On like donkey kong (with noodles)


It’s hard to imagine an environment where the most useful English word a second language speaker could know is donkey, but we found one.

We’d spent most of the day sheltering from the oppressive desert heat and, as a consequence, had not done much in the way of looking at Sites. So when we saw a sign advertising donkey noodles on a street without any other English lettering, we thought we’d let our taste buds do the tourism.

The waitress greeted us with a broad smile. “Donkey” she said “donkey meat”. We nodded. Donkey meat arrived.

Maybe it was the framing of our guide book’s description that made me think so, but I agree with lonely planet that donkey meat tastes like roast beef. Not the world’s best roast beef. More of the boarding school variety. But it was quite passable, and it was a nice change to be eating meat without bones. The Chinese tend to think meat is tastier on the bone, so their dishes are seldom without them.

Fiona and I counted, and the addition of donkey brings our collective total of meats tried to twenty. That’s mammals and reptiles, at least. There are no meats that I’ve tried that you couldn’t find in a decent New Zealand supermarket that I would rush back to eat again. Donkey is no different.

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