I just got back from a week’s worth of adventures in China. I was filming a series of episodes for the online travel series “Destination Getaway” on MSNBC. While we did a ton of cool stuff, from exploring China’s contemporary art scene to taking on the Great Wall by motorbike, one of my trip highlights was a visit to the Donghuamen Night Market
Located just west of the popular shopping street Wang Fu Jing, this quirky culinary market is the place to go for street snacks. Sure they serve more common things like dumplings, noodles and fresh strawberry kabobs, but I was there to try some of their ‘grossest’ foods! I started with a silk worm, a mealy tasting mouthful that smelled like wet dog. Followed by a sampling of sea snake (taste’s just like sole but with too many bones). A crowd gathered as a scarfed down a starfish, a cockroach, a centipede and a scorpion. I’ve earned a bit of a reputation for having an ‘iron gut.’ I’m a huge fan of unusual foods and if there’s something strange to be eaten, I’m on it! Here are some of the pictures….
Donhuamen Night Market is a series of stalls selling street food. It’s most popular with tourists, Chinese and foreigners alike.
Me, with the MSNBC crew, filming at the market, getting ready to try the centipede….the most challenging of all the nasty little grubs I ate that day.
Vendors scream out things like “lamb’s penis” in an attempt to lure potential customers. All the prices are marked. Scorpions, like the ones pictured here, are around $5 US.
Be aware that the night market sells some controversial items like shark meat. Be a responsible traveler and don’t purchase it! Marine life is fragile and as travelers we should be weary of what kind of industries our tourist dollars are inadvertently supporting. That said, I did try starfish…which I’m not terribly comfortable with…so I urge you to think about ethics and environment before you snack.
Looking totally crazed, I’m getting ready to eat a giant scorpion.
I may eat these creepy crawlies but can I keep ’em down? Stay tuned for the video which will be released on MSNBC in mid-June!!
What’s the strangest, most exotic, ‘grossest’ thing you’ve eaten when traveling? Leave your comments below….