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Unique Food We’ve Found in China and Translations We Love

Picture of food with translation "Cloth Good Bone"

We’ve officially been in mainland China for a week and it hasn’t been at all what we were expecting – but in the best way.

There is a different feel here than we have experienced in any other parts of Asia, and while we were bracing ourselves for some challenging cultural differences, we’ve so far become pretty smitten with the world’s most populated country.

One thing that has been both eye-opening and endearing are the English translations on the food menus here. Not only do they often serve food that is wholly unique to us, think snake and caterpillar; but the translations are oftentimes comical. Just this afternoon, we ate at a restaurant with a fantastic selection of meat from animals we haven’t ever eaten before, along with some translations that totally missed the mark. “Cloth Good Bone” anyone?

Not sure what vinegar blood is, and this time we weren't feeling up to trying it.

Not sure what vinegar blood is, and this time we weren’t feeling up to trying it.

 

We probably should've ordered this. I mean, who doesn't need a good big fortune?! As for what food it was, we have no idea.

We probably should’ve ordered this. I mean, who doesn’t need a good big fortune?! As for what food it was, we have no idea.

 

This isn't just any bean curd, a bridge crossing was involved. Not sure how that changes the flavor and unfortunately we didn't have room to try it.

This isn’t just any bean curd, a bridge crossing was involved. Not sure how that changes the flavor and unfortunately we didn’t have room to try it.

 

One of the few foods that I refuse to eat is water chestnuts. The texture is so off-putting to me. Little did I know, water chestnuts could become even less appetizing by adding steamed meat. Yikes.

One of the few foods that I refuse to eat is water chestnuts. The texture is so off-putting to me. Little did I know, water chestnuts could become even less appetizing by adding steamed meat. Yikes.

 

Horse meat is common in many Asian countries, but I haven't tried it, at least that I know of. As for chicken feet, we tried some here in China and they seem to be a lot of work for little meat. But guess what, they taste like chicken!

As for chicken feet, we tried some here in China and they seem to be a lot of work for little meat. But guess what, they taste like chicken!

 

We've eaten beef tongue and duck tongue, but pig tongue is a new one for us.

We’ve eaten beef tongue and duck tongue, but pig tongue is a new one for us.

 

I have no idea what an undulating venus is, but it doesn't sound delicious. Thank goodness for pictures.

I have no idea what an undulating venus is, but it doesn’t sound delicious. Thank goodness for pictures.

 

I've actually never seen this on a menu until here. I know it is served in many Asian countries, but we haven't eaten it, that we know of.

I’ve actually never seen this on a menu until here. I know it is served in many Asian countries, but we haven’t eaten it, that we know of.

 

I wonder what this actually is.

I wonder what this actually is.

 

Gotta love a healthy serving of veggies.

Gotta love a healthy serving of veggies.

 

Chalk this up to something I've never seen on a menu before.

Ironically, a very famous restaurant in Chicago, The Girl and The Goat, offers a pig face item on the menu.

 

Bugs are a common meal in Asia, but we haven't tried any yet.

Bugs are a common meal in Asia, but we haven’t tried any yet.

 

If only we knew what animal these intestines were from...

If only we knew what animal these intestines were from…

 

We actually ate a surprising amount of Goose in Hong Kong, but it is a rare find on menus in the U.S.

We actually ate a surprising amount of Goose in Hong Kong, but it is a rare find on menus in the U.S.

 

I wonder if the front feet taste differently than the back feet? Also, how do you make a bird kidney? Even if it isn't homemade, I've never eaten bird kidneys.

I wonder if the front feet taste differently than the back feet? Also, how do you make a bird kidney? Regardless, I’ve never eaten bird kidneys.

 

I don't even know.

I don’t even know.

 

This one really cracks me up for some reason. Green mussels are common in New Zealand and Camel meat isn't uncommon in places we've visited, but the translation and combination are unique.

This one really cracks me up for some reason. Green mussels are common in New Zealand and Camel meat isn’t uncommon in places we’ve visited, but the translation and combination are unique.

 

Horse meat is common in many Asian countries, but I haven't tried it, at least that I know of.

Horse meat is common in many Asian countries, but I haven’t tried it, at least that I know of.

 

Fungus here is how they translate mushrooms.

Fungus here is how they translate mushrooms.

 

My Grandpa Doty always told a hilarious story about a time when he ate a delicious meal prepared by a French cook. When he had finished several helpings, he asked the chef what he ate, and he was told that it was rat. We should've eaten this in his honor.

My Grandpa Doty always told a hilarious story about a time when he ate a delicious meal prepared by a French cook. When he had finished several helpings, he asked the chef what he ate, he was told that it was rat. He promptly ran outside and lost his lunch. We should’ve eaten this in his honor.

 

Snake is commonly eaten in this part of China, but there is no way I am letting a snake near me, even if it is dead.

Snake is commonly eaten in this part of China, but there is no way I am letting a snake near me, even if it is dead.

 

More horse.

More horse.

And don’t worry, there is a ton of incredible food here which we’ve been eating, these selections are just the most outrageous we found on the menu today. Can’t wait to see what else we find.

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