Aug 11, 2008

CNN's Larry Smith eats with the locals in Beijing, China

I saw this CNN segment while I was at the gym today. It has to be one of the most worthless segments I've seen so far, not to mention that this night market has already been mentioned by almost every other foreign reporter. Some comments I have after seeing it:
  • Starfish: this is sometimes sold at at festivals and night markets, but nobody really orders it. I think this is a popular food with Koreans or something, maybe they serve it at this night market in case they come.
  • Scorpions and lamb testicles: I've never seen anyone selling these on the street other than at the tourist night market they're at, much less anyone eating them.
  • Dog meat: yes, they were supposed to eliminate dog meat during the Olympics, but even if they didn't, it's considered a winter dish, and it's generally not something anyone would eat when it's 90 degrees out. Again, dog meat is more popular with Koreans anyway.
  • The snide comment about the cute white poodle: toy poodles are not normally eaten here. There's too much curly hair, which gets in your teeth. Overall, they're too scrawny, and there's not enough meat on their bones. If you want to see eatin' dogs, check out my blog posting from Yunnan.
There's plenty of good food to be had in Beijing, and some of it is strange-looking and would still make for a good CNN news report to shock viewers. Just off the top of my head, you could do duck webbings, duck tongue, sheep stomach, or turtle soup, which sound pretty strange but a lot of people eat them. The duck webbings (in mustard) and sheep stomach (in sesame sauce) are actually pretty good. I'm not a big fan of the duck tongue and turtle, though.

Wangfujing nightmarket, where this reporter is at, is primarily for foreign tourists and waidiren (外地人, Chinese out-of-towners). It's a lazy report by a lazy journalist. He should have invested in a better local tour guide to take him someplace worthwhile.


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