"I have the simplest tastes. I am simply satisfied with the best." - Oscar Wilde

"I came, I saw, I ate." - Au Gourmand

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Paomo in Xian (Part 2 of 2)

春発生 (Chun Fa Sheng) is another place to try the paomo, but not for the traditional lamb base. Here, the famous paomo is hulu paomo. Hulu is a type of melon actually, which you will find dried up and carved into an ornament as a lucky charm. However, hulu here does not mean melon but intestine: Hulu is the auspicious word or sound for intestine. I will join the frowning competition; I personally cannot verify, as I have no idea in which language hulu actually means intestine, but I assume it is at least more “elegant” than saying, “Give me a bowl of the intestine soup,” not that anyone who orders cares much.

You have to repeat the same crumbling process and do some people watching. See my crumbs? These are still not as fine as to be desired by the local crumbling bureau, but I am learning. After I attain enough calluses on my finger tips, I am sure I would finally win their approval.

There were two men sitting at the same table – not locals based on how big their crumbs were, tourists…what can you do? – and they were rightly rejected by the waitress when they asked for the soup. Ha!

Then you waive down one of the much harassed and highly reluctant waitresses to get your bowl filled with the hulu soup. How do you waive down such a grumpy looking waitress? – Be Chinese and be strong. You don’t have to leave a tip, you know? I assume you are not one of those discriminatory and hypocritical pseudo gourmet: Can anyone explain to me why the fillet is superior to stomach, hearts or the colon? The animal is already dead, OK? The very least you can do is to show some respect and treat all parts equally. As for myself, I practice total equality: I eat all kinds of animals and all parts of the body. If someone is going to eat me, I would appreciate it if whoever it is would eat all of me. Don’t you agree? It would be quite insulting otherwise.

I have again digressed. At 春発生, you do not get the pickled garlic but a pot of chili is already on the table. The intestines at 春発生 is tender, not fatty – all right, I did order the “lean” version, but you have to give credit to how thoroughly they removed the fat. Seeing the fat in the intestines makes me want to go straight to the gym: Do you think your intestines are healthier than what you are eating? The intestine has been stewed for so long that it is not tough at all, but very soft. The soup is richly white and very mild – no, I do not mean boring or bland – but just rich in flavor, smooth in texture and overall not “too much.” The soup has so much depth in it, and it is not from MSG. Rich means multi-layered goodness, not necessarily fat, which is a concept a little hard to get across in the U.S. Combined with my now expertly crumbled bread (after an admonition by the waitress), I think I can blend in as a Xianese now.

The two men, now finally re-crumbled their breads, are also enjoying the delicious hulu paomo. Everyone is happy.

Restaurant Info:
春発生 (Chun Fa Sheng): 碑林区南院門25号(Nanyuanmen No. 25)

No comments:

Post a Comment