July 26, 2000
Wandering through Jinan, I made friends with a local here named Mickey. It was almost dinner time, and we decided to go get some food. At first, he suggested a nearby hamburger place. I told him I'd rather have some more traditional Chinese food.
"I know just the spot," he smiled, "You'll love it!"
"I asked for traditional Chinese food and that's just what I got - a crackling hot skillet of fried silkworms!"
Since I was the guest, Mickey gave me the honor of selecting our meal.
"On second thought, a hamburger sounds great," I smiled. I was feeling a little nervous about my choices at the market.
Mickey was surprised to learn that I'd never eaten such treats. Then, he assured me that they were all quite yummy and encouraged me to sample some.
"We had silk worms, frog legs, and stir-fried crickets, in true Chaozhou tradition. Bon appetit!"
The wriggling bowl of silkworms was too tempting to pass up. In addition, I chose frog legs, and giant crickets.
" Here goes nothing!"
Now for the cricket...This was more difficult because the legs and head were attached. I could not trick myself into imagining that it was something else. I almost backed down - and then I looked at Mickey's huge smile. He would be heartbroken if I didn't at least try. So, in it went.
"One man's insects are another man's steak!"
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