China, one of the most food obsessed nations in the entire world; a place where the congee itself has had to have been floating wild and free before it’s devoured before a hard day of work: So what has stopped me writing about it? I’ve choked down breakfast dumplings filled with red bean, dined like a gentlemen on Beijing duck. I’ve even been unfortunate enough to try Yunnan food on occasion.
I’ll never forget my first exposure to stinky tofu, even the locals laughed at me; I love stinky cheese, but stinky tofu reminded me in both texture and taste of eating excramant; nevertheless; stirred on by the memories of Gong Bao Chicken, Pork Slice and Dumplings; I soldiered my palate forwards to Guangzhou: If that seems a little pretentious and frankly a bit ham tongued; It’s cause I’ve got my mouth full;
So today; snacking on Dim Sum and enjoying a pijiu: I realized it was now time to reflect upon the nations culinary obsessions and my own judgements upon such a foreign landscape as Guangzhou;
- Dim Sum? I’d love some!
Dim Sum is the first archetype of Chinese cuisine; hyped up for its aesthetic quality and it’s ability to make you feel classy, while eating what can sometimes seem like a chopped up Greggs Sausage roll: Nevertheless: Dim sum is what Guangzhou is known for; It even saved me in deepest Kowloon in Hong Kong; when all the restaurants seemed like congee flophouses; Most noticeable are the shrimp dumplings: beautiful to look at and a proof of the Asian cultures fascination with not only taste, but with texture.
2. 7/11 Store Snacks
Okay, lets admit it; sometimes; you come home and a bag of crisps followed by an equally crisp Asahi is heaven…I’d probably be dead in work without occasionally shoving dubious shit into my facehole…In 7/11 in China; you can basically get a full meal; plus I’m sure their vaguely stale KInder Buenos once saved me from a dreadful hangover. Top tip: Don’t eat the M&M’s…They suck here.
3. Toast and other normal stuff.
Admittedly, it’s taken me a while to learn to truly enjoy myself here; Okay I went out and tried a lot of weird shit: but did I have toast? No! I hadn’t had toast in months; Is there anything more humble than…TOAST! Is there anything that seems to represent daily British life than tea and toast? I doubt it…Also; Smelly cheese…Come at me…
4, The fruit of the gods
You crafty bulbous bastard;
How you look like Durian
But taste so much better;
I devour your expense arse;
In seconds flat;
Like a fruit bat;
You just grow on a tree
and that’s enough for me…
5. Okay…Noodles or rice?
Noodles or Rice? That’s what they’ll ask you at the pearly gates…For me, I’m a man of wealth and taste who prefers boiled rice over fried and thinks noodles these days may as well be bootlaces; Another interesting thing about China is the obsession with noodle houses; I love me some Wonton and believe me, I’ve tried them all: but those stringy things floating in my admittedly poor soup? Stop shoving them in everything; They don’t really taste of anything. At least spaghetti has the kind of decency to mix all it’s flavorings in-between what would otherwise be bland.
Some of the best 4am conversations I’ve ever had…(I blame the beer)