Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I ate a pig's ear last night

My friends and I went to our favorite restaurant, Lao Sze Chuan in Chinatown last night. The cuisine there is incredible and I cannot write enough superlatives about that place. If you're ever in Chicago, go there.
But be careful of the section on the menu called "Very Chinese Special." It features such yummy items as "Pork Stomach in Sour Pickle" and "Blood Cake in Hot and Soup Soup" (that's how it appears on their menu).
I've always been an adventurous eater. Even as a little kid, I enjoyed things out of the ordinary, like anchovies.
Once it got me in trouble, though. I was about ten years old and noticed that the stalks of elephant ear plants in our neighbor's flower garden smelled like bananas. So, naturally, I tried sampling one.
It turns out that elephant ear plants are, well, poisonous. My throat started burning and swelling shut. An emergency phone call to the doctor and I was forced with copious amounts of milk as a remedy.
So, I find the "Very Chinese Special" portion of Lao Sze Chuan's menu quite interesting. Last time, I ordered "Spicy Beef Maw" and we made the following proclamation:
"Hey! It's not that bad."
Last night, I ordered "Pig's Ear in Spicy Szechuan Sauce" and we made the following proclamation:
The pig's ear had, apparently, been sliced lengthwise, paper thin. (Click on the pic so you can see it in full detail) It resembled bacon, sort of, except it was ribboned with lines of gristly cartilage that turned out to be awfully crunchy.
Quite frankly, "crunchy" just shouldn't be an adjective when describing pork. Liane ate a couple of pieces. After a lot of persuading, Miss Healthypants started to try some until it crunched under her fork and she aborted the effort.
The fourth piece of it I ate was particularly crunchy and a server was summoned for its hasty removal.
I'm glad I tried it. At least it didn't require an emergency phone call to a physician.


At 10:34 PM , Blogger Iwanski said...

I don't want to eat something that can hear me eating it.

At 12:09 AM , Blogger Red7Eric said...

Good for you!

I grew up a Navy brat, and every other tour, we'd wind up overseas with lots of interesting foods to try (raw fish, octopus tentacles, steak & kidney pie). Being an adventurous eater was the one thing I could do that would simultaneously please my parents and gross out my sister.

So, naturally, I did it whenever possible. I still love sushi; my sister still won't touch the stuff.

At 12:41 PM , Blogger Lorraine said...

I repeat, eeeeewwwwwww.


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