Saturday, January 9, 2010

Snails, goats blood and pigeon embryo

Goats blood pudding (not as as presentable as the one I had)

On Wednesday I went out with my old landlord for dinner and a few beers. He is well aware of my interest to try anything unusual but I had thought the evenings festivities were going to be quite mild. I travelled over the Long Bien Bridge and met Anh who took me to a small restaurant with a few of his friends. With the exception of Anh everyone else had little to know English which makes night out with a few drinks quite funny. I was greeted with the usual happy hellos, given a beer and soon after raised my glass for a round table cheers.

What arrived next was what I thought was a raspberry sorbet or something similar; turns out I was way off. I was presented with a healthy bowl of congealed goats blood. The dish is served with crushed nuts (peanuts!) and lemon and I took my first bite with a degree of hesitation. It had a yogurt texture but it didn't taste bloody and it really wasn't too bad at all. The blood pudding (Tiet Canh) is supposedly good for your manhood so I went for a second dish :)

The goat rice wine we had is specially made and buried in the ground for two months before drinking. I couldn't get a logical answer from anyone on why they bury the wine but it tasted good so that was enough for me.

After everyone left Anh and I went and visited his mother and their coffee shop, the same house where Anh was born 41 years ago. We left from there and found a street food restaurant serving snails and pigeon embryos which were really good. The pigeon embryos are much smaller than the duck embryo and much easier on the stomach.

The night started to get a bit fuzzy soon after that but the trusty xeom (motorbike taxi) got me home in one piece. The longer I live in Hanoi the more these type of foods seem normal and less shocking to try. I look forward to taking you all for a tasty bowl of goats blood soon........

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