Wait No Terryaki Chicken? Dude Where is The Scorpion Bowl?
Having The Courage To Step Outside My American Culinary Bubble.
When I met my Asian wife Chi Chi she introduced me to a plethora of new foods. I grew up in Boston MA and was the poster child for the All American diet. I loved steaks, chicken, pizza and pastas, submarine sandwiches and of course good ole hamburgers and hot dogs. I still do! I never ventured outside the usual American diet throughout my entire childhood and well into my early 30's. My idea of chinese food was Egg Rolls & General Gao's chicken with a big cold Scorpion Bowl. What a shock it was when my wife (girlfriend at the time) took me to a real Asian Restauraunt. My chin hit the floor (no pun inteneded) when I saw the "foods" that were on the menu. Chicken Feet?? Really?
It Took Me Time But Slowly I Started Venturing Out of My Sheltered Culinary World
Chi Chi would take me to these authentic Chinese Restaraunts and I of course would desperately scan the menu (which looked more to me like a list of body parts you would normally try to hide in a hot dog) for Terryaki Chicken. This was my go to dish in this scary culinary world. I will have the terryaki chicken with white rice please! Chi and the waiter would always smile with amusement, "of course you will have the Terryaki Chicken" thank you sir. Chi would order a bowl of Chicken Feet and with a side of Frog Leg Soup. When dinner was served Chi would try to get me to try her order. You are beautiful and fun but no way am I eating that food!
Meeting The Family For Dinner
Then one day Chi's family and friends were visting from Asia and we went to meet them for dinner. The typical dining table at an authentic Asian restaurant is big and round and revloves like a carousel. Pretty ingenious actually as it makes it easy for everyone to get to the food without having to ask hey can you pass the chicken wings please! There were about 10 of us at the table, 9 asians and me. One Asian gentleman took the honors and ordered for the whole table. The waiters were fast and efficient bringing out all kinds of strange looking dishes and filling up the round table. I was wating patiently for the Terryaki Chicken to show up. It never did.
It Was Quickly Becoming Obvious That My Culinary Manhood Was About To Be Tested
As the table spun and the big bowl of chicken feet stopped right in front of me and all eyes were on me this was the big moment. I was raised not be rude but man all those years of mom teachings I was having serious thoughts of throwing all that out the window and running for the exit. I looked at the gentleman that had spun the table and he looked at me with a smile and nodded. I scooped a few of the feet onto my dish and then spun the table so they went to the next person. Nope that didnt work all eyes were still on me. I had no choice it was time to man up and take a bite. Although at the time it felt like a scene out of Fear Factor and Joe Rogan screaming in my face, this was a turning point in my life that would start me down the road to having the courage to open myself up to a big new world of delightful foods out there beyond my Amercian shores...hold the Chicken Feet.