to go for the more traditional brazilian BBQ.

    Loved the photos!

    Jonathan Doliver and family

    Happy 4th of July!!!!

  7. This reminds me of when my moms friend ate rattle snake when they were on vacation. They said that they ended up liking it.

  8. The chicken head would disgust me too. But a bunch of those foods do look good, like you said. How was the trip? Seems like fun. The interesting foods remind me of when I went to Paris, and my dad ate snail. I disgusted me!

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