Sunday, April 24, 2011

The China Diet

When we first signed up for China I jokingly referred to the trip as the China Diet because I, being a "weird eater" didn't think I'd be able to eat much on the trip. I am not an adventurous eater, and I had a feeling that the Chinese were rather creative in their food tastes and choices... like boiled chicken feet. Nope. I'll pass.

One evening soon after getting to Beijing we walked down the Wangfujing Walking Street. We'll go ahead and add all this to the list of things I Did Not Eat on my trip to China. On this list includes but is not limited to: testicles, scorpion, silk worm pupa, centipede, shark, sheep, snake, sea horses, sea urchin, starfish, (what looked like) fetal pigs, grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, honey bee cocoons, cicadas and "sweet edible fungus". Basically if you wanted to eat any type of bug or animal from the sea or land you could get it here at this market.

Even though there were these types of food choices available, there was also plenty of Western food available and the Chinese were super accommodating to my food questions and requests. We went to a Tang Dynasty dinner show in Xian and when the set course main meal was beef they made me my own special chicken dish. So sweet! They answered what was in every single, countless basket of dumplings that were brought to the table so I could know which ones I could eat. The dumpling dinner was probably my favorite dinner!

The tours lunch and dinner meals were "family style" and while I didn't like not getting to order what I wanted at first, it was a fun way to try a lot of things I normally wouldn't. Such as breaded fish with frosting and sprinkles. I tried it and surprisingly it was good! I ate very adventurously on this trip. I even participated in the "very special" Peking duck dinner in Beijing. I don't eat duck, but I did promise Brad I would at least try it and you know what? I actually really liked it. Being really really hungry (and not having another option) always helps broaden horizons and makes things taste better.

I totally ended up being on the opposite of the China Diet on this trip! Tons of great food and drinks are to be had in China. Just don't drink the water. You cannot drink the tap water in China. They say it is ok to brush your teeth and wash in, but I was sure in and out of the shower a lot quicker than usual!

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