Since I had so much fun talking about food before, I wanted to do another one. In this country, food is one of the biggest things in life. For example, instead of talking about the weather, they talk about what they had to eat earlier in the day. Most people (er, women) know how to cook anything which involves a wok, mass amounts of oil, and salt. They don’t use recipes because they just grow up around cooking and seem fairly creative in the kitchen as long as you can stir fry it.
I have tried to ask locals how to make stir-fry and have gotten the same answer. “Add anything you want! Season how you want!” Okay. Somehow with those directions my stir-fry never turns out tasting like theirs. I am looking for something more along the lines of 3 carrots slivered, 2 cups torn spinach, 1 clove garlic, 1.5 teaspoons salt, etc. So I cook Western food and leave the stir-fry to the professionals.
On another food note, the first time our family ventured out to a local restaurant here, I was apparently the honored guest (I was later told). We had only lived here a few days and spoke zero of the language. Now looking back, I think the waitress was trying to tell me the food I was ordering was spicy. She would have been right if that’s what she was saying. I was about to gag anyway because of the smell and spiciness, but about halfway through my food, I spotted what appeared to be the comb of a chicken head. I moved it around some and thought I would get sick when I found the beak. Needless to say, I was done eating for the night. Is it possible to chew a beak? Isn’t the skull kind of crunchy? Ugh. I also found out later that there are pig intestines in this dish. Can you find them?
I was a vegetarian for 7 years and have thought many times of returning to my former way of life since being here.
Another adventurous meal happened when I ate dinner on a layover in South Korea. I was eating some scrumptious spaghetti and was going for a mushroom when I realized it didn’t feel like a mushroom. I moved the pasta out of the way and saw a little octopus looking thing staring right at me. I counted all 8 legs and was enamored by the suction cups. Really? It was much too cute to eat. I was told later they are quite expensive. I guess I was the honored guest yet again. Yay me!
The other day I was eating what I thought was a vegetable, but when I realized it chewed back, I spit it out and asked my foreign friend what it was. Turns out it was a fish intestine. I don’t recommend it.
Thankfully my scariest food moments have only been in restaurants and not in someone’s home. I certainly don’t want to offend anyone, but eating a chicken head… Umm maybe not.