Sunday, February 13, 2011

Stinky Tofu

If you haven't heard of stinky tofu, it's a style of fermented tofu which kind of reeks. It's called "chou dofu". The translation of that is literally "stinky tofu". It literally smells like feces. For example one time a few of us came across a pungent smell on the sidewalk and we debated momentarily whether it was stinky tofu or reeking bathroom. Seriously.

About a year ago i was a bit baked, wandering the streets, and decided to try some "chou dofu". Likely enhanced by my altered state, i realized that this tofu wasn't stinky at all, it was... AMAZING! Yup, i chowed that shit down, and wished i had more.

Part 2.

This year, I was in Chengdu, where the food flavours pull no punches, where 50% of the food is spiced in ways that leave you gasping for air, and your tastebuds numb. I was a bit baked so I decided to give the chou dofu another go. Here the style is skewered, fried, and bathed in salt and chili. I could smell the stand a mile away. Unfortunately, i didn't have the same rapturous experience. About 1 minute into my tofu, I realized... it really does taste like shit. Not human shit, but more like horse manure. Of the salty and spicy variety. I wished i'd only bought one instead of 2, considered throwing it away, but decided that would be wasteful and i needed the protein plus ... well, wasn't i trying to embrace the whole chou dofu culture?

Anyhow, I'll wait a bit before i try it again, and frankly i think it is quite a bit milder up north. Do note, however, that this delicacy is truly popular throughout huge swathes of China, east and south Asia... Can millions of stinky tofu eaters be wrong?

pix by

1 comment:

Paige said...

Hi!!!! I forgot all about your blog! And I have talked to you in ages.....I need to find an email for you..Hope you're well.