Exotic Foods of China

It has often been deemed a common courtesy to never call another culture’s food disgusting or gross. It is sobering to realize that things Americans consider detestable are delicacies in other countries. That being said, I was curious to learn about such delicacies, and even though they may be considered gross in western society – what components of the dishes/entrees made them desirable. Here are a list of the strangest delicacies of china that are sure to blow your mind.

CHICKEN FEET

The first item on our list is chicken feet. Now in the spirit of total transparency, chicken feet are likely being sold at your local Wal-Mart. In my research, chicken feet appear to be an option at Chinese Dim-Sum establishments as common as wings are at restaurants in America. They are commonly deep fried or steamed in order to make them puffy, and the simmered in  one of China’s many sauces to add the desired flavor of choice. This is what reminded me most of chicken wings and how wings are done in the US.

STINKY TOFU

Stinky Tofu

Okay. So maybe the first question one might ask is what is the allure of “stinky” food. Fun thing to mention – did you know some Chinese people find the American appreciation for aged cheeses disgusting? Yes, there are actually people who find cheese disgusting. So it would seem wat is good to us like Cheese, is disgusting to them (like maybe stinky tofu).

Stinky tofu is a block of tofu soaked in brine made with shrimp, vegetables, and salt that has been fermenting for months. Because this is something that is served through street vendors, there have been instances where vendors have been fined for violating pollution laws as a result of this dish smelling so bad! As bad as this may seem, Cheese isn’t so different. After all, aged cheddar to Americans is what stinky tofu may be to the Chinese!

SEA CUCUMBER

When I was in 6th grade we traveled to the Florida Keys to experience a place called “Sea Camp”. We swam with sharks and participated in a host of biology/scientific aquatic activities. One of those activities was studying SEA CUCUMBERS. For those of you not entirely familiar with Sea Cucumbers, I would like to share my first-hand experience with them.

Imagine picking something up that is so slippery and gelatinous, you can’t grip it no matter how hard you tried. They are a portly creature and emit a fluid that I can only describe as super mucus. I remember in sea camp, no matter how hard I tried to grip it – I could not. It would slip through my grasp each and every time. The only way to hold it was to cup both hands underneath it. If it decided to move, you can forget about it. I can’t even imagine trying to eat such a creature.

Undoubtedly this article could continue pacifically infinitely, but we’ll leave off with sea cucumbers today. What are some intense delicacies you’ve heard about?