I took a short trip to Shenyang after returning from the DPRK in March 2010. Shenyang, formerly known as Mukden, and currently known as another Chinese city of millions of inhabitants that you’ve probably never heard of, is also close to the DPRK border, and as such, have a sizable minority from that country.
I must’ve already been feeling nostalgic for food that wasn’t drowning in oil, so I walked over to their ville to scope out Korean restaurants. Easy part done. Reading Chinese is generally no problem for me, and even some hangul doesn’t create panic, since much of its sounds have roots in Chinese. Oh no, it was English that was the biggest cause for concern- I appreciate that a very random location in northeast China has it on the menu, but even though it’s the thought that counts, the proprietors of this particular eatery had very peculiar imaginations:
SPOILER: Well, the authors of this menu went a bit overboard (let’s have fun with this word: 偏科 literally, “slanted section” or “slanted science”) with directly translating the Chinese characters. Of course, even if you read the Chinese, you don’t necessarily know what 炸叔子叶 would be; this is akin to not knowing what “beef on weck” or a “caesar salad” are. You might get beef and salad, but who outside of northwestern New York state or southern Germany knows what a weck is? (link courtesy of dictionary.com) And caesar? the leader? What’s he doing …oh, I’ve said too much. Back to 炸叔子叶, it literally means “deep-fried uncle leaf.” A google image search revealed that even search engines doze off sometimes, but it might also show pictures of unknown meat on a bone with vegetables, in other words, something Chinese. (link courtesy of all those that dwell within google images, and google itself) What might you take away from this? China is full of cannibals? Maybe, if you missed the point. How about, if health reasons/sanity/religion don’t slow you down, try a sea sedge, it might be the best thing you’ve ever eaten.