Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

"Eating What the Locals Eat" Sometimes Sucks Ass

Anthony Bourdain is one of my favorite people, but he over-glorifies the value of eating "local food" in far-off countries.

Case in point: the cage of rats (right) at a restaurant here in the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam. I saw this spectacle in several restaurants down here, and some even tout rat as their specialty.

Often, the restaurants off the tourist trail are packed full of foods that would offend most western palates and even political sensibilities. After not seeing white people for several days, I've gotten used to restaurants being mini zoos, where all the creeping, crawling, and slithering beasts are on display for the eating public to choose from.

I'm now starting to believe that "Americanized" Asian foods served in the west are far better than what hits plates over here in countries like Vietnam. Below are a few examples, and remember, all these pictures were taken AT RESTAURANTS.

Here's some "Snake Wine", which claims to cure all kinds of shit like Rheumatism. I believe this bottle is marketed to tourists, but it has some basis in local food/drink. It's a bottle of wine, including ginsing and a cobra holding a scorpion in its mouth.



Here's me and a big ass snake pulled from a trash can of about 50 big ass snakes:



Sea Turtle, in a tank, waiting to end up on your plate:



Our waiter:



They only had one crocodile on hand:



I think these are baby sharks:

Comments:
LB,

Which of these delicacies did you try? I have had shark, mostly Mako, but none of the others. I do not think I could tolerate rat. I would imagine that the "Snake Wine" would be nasty.

Bryan
 
Bourdain did the TV series and wrote a companion book. In the book, he talks about how often he puked. He puked a lot.
 
Bryan,

Of the above, I tried NONE.

peconicpuffin,

Have not read that book. Need to get it.
 
From Huge in Asia, the VLOG:
What am I eating?
 
Darn it, I wanted to link to the Beijing version, not Hanoi. Try this.
 
Lonnie,

I just found your blog by googling "alligator vs shark." :-)

Awesome post! Do you have any idea what kind of turtle that is? Chances are it's endangered, so I'm curious.
 
Jason,

No idea what kind of turtle that is. It probably is endangered though. Vietnamese seem to have little regard for that kind of thing.

Lonnie
 
i nearly puked up in malaysia when i went for (Tea in england) dinner with my singaporean gf and her family. all they orderd was fish head curry. i thought wa hey nice little meal here. it came. an actual fkin fish head with eyes in. with like curry sauce ontop. LMAO. i orderd chicken fried rice. :P love the blog dude.
 
Fish heads, seriously? That's all it takes to make you nearly puke? Lonnie's talking about cages of rats and you complain about fish heads? She's not still your girlfriend, is she?
 
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