Muschamp Rd

Yak Genitals Mmm Mmm Good

September 25th, 2005

So last night some of my fellow Tsinghua MBA classmates and I went for Tibetan food. One of the things I had to do while in China was try Yak Penis soup. I saw it in my guidebook and thought, Musk would do that. Since I always have to live up to the ever growing legend of the Musk. I said I was definitely having it, if it was on the menu.

Sure enough it was on page 12 under the heading soup stock. The Chinese description was much longer but the official English description was “Yak genitals with edible caterpillar fungus”. The word “Tibetan” may have also appeared. If I was going to make soup out of an animals genitalia the first other ingrediant that would come to my mind wouldn’t be edible caterpillar fungus.

Despite it costing 58 RMB I ordered it. When it arrived I hesitantly tasted it and described it as milky. Which got a few laughs, but it was white for the most part and smelled and looked like it contained some dairy products. It also had some small red floaties and a few things that did look like caterpillars. At the bottom was a whole bunch of “meat” or mushrooms or something. I finished the whole bowl. We all wished we had a camera because there was live music and dancing and an interesting decor. The soup was eatable, some odd textures but I’d eaten far worse things in Japan. Raw squid, octopus, sea urchin, fish eggs, all immediately spring to mind. Cow intestines and raw chicken were also worse, as were various chicken innards and the ever delightful chicken cartilage. I gave Yak Genital Soup a two out of ten on the hard to eat scale.

If you can get by the name and the odd weird texture it is easy to keep down, no gag reflex at all. The waiter when he brought it said it was good for men to eat. Amongst the joking I raised the very valid point that we wouldn’t know if I was eating Yak Penis or some substitute ingredient as no one at the table had eaten penis before. Everyone declined to taste it too, funnily enough, even after I assured them it was actually OK.

Dave insisted I finish the last of my by then cold Yak Penis soup and accused me of wimping out at the bottom where the meat was. I assured him “I had already eaten inches of meat”. Which I believe was the line that got the loudest laugh of the night. Dave has his own blog and plans to document the event in some way as well.

More blogging and adventures in China

Now in 2024 I am again overhauling my WordPress’s blog’s taxonomy. Dave’s blog is long gone as are most of the blogs from 2005. Perhaps some exist in the Wayback Machine, I left Dave’s old URL in there for now, but another my blog maintenance plans to to link check my domain. It is too bad we don’t have pictures from this evening. Nowadays everyone would have a cameraphone.

I’m adding a travel section and generally improving the content and Quality further where I can. I went on to eat many strange things while in China including frog. There are pictures of the frog I ate, apparently I became a better blogger over time, however I think 2006 or 2010 may have been my peak blogging popularity.

After many years I moved back to China this time living in Shanghai. This time I stayed for years studying and trying to find a better job. Eventually I passed my last exam and returned to Canada. It still took me a long time to find a good job and my career has never recovered from doing my MBA at the Sauder School of Business but I try not to write about that anymore. Many of the depressing posts from that era have been deleted.

20 Yuan View
Near Yangshuo

If you made it this far you might want to check out the trip I took to Southern China to go mountain biking, that was definitely off the beaten path. If you strange stories of eating strange things in China you can leave a comment below.


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