122. The Deep End of Local Cuisine

Wading Into The Deep End Of Local Cuisine: Amy has struggled mightily in China to honor her decade long vegetarian ethic. Buddhist history aside, “animal loving” here translates to “animal eating,” so she has to concede constantly or go hungry and it’s wreaking havoc on her conscience. She’s not exactly eating whole steaks, but she is constantly dealing with animal soup broths and always picking around jiggly lumps of ubiquitous grey meat in nearly every plate of noodles or clay pot of vegetables. Every day brings minor moral defeat for her, so you will understand the shock and disgust that registered on her face and in her comments when I returned to the room one night and told her that I’d just eaten dog.

Someone else in our guesthouse ordered it fresh, if you catch my meaning, along with too many glasses of some brutally effective rice wine liquor. Eating dog is substantially less common here than eating pork or chicken, but it’s common enough that you are almost guaranteed to see puppies in cages in any city’s live meat market. That’s traumatic enough for an American dog owner, so I resisted initially, but repulsion gave way to curiosity and an embarrassing desire to have the story. So I ate Chinese dog, which was more likely puppy, sautéed as it was with a variety of fresh vegetables. And I can honestly say that it tasted exactly like a well-prepared beef brisket, except for the crushing guilt that I’ll feel for the rest of my life.

 

  1. Grace says:

    I’m a big fan of the almighty Experience myself, but I can only shake my head after reading about this one.

  2. Anonymous says:

    i still think your full of sh*t.

    ron

  3. nancy says:

    Ahhh, the dog question. Like Amy, I’m a vegetarian. But I decided to grace into the meat area when traveling in SE Asia (I didn’t want to say “no” to anyone’s hospitality). I don’t think I knowingly ate dog while in Vietnam but it is a common meat. No pets are “pets” in the Western sense…except for the water buffalo. I spoke with a local who explained the rational that dogs, like all other creatures, are just waiting to be reborn. So Rover isn’t just lunch, he’s spiritually evolving… Of course, in the US fur kids live the good life. They’re certainly evolved just fine, thanks.

  4. Polly (Theo's Aunt) says:

    So it was YOU who doggy-dined with Theo ! Just read your comment on Anna & Theo’s site and decided to take a look at this one too. Now I’m hooked on both !!
    Nice ‘meeting’ you Sloan. I’ll be silently travelling the rest of the road with you.

  5. Polly (Theo's Aunt) says:

    So it was YOU who doggy-dined with Theo ! Just read your comment on Anna & Theo’s site and decided to take a look at this one too. Now I’m hooked on both !!
    Nice ‘meeting’ you Sloan. I’ll be silently travelling the rest of the road with you.

  6. Polly (Theo's Aunt) says:

    So it was YOU who doggy-dined with Theo ! Just read your comment on Anna & Theo’s site and decided to take a look at this one too. Now I’m hooked on both !!
    Nice ‘meeting’ you Sloan. I’ll be silently travelling the rest of the road with you.

  7. Polly (Theo's Aunt) says:

    So it was YOU who doggy-dined with Theo ! Just read your comment on Anna & Theo’s site and decided to take a look at this one too. Now I’m hooked on both !!
    Nice ‘meeting’ you Sloan. I’ll be silently travelling the rest of the road with you.

  8. Polly (Theo's Aunt) says:

    So it was YOU who doggy-dined with Theo ! Just read your comment on Anna & Theo’s site and decided to take a look at this one too. Now I’m hooked on both !!
    Nice ‘meeting’ you Sloan. I’ll be silently travelling the rest of the road with you.

  9. furey says:

    I’m not comfortable with any of this.

  10. Cathleen says:

    Dog meat is expensive in China, so you typically won’t get it without knowing it (and paying for it). Usually it’s pork they’re giving you, sometimes chicken or duck. Dog meat is pronounced “go row”. So if you want to say “I don’t want (dog) meat” you say “Bu yao (go) row” so if you want vegetarian, you say, “Bu yao row”. My spelling is more phonetic than correct, but give it a shot – there are more vegetarians than you’d think, but you do still have to deal with the broth.