Adventures in Delicacies
Delicacies are funny things.
In theory, they are exquisite examples of the culinary art, spoiling the palette with orgasmic bliss delivered by the skill of a 4 star chef.
There are also cultural delicacies.
I think these broadly fall into two categories.
1: A food that is the symbol of hope and survival, that a society ate during the starving time when they could find nothing else, but it is a cultural symbol of that societies perseverance and they are all attuned to have positive emotions associated with it since it is eaten only at memorial festivals.
2: A dirty trick a society plays on outsiders, assuring them that "This is a delicacy....You'll offend us if you don't like it." all the while laughing at the stupid foreigner that they dearly wish they could just beat up.
You know, like natto.
I am not sure which of those categories fried jellyfish fits into.
But I'm pretty sure it is one of them.
The little octopuses were quite good, aside from having jellyfish juice on them.
Jade Villa, is a somewhat austerely apportioned Chinese restaurant in Virginia Beach. It lacks the fancy fixtures that adorn so many high end sit-down Chinese establishments, but it has a huge menu of superb and truly exotic dishes...and cultural delicacies. Out of respect to somebody that is not out of the hospital yet, I refrained, this time, from ordering their exquisite Peking Duck.
They have 2 menus, one a perfectly normal American style Chinese food one finds in any city (albeit very well prepared)...and the big redmenu, which is in Chinese and English, and which I have not tried everything on after several years.
I highly recommend the establishment, even if I cannot provide much heartfelt advocacy for any hypothetical National Jellyfish Association.
Let me add that the casual diner should occasionally pay attention to exactly what regional cuisine specialty a Chinese restaurant focuses on. People used to Cantonese and Szechuan dishes will be in for something of a shock if they went in blind to eat at an establishment featuring Shanghai-style dishes.
Posted by: cxt217 at Sun Feb 6 19:07:45 2022 (MuaLM)
I've had jellyfish. Tastes like salty silicone sealant. Would not buy again.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Mon Feb 7 16:39:22 2022 (PiXy!)
There's a Chinese restaurant that I used to go to with my girlfriend. They had a very nice jellyfish-and-duck salad that we would get every time we went there for dim sum, but they no longer offer it.
We've had jellyfish elsewhere and it was something to put up with, rather than enjoy.
Posted by: wheels at Mon Feb 7 18:09:30 2022 (IhIjp)
Cultural delicacies exist in the states, too. Okra in the south. Lutefisk (shudder) in Minnesota. And if you are ever in Chicago and someone offers you a glass of Malort, it's a cultural delicacy.
What it's all about is there in the name: "Mal" meaning "bad", and "ort" being the sound you make when you jam an entire container of pepper spray in your mouth to remove the aftertaste.
Posted by: Wonderduck at Fri Feb 11 17:48:17 2022 (bHHXR)
Fried okra is actually tasty, though! (I... don't think I'd like it not-fried, though.)
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Fri Feb 11 20:00:18 2022 (v29Tn)