One of the best ways to immerse yourself in local culture when traveling is to eat from street vendors with the locals. That’s fine with dumplings, noodle soups, banh mi, tamales and other street food that has found its way into our culture.
But what do you do in places like China where they serve spiders, snakes, scorpions, lizards and all sorts of stuff that Westerners are not accustomed to? That depends on your intestinal fortitude and sense of adventure.
Travel Wire Asia had an article on the most bizarre street foods in Beijing. Casey Hynes had the pleasure of sampling some of these items at Beijing’s Wangfujing Commercial Street.
“Ten thousand miles away from my home I find myself confronted with an inner monologue I thought I would never find rolling around in my head. Would I eat human flesh? What a question.
I am sitting with my wife in a small home in a remote village on the southern end of the island country of Madagascar. We have been spending the weekend with a family that is celebrating the ritual circumcision of a 5 year old boy. Don’t ask…that’s just when they do it.
What’s really irksome is the idea that traditionally the paternal grandfather eats the foreskin after its been snipped and while that concept is strange enough, sitting in a room 5 feet away from him I realize that he doesn’t have to eat it himself, he can give it away to anyone else in the room as long as they hold an honored position at the event. So while the boys dad is out in the street unable to watch at all, I on the other hand am right in front of grandpa with a sign on my head that says HONORED GUEST in big red neon.”
Now that is truly bizarre! Check out the short video below about his trip, and check out the rest of Andrew’s article here to see whether he ate it or not.
The Bag Hag Diaries recently spent some time eating street food in Taipei, Taiwan. What she found was a lot of innards, gizzards, blood cakes and other assorted goodies. Maybe the Food Network should send Andrew Zimmern to Taipei.
Pig ears, duck tongue (bottom shelf, right), blood cakes (top shelf, right) and Intestines Misua, which she really liked.
Below is the “before” picture of Intestines Misua. Not sure if I would try the “after”, but if you click through, it actually looks pretty good.