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Kent Wang

Only a Chinese would eat it

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My first exposure to "extreme cuisine" came by way of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, in which, among other things, she described in detail the butchering of a hog and all the various ways that ALL parts of the animal were used, including Pa inflating the bladder, tying it, and giving it to the girls to play with.

I figure that you're going to butcher an animal for the steak or roast, it seems just wrong to throw out the rest of it. Plenty of other cultures eat the whole hog. It ain't just the Chinese.

And hey, the French eat horse, which I believe started during a famine during Napoleon's rule. (Or something.) People can be ingenious when they're hungry. If not, they buy a nice shiny shrinkwrapped styrofoam container of meat at the grocery store.

Backhand the rude bastards! Just don't get caught. :laugh:


Edited by Philanthrophobe (log)

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

--Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

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Been trying to think about items that chinease eat that other culture do not...

The only think I could come up with was placenta.  I believe there is a tradition of eating placenta for medicinal value.  i've not heard that tradition in any other culture (but I'm no authority).  Everything else so far on this tread, I know other food culture eat (and enjoy).

Eating placenta for medicinal value is a tradition in many other cultures as well.


Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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Leo, I do understand your concerns and I have experienced, oh, about 56 years of bigotry and ignorance, but that will not prevent me from having my "delicacies" (except dogs). A long time ago when we started putting black beans and garlic dishes on our menu, the first few people who ordered it demanded their money back because the found mashed up "house flies" in their dinner. After telling so many mocking fools to go pound sand, or worse, I stopped worrying about what the gway loh or anyone else thinks a long time ago. People who mock other people usually are very insecure about their own place in the world, as the veneer of civilization easily wears through on them. They are of no significance.

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Leo, I do understand your concerns and I have experienced, oh, about 56 years of bigotry and ignorance, but that will not prevent me from having my "delicacies" (except dogs). A long time ago when we started putting black beans and garlic dishes on our menu, the first few people who ordered it demanded their money back because the found mashed up "house flies" in their dinner. After telling so many mocking fools to go pound sand, or worse, I stopped worrying about what the gway loh or anyone else thinks a long time ago. People who mock other people usually are very insecure about their own place in  the world, as the veneer of civilization easily wears through on them. They are of no significance.

Thanks for sharing your view Ben. I agree that it's not worth one's energy to dwell on the negativity of others. The thing that's great about this thread is that Chinese culture shares a great deal with other traditional cultures in the enjoyment of an entire animal.

As we all know, food is much more than just sustenance. It takes a lot of creativity to turn what appears to be an unappetizing animal part into a delicious treat! That's why I love pig's ears! :biggrin:

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Thanks for sharing your view Ben.  I agree that it's not worth one's energy to dwell on the negativity of others.  The thing that's great about this thread is that Chinese culture shares a great deal with other traditional cultures in the enjoyment of an entire animal. 

As we all know, food is much more than just sustenance.  It takes a lot of creativity to turn what appears to be an unappetizing animal part into a delicious treat!  That's why I love pig's ears!  :biggrin:

Wasn't that something about silk purses I heard? :biggrin:


SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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If you're Chinese, or Asian for that matter, you've probably encountered racist jokes where they' made fun of the dog eating and penis eating habits of "your people".  I'm always offended by those jokes because they are meant to mock Chinese and other Asian people such that it makes our cultural heritage inferior.

Gosh, Leo. I've never looked at it this way. Do people really laugh at us? Really, really? Sure, we're aware of the 'joke' that the chinese eats anything under the sun, but we've always acknowledged that with 'pride', lol. Methinks eating all these exotics has formed a thick skin on me. :rolleyes:

Oh god. I once had to resign from an on-line discussion group on another board, because I got so pissed off at the existence of a long-running discussion that proceeded to indulge in every derogatory attitude about Chinese food I had ever heard of--and a few I hadn't. And anytime I or anyone else told 'em they were being offensive, some "free speech" advocate would retort that it was important for these prejudices to be aired so that people would be educated about them or something. Fine, but "educating" usually doesn't involve so much derisive chortling and sniggering, folks. :rolleyes::angry:

Here, though, I am enjoying listening to y'all share about these sometimes-misunderstood foods, not only with humor but also with genuine fondness for the culture and cuisines involved. Which I think is really really cool, and the way Life should be. :smile:

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When growing up I heard all those joke but thankfully, I don't have to defend my eating habits to a group of boys on the school playground. I know Koreans have a tradition of eating every part of pig, cow, etc. And certainly Koreans have a tradition of eating dogs and other animals considered pets.

I am proud of my food heritage and as are many of my ethics friends. I also rather like eating and enjoying different types of ingredients and don't mind talking about it. If people have problems, it just that... their problem.

I don't agree with Howard stern much but once on a show, an irate caller phoned in to complain about a Korean business man buying dogs from NJ dog pounds for export to Korea as food. His response was at least they are making use of them. We Americans just kill them and throw them away. (I'm paraphrasing a bit here).

I think the greatest issue with food is not what you eat but wasting it or not having enough of it.

Anyone want to buy a soap box.

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Awww...mizducky...the world should have more people like you. :wub:


TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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Are Chinese and Japanese (maybe Koreans too?) the only cultures who eat eels? I don't think I have seen eels on the menus in other restaurants.

All these talks about using all parts of the animals. What do the USA and European countries do with the innards? Throw away?


W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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Eel in Italian is anguilla. I don't recall having eaten eel in Italy, but I know they eat it, and I'm sure they cook it very well.

As for innards, in the US, my impression is that those who eat innards usually seem to stick to liver, more than anything else. Some kidney, stomach, and heart are also eaten. In upscale restaurants, sweetbreads (thymus) are available. Tripe, brain, and testicles ("Rocky Mountain oysters"), as well as pig's ears and the like, are less commonly eaten, except among certain subcultures. Intestines can be used for sausage casings. As for what's done with things like the spleen, penis, and uterus, I really don't know. Some of the odd ends of pork get put into spam, and beef "byproducts" get put into hotdogs. And I think some of the other "non-choice" parts end up as pet food.

I think it's safe to say that in Europe, innards are eaten and appreciated to a much greater degree than in the US.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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Eel outside of China and Japan (There are countless more dishes, but these are ones I can think of offhand).

In the UK - jellied eel

In Germany - eel in herb sauce (Aal gruen)

In Spain - fried in olive oil with a touch of chili and garlic

Eel. :wub::wub::wub:

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I think it's safe to say that in Europe, innards are eaten and appreciated to a much greater degree than in the US.

Of course if innards are eaten in Europe that's considered "Haute Cuisine" but if it's eaten in China it's considered animal feed. :hmmm:


Edited by sheetz (log)

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Outside of Asia, eels are very popular in Europe. In my province, we still have a few eel fishermen who trap eels for the export markets in Europe. In North America smoked eel is a great treat.

As for organ meats, offal, trimmings, innards etc., up until the 60s, almost all the innards of the animal were regularly used in the average North American home. Liver, brain, heart, tripe, sweetbreads, kidneys, tongue, etc. Outside the animal are the tails, hocks, feet (including calves'), heads, rind, etc. Since the advent of the double income family, and the rise of convenience foods, the sterile foam meat trays in bleak supermarkets, the art of domestic cookery does not include the better and tastier parts of the animal, ie: the above mentioned, at least in North America. Dishes using the above ingredients are still very much in vogue in Europe.

Working as kitchen help as a kid in the 50s I have seen items such as baked stuffed heart, sweetbreads, tongue, beef steak and kidney pie, sauteed calf's brain, black (blood)sausage, produced in the kitchen. The funniest thing I have seen in those more respectful times was that the father of the family of diners would get up to speak to the male waiters in private about his choice of dinner. Of course we all knew that he wanted lamb fries, or prairie oysters. :biggrin: Two years ago while on an upland hunting expedition through the Great Plains, we frequented some pretty colourful old-time cowtowns in the American west. To absorb the local colour we mostly ate in taverns and diners. Almost every place had a "specials" night featuring lambfries or prairie oysters, and at great prices. Not ba a a a a d at all. They were delicious. Yee-haaa.

Like I've said before, it really doesn't matter what anyone thinks of us or any other people eating what can be found in nature's bounty. It's all about context with us, and cultural narrowness by those who would mock.

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...

As for organ meats, offal, trimmings, innards etc., up until the 60s, almost all the innards of the animal were regularly used in the average North American home. Liver, brain, heart, tripe, sweetbreads, kidneys, tongue, etc. Outside the animal are the tails, hocks, feet (including calves'), heads,  rind, etc. Since the advent of the double income family, and the rise of convenience foods, the sterile foam meat trays in bleak supermarkets,  the art of domestic cookery does not include the better and tastier parts of the animal, ie: the above mentioned, at least in North America. Dishes using the above ingredients are still very much in vogue in Europe.

...

Yup, older American anthology cookbooks have many recipes for these items. The only pig part that I haven't heard my relatives from Europe use or see for sale in a German butcher shop is pig uterus. Maybe that was used for the sausages... :smile:


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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How about pig's ears?  I don't know of any culture that eats them.  In the U.S., they're sold as dog chow.

I love them, by the way.

As others have mentioned, pig's ears are/have been used in older American and in European cusines in various ways. One examlple is "sulz" or a jellied dish with various pig parts in it, including ears.

I never heard of fried, sliced pig's ear salad though... See the description and post here at an Italian restaurant dinner on hhlodesign's great foodblog.


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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With concerns about vCJD (aka Mad Cow's disease) I think most would shy away from eating animal brains. I don't think it is even possible to purchase cows and sheeps brains in the UK because it is removed in the slaughterhouse.


Best Wishes,

Chee Fai.

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anthony bourdain ... no reservations... 2 hr special on japan and china... go watch it... 2nd half is china

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Romanians, eat everything.

From the pig they only discard the hoofs and of course empty the intestines.

All are cleaned well and used for different purposes.

The skin is eaten raw, and is unique delicacy.

Well, that is after the skin is torched and the burned hair scraped and washed very well.

80186074O173604659.jpg

Brain, intestines, stomach, testicles and other organs are very used in preparing different dishes. Never waste blood... for it is used to make sausages and other dishes.

Chickens... the head, neck and feet are use to make soup.

Basically, we eat :biggrin: and there is no such thing as "I don't like it" before you try it.


Edited by MamaC (log)

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We are notorious for our willingness to eat nearly every exotic animal, fruit and vegetable in the world. What items are available in many different countries but are eaten only by the Chinese? Two immediately come to mind: jellyfish and sea cucumber. As far as I know, not even the other Asian food cultures eat those sea creatures even though they are widespread throughout the planet.

Japanese also eat jelly fish...so does this gringo!


The link "Cooking - Food - Recipes - Cookbook Collections" on my site contains my 1000+ cookbook collections, recipes, and other food information: http://dmreed.com

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Have poultry intestines been mentioned? Goose and chicken instestines are popular for Hot Pot cooking in HK - in fact, it's made its way to a popular restaurant here in Vancouver.

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Cave mountain snake.

I had this in Xiamen for a medical conference once and I was so hesitant to try it. But it was tasty, crispy and delicious. I just about finished the platter.


Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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What about sea squirts? Do Chinese eat them? Does anyone besides Koreans? (seasquirt=meongge). Koreans also eat sea cucumbers and jellyfish.

Here's a REALLY gross thing to eat.... Lobster! It is so strange-looking, feeds on sewage, debris and dead things on the bottom. No one would eat that, would they?

Uh, well......

--phage


Edited by phage (log)

Gac

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On the jellyfish note, does anyone know of a definitive source for the method of preparation? I want to try it with Chesapeake Bay sea nettles this summer, but all I can find is a general idea, i.e. "first they are cured in a salt/alum brine," without proportions.

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On the jellyfish note, does anyone know of a definitive source for the method of preparation? I want to try it with Chesapeake Bay sea nettles this summer, but all I can find is a general idea, i.e. "first they are cured in a salt/alum brine," without proportions.

Let me make sure I understand you correctly, chappie. You are buying some jelly fish in some plastic packages in the Asian market. You want to know know how to turn it into something ready to eat. Right?

You are not looking for a way of curing the jelly fish. Right?

If that is the case, all you need is to rinse and soak the jelly fish (remove from the package) maybe overnight. Then quickly boil in water. Some jelly fish already come shredded. Or else you need to cut them into fine shreds. Drain off all the water. Let it cool down in room temperature. Then add sesame oil, a small dash of red vinegar perhaps, and sprinkle some sesame seed on them. Mix well. That should be it.

(Note: I am not sure if the boiling part is necessary. I followed their instructions to boil the jelly fish but found that the resultant jelly fish was quite chewy.)


W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

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On the jellyfish note, does anyone know of a definitive source for the method of preparation? I want to try it with Chesapeake Bay sea nettles this summer, but all I can find is a general idea, i.e. "first they are cured in a salt/alum brine," without proportions.

Let me make sure I understand you correctly, chappie. You are buying some jelly fish in some plastic packages in the Asian market. You want to know know how to turn it into something ready to eat. Right?

(Note: I am not sure if the boiling part is necessary. I followed their instructions to boil the jelly fish but found that the resultant jelly fish was quite chewy.)

I think chappie is looking for a way to prepare Chesapeake Bay Sea nettles (a type of jelly fish) from fresh out of the water into edible jelly fish like those packaged and sold in Asian markets.

I've always bought the packages of ready-to-eat jelly fish - with sesame seed oil and sliced red chilis. I'm the only one who really enjoys them, so the small packages are perfect for me. Everyone else say they don't like eating rubber bands. :laugh:


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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