Monday, August 29, 2011

Sometimes China is Not Yummy (Delightful Adventures)

This Part 2 of my post about authentic Chinese food. The first part is about the amazing delicious food in China.
This post is about food you may want to avoid. Unfortunately, I've had experience.

Certain Spices
I  my previous post, I mentioned that Chinese dishes contain a lot of La Jiao, a very hot spice. If you like spice, then you're good. If you're like me and table pepper burns your tongue, then you will want to learn how to say, "I don' want La Jiao!"

The worst of the spices, however, is one called Hua Jiao. It looks like this and is found in many Sichuan dishes:

 Sometimes it comes whole and sometimes, the tiny little particles inside these pods are hidden. So learn how to say you don;t want this too! (Bu Yao Hua Jiao) 
If you happen to get one of the little particles in your mouth (not even the pod), it tastes like you just took in a mouth full of laundry detergent and then your entire mouth will go numb. It is terrible. Basically, Chinese people like it because it numbs their mouth so they can eat even spicier food.

Cow Stomach

 This is a specialty in China. And it is nasty. It has a rubbery, chewy texture. bleh.

Congealed Blood

 Yes, it's as bad as it sounds and looks.

Bean Paste

 The Chinese love some bean paste. To them, it's a sweet dessert. They claim it's "like chocolate." It's not. But, it looks like chocolate, so beware! They even have bean paste ice cream.

 I know it looks good, but it's not. There are bakeries and they do make cakes, but they are nothing like the cakes you're used to. They're very citrus-tasting and not sweet.

Hot Pot

 To be fair, many people like hot pot. I can't handle it because it is spicy beyond belief and it's the one dish you cannot order without the spice. And sometimes they put weird things in the pot-like donkey meat and..


 I know, it's the ultimate Chinese food joke (besides cat meat), but they really do eat dog in China. It's a specialty and yes, I tried it. Don;t worry-they breed a special type of dog for eating. They do not eat their pets! It's really tough and gross, in case you're wondering.

I think I may have also eaten a wolf once. I was at a minority restaurant with my friend and she ordered a dish. She told me it was "something like a dog but lives in the woods." Not sure what I ate.

Delightful Food Adventures!


  1. I know I shouldn't laugh at other cultures, but this post gave me a good chuckle :)

  2. Wow, awesome, thanks. I just vomited in my mouth a little. LOL!!!! OMG!! Crazy! I have had La Jiao in my dishes before, but have definitely never heard of the other things (nor would I want to try them).

    But thanks for the warning :)

  3. It’s funny that I did a search on Hotpot and it came up with your blog.

    I'm not sure if I'd call food I dislike 'terrible', 'nasty' 'gross' and 'weird' just because I don't like it. As for the congealed blood.... don't we westerners eat black pudding?

    I'm not surprised you don't like the Cow Stomach, as it's normally served with ginger, spring onion and chilli which you hate, but I, and many others actually like it.

    It's not 'unfortunate' you experienced these dishes, you have actually been 'fortunate' enough to try these and realized you dislike them, but it would be 'unfortunate' if other people are naive enough to listen to you without trying these and many other delicacies and they loose out on some wonderful food.

    After all it's all about personal taste.

    1. I understand what you are saying and you are right, I am very fortunate to have experienced different cultures. I am very light hearted, so I mean for this post to be taken lightly.

      In my experience, people who are open to trying out native foods and different cultures would not be deterred by my post. In fact, I had people warn me about such foods but I still tried them for the experience and because I was open to them.

      But, I can see how I may scare away people who are on the fence. But I also do not feel responsible for others' naïveté. I am simply sharing my opinion and readers can take it or leave it.

      Please know I love china and their culture and know that they find some of my America food gross and not in the least offended.

      Thank you for your thought provoking response!


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