Muschamp Rd

Yak Genitals Mmm Mmm Good

September 25th, 2005
WTF?

So last night some of my fellow Tsinghua MBA classmates and I went for Tibetan food. One of 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.


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