Friday, July 20, 2007
Menu features exotic animal parts
In many cultures, tiger parts are consumed as food, worn as decoration or used in medicines.
BEIJING, China -- Our chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta and I are in China. We've just returned from a restaurant we first started hearing about while shooting footage in Southeast Asia for our "Planet in Peril" series. Many restaurants here have exotic animals on the menu. We wanted to check this one out.

As often happens on trips like this one, what you think you'll find and what you do find can be two totally different things.

With that in mind, Sanjay Gupta and the rest of our team headed towards the Beijing restaurant dubbed "the penis emporium." As you grapple with that, you're due an explanation: the restaurant was said to serve exotic animal parts from animals around the world, and it just so happened that penis is their specialty. I guess everybody's got to be good at something.

When we arrived, it was clear we found what we were seeking. The window display featured all sorts of animal parts -- ground deer antler, deer blood wine, and three variations of deer penis. The interior of the place was drab -- peeling wallpaper, a Buddha statue in one corner and a cash register in the other. There was no open seating, just ten or so private dining rooms spread over two floors.

The restaurant manager happily took us into a private room to explain to Sanjay what they serve and why they serve it. There were two menus to browse. One was a la carte and the other banquet style.

As we looked over both, the manager explained many of his customers were upper class Chinese as well as foreign tourists. The latter come mostly to try something new and exotic. The former, he said, come to continue an old Chinese tradition.

The Chinese, he explained, have a long history with exotic animal consumption. When you eat a part of an animal, you take on its characteristics.

This sounded simple and innocuous enough, but what he didn't detail is the sometimes devastating effect this consumption can have on endangered animals. According to the American Institute of Biological Sciences, food consumption is second only to habitat loss as the primary threat to China's animals.

And of course, the rarer the animal the more highly prized its parts. Ounce for ounce, things like rhino horn and deer musk can be worth as much as class A drugs or even gold, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

There was knock at the door and a waitress entered with a bottle of deer blood and ground antler wine. The manager filled the glasses and suggested we continue looking at the menu over a drink (note: the "wine" doesn't taste much like any I've had before -- less like wine, more like moonshine). The al la carte was pretty tame. It was the banquet menu that listed the truly exotic.

The manager ordered what amounted to what you might think of as a party platter, and as he went back to the kitchen our interpreter noticed two things on the menu -- item three listed tiger paw and item five simply "T". He flagged a waitress to inquire and she said the "T" meant tiger penis.

When the manager reentered the room, Sanjay asked him about the tiger listed on the menu. Where does he get his tiger parts? Who are the customers? Isn't it illegal to sell tiger?

The manager laughed it off and said they only have it on the menu for affect. They don't actually sell tiger, he said, they only list it so when a customer asks for it, they explain they don't have it and bring them parts resembling a tiger's.

Sanjay asked him to take us into the kitchen to see the "fake" tiger, but the manager refused. The manager could very well have been telling the truth, but there was no way to prove his claims or verify our suspicions.

Officials who track the trade of illegal wildlife will tell you -- getting to the bottom of such an underground and elusive trade can prove remarkably difficult.

After asking about the tiger, it was clear our interview was over. We settled our bill, and headed back out into Beijing.

-- By Charlie Moore, "360" Senior Producer


Editor's note: For more information about this and other environmental issues, please visit "Planet in Peril".
Posted By CNN: 3:20 PM ET
  43 Comments
So you take on characteristics of the animal you eat?? What characteristics do you assume when you eat a penis? I bet I can think of a few, but they can't be posted. This story is just disgusting. Of course, I get the point about endangered animals, but... And I can't believe you drank deer blood. I was forcing my lunch back down my throat as I read this story. I'm converting back to being a vegetarian.
Posted By Debbie, Denham Springs, LA : 5:24 PM ET
EEEWWW Charlie....that sounds like the worst food I've ever heard of! I hope to God you'll didn't eat anything! Where's the McDonalds when you need it!?

If this resteraunt is so well known, and is known for selling these animal parts, which are illegal to sell, why is it still open? It seems that the culture there has caused the police to turn a blind eye. What if anything are the police doing about this?

I look forward to this report! This one should be real interesting!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Cindy : 5:35 PM ET
Being an omnivore myself, it would be extremely hypocritical of me to criticize what people in other cultures eat. However, it should concern everyone when the animal in question is an endangered species.

In an overpopulated world with dwindling resources, it becomes imperative we protect those species threatened with extinction. Once they are gone, they are gone forever.

But I would like to point out something here. We know it's morally wrong for China to allow such things to go on, but isn't it also morally wrong how the "disposable" society of the United States does nothing about the "millions" of cats and dogs killed in the United States each year simply because they are unwanted?

The disrespect for life is a human problem which crosses cultural boundaries.
Posted By Joseph Kowalski, North Huntingdon, PA : 5:39 PM ET
I hope you guys are up to date on your shots.

This restaurant doesn't sound very fancy, but I wonder what they were charging for the tiger penis. How awful to think that such a beautiful animal could lose its life for the superstitious belief that it could enhance a man's virility. As a bureaucratic state, there surely must be laws on the books in China to protect endangered animals, but how do they go about enforcing them?

Stay well.
Posted By Barbara, Culver City, CA : 5:46 PM ET
I grew up eating the deer my uncles, grandpas, and cousins killed in our woods on weekends and holidays (sausage and roast cooked in a tomato gravy). Deer meat is actually healthy. But the blood and penis? Ew.

When the tigers and deer are gone, what animal's characteristics do they consume and assume? I'd bet almost anything they were covering up when you all started questioning the illegal practices.

People have a right to their cultural eating habits until it hurts the animals (even here there is a season and limit to what animals can be hunted and killed when-and penalties if the game wardens catch you). Ditto for certain fish.

When do people realize that once these animals are gone, they're not coming back? When do these countries start protecting all forms of life?

I think I'll start going vegetarian when I travel abroad now. That story is just gross.
Posted By Tammy C., Berwick, LA : 5:56 PM ET
Charlie/AC360:
The image that comes to mind when you were describing the Beijing restaurant visit reminds me of something out of an old movie from the 1930's. It sounds like the menu hasn't changed since then either.

Yes, I have heard the tale about eating a particular part of an animal and one will take on its characteristics. But the penis menu is beyond what can be humanly possible to comprehend. It is obviously marketed toward men.

Anyway, is eating exotic animal parts a Chinese tradition full of voodoo-like superstitions? Is it predominant in the older generation or is it crossing into the younger western group? Does this market for endangered animal parts cross over into Japan or even the US?

By the way, did you take in a hidden camera when you, Sanjay and crew went into this restaurant? It would be interesting to see.

As you continue your journey, be careful what you eat. We would hate to see anyone from CNN come back with some kind of, well, additional, hmmmm...or odd body characteristic when they return home to the US.
Posted By Sharon, Indianapolis, IN : 6:06 PM ET
So. How was it? The ... parts.
Posted By Arachnae, Sterling VA : 6:11 PM ET
I'm not saying the tiger's bits 'n pieces are good eatin', but people eat lots of parts of animals - beef liver, beef tongue, pig's knuckles, frog's legs, etc.
Posted By xtina - chicago IL : 6:12 PM ET
Charlie, can you be any more graphic? Sheesh... :) I was having a very delicious salmon steak and then I read your e-mail. I lost my appetite. Because of you, I inadvertently stuck to my diet. I guess I have you to thank for that...

Take care,
Lilibeth
Edmonds, Washington
Posted By Lilibeth, Edmonds, WA : 6:19 PM ET
Charlie

Thank you so much for sharing this important story with us. It is so heartbreaking to hear what they are doing to these animals.

While in China, I had the opportunity to eat food that although rather tasty, I could not honestly tell you what it was I was eating. I was told it was chicken and pork and some octopus too, but for all I know it could have been a number of other kinds of animals (I did happen to catch an item on the menu - Mixed Cold Cat Platter....pass on that). I just pray that I did not eat some poor tiger or deer, that I would never ever choose to eat if I knew what it was

Stay safe in China and I can't wait for your report.
Posted By Megan O. Toronto, ON, Canada : 6:38 PM ET
Unfortunately these animals are not like cattle or sheep. They are not bred in large numbers, and certainly there are not enough of them to sustain such practices.

So what will these people do when the species they are driving into extinction are finally gone?

It's just that sort of selfish behavior...and humans exhibit many equally selfish and stupid behaviors...that are dooming us as well. -USAPatriot
Dear Charlie,

Thank you for reporting on these horrible practices. Although I have heard about this, as a strict vegetarian I found it difficult to even read your post, it was totally disgusting.

You didn’t mention how much they charged for this “exotic cuisine,” but based on what the manager said about their clients being upper class Chinese, it is probably expensive.

Although the Chinese consider this a part of their culture, I abhor it, however, the most disturbing part is the fact that many affluent professionals from the West indulge in these behaviors as well. They are the ones who are willing and able to buy these exotic products, legal or not, such as endangered animal parts for display,that encourage this type of “industry.”

It’s bad enough that the Chinese and other cultures practice these behaviors, but it is difficult to believe that people from so-called "civilized countries" would indulge in any of these superstitions!

It was disturbing to read that you drank the “blood wine?” Was there a journalistic reason for it, or just western curiosity?

I could say something about the "penis" part of this report, but I think Debbie from LA said it best. However, in this "penis worshipping" society we shouldn't be surprised by this "interest," every other commercial nowadays is promoting Viagra or an equvalent product.

I don't really look forward to your report, but I am glad you are exposing these horrible “traditions.”

Jo Ann
Posted By Jo Ann Matese, North Royalton, Ohio : 6:57 PM ET
Hey, hey Charlie,
The Penis Emporium. What a dining delight! NOT!
While this is totally disgusting, perverted, and wierd, you all had better check the ingredients on your weiners and sasage. SURPRISE! All those nasty parts are in there. Go ahead, ask Dr. Gupta, he will tell you!
What a crazy world~
Posted By Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX : 6:59 PM ET
Charlie,
I also want to comment on the penis emporium saying that you become what you eat. Well, I am mostly vegetarian and SOME vegetarians believe that people take on the emotions of the animal they eat. I don't know about any of it except I know the less flesh I ingest the healthier I am and the healthier the planet is, So. .
PEACE ON THE PLANET IN PERIL!
Posted By Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX : 7:05 PM ET
A few years ago, I went to a Chinese restaurant in New York City's Chinatown. I was given a menu, and the waiter took my order.

Several weeks later, I went back to the same restaurant, with a co-worker who is Chinese. We took a few minutes to look at the menus, and I realized his was in Chinese, mine was in English, and there were more items listed on his copy than on mine.

I asked him what dishes were on his menu that weren't on mine; he tried to be offhand saying, "Oh, special dishes that Chinese people like."

Now I wonder what REALLY was on his menu that he didn't want to tell me about!! (yikes)
Posted By Suzie Rose, New York NY : 7:08 PM ET
To Cindy, you really cannot think McDonald's is any better. What is really in a Chicken McNugget?

If anybody is going to judge how the environment is changed/damaged because these exotic animals are killed for consumption, what makes us in the U.S. think we're any better by the amount of damage we cause here? The amount of cows now raised along with chickens is destroying our environment. We can't eat enough beef that they're putting hormones in cows to grow them faster. Unless you're a vegetarian meaning no fish or dairy either, you can't really comment on which animal should live and what is ok to die.
Posted By Mei Lan, Costa Mesa, CA : 7:25 PM ET
By American standards, a lot of "food" served in Asian countries is downright barbaric. A few years ago, I was in a Japanese restaurant where they served a whole raw fish, the body cut into paper thin slices. I was pretty neat until the fish turned its eye to look at me! That's right, it WAS ALIVE. I cannot imagine the agony that poor fish was in; and others like it, just to please the eyes of that restaurant's patrons. And, please don't get me wrong, I eat meat, I even hunt (with a rifle), but that was just too much. Asian culture or not, traditional or not, it is inhumane to serve live, tortured animals or rare and endangered animals.
Posted By MikeB - Eugene, Oregon : 7:35 PM ET
Charlie,
Great post! This reminds me of a couple years ago when I went to Shanghai for a visit to the firm there. The executives were to nice & polite (they have a tea lady who brings a cart serving your tea right to your office!)

One night the executives took us out to dinner, and many of the items you describe were on the menu. We learned It is impolite in China to refuse tasting the food. I made a quick decision and told everyone I was a vegitarian (white lie)! To this day, the other's on the trip tell me how lucky I was not to have to eat any of that stuff!
Posted By Kelly, San Francisco, CA : 7:42 PM ET
Wow, just checked the blog before dinner. I am no longer hungry. Thanks for helping out with my diet, Charlie!

Please tell me that Neil the camera-dude had a hidden camera taped to his chest! I would love to see everyone's reactions!
Posted By Maya E., Easton, PA : 7:53 PM ET
Hey Charlie,

First,I won't do any comments about the tiger's penis or any other one for that matter,it would be too easy and not printable.
Frankly,I will be eating after I post this,and it's sausage!!Honestly!!I think I've lost my appetite!
What you were describing is disgusting. Altough I understand that we all have our cultural "things",I can never wrap my mind around all the cultural stories I hear where women,children and animals are being tortured or killed because of it.
I would never think for a moment that I would take on the characteristics of any animal I would be eating. It is the individuals who really put their faith in those cultural beliefs VERSUS those who will not hesitate to cash in on it. Plus,a government turning a blind eye.
Hey,Charlie,maybe you could bring some power bars next time. I don't know how you find the strenght to eat after that!
Thank you for bringing us those stories.

Joanne R.
Laval Quebec
Posted By Joanne R.Laval Quebec : 8:10 PM ET
I suppose the client list - upper class Chinese and tourists - explain why a blind eye is given this place. Such a shame to think a beautiful animal like a tiger is killed so someone can eat its penis. For someone who wants to do that, it would seem they have already taken on the characteristics of that particular animal body part.

Vegetables sound better every day.

Thanks for looking into this - looking forward to seeing the segment on this. PIP has been fascination so far and I'm sure this will only add to it.
Posted By Annie Kate, Birmingham AL : 8:34 PM ET
Sorry,

I've been sitting here trying to formulate some sort of proper response, but the words just won't come. Perhaps there is no proper response.

Maggie
Posted By Maggie, Grain Valley, MO : 8:37 PM ET
I believe we went to the same or a similar 'restaurant' when we were in Beijing in April. Not satisfied with the bizarre experience and inadequate answers to questions, we ventured over to "food street" to see what culinary delights were offered there. We met a young man willing to identify the uncooked items ready for frying. There were cat hearts, starfish, seahorses, scorpions, beetles, larvae, snakes and kidneys. We watched in quiet horror as the gentleman we had met dined on the hearts and scorpions. He understood when we refrained from his generous offer to try the specialties.
Posted By Rebecca,Galapagos Islands, Equador : 9:25 PM ET
Breaks my heart! I am a big cat-lover.

This ancient old tiger-genital-eating practice originates from the times of Chinese emperors, in which kings and warriors were prescribed this diet to increase their strength in manhood to fight wars and satisfy their many wives. It is a very patriarch oriented cultural custom, which has been kept up by the dictatorship in China.

Chinese people do eat cats and dogs too...repulsing. (Not every Chinese person does that, so don't generalize)

Back in my homeland Suriname -a multi-racial-ethnic society- the CHinese show the most ethnocentric traits. People would prefer marrying in China, rather then to intermingle with other races and ethnic groups. (personal observation)

The ethnocentrism of Chinese culture persists also here in the New York: A local Upper West Side newspaper reads there was an incident in Columbia University in which a Chinese student displayed the execution of Falun Gong practitioners, who are seen as a threat against the CHinese culture and heritage.

The Falun Gong practitioners blame the faulty chemicals in commercial processed food in China as a result of their proscecution.

During their proscecution by Chinese dictatorship, Falun Gong have lost their businesses and properties and therefore the economy fell drastically. CHinese agriculturars don't use these poisoned food products for export to the western world and eat their own home grown food.

Outragious!
Posted By Ratna, New York, NY : 9:25 PM ET
In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.
Ruth Harrison, author of Animal Machines
Posted By Yvonne, Phoenix, AZ : 9:30 PM ET
OK, so what did you really eat! I thought I was progressive with my Buffalo burger in May. Arn't these places inspected or restricted in what they can serve? Yikes, I hope it's not to late to save these beautiful creatures. Be safe and good luck!
Posted By Kathy Chicago,Il : 10:16 PM ET
Charlie,

This story is hard to swallow (eek) but I just want to say that your writing style is wonderful and I enjoy reading your posts.

This may be a strange question but... can't they just make cardboard penises?

Tofu anyone? Anyone?
Posted By Lily - Vancouver, BC : 10:45 PM ET
This reminded me of my visit to China last year. While I didn't eat the same exotic things, I wasn't surprised when I read this. I freely admit that the donkey we ate was so good we went back for it again. It is simply a different culture.
Posted By Chris, Jacksonville, FL : 11:07 PM ET
Hi Charlie,
I wish I'd only read this post, instead of SEEING it on AC360 first. Even the legal dishes would curdle your stomach on contact!
All I can say is for such a small world, we all are not on the same page when it comes to protecting animals from becoming victims of terrible abuse.
That footage was stomach turning. As they say, "Plop,Plop, Fizz, Fizz, Oh what a relief it is." Bring on the Alka Seltzer...Please! Thanks for the eye-opening story. Take Care
Posted By Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 12:37 AM ET
Ok Anderson, I agree 100% with mistreatment of animals in any way shape or form. Even more, I disagree with the treatment our american soldiers are receiving both away from home and when they return home. I really would like to see you get back into what is happening in this country and report on it...in case you haven't noticed, there is quite a bit happening in this country that deserves the media's attention...i.e. corruption at the highest level of government, lack of health care insurance for americans, lobbyists gone wild with power/money....payoffs perhaps? Corporate america setting the standards for this country (and totally failing, as far as supporting this country goes)? Our young men being killed in an illegal war where we are not wanted or appreciated anyway (and for what I ask you)? etc. Yes, it is sad what is happening in other countries, but, I for one want to focus on AMERICA, and I would appreciate the media doing the same. If the media's voice is silenced in this country...where they cannot report what is actually happening, then we are doomed as a country.
Posted By Moe, Liverpool NY : 2:59 AM ET
Good story and thoughtful comments!

Coming from the Chinese culture myself I have heard myths about this "eat a part to gain its characteristics" thing, trying to gain the virility of a fierce animal is one extreme. If you are making generalizations that we would disrespect humanity and support anything morally wrong for personal gains, then mind you! Doing what exactly would be morally wrong, I assure you that everyone has different answers and not just because of political views, cultures, gender, generation or habits. After all, ethics are opened to subjective interpretations.

I look forward to an interesting story! Please don't disappoint us.

Calvin, New York, New York.
Posted By Calvin, New York, NY : 5:13 AM ET
As a Chinese (born here in America) I find most of these posts offensive. Although I don't agree with killing of tigers and sharks for their parts, who am I to judge since I eat meat preferably beef. In other parts of the world, cows are considered sacred yet this country can't produce enough cows for our mass consumption. Does eating beef, chicketns, etc. make us barbaric? To put down another culture as "barbaric" whether it be eating a whole raw fish that's alive is pretty hypocritical if you're not a true vegetarian (one of the posters is a hunter!). Go to a slaughterhouse and tell me how "humane" we are here before there's anymore finger pointing of calling other cultures barbaric.
Posted By Missy, Los Angeles, CA : 2:49 PM ET
For the sake of transparency, I'll start by saying that I'm Chinese, so take my opinion with a grain of salt if need be. That said, I'd say I probably love tigers as much as any one of you. I want a pet tiger that I can ride to work (kidding, but anyone who watched He-Man as a kid has probably thought about it too).

I think anyone who reads this will agree that hunting endangered species for profit is "bad", though the magnitude might vary from person to person. My problem comes from the comments about foreign eating habits. I've never eaten deer penis, or drank wine made from its blood -- nor do I have any desire to. But why criticize someone who does? American settlers are generally criticized for killing a bison only for its tongue, but why not eat the heart in addition to the sirloin? How about the brain, or the liver, or the penis? Chinese people come from a traditionally poor and "waste-not-want-not" culture. While Americans may cringe at the thought of eating scorpions or chicken feet, the Chinese are being that much more efficient with their food supply, and are therefore that much closer to sustainability.

And to the person who'd turn down fresh, organic meat in favor of McDonald's...you're kidding, right? Right??
Posted By Jeff, Long Beach, CA : 3:14 PM ET
Living up in British Columbia I have heard a lot about poachers and an active trade in Bear Penises. Bears have a bone in their penis, which some cultures believe is an aphrodisiac when ground up. It is sadly that these species are poached with no regard for the environment.
Posted By Vancouver Island Daryl : 7:04 PM ET
Yummmm.... Tiger penis !!

I will have to be sure to try some the next the U.So.Carolina Gamecocks stomp the Clemson Tigers in football !!

Go Cocks !!
Posted By Carolina Fan #27 : 7:31 PM ET
Your story was intriguing - at the same time hilarious and disgusting! I can imagine the scene in the restaurant - foreign culture, not knowing what you're going to get to eat. Fear and hilarity all at once. In any case, I enjoyed your story.
Posted By Julia, West Chicago, IL : 8:02 PM ET
Okay, here's the Madison Ave spin:

Tiger Penises: They're Grrreeat!

(Oh, wait, I think a cereal I already took that one!)

But it does really bother me that wealthy and perhaps educated people (not to say that the reverse is true, but you know what I'm saying) would indulge in something that impacts endangered species, and for what???

Are there many active groups in China comparable to the environmental and animal rights groups we have? What are the major issues as they see them? How successful have they been? How do they try to get people's attention in China? (Personally, I think we need to use more humor and connect it to how environmental issues can affect-- and in many cases, already are affecting-- individuals) And, more important: Has Freud not been translated into Chinese (or is it that sometimes a tiger penis is just a tiger penis)?

And what, pray tell, is the proper way to eat this particular delicacy? Chopsticks (seems slippery, ya know, from my vast experience with tiger penises)? Knife and fork (ouch, and I'm not even a guy!)? Or is it more of a finger food?

Sorry, I've been brain-busy since 5 AM this morning--I am SO not a morning person-- and I just got home, so now I am more brain-stupid than usual. Plus I am having flashbacks to the awful experience of being forced to read Moby Dick for school.

Bon apetit!

(Tastes like chicken)
Posted By Norah, West Chester, PA : 11:25 PM ET
I could care less what parts of the animal people eat. Deer blood and penises aren't for me, but who am I to judge what another culture finds tasty? Props to them for at least making use of the whole animal.

What I care about, however, is whether or not that animal is a) endangered and therefore should not be being hunted, and b) how it was raised and then killed. And also how it is marketed to the public (am I REALLY eating chicken or am I eating cat?) Running around brutally killing protected species just so you can chomp on their penis in the hopes that it'll give you virility is appalling and sad. It's these long-held idiotic beliefs, pursued and enacted at the peril of animals' well-being that get my ire up (and I mean that for any country, not just China).
Posted By Kat, Minneapolis, MN : 11:29 PM ET
What double standards!!!!

If the animal/animal part is not widely eaten by your culture...then its ewwww....

chicken and cows and pigs and lobsters have life too you know!!!
they were once a living creature...but alas!! they are not cute or exotic or endangered!!!
Posted By Andy In Atlanta : 1:35 AM ET
Hi! Charlie/AC360
Each country have to food culture.
We can't blamed for their tradition
That is mere prejudice.Just we were
shocked and disgusted by their
living conditions.
Posted By Hyo kyungJung / south Korea : 7:26 AM ET
Charlie:

Just wondering, any real women at this restaurant? Is this food and wine supposed to be an aphrodisiac?

Not sure if you ever saw the BET Show "Hell Date." It is a comedy spoof on the realities of a total bad date. It gets really crazy and then a little devil comes out at the end of the show to tell the guy or gal that they are on a hell date.

Maybe you all should send some of this footage over to BET. This restaurant would be the perfect back drop for the "hell date" show.
Posted By Renee Bradenton, FL : 10:18 AM ET
You have people able to drive to any gun shop in Virginia and pick high powered guns with barely any identification check, come back and kill police officers in NY, or kill a bunch of students in a college, and you're reporting on Tiger penis'?

Whoever picks your topics is an idiot.
Posted By AL, from Maplewood NJ : 11:41 AM ET
To Suzie Rose from New York:

Please let me clear your suspicion on the difference between a menu in Chinese and a menu in English in restaurant in the U.S.: items on the English menu are what people call "American Chinese cuisine" - greasy, heavily flavored (many sweet and sour) dishes that cater to the American taste for "Chinese food", dishes that made by mixing the so-called "sauces" with mostly deep fried ingredients.

That's the food I would say ...yikes.

Quote:
"A few years ago, I went to a Chinese restaurant in New York City's Chinatown. I was given a menu, and the waiter took my order.

Several weeks later, I went back to the same restaurant, with a co-worker who is Chinese. We took a few minutes to look at the menus, and I realized his was in Chinese, mine was in English, and there were more items listed on his copy than on mine.

I asked him what dishes were on his menu that weren't on mine; he tried to be offhand saying, "Oh, special dishes that Chinese people like."

Now I wonder what REALLY was on his menu that he didn't want to tell me about!! (yikes)
Posted By Suzie Rose, New York NY : 7:08 PM ET"
Posted By Xin : 9:08 AM ET
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