I beg your pardon??? Dog???

Some people complained that we hadn’t been very courageous as far as our food choices are concerned. It is true that China is probably one of the countries with the most “exotic” food possibilities going from very spartian cuisine in the north, very spicy in the west until eating cat, rats and bugs glued to a stick in the south. But lately we had an experience that will keep everybody’s mouth open, including the people that think we aren’t courageous (we will see how courageous you get ;-) ).

After a long evening on a local bus which took longer than expected and in which we had time to hook up with the locals inside it a bit, our driver proposed that we should go and eat a hotpot on our arrival, a proposal we gladly accepted, especially because there was one Chinese guy who spoke English pretty well and so he could “translate the food” for us. Basically a hotpot is a “hot pot” (yes, it’s as simple as that) in which you put whatever you want: meat, vegetables, all boiled in some kind of soup with herbs and spices.

When the dish appeared, we had some surprises as to the ingredients to put into the hotpot, including seaweed, pig’s blood and stinky tofu. Not our favorite things, but it all didn’t matter, because the main hotpot just looked delicious with fresh coriander, peppers and great looking meat. :-) So we happily started serving ourselves of rice, meat and vegetables and trying those new, colourful tastes.

At some point, Vera just had a small doubt and while Jean-Christophe was taking a mouthful of the meat from the hotpot, she asked the Chinese guy: “What is it?” And he replied “Brog” with his unmistakable Chinese accent. And when she didn’t seem to understand, Jean-Christophe repeated to her: “Yeah you see? It’s just porc, nothing to worry about… Maybe some intestins, but simple, plain porc…” And Vera replied: “But that’s not what he is saying, he is saying “brog” or something like that!” And the Chinese guy happily repeated: “Yeah! Brog! You know, D-O-G…”


It took a few seconds for our brain to process what he had just said, but when it did, the effect was even more shocking, especially coming with the realisation that Jean-Christophe had just been eating dog!!! Beurk!

It’s really hard to describe how we felt after this. One thing that for sure bothered us, was that it wasn’t like a “filet” or another nice piece of meat, but the intestins and the heart of the dog. :-( But probably the thing that bothered us most was the indifference with which the Chinese guy would announce us this (for us) shocking reality, like we would announce somebody that beef is “just beef”. And even while he was waving it off like “But you know, it’s not the pets we eat, it’s some kind of special dogs, that we breed especially for consumption…” we just couldn’t prevent our mind from wandering off to this afternoon when we had been happily playing with a golden retriever at a local cafe. :-(

Well we are over the shock now, but for the few days left in China, we are choosing the save side by only eating things we know (like noodle soups, dumplings and rice dishes) especially because in the region where we are now, the local delicacy is cat…

Vera & Jean-Christophe


  1. Posted October 21, 2007 at 18:18 | Permalink

    Le chien n’est-il pas la spécialité bien connue de Canton ? Le chat aussi ??????? Bon appétit ! Soit dit juste en passant, ce soir nous allons manger, ton père et moi, de délicieuses pâtes au gibier ! hé ! hé ! Re-bon appétit ! :-)
    Mamma, qui ne peut meme pas vous en mettre une assiette de cote :-(

  2. Posted October 21, 2007 at 18:43 | Permalink

    Je ne me souviens pas du goût, mais il m’est arrivé de manger du chien grillé en brochettes sans le savoir. C’était sur un atoll polynésien où il y avait des quantités de chiens et de poulets et c’est seulement après que j’ai réalisé…La prochaine fois vous mangerez du singe!!! Je vois que vous avez retrouvé le moral, tant mieux et grosses bises.

  3. Posted October 21, 2007 at 20:55 | Permalink

    Everybody ‘knows’ that chinese people are eating dogs. So now it’s proofed. My first stereotype which was impressively confirmed.

  4. Jean-Christophe
    Posted October 22, 2007 at 12:17 | Permalink

    On essayera le chien grille a l’occasion Dany :-) pour notre premier essai je ne sais pas quoi conclure…
    Le coeur avait le gout d’un coeur de poulet, seul la taille differait. Quant aux intestins c’est juste tres “chewy” (cahoutchouteux)…
    Je crois que j’aurais la meme difficulte psychologique a manger du singe que du chien ;-)

  5. Posted October 25, 2007 at 14:30 | Permalink

    Smakelijk eten dan…lands aard , lands eten

  6. Posted October 25, 2007 at 20:40 | Permalink

    tja..jullie ervaringen verrassen jullie zelf ook…heb ooit hersnen ( brains) van kamelen gegeten in Tunis, smaakte heerlijk maar toen ik wist wat ik gegegeten had hoefde ik geen 2e portie meer ; bij thuiskomst zal ik frietje zuurvlees voor jullie maken (niet traditioneel van paardenvlees maar van rundvlees)

    Groet, Yvonne

  7. Posted November 2, 2007 at 15:31 | Permalink

    hey veertje, lekker dat hondeneten hihi…..
    lijkt me echt vies of in ieder geval het idee
    hier eet ik wel gewoon varkenshaasje ofzo…. ik zal wel een keer voor je koken dan xxxx ellis en bjorn

  8. Posted November 25, 2007 at 12:14 | Permalink

    Cat??? Wow, sounds normal for us, in Liguria a very traditional dish is the rabbit, but once cooked… well there’s not so much difference from a cat. (But no dog nor rat for sure!)

  9. Posted December 4, 2007 at 9:09 | Permalink

    Rabbit are maybe cute, but they are mainly considered as food to me ;-) cat or dog are just pets… I would not mind trying a bit of them, but I would have preferred to start by something else than intestine and heart…

  10. Posted December 4, 2007 at 12:11 | Permalink

    I liked it… the dog I mean, it was quite tasty, better than some other things we tried!!

  11. Dan
    Posted December 4, 2007 at 12:16 | Permalink

    The dog dishes in Guilin:
    Our French travelmate, Evelyne, had also trouble trying it (actually she did not)