I tell ya, it seems like every month brings its new food-related scare to Shanghai. It seems like nothing can escape a foreboding warning or two that makes you rethink ever eating that kind of food again.
First, there was the formaldehyde beer scandal, to which the Chinese government issued such an all-encompassing all-clear that Helene and I immediately switched from Suntory to Heineken. This winter, we also learned that eating dog hot pot could be hazardous to our health. No biggie there, since dog meat is not a staple of our diet.
But the latest food warning actually hits me where it hurts… I’m a big fan of the 羊肉串 (yang rou chuan, or lamb kebab), cheap meat skewers cooked on charcoal and sold for 25 cents on the streets… So imagine my horror when I discovered that my favorite street food might actually contain… cat meat!!!
You see, though dog meat is legal in Shanghai, cat meat isn’t. It means you can eat dogs that come from sources certified to be healthy, but whenever you eat kitty, it most certainly comes from a source such as ‘creepy guy clubbing kittens in a dark alley’. I’m never letting 西施 out of the house!!
I never intended to eat cat meat, being that I’m such a cat lover, but now, if somebody asks me if I ever ate cat, the only thing I can answer is ‘I genuinely don’t know.’
(Please, in the name of good taste… No Buffet chinois Le Mandarin jokes!)