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10-12-07, 07:30 PM #1
Think you like Chinese food? Think again
There are many thousands of Chinese restaurants around in the UK and everyone has their favourite dish, but only in China itself do chefs specialise in a range of slightly more unusual delicacies.
Many of the restaurant's guests are wealthy businessmen
The dish in front of me is grey and shiny.
"Russian dog," says my waitress Nancy.
"Big dog," I reply.
"Yes," she says. "Big dog's penis..."
We are in a cosy restaurant in a dark street in Beijing but my appetite seems to have gone for a stroll outside.
Nancy has brought out a whole selection of delicacies.
They are draped awkwardly across a huge platter, with a crocodile carved out of a carrot as the centrepiece.
Nestling beside the dog's penis are its clammy testicles, and beside that a giant salami-shaped object.
"Donkey," says Nancy. "Good for the skin..."
She guides me round the penis platter.
"Snake. Very potent. They have two penises each."
I did not know that.
"Sheep... horse... ox... seal - excellent for the circulation."
She points to three dark, shrivelled lumps which look like liquorice allsorts - a special treat apparently - reindeer, from Manchuria.
Government officials... two of them... they're having the penis hotpot
The Guolizhuang restaurant claims to be China's only speciality penis emporium, and no, it is not a joke.
The atmosphere is more exotic spa than boozy night-out.
Nancy describes herself as a nutritionist.
"We don't call them waiters here. And we don't serve much alcohol," she says. "Only common people come here to get drunk and laugh."
But she does offer me a deer-blood and vodka cocktail, which I decide to skip.
The restaurant's gristly menu was dreamt up by a man called Mr Guo.
The Chinese believe that eating penis can enhance your virility
He is 81 now and retired.
After fleeing China's civil war back in 1949, he moved to Taiwan, and then to Atlanta, Georgia, where he began to look deeper into traditional Chinese medicine, and experiment on the appendages of man's best friend.
Apparently, they are low in cholesterol and good, not just for boosting the male sex drive, but for treating all sorts of ailments.
Laughter trickles through the walls of our dining room.
"Government officials," says Nancy. "Two of them upstairs. They're having the penis hotpot."
Most of the restaurant's guests are either wealthy businessmen or government bureaucrats who, as Nancy puts it, have been brought here by people who want their help.
What better way to secure a contract than over a steaming penis fondue.
Discretion is assured as all the tables are in private rooms.
The glitziest one has gold dishes.
"Some like their food served raw," says Nancy, "like sushi. But we can cook it anyway you like."
"Not long ago, a particularly rich real estate mogul came in with four friends. All men. Women don't come here so often, and they shouldn't eat testicles," says Nancy solemnly.
The men spent $5,700 (£3,000) on a particularly rare dish, something that needed to be ordered months in advance.
"Tiger penis," says Nancy.
Bull's perineum is also a delicacy
The illegal trade in tiger parts is a big problem in China.
Campaigners say the species is being driven towards extinction because of its popularity as a source of traditional medicine.
I mention this, delicately, to Nancy, but she insists that all her tiger supplies come from animals that have died of old age.
"Anyway, we only have one or two orders a year," she says.
"So what does it taste like?" I ask.
"Oh, the same as all the others," she says blithely.
And does it have any particular potency? "No. People just like to order tiger to show off how much money they have."
Welcome to the People's Republic of China - tigers beware.
Sliced and pickled
"Oh yes," she adds, "the same group also ate an aborted reindeer foetus.
"That is very good for your skin. And here it is..."
Another "nutritionist" walks in bearing something small and red wrapped in cling film.
My appetite is heading for the airport.
Still, I think, it would be rude not to try something.
I am normally OK about this sort of thing. I have had fried cockroaches and sheep's eyes, so...
There is a small bowl of sliced and pickled ox penis on the table.
I pick up a piece with my chopsticks and start to chew. It is cold and bland and rubbery.
Nancy gives me a matronly smile.
"This one," she says, "should be eaten every day." From Our Own Correspondent was broadcast on Saturday, 23 September, 2006 at 1130 BST on BBC Radio 4. Please check the programme schedules for World Service transmission times.
10-12-07, 07:34 PM #2
I love Rocky Mountain Oysters, but don't think I'd eat the penis of any animal.
10-12-07, 07:48 PM #3
10-12-07, 08:09 PM #4
yep.. YUCK.May you rest in peace Daddy and may you never hurt again. I love you and miss you and can't wait to see you again.
10-12-07, 08:21 PM #5
10-13-07, 05:53 AM #6
Delicacy over there means the same thing over here: gross, nasty stuff that only rich people eat."If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn't thinking." -Gen. George S. Patton
10-13-07, 07:13 AM #7Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
10-13-07, 07:21 AM #8Ninja In TrainingVerified LEO
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Well I'm scratching China off my list of places I want to visit."Sometimes doing the right thing, is not doing the right thing."
10-13-07, 09:00 AM #9
Reminds me of the young Chinese couple that were married. On their honeymoon night, freshly bathed and splashed with foo-foo juice the bride declared: "I am a virgin. Know not what to do!"
The groom, somewhat dismayed replied: "Me too. Whatchu tink?"
The bride said: "I hear lots about numbah sixty-nine. We try dat!"
To which, the groom replied: "You want Chowmein noodles with beef?"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.
[George Washington (1732 - 1799)]
10-16-07, 01:17 AM #101*girl Guest
Ok. It takes a lot to make me sick at my stomach...
But that takes the cake. (or the penis, rather.)
10-16-07, 02:57 AM #11"The unforgivable crime is soft hitting. Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly."
"The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer. "
“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.”
10-16-07, 03:14 AM #12
Thank you waitress I'll have my peanut butter and jelly now.
Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer. --Al Bundy
10-16-07, 03:23 AM #13
I think I prefer mine alive, attached, uncooked, and altogether happy. Thanks anyhow.\\` ` ` ` < ` )___/\
`` ` ` ` (3--(____)
"...but to forget your duck, of course, means you're really screwed." - Gary Larson
10-16-07, 05:06 AM #14
ahhh man, come on..... I just sat down for lunch too... thats not going to happen anymore.
10-16-07, 05:10 AM #15
10-16-07, 05:15 AM #16
Nah, I was going to start out with Horse Rectum, and wash it down with 100 year old egg nog
10-16-07, 05:16 AM #17
10-16-07, 05:18 AM #18
My wife and I use to watch Fear Factor a long time ago, some of that shit was nasty. Cow Eye Balls... Raw Ostrich Eggs... Bull Nuts.... oh yum!
10-16-07, 05:21 AM #19
10-16-07, 05:35 AM #201*girl Guest
My EMT instructor's wife is Chinese and has somehow managed to convince him to try a lot of their nasty shi...some of which he still eats.
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