When my sister moved out, we snatched up the cablebox, so as to collect dust in our living quarters.
It’s instead done the opposite: we watch the news, AMC’s The Walking Dead and Into the Badlands, basketball games, and channel surf.
Channel surfing landed us on the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. Smoked local eels, insect-filled nuggets, and invasive geese krokets in Amsterdam, reinventing traditional Dutch recipes.
These delicacies, some appetizing to one, both, or neither of us, got me thinking about the foods we find bizarre from one another’s culture.
A snack chock full of childhood memories for ZJ, it’s pickled and spicy. Though I do have a higher tolerance for chili pepper heat, the larger issue I’m faced with regarding chicken feet is getting through all of the cartilage. I’m a lazy foodie who wants food to plop right in without too much of a fight.
皮蛋 Pidan, or thousand-year egg
According to facts and details dot com 皮蛋 is a delicacy from Guandong, though my in-laws served it at Chinese New Year (sister-in-law brought it from Xi’an):
Thousand-year-old eggs, a Guangdong delicacy, are made from duck eggs coated with lime, ashes and mud and soaked in horse urine for 100 days until the yolks turns green and the whites become gelatinous and dark brown. The eggs have a creamy, cheese-like flavor and a strong smell. Some are aged in black mud. These become partially hardened and are sold in markets as a seasoning for pork products. Thousand-year-old eggs are often served with rice congee or cut in chunks and eaten with slices of pickled ginger to soften the taste. Chinese also eat duck eggs that are packed in a pot and buried in the ground.
Pig’s ears were served at our wedding. While seated at the bride’s table, my sister-in-law attempted to serve me some. The pig’s ears tasted just like cartilage.
Cheese, Nutella, and large slabs of steak
ZJ will eat cheese in salad, on burgers/sandwiches, or when melted/melded with other flavors. Eating cheese on its own, however, is still a bizarre habit. Nutella is too sweet, he says. Large pieces of steak are no longer bizarre, but he still prefers bite-sized pieces and smaller portions of meat.
Whenever we’ve indulged in larger portions of steak, as part of a late meal, we have trouble sleeping.
Sounds like there’s something to uncover here…