May 3, 2008

That Stinks

We went to the Shilin Night Market in Taipei near our hotel one night. There were all kinds of bizarre foods there and lots of drink stands, too. Everything was fried up, or cooked in a wok or on a griddle. In addition to the Xue Hua Bing, there was jumbo fried chicken which was bigger than your face. I saw a sign advertising frog eggs.

One of the more interesting things that I ate at the night market was chou dofu, or stinky tofu. Not to insult your intelligence, but as the name implies, it stinks. It truly smells like the sewer. It has an immediately recognizable odor that we came upon many times during our visit. It's one of those foods that you simply must try if you visit Taiwan. There are food vendors alongside the city streets hawking it, and you can smell their fry stands half a mile away.

The variety I tried was fried and served with cabbage and a spicy condiment, but there are other cooking and serving methods used as well. I loved it. You ask, "How could something that smells like death taste good?" I guess it's comparable to a stinky cheese. I enjoy eating some rather pungent cheeses, like bleu cheese, for example. While you wouldn't want your house to smell like it, it tastes darn good on a salad or a side of beef. The trick is to get the people around you to eat odorous foods with you, so they can't carp about your bad breath.

Other stuff that stinks: social networking sites and people who talk on their cell phones endlessly in public. "Yeah, the plane just landed. Yeah, now we're at the gate. Uh huh. Yeah, I'm getting my bags. No, we're still just standing in line. Oh, uh, I'm walking now." Get a life. And don't tell me about it.*

*spoken by someone with a blog, it smacks of hypocrisy

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