Saturday, May 27, 2006

eating a star...fish

Since I was a wee little child I have picked up starfishes from beaches. They are pointy, hard, and look like the ninja stars that my mother refuse to buy me.

And that's what makes them great. It's nature's frisbee. We throw them at things. Never have I thought they were edible. Never meaning until this trip to Wanfujin in Beijing.

As I wonder through the stalls of exotic foods, noticing with great passe of the foods I've alread eaten, I cam across a tray of pink five pointed wonders. Amidst a plethora of bugs, cocoons, entrails, snails, and other critters, is my beloved childhood toy - star fish.

One wonders how star fish does taste. I did. I imagined it would taste something like gravel wrapped around sand. But imagination must, at sometime, coincide with a healthy dose of reality. At 8 yuan, or a simply US dollar, it is too hard not to purchase one and give it a try.

One bite, and there it is as I have imagined. The vendor took a fresh starfish on a stick and submerged it into a wok full of hot oil. few minutes later, she handed it to me indicating I should eat it while it's fresh.

Gravel wrapped around sand, in my mouth. It is exactly as I have expected. As I pondered the cost of my next dental visit whilst grinding down my molars, I noticed that, throughout the 100 meter or so of food stalls, I am the only one eating a starfish.

There are these homeless people who have been picking food out of garbage nearby. I have witnessed these people pulling out half-eaten squid and consuming it with aplomb. I walked over to one of these less fortunate than I, and proffered my textured treat in an offer of sustenance. He laughed at me and threw it in the garbage.

I will not eat another starfish.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

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12:08 PM  

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