Tonight, I am in China at a meeting. We had a Chinese banquet. Normally, when I hear those words, I am pretty excited. Mostly, that comes because I am used to Southern Chinese (Cantonese) cooking and I am a big fan. I am in a beautiful hotel, 5 star, in fact. I was expecting great things.
It was not to be.
First, the little waitress girl told a fib when she said it was Cantonese cuisine. Well, we are in that area, but the recipes didn't originate here, let me tell you! They served a sort of pita-bread thing that looked like a fat taco, except white and soft. You were supposed to put a piece of pork fat with spicy rice in this and eat it, evidently with your chop sticks. Everyone I know who knows Cantonese cuisine, said they had never seen this before; neither had I. We also had a nice bowl of beans. Well, it was nice until I found out that the fat-back in the beans wasn't fat-back; it was sea-slugs. Yummy. Then among many other dishes, they served us some shrimp on some fried rice. I was a little disappointed, but not surprised, to find that we had to "clean" our own shrimp. That is standard operating procedure with shrimp in China. However, I can honestly say I wasn't delighted to find that the rice wasn't rice, but fried worms. They looked kind of like maggots, but they kept saying they weren't. They said that they were some sort of grub, but BOY(!), they looked like fried maggots to me.
Well, the dinner is over and I am back in my room. I have a nice bag of Peanut M&M's over in my suitcase calling my name. Too bad it's too late and I need to be asleep!