Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It Came From Chinatown...

Last week, after trying and failing to consume the Dried Lily Flowers Of Unimaginable Sorrow, I made an off-hand remark about how "it couldn't possibly get any worse than this." All of you quite naturally expected me to eat those hubristic words, along with something foul and musty, possibly with it's eyes still attached. Girlfriend, too, went out of her way to make sure something special (gruesome) was in store. Folks, I give you... Pure Aromatic Fish:

And a close up:

It's a little hard to make out, but yes, it's a jar full of tiny, fried fish... whole fish, heads and all... in some sort of oil that has been spiked with chili flakes. Hundreds of them, all dead, yet somehow still squirming around like something found in a crater on Mars. We dumped a few out on a plate so you can get a better look:

My first thought was, "Wow, that liquid looks an awful lot like the kind of pee you get when you've been drinking all night and dehydration has set in, but greasy." My second thought was, "I'm so fucked, I should be charging $29.99 for access to this website." At this point, while staring down a plate of small, dead fish, I began to reflect on my life. Specifically, I started to mull over all the things that have happened... all the mistakes I've made, all the opportunities I've missed, all the roads I did not take... that brought me this point. This is what happens when you don't study, kids; you end up eating gross things on the internet for other people's entertainment. I sighed heavily and plucked a single fish from the pile. I hesitantly lowered it into my mouth (which, incidentally, at this point thinks I hate it):

It was slimy from the oil, slightly spicy from the chili flakes, crunchy because of the bones, and... hey... not that bad!!! I mean, it wasn't something I'd snack on while watching a baseball game or anything, but considering the horror show of foods that have come before it, and considering the fact that I'd pretty much resigned my tongue to a Pele-style bicycle-kicking of nastiness... you know what... Pure Aromatic Fish are pretty okay! Here's the look on my face immediately after ingestion:

Apparently, that's what a mixture of shock, confusion, wildly surpassed expectations, and "ew, it's still a little too fishy for my taste" looks like. After downing one of the little guys all by his lonesome, I decided to eat a whole spoonful, just to experience the texture and the flavor with their volumes turned up all the way:
Again... not too bad. I didn't go back for thirds or anything, but they were definitely edible. Which is more than I can say for any of the other products I've tried as a part of ICFC. My final verdict:

Keep in mind, the thumbs-up doesn't constitute an endorsement. It just means that I didn't feel like throwing up and/or downing a few shots of Everclear to erase my memory of the event. But in the landscape of this project, that's what we call a qualified victory. I will never, ever get off this easy again.
See y'all next time!!!


Blogger Cray said...

Curious. What happens to the experiments you have leftover? I guess you could have chugged this last jar of fish, but I'm fairly certain that neither you nor gf's cat would eat that other crap. Do they just get lobbed out the window? Mailed to a friend perhaps? Or an enemy?

10:02 AM  
Blogger Clinton said...

I sacrifice them on an altar of flames as an offering to a pagan God that I call "Butt-Nasty."

10:16 AM  
Blogger The Dutchess of Kickball said...

I think Tuesdays are becoming my favorite day of the week!

I was at this scary Amish Market yesterday and came across something called Raisin Sausage with Walnuts (no meat involved) that was labeled as an aphrodisiac. I almost bought it to send to you, but I couldn't get myself carry it to the front counter.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I don't care what you say about Pure Aromatic Fish's okayness, the picture of you about to eat the little fish made me lose my appetite.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Are those minnows?

11:14 AM  
Blogger Giggleloop said...

I agree with Brooklyn Gal - when I got to that pic, I threw up in my mouth a little bit.

11:15 AM  
Blogger Jason Quinones said...

pretty sure i've eaten this stuff before myself. they're not bad at all. i do like the crunchy texture and the fact that it's been marinating in oil since like the ice age helps a lot.

when ever i go to my favorite local korean restaurant to dine, they sometimes serve a small dish of this stuff as an appetizer,along with kimche and an assortment of other spicy as fuck food stuffs.

fun stuff ya got here.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Dutchess... Sausage is meat, so if there's no meat involved, what in the hell is it??? I'm envisioning a giant, mutant raisin with walnuts crammed into it like plates on a Stegosaurus.

Brooklyn... Just doin' my job!

Midwesterner... Possibly!

Giggleloop... I think that had more to do with being forced to look up my nose.

Jason... Why thank you sir! You know, I've never actually been to a Korean restaurant. I love spicy food though, like, a ton. Need to check that out.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

"when I got to that pic, I threw up in my mouth a little bit"

Aw, don't let them get to you Clinton. I still think you're pretty.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Thanks, T.

Um... do you... want to make out, or... what?

2:11 PM  
Blogger The Dutchess of Kickball said...

Ok I found the Raisin Sausage online, but the picture just doesn't do it justice. I might really have to go back for it.


3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have nothing cool to offer on the translation front. It literally says "pure aromatic fish (a local product of Guizhou)".

4:02 PM  
Blogger Clinton said...

Dutchess... Whoa, that's *way* worse than I imagined it. It looks like a turd from a monster that's about to eat you (now that he's cleared some space, ifyaknowwhatImean).

J... That's cool, dude. I'm just glad that it doesn't say something like "only for use in toilet cleaning activities." Or somesuch.

4:13 PM  
Blogger i i eee said...

I have nothing cool to say but, GROSS!

Can't wait for the next installment, naturally.

1:28 AM  

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