Street Food, Beijing, China

On a Beijing street last week, I encountered another gastronomical spectacle not far from the Forbidden City -- a fast-food market with some very unusual items, deep fried on skewers while you wait. Choices included scorpions, snakes, silkworms, beetles, centipedes, emu, starfish, eel, octopus, and grasshoppers. Though this isn't everyday food, the locals were chomping it down. Foreigners took pictures; a brave one would try something on a dare, or for bragging rights to friends back home (reactions vary of course; a haggis eating Scot might flinch less; likewise an American eater of warm pig brain in gravy, or an Italian eater of pig eye balls or testicles, etc.). I wondered: Is it really true that the Chinese will eat any part of just about anything that moves? How did they turn out this way? What might this reveal about human nature? (read more)

Street food market (1, 2)


Scorpions (more)

Snakes on a stick (more)


Lobsters & silkworms (more)


Squids / Octopuses



Snakes and centipedes (1)



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