Thursday, January 24, 2008

All Mutton Meal on a Lanzhou Street

What was this man eating? It looked really tasty, from the way he was enjoying it.

If your answer was goat’s head, your would have been correct. Later on, he would be picking bits from the eye sockets, washed down with a beer. He left with a satisfied look on his face.

This Hui (回族) family was selling bits of goats, mainly intestines and heads. They came from a place around Lanzhou. The young girl is very pretty. Her brother, a bit older, was very friendly and curious about Hong Kong. They don’t look any different from Han (漢族), as far as I can tell.

As indicated in the price list, a whole head with skin and meat would be 20 reminbi. A head with just the bones was only 5 reminbi, and that’s what the man was eating.
Here is a picture of the pot with heads and assorted other parts.

The face and attached meat is sold as 羊頭肉. Here you can see ears, tongues, livers, etc. All chopped to pieces. You select what you want, the mother would chop them to pieces, pour hot soup over it, and you have an instant delicious meal. Dipping your chopsticks into the lottery of goat bits is not a bad way to pass the bitterly cold evening.

The heads, jaws, and other pieces of discarded bones formed a big pile in front of the stall. Fascinating, isn’t it.

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