Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Taiwan: Huaxi Street

So my first night in Taipei I went to Longshan Temple with a Japanese and a Taiwanese friend. Longshan Temple is really beautiful, I don't have any pictures of it at the moment but I will probably go take some and then post about it again or something. The point of this post is not the awesome temple nor the really moving ceremony that was going on there as part of the Lunar New Year but is my going to Huaxi Street afterwards, also called snake street.

I looked for a link to post about Huaxi street and, humorously, when I google it, I get results for Snake Wine, which is what I imbibed on my first night here and what this post is really about.

Snake Wine on Huaxi Street
The red cup is a sorghum wine mixed with the blood of a cobra, the amber one to the left of it is cobra venom mixed with sorghum wine and the opaque white is cobra bile mixed with sorghum wine. The three on the left were different shots that I didn't quite understand the ingredients of. One involved traditional chinese medicinal herbs. The alcohol denatures the snake venom rendering it harmless. All of these shots were very sweet in the way that sorghum alcohol generally is. I really walked away from this experience without any particularly strong reaction, there was definitely a strange physical sensation that I hadn't ever experienced from alcohol before. Kind of like a tingling verging on feeling like my body was falling asleep but not so intense as that.
Snake Soup
Cross-Section of Snake Meat

Snake meat is really bony. It was way more work to eat than really anything else I can immediately think of, and the meat itself was really bland. The broth was very clean and robust which led me to think that it was more of a snake broth with some meat in there to prove that snakes were involved than anything else.

Prawns Roasted Alive on Huaxi Street
So these prawns were roasted alive, I also posted a video I took with my iPhone. They were also a lot of work to eat really. But they were good in a so fresh that I just saw them swimming and then wriggling around while roasting before I consumed them kind of way. I bet you all think I have gone insane... I haven't consumed insects yet... but that is only because I haven't found any to consume. Can anyone think of something else for me to eat or drink? I am running out of ideas for weird things.

1 comment:

  1. Nope son, I think you're discovering things I'd never dream of (snake venom). I'm sure your weird experiences will continue. BTW - nice touch adding the grill video of those squirming little guys...I think I had that visual pretty much spot on without it..!