The Unvegan

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Strange Meats: Donkey and Tripe

Tastes like horse...I think...
Tastes like horse…I think…

While visiting a friend in the city of Yangshuo in Southern China, I decided to try dog. Although I grew up with a dog and loved the creatures, it was time for me to experience that aspect of Asian culture. A bunch of us headed out to a restaurant and went into our own little room. While my Chinese friends placed our order, I sat in anticipation for the event.

After the order had been taken, my friend turned to me to apologize.

“Why?” I asked.

“It’s not the right season for dog,” she replied.

“Why?” I repeated.

“Because it is too warm outside, dog puts a fire in your stomach.”

Instead, we got donkey. A big, steaming hot pot full of donkey.

I tried it and it wasn’t bad at all. It tasted kind of like beef that you would cook in a stew, but chewier. Perhaps it is how horseys taste. Although decent, it is still no replacement for good old-fashioned beef.

unvegan tripeAs we finished off the hot pot of donkey, a new pot was brought out. This one containing tripe, better known as stomach. I couldn’t be sure whether this was donkey tripe or from some other animal, but I was sure that it was green. I have always assumed that stomachs are kind of red or pink in color because of the charts I remember from middle school, but perhaps I am wrong. Or perhaps donkey stomachs are green. Or it’s even possible that donkey stomachs turn green when cooked, kinda like how shrimp goes from white to red when cooked.

No matter how it had become green, I wasn’t a big fan of the tripe. It’s too chewy and the texture is a bit too hairy for me. Plus, the green color reminded me too much of vegetables.