Now let me just give the public a heads up. This post is more than likely going to offend more than I’d like. Not that that’s ever been really a concern to me before. However, given that if even my wife, of whom I can proudly say has a rather strong and adventurous intestinal fortitude, finds what I’m about to describe highly disturbing, then it’s a rather safe bet to say that many more people out there will squirm at what I’m about to describe.
It won’t come as a huge surprise if people thought what I said about eating dogs in my last post was a joke. After all, it’s a rare event indeed for me to be serious about anything. Unfortunately if you happen to fall into that camp… BZZZ!!! Wrong! So on with the detail.
As an animal lover, I’m no different from anyone else when it comes to the notion of eating dogs. Given I’ve owned dogs my entire life, it is a pretty icky thought. On the other hand, I love meat. I’m a carnivore through and through and any type of meat in my eyes is fair and tasty game. As long as it doesn’t make me a cannibal.
So logically speaking, I cannot think of a single valid argument as to why I shouldn’t give dog a try. My belief is that the value of an animal lies not in what it is, but in the way that it was raised. I wouldn’t think of eating a dog that is someones pet anymore that I would want to eat a pig that was someones pet. However, if an animal was raised purely for slaughter, that it is by no means different to any other meat. Crazy activists will have you think otherwise citing personality and intelligence, but that makes no sense and only serves to devalue all other living creatures that are conventional sources of meat.
But anyway, no one wants to hear me justify my canine eating ways. Asians have been termed “Dog eaters” by classy white folks as long as I can remember. I, like many of my racial kin, have been affectionately (and not so affectionately) called a dog eater all throughout my schooling years, and probably more times thereafter.
It’s funny I have to admit. It’s no different from calling a Kiwi a sheep shagger or an Aussie a roo raper. At least dog eating doesn’t hint at any act of bestial fornication. I take small consolations where I can. So after all those years of dog eating jibes, I’ll finally live up to the tag and I’ll wear it proudly like a scouts badge. A merit badge for dog eating, if you will.
Initially I was somewhat hesitant about trying it, having to push myself a little to go through with it. But like most things in my life, once I start doing some research, I get all excited and start chomping at the bit. It was only when I started to research places where I could eat dog, that I started getting all hyped up and excited at trying it.
Which brings me to a point. For all the bloody jokes and jibes that China gets about eating dog, it’s so fricken’ hard to find a place to do it!!! I spent hours trying to find a place to eat dog at, but failed miserably. Eventually I came across a place called the Qingping West Meat Market. A place which is supposedly famous for sporting all manner of life that would eventually end up in ones belly. Dogs, cats, rats, snakes, bats, turtles, raccons, and even anteaters. Oh, and not to mention the humble tiger penis.
Reading about it got me all excited (and disgusted), and Erica followed me reluctantly to find this place. After eons of searching, we finally managed to find an area with cages upon cages of puppies and kittens. Unfortunately, they belonged to an area that specialised in pets. Apparently in the last year or 2, possibly related to the SARS outbreak as some say Qingping was ground zero, the whole exotic edible animal business was closed down.
After hyping myself up so much, having no dog to eat made me a sad panda… one that hasn’t been served with black bean sauce yet. And so it was back to google, with me desperately trying to find a place to try dog before the trip was over. No luck.
In a moment of utter desperation and randomness, I simply typed “dog meat” into Google Maps. Suddenly, a ray of sunshine broke forth from the heavens, in the shape of a red google maps pin, and materialised upon the surface of my phone! Could it be? Did I actually strike gold after hours of fruitless searching? The HANJIAN DOG MEAT RESTAURANT the label indicated! *choir sings*
Booyah! And after another adventure involving us trying to catch a fricken’ taxi, we were finally on our way. And so I present to you…
Erica has made it very clear that she is completely unimpressed, and does not approve of my current culinary expedition. Me on the other hand, was giggling like a schoolgirl and grinning my face off. We were the only two people in the place which, from what Erica tells me, is a Korean restaurant. Makes sense, since dog is eaten in Korea too.
Given that I can’t read the menu, Erica reads out the menu to me. Pausing after each line on the dog menu to give me an evil stare. Dog ribs, Dog Hot Pot, Dog Hot Pot Korean style, Dog soup, etc etc. Sadly, there was no roast dog. However, I was happy to content myself with the dog ribs and spicy dog hot pot. Both of which I will be alone in trying to finish.
I felt like such a child when Erica was ordering. When she said “Gou rou” (dog meat), I started giggling to myself. Erica gave me the look that said I’m sleeping on the couch tonight, and the waitress gave me a look that probably said I’m a retard.
Well I don’t care. As they say, he who has the last laugh, eats dog.
The first dish that came out was the dog ribs. I don’t know what type of dog it was, but I just hope it was at least a cute one. Anyway, it looked very similar to lamb or mutton ribs. I took my first bite with a small amount a trepidation, not knowing what to expect. Would I suddenly develop a conscience? Would my stomach decide to stage a mutiny against my mind? What I didn’t expect, was flavour country! Or well texture country anyway. The dog ribs were amazing! So juicy and tender it was! This would be close to some of the best Asian style ribs I’ve ever had in texture.
Now I’m not saying that purely to be a bastard. If I wanted to be a bastard, I’d say “Hot damn this shih tzu tastes guuuuddd!!!! And this piece here, I think it’s poodle and from the taste, a cute one too!!”.
No sir, I mean it when I say that these were some tasty and tender ribs, truly. The meat had the consistency of a lamb brisket, and the skin that of a pig. If you were to blindfold me, I would say it was lamb.
The Dog hot pot itself was very similar to the Korean soon dobu chigae or however you spell it. Even though I had asked for the Chinese and not Korean style hot pout. But I love my Korean chigae and this was a very tasty one, absolutely packed with chunks of tender dog meat. For these I think they used Pomeranians. I kid I kid!
I don’t know why but I’m just surprised at how tender and juicy dog is. I have to say that I very much enjoyed the dishes, with me doing some serious solo damage to both of them. I left the restaurant with a big grin on my face and my wife wanting to kick me in the nuts.
So would I eat dog again? As much as I enjoyed my meal, I probably won’t go out of my way to eat it. Both because Erica hates the thought of it, and because people say that you never know if it may have been someones pet that went missing. Am I glad I tried it? Hell yeah! Life is about experiences and this is another notch on the belt. Would I recommend it to others? Again, definitely. Like anything else in life, do what you do for the sake of the right reasons, and logic, just as much as you shouldn’t do certain things for the right reasons, and logic. Look past the ick factor, ask yourself why or why not, then make the decision. But that decision is your own and nobody elses, which is why in your face activists piss me off.
I have to give a shout out to my darling wife, whom persisted with me all through this. I know she absolutely hates the idea of eating dog, it makes her sick. But even so, she respected my wish to try something new and not only didn’t get in the way, but assisted me to accomplish it. A task that was no easy feat I tell you, given what we had to go through to find this place. Sure she tried to talk me out of it, sure she got pissed at me when I kept making jokes in poor taste (standard), but nonetheless she stood firm by me. Most other girls I have know would have walked off, of done the “Fine you want to eat it, you go find it yourself.”. Especially so after my smartass quips and jokes.
But not this girl… not this girl. And she’s my girl
P.S, I swear I tasted mini-schnauzer in that hot pot… and the next items on my hit list are rat and cat.