Bon Appetite March 2005

A continuing source of pleasure and sometimes-utter astonishment comes when we sit down to dining table out there in the backwaters of Asia. Often it seems that there is as much creativity put into the choice of the name as there is into the recipe itself. There is the Cantonese favorite called Drunken Old-Man Shrimp. First, I must assure you that this name was not concocted to honor any of the staff members of our company. It is in fact a legitimate dish prepare with live male shrimp that have been dropped into a bowl of high-powered Chinese wine and then in their inebriated state deep fried to a golden brown… very tasty! And there is the Coupe d’ Grace…Three-Time Screaming Mouse.

The mice are small, and clean but still alive as they are dropped into the steep-sided bowl of wine. When you pluck one out with you chopsticks you will hear a little squeal; that’s the first one, friends! When you dip the little bugger into the soy sauce you will hear the second scream and of course the third (and hopefully last!) one is when you take that first big bite bite! Recently we came down for breakfast and were quite surprised to see Chicken Drumsticks on the breakfast buffet…after closer inspection we were even more surprised to find out that they weren’t drumsticks at all. They were sautéed duck heads! Bon Appetite!!

Richard Keldsen
San Francisco
March 2005