Saturday, December 19, 2009

Donghuamen, or the obligatory bugs-on-sticks photos

Wangfujing is one of Beijing's most famous shopping streets. The Donghuamen night market there has a huge, varied collection of street food on street known as "Snack Street." This is the place that visitors to China get some of their most cherished photos, as there are more bugs on sticks than you can shake a, well, stick at.

I consider myself a fairly adventurous eater, but I have no desire to eat bugs--especially the sort of bugs on display here. Eating bugs is basically slumming it, the practice harkens back to famine times and is based more on desperation for nutrition rather than a celebration of great taste. I'm pretty sure that the Chinese feel the same way, because Donghuamen Street was the only place I've seen bugs for dinner so far. They are likely for the benefit of tourists, although they are mostly Chinese tourists.

The skewers above had a sign that said "Sheep Penis" but the minute I aimed my camera at it the man working the booth snatched the sign away in a fluid, practiced move. I'm not sure why he wouldn't want a picture taken of the sign--perhaps it's not really sheep penis and he doesn't want to get caught? Any experts out there, please weigh in. Does that look like a sheep penis to you?



    there's your missing sign! haha. maybe he has a lot of people taking photos of it and he's slightly embittered.

  2. Slightly embittered because they never buy.

    The bugs look like fresh unprocessed shrimp. They also look like scorpions. I wonder if they raise them as a food crop? You are going to have a hard time topping this posting. When are we going to hear about the toilets? Or doesn't one do that on a food blog?

  3. They don't seem to have anything against unasked for photos in China, at least they seem to think it's okay to take pictures of me constantly!