I’m back from a week in China and I have one major question: What the hell do they do with the rest of the chicken between the neck and the ass?
We had beaks, eyes, innards and gizzards, feet, claws and knuckles, but never did we see anything remotely resembling the traditionally edible portions of a chicken. Maybe they ship those overseas to KFC and we were just eating the side trim…
Our group wondered whether or not we were constantly being tested whenever the ubiquitous lazy susan rotated around and our hosts wouldn’t touch certain things themselves.
Some random ruminations on the “food” we encountered:
The first thing we were presented were long skinny red strips with a white line down the middle of them. We had just completed a forced march tour of a mill the size of Grand Central Station and were famished. One member of our group made the crucial error of loading his plate up thinking they were some sort of vegetable or possibly a tuber. (I just love saying “tuber.”) Always ask first! “So, what are these things?” “Oh you’ll like them. They’re strips of uncooked pigs ears.” Bon appetit, dumbass.
But that was tame compared to the bucket o’rectums that was presented next. “Err, I can see that these are some kind of intestines, but could you at least tell me what animal they came from?” “I don’t know how to say it in English, but it has four legs. Baaaah?” Haggis would be a walk in the park compared to this stuff.
Easy Chinese/English food translator for the harried traveler
pork=some part of an animal the size of a pig
beef=either 1.) a yak if it’s the big-ass Fred Flintstone ribs they serve that make your car flip over when they set it on the windowsill or 2.)dog
Peking Duck=either 1.) deep fried fatty bird skin with no meat attached (curse you international KFC conglomerate!) or 2.) Pekingese
Some things I never thought I’d hear or say at the dinner table:
“That’s lung? How disappointing. I had high hopes for that plate.”
“Could you please pass me some more jellyfish? I’m trying to get the taste of pancreas out of my mouth.”
“How come we always heard that there were millions of starving children in China and we just left ten pounds of untouched food on this lazy susan? With all due respect, next time you can just send most of this stuff to them, and we’ll settle for a can of Pringles.”
The most memorable image I’ll have of dining in China was of a crazy old woman screaming and waving a mackerel in her hand as she chased a huge frog out the front door of her restaurant. She dropped the mackerel into a basket of bloody pink chicken parts and leaned over to snatch the frog out of the dirty street. Then I realized that she wasn’t shooing the frog out. She was catching it to bring it back in. And I don’t think it was the kitchen mascot.