Rhetorical Answer


A response to the question never asked

My food is staring at me

During my time in Taiwan, I was always well-fed. The tour bus would drop us happy vacationers off in front of a restaurant, and we’d sit down family-style and eat whatever was placed in front of us. Most of the time this turned out fine, since I obeyed the one rule required for foreigners to enjoy East Asian cuisine – never ask what it is you’re eating.

But then we went to Do Fu Jia 17 Seafood Restaurant in a small fishing village. There was a giant serving bowl on the table filled with what I thought was egg drop soup. Judge for yourself from the photo, and see if you can fault me for the assumption. Since it was one of the most familiar dishes I’d seen on my trip so far, I wasn’t shy about portion sizes. It was delicious, too. About halfway through my second bowl, I noticed there were a bunch of weird little silvery specks scattered among the threads of egg whites that laced the soup. What could they be? Wrong color for pepper… What spice is silver-colored, anyway? I peered into the bowl more closely and noticed they weren’t completely silver. Each speck was actually a silver ring with a black dot in the center…kinda like…a tiny eyeeeeeaughhhhhhh! There were eyes in my soup!!! Each “egg white thread” had two of them at one end.

I still tell myself that most of that white stuff in the soup really was egg whites, because I can’t imagine eating that many sea worms, or whatever the hell they were. I still don’t know, and my mind refuses to dwell upon it long enough to find out. So now I tell you that not only must you never ask what you’re eating in an East Asian restaurant but YOU MUST ALSO NEVER LOOK AT WHAT YOU’RE EATING!

Thus concludes my public service announcement for today. You are welcome.

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