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Archive for May 28th, 2010

Back in 2008, I got to appreciate stinky tofu.  During that trip, The Cat’s cousin mentioned that winter melon is also fermented into stinky winter melon (chou dong gua).  We didn’t get to try it on that trip, and did not really have a desire to (I think my limit is trying one stinky food per trip, lol).  On this trip, the stinky winter melon kind of snuck up on me like a stealth missile.  We just got off the bus from Shanghai to Ningbo.  It was around lunch time and we started looking for a place to eat.  After passing several street side eateries, we came upon a cafeteria and decided to eat there.  One of the dishes was winter melon, cut into cubes.  There was no smell or indication that is was stinky winter melon.  It looked like winter melon that was simmered in broth.  I chose the winter melon as one of my dishes.  When I sat down and put a cube in my mouth, there was an instant sourness that hit the back of my mouth.  The sourness was not a pleasant taste, more like an “acidy” spoiled taste.  I immediately shoveled down as much rice I could to counteract the sourness.  Apparently the people of this area like to pickle their foods (http://www.absolutechinatours.com/news/Ningbo-pickled-vegetables-2113.html).  The Cat said it was too sour for her.  The Cat’s brother tasted a piece and said that when he was small, his grandparents liked to eat stinky winter melon that was even more sour than what I tried.  

Stinky Winter Melon

To make the experience more intense, our host took us to dinner that night, The Cat mentioned that I had my first experience with stinky winter melon earlier that day and lived.  The host immediately ordered stinky winter melon  to be added to our dinner (which was better than the first time).  The next day, another official hosted lunch and heard that I was able to eat stinky winter melon.  He specially orders stinky winter melon for me.  So, in less than a 24 hour period, I got to eat stinky winter melon three times.  Lucky me. 

On a related topic, on our bus ride from Shanghai to Ningbo, the bus makes one stop to a rest area specifically for buses.  It’s like a little strip mall back home with several vendors selling snacks, drinks, etc.  Guess what one of the stands sells exclusively?  Stinky tofu, go figure. 

"Stinky Tofu" Shop

 The sign actually says “stink tofu.”

"Stinky Tofu" Shop Interior

The shop operators were eating lunch when I looked in but there’s some stinky tofu, already fried, at the left side of the shop. 

The Mouse is destined to experience “stinky” foods. I am blessed (lol).

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