If it’s not moving on your plate, eat it,” my dad would always say. But what if it’s still moving? I had that dilemma last night when invited to a Hot Pot dinner in Kunming, China.
What is Hot Pot? It’s the culinary attraction of Yunnan, a Chinese fondue of sorts. But instead of crusty bread into a molten cheese, you dip creepy crawly creatures and wood ear mushrooms into a sizzling oil. Hot Pot is popular in Yunnan during the winter months since central heat is not allowed. The fiery broth is a sure way to warm you up from the inside out and numb your tongue along the way.
Anyway, this hot pot featured prawns still wiggling on the skewers. We dropped them in the bubbly broth and boiled them alive.
Another edible oddity of Yunnan is Stinky Tofu.
These puffy pillows smell like deep fried tennis shoes, and are on every street corner. Rubbery and sour, stinky tofu is a treat of many locals. But it’s about as appealing to me as licking a hairy armpit.
Then there is always dried meat drying on the clothes line. If shriveled up pig snouts aren’t weird enough, seeing them hanging next to a pair of socks pushes my taste buds over the edge.
Finally, this is not a piece of bread, It’s my mattress.
Actually, it’s a piece of plywood disguised as a mattress. Not as comfie as one of those sleep by number deals.
Speaking of sleeping, I also use my shurple (my purple shearling coat that looks like it belongs on a mountain climbing sherpa) as a blanket.