When you find yourself in China you know there will be a time and place to try exotic and unfamiliar foods; take advantage of it. Being a westerner I don’t always come across a sea snake, silk worm, starfish, lizard, sea horse, sheep testicles and other bizarre and curious foods in my everyday lifestyle. So when I got the chance to have an experience and step out of my comfort zone and try foods that most westerner would cringe at, I jumped at the chance.
This market place is called Dōnghuámén Night Market and it is located on the northern end of Wángfǔjǐng in Beijing, China (http://bit.ly/17cTMxK). This strange market stretches far down the street and is packed with inquisitive and interested travelers and locals. There is everything here and then some and it makes for a fun and challenging night. The atmosphere of the market is fun as you watch people wince at the sight of the cuisines that are being offered. Watching people try unusual foods and observing their reactions is always amusing to witness as well.
My friend Lei and I went to Dōnghuámén Night Market one night and had such a good time experiencing something new and completely out of our realm. Once we got to the street market we walked down the length of the market and checked out all the foods and slowly started to build up our confidence to undertake these foreign goodies. We first turned our attention to the deep fried and seasoned sea snake on a stick; it was exactly how you would think it would be, chewy and somewhat like calamari. Next we thought we try our faith at the savory bugs. The locusts deep fried and lightly coated in salt were quite tasty though I have to admit the most delicious things we ate at the market were the small scorpions.
Once you got over the fact you’re putting a scorpion in your mouth, they tasted like crunchy pieces of popcorn. Lei and I actually got a second order of the smaller scorpions, though in this batch the first one I bit into had multiple small white capsules in its stomach. I assumed they were eggs, needless to say after that I was done with the scorpions and moved on to different courses.
Of course only reading about this place doesn’t do it justice since you miss out on the taste and smell of all this eccentric cuisines. If you plan to travel to Beijing, China and are going to be around this area it is well worth it to stop by and experience the foods. It’s a fun environment to be in and share with others.