Sunday, September 23, 2007

Adventurous Eating

I hope I didn’t make anyone nervous talking about dogs and China in the same breath yesterday. I know everyone makes uneasy associations about the two. And there’s some truth to it—I think dogs really are eaten here. But in three trips to the mainland, I’ve never been offered dog or seen it on a menu. And as an obvious foreigner, I doubt I ever will. Eating someone’s pet is just not something an American has to worry about.

On this trip, however, I’ve realized that many other alarming things are eaten here. The fanciest restaurant in our hotel, for example, has several dishes containing bullfrog. And last night, we ate at a dumpling restaurant that served conventional pork-and-cabbage jiaozi, but which also offered donkey as a dumpling filling. One other weird menu item was a picture of what looked like stewed grubs—Pipi asked for an English version of the menu and was able to determine that they were silkworms. So I’m not saying that you don’t have to watch what you eat here. The pitfalls are just different from what you might expect.

Today, I went to a place called the Duolun Lu Culture Street. It's a pedestrian street in what used to be the International Concession in North Shanghai. It was famous for being the home of a lot of revolutionary intellectuals in the 1930s, including Lu Xun, a pretty famous social commentator whom I remember reading in college. These and other photos here.

No comments: