I know this post won’t be for everyone, and I know there will be some interesting comments (which by the way, I moderate, so keep it clean). But I wanted to stay true to the reason I have this blog in the first place: chronicling my eating adventures.
I will try anything once, and the best part of travelling is sampling foods unique to that area. Why come so far to have the same things you eat at home?
As we travelled through Guangxi province, we noticed dog meat on most restaurant menus. Dog is not eaten widely in China, and you’d be hard-pressed to find it in Hong Kong. Consumption is concentrated to certain areas.
In this part of the country, dogs are raised specifically for food. They are not pets, and they’re bred like any other animals that are eaten.
For Chinese people, dog meat is considered a winter food, because it’s believed to have properties of warmth and energy. Some people avoid it because they don’t want to “overheat.” Others are boycotting it as the issue of animal rights grows in China.
I wanted to try it. And I wasn’t sure when and where else I’d have the opportunity.
My first taste was pieces of dog meat in mifun (rice noodles), so I think it was just boiled and I could get a clear taste of what it was like.
My second taste was dog meat braised in a hot pot, which is a more common way of preparing it, with whole pieces of garlic and chiles. The sauce was delicious.
The meat itself tasted most closely like mutton, but it was very lean with bits of bone (like chicken). Pieces are served with the skin attached to add a bit of texture, which was chewy.
Truthfully, it didn’t blow me away but it wasn’t bad either. I’m glad I had the chance to try it.
There are plenty of arguments for and against dog consumption.
Certainly, not all Chinese people accept it. When we told family and friends in Hong Kong about our eating adventure, more than a few were squeamish and some were horrified.
It’s widely eaten in Korea, where there’s been quite a fight about its legalization, and condemnation from abroad. Restaurants in Beijing were encouraged not to serve dog during the recent Olympics to avoid offending Westerners.
I understand your personal objection if you have cherished relationships with dogs. But I don’t agree with people’s blanket disapproval that it’s “wrong” based on their own cultural comfort level.
Obviously, I’m not going to pluck your pet off the street and eat it. We don’t do that here in North America.
But in some places in the world, they eat dog. And that kind of diversity is what makes the world go round.