Monday, January 31, 2011

Adventures in Eating

You may be sitting there, thinking, what the heck does "Adventures in Eating" mean? Or maybe you're just looking at that rather gross looking picture up there and wondering what the hell that is. Either way, you're about to find out the answer.

I don't consider myself an adventurous eater, but I also don't consider myself picky. I love vegetables, different animals (sorry if that offends), and like to try new grains and sauces. There is only one thing I actually hate and will not eat: mayonnaise. I don't like things like carrots (which I tend to eat for breakfast at work anyway), or stinky cheeses (which I tend to avoid, especially those with mold, ewwwww). Eggplant, brussell-sprouts, broccoli, etc. are all fine with me.

My boss is Chinese. This really isn't at all relevant to this post except to point out that she has different culinary experiences than I do. When I first started working for her, she took me out to Dim Sum with another Chinese co-worker - since i hadn't really been to an authentic dim-sum, it was an excellent experience! Now, I've always considered myself to be easy to gross out - just eat some mayo in front of me, but they seriously upped the ante. Among other things, that day, I was subjected to fried chicken feet. They expected me to be grossed out - and I kind of was.....but it wasn't that scary and I'm sure my people have their own similar foods that I would know about if I had any real links to my Armenian or Serbian or Gypsy heritage. So I ate the chicken's foot and everything else they threw at me that day, no problem. But there's one thing I was relieved didn't come up - the 100 year old Egg.

Seriously, what an unappetizing name.

So, I thought I was safe. I was wrong. My boss, as it happens, just got back from maternity leave this week, and it's been almost a year since our last weird food fest. In honor of her return, we took some time out and went to lunch together in one of the cafes at work.

Guess what they were serving.

That's right. The Century Egg.

So, my boss made a video with her phone as I put the egg, some tofu, and some rice on my fork and waved it around, unable to stomach the thought of putting it in my mouth. That picture up there - see the brownish part? THAT'S THE EGG! The thing is like something out of Dr. Seuss! The "whites" are actually a clear brown (think the color of the cola gummies you ate as a kid). The yolk is a musty forrest/olive green. It' intense thing to consider eating if you've never been exposed to it before.

But, well, I was on camera. And I have a thing about not appearing to be a wimp in front of people. So, after lifting the fork and putting it down about 5 times, I put it in my mouth, braced for the worst, and chewed, trying not to taste anything.  It was................fine. It wasn't amazingly good or horribly bad. It was ok. Not something I'd seek out, and looking at it still gives me the shudderjiggies (I just coined that word for you)(you're welcome), but I survived and am no worse for wear. I even had a second bite. I'm like a rockstar of trying new food! This was truly an adventure in eating.

On thing's certain, I prefer it to that limp, cold, fried chicken's foot I had a dim sum.

As my BFF Jasmin would say: "I eat the wierd stuff."

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