Monday, July 6, 2009

What do Chinese people eat?

Sometimes, Chinese people like to eat heads.
fish head soupNote the sad look on its face. No, that fish is not pleased to be in a soup. Why would you want to eat a fish head, you ask? First of all, the story goes that Chinese people like their fish whole. I think that this is to preserve the savoriness that is lost when meat is separated from bone, but some (western) sources say it's to symbolize prosperity, to which I say: sure. Second of all, head is abundant something which in my opinion is often undervalued, and that is cartilage.

Now, I imagine nobody really goes around saying to themselves, mmm, love that cartilage. That's probably because cartilage isn't exactly a poetic word, and doesn't have the raw pop-appeal that other meat-related words like ribs or steak have. And thinking about cartilage inevitably leads to thinking about bone and there's nothing appealing about bone.

However, I'd like you to take a second and think about chewy candy and jell-o. Keep in mind that sleek sheen and smooth texture. Now, imagine that on a smaller scale, accompanying the savory taste of meat. Imagine soft, sticky and smooth meat but without the sickening runniness of fat. That, my dear reader, is the wonder of cartilage.

Actually, I digress. I don't think I've actually eaten a fish head, because where there is an abundance of cartilage is an abundance of dodgy bits that taste like ocean. Actually, I do have vague memories of myself eating a fish eye as a child, and thinking, "mmm, what a treat". In fact, I may even have fought over that fish eye with my cousin. This is China, ca. 1994.

So, I'm going to finish this very informative post about "heads" with another picture:
duck headsI've never actually tried duck heads either. Because, why eat duck head when you have duck?

No comments:

Post a Comment