Probably because when they do, it looks like this:
Pictured above is a traditional Chinese dessert. It is a thick soup, served hot, made from lightly sweetened black sesame seeds.
It tasted good, but I just can't be convinced that soup is a good idea for breakfast, much less dessert (the most important meal of the day).
Here's an image of a special treat at the Beijing Starbucks: a Red Bean Scone. I had to try it.
This next picture isn't a dessert, but it is one of the weirdest things I have ever been served anywhere in the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you: Sea Cucumber Porridge.
The "porridge" part was actually quite tasty. The sea cucumber, on the other hand . . . Well, it tasted like an ocean-flavored piece of rubber.
At the Shanghai Boat Show, I really worked up an appetite. Wandering around all of the booths (an area easily the size of two football fields), attempting to convince people (in Chinese) that the Sun Tracker pontoon boat is the best boat ever made, trying on life vests for TV advertisements, kayaking in a blow-up pool, and wearing out the smile muscles in my face being a boat model all made for some pretty full days.
Each day when we broke for lunch, we headed to a traditional cafeteria-style dim sum restaurant around the corner for some authentic Cantonese food. Prepare to have your mouth water . . .
Oh, no! The dreaded chicken feet!
Here's the thing about chicken feet. They don't taste "footy" or anything like that--they taste like chicken. Just with more joint-y, bony parts than meat. So I guess I don't really get the appeal; why not just eat a nice juicy drumstick instead?
Would I eat them again? Sure, why not. But I won't go out of my way to order them. I'll have the cold-dressed jellyfish instead.
(Just kidding! I won't have anything on this menu! I have to draw the line somewhere, people!)
If you've never been to China, then you've probably never had truly authentic Chinese food. For better or for worse, the next few posts will cover some of the dishes I've been served on my most recent trip to China.
This is the noodle stand in Libo that Big Mountain took us for breakfast each morning. This lady keeps the place clean, the broth hot, and the meat non-refrigerated. Mmm. Soup for breakfast isn't necessarily my thing, but I have to admit that it tasted pretty good!
The broth is kept at a constant boil in a huge pot (you can see it in the far righthand corner of the picture). For each serving, she ladles broth into one of the smaller pots and adds wide, flat rice noodles. Your choice of meat is then scooped (raw) into the mix--we always chose the ground pork. A few pieces of lettuce and a partially fried duck egg later, she's finished with her part in making your breakfast. The flavor is then up to you--a wide variety of "toppings" are available to choose from (see lower lefthand corner of picture). There are hot peppers in oil, chopped raw garlic, snipped chives, pickled herbs, and fresh mint. The final result is something like this:
Breakfast of champions!