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Egg yolk stuffed chicken fingers

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On my way to Shanghai last week I was forced to have dinner at the airport, as I didn’t have time to eat before. There are only a handful of options, so I stepped inside the Burger King. Of course I ordered a burger, but I also spotted something new on the menu: Salted egg yolk stuffed chicken fingers.

They came out in a box with only four chicken fingers, but they were giant ones. As I bit into one, I could definitely taste something eggy. It wasn’t exactly runny like an uncooked egg yolk, but more like a custard. It actually tasted quite nice. It was jus a shame that the coating on the outside wasn’t crispy.

Fear Factor – 2 / Taste Test – 7

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Beetroot sorbet

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When it comes to a great dining experience, I can always recommend visiting a restaurant by Jason Atherton. The Gordon Ramsay scholar has set up a chain of restaurants across the globe with an emphasis on sharing plates. I had already had great nights at his restaurants in London and Hong Kong and this week I finally got to visit Commune Social in Shanghai.

I ordered a couple of savory dishes including an amazing venison stew, and a rare beef with dehydrated mushrooms. For dessert picked the beetroot brownie with merengue and beetroot stew. I was expecting a mix of sweet and savory, but I was blown away by how well everything worked together.

The beetroot sorbet on its own definitely tasted of beetroot. It had that characteristic earthiness with just a hint of sweetness. When eating the brownie, sorbet and meringue all together, hat savory note went to the background and the sweetness took over. This was a proper dessert, one that leaves me craving for more beetroot in my desserts.

Fear Factor – 1 / Taste Test – 9

Butter caramel chips

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I haven’t written up many potato chips lately as I wanted to focus more on things that people might not easily be persuaded to eat, such as worms, crickets and donkey. I came across a tube of Pringles the other day though that I couldn’t resist. Butter caramel chips.

I had tried honey flavored ones before, which were not bad at all, so I went in with high expectations. Expectations that were not met. The taste was so flat. I couldn’t taste any caramel or any butter, just a very faint sweetness. Without the usual amount if salt it ha almost no flavor whatsoever, which made it a sad affair.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 5

Donkey meat

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When my boss took me out to dinner, it wasn’t just all finch eggs, there was meat as well. Donkey meat to be more specific. This may seem strange to many people, but donkey is eaten around he world. Take Mantova in Italy for example. I had actually eaten donkey before in Beijing, but that was before I had this blog and without any photographic evidence.

In this case, like revenge, the donkey meat was served cold. I wasn’t sure if it was cooked or not as it seemed more like corned beef. The meat was tender, with a slight chew. I just didn’t like the chewy skin that was left on there, but that was easily taken off. I would say it didn’t taste any different than beef. Perhaps it was a tiny bit more acidic, but that could be the curing.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 8

Finch eggs

 

FullSizeRenderPppMy boss decided to take me out to dinner the other week, and treat me to a nice Chinese meal. As I couldn’t read the menu, she ordered for us. My friend who was with me had a translation app and discovered that the egg dish she ordered was made of finch eggs. I’ve eaten a lot of strange things, but that still managed to take me by surprise. I didn’t think people would actually eat those.

The dish arrived with a pair of whistling finches as decorations. Toy ones, obviously. I had thought maybe the word finch was a poor translation, but that clearly wasn’t the case. The eggs were treated as scotch eggs, packed in prawn mousse and then deep fried. I don’t normally like prawn or shrimp much, but in this case I rather enjoyed the whole thing. Let’s just pretend they were quail’s eggs.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 8

Yak jerky

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One of our local delicacies here in this part of China is yak, and specifically yak jerky. Although I had brought some back home to give o my family and friends, I never actually tried some myself. I had tried yak yak meat, yogurt and milk, but not this dried meat snack. Finally my curiosity got the better of me and I went to the supermarket to buy a pack.

It turns out it’s not really jerky at all. Sure, it’s dried meat, but only partially dried I would say. Even though it’s definitely chewy, there’s still some moisture in there. You had to chew it, but not nearly as long as regular jerky. The flavor was identical to beef, but spiced up a bit with a sweet and sticky coating. I can see why my dad said he liked this so much.

Fear Factor – 0 / Taste Test – 9

Beanboozled jelly beans

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When I visited Universal Studios in Japan I bought some Bernie Bott’s Ever Flavored beans  which came in such delightful flavors as soap, earthworm and puke. During my latest trip to America I found a similar product in a candy shop, beanboozled jelly beans. The idea here is that there are two jelly beans of the same color, so you won’t know which is which.

After my party guests were brave enough to munch on crickets, I brought out this soon to be party favorite. Everybody agreed to take part. In this box you could find, if you were unlucky, such flavors as toothpaste, grass, spoilt milk, stinky socks and once again puke.

I was (un)fortunate enough to get spoilt milk, toothpaste, rotten fish and a few other ones, but at least didn’t have to deal with stinky socks or puke. They all taste pretty much exactly like what was promised. In the case of toothpaste that was actually quite pleasant. Grass was nice too. Spoilt milk was tolerable, but not something I’d wanna eat again. Rotten fish though, was utterly disgusting. It really tasted like old fish, which you may imagine is rather nasty. Still a very successful evening thanks to these magic beans.

Fear Factor – 2 / Taste Test – 9

Scorpion lollipop

First off, sorry for the delay in my posting this week. I’m stuck behind “The Great Firewall of China” and WordPress was inaccessible this week. Now on the nitty gritty. This particular post is inspired by my friend and fellow blogger Paul. On his blog ‘Paul sees the world,’ he once wrote about a scorpion lollipop, which he never ended up eating, not even the second time he wrote an entry about it. When I saw a scorpion lollipop in the shop, I knew I had to feature it here.

When I finally got around to eating it, I was a bit hesitant, but I had tried scorpion before. I can tell you straight off the bat that this is definitely a gimmick. I did no enjoy this sucker one bit. The problem was not the little critter within, but the candy itself. It was so thick it took me an hour just to get at the scorpion, not to mention it was pretty tasteless. Needless to say I didn’t finish it. The scorpion itself was fine, just a little chewy. Due to the slow way of eating, it lost a bit of its crunch.

Fear Factor – 2 / Taste Test – 4

 

Chocolate covered crickets

 

FullSizeRenderPppMy birthday party last weekend was pretty great, with lots of mescal as you ma have read. Of course I brought out some snacks as well. No potato chips this time, but chocolate covered crickets hat I bought in San Francisco and had saved for just such a special occasion. Surprisingly though my friends actually wanted to try. I guess I’m rubbing off on them.

First thing I thought was that the pieces were rather small, but then again we’re talking crickets not grasshoppers. Then when I tried one I was hit with an amazing dark chocolate. Probably the best chocolate I ever got in the States. And yes, there was a crisp and a crunch inside, but nothing that tasted strange. The only thing was that every so often you’d have a bit in your mouth that would kind of stick around unwanted. Otherwise a great little snack.

Fear Factor – 1 / Taste Test – 8

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Mescal with worm

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When I was studying in Mexico I got to try some mescal. Mescal is like the older, more sophisticated brother of tequila which is made from the same agave plant. At the time I wrote about gusano salt, a special salt made with crushed up maguey worms used for rimming the glass. It’s this worm that also finds it’s way into the bottle of mescal. If you’ve ever seen a bottle of alcohol with a worm in it, chances are it’s a bottle of mescal.

I bought a bottle while in Mexico and cracked it open last night to celebrate my birthday with some friends, though my birthday is actually today. Clearly I’m fishing for some birthday wishes from my readers.

The first round of shots was had without worm, and everybody agreed it was a really nice drink. It does have that advertised smokiness, but also I warms your body without being too strong. The worm always finds its way to the last shot, which – and this should come as no surprise – was bestowed on me. As I chewed it, it popped not unlike a grape. If there was any flavor of worm before, that was now drowned out by the mescal, so pretty much it was once again just a different texture.

Fear Factor – 3 / Taste Test – 8

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