Frank and I brought virtually nothing back from our trip to Beijing. I’m not usually tempted by the things on sale at touristy spots. However, I do find it hard to leave anywhere without some sort of food-related item. So, it was no surprise that when, on our last day in Beijing, an elaborate outdoor stand selling packaged snacks appeared on the pedestrian street near our hotel, and succeeded in drawing us inside.
These snacks were diverse and mysterious. In truth, even after much examination in the stand, neither Frank or I could determine what most of the snacks were. Curious, we started throwing handfuls into bags provided and, after a saleswoman took pity on us and gestured that I mixing up snacks that (apparently) were at different price points, we escaped with a bag of goodies.
Unfortunately, the snacks have, for the most part, languished on our counter. Turns out, these “Beijing Special Products” do not translate well outside of their target Chinese audience. They are of the type of snack that causes me to close my eyes and hesitate before putting them in my mouth. The textures and flavors tend to be the exact opposite of what I expect. If I think it’s going to be sweet, it turns out to be salty. I think chewy, turns out to have crunch. I’m told that even the collection that Frank took into his office has been met with lukewarm interest.
Particularly the dried duck feet….but is that a surprise to anyone?
Oh well – can’t win ’em all.