News of the impending Chinese Lunar New Year or “Tet,” the aroma of my Mother-in-Law’s fresh hot “heart of beast” soup, plus a news story about the Hanoi Zoo and a brief encounter with a friendly black dog reminded me today that it is almost that magical time of year: the celebration of great eating.
No, not “Super Bowl Sunday.”
My wife’s Mom cooks up many a great delicacy and today it was “heart of beast” soup. I call it this because I have no idea where the heart comes from.
And I mean I don’t know what animal or what vendor.
And I don’t want to know. Like many things Asian, it is made in a mysterious way and it is enough to know that it is no good without a lot of heart…
The BBC News reported today that the Hanoi Zoo had been caught illegally trading in rare animal parts. Carcasses of tigers, elephants and other creatures of God’s good earth had been discovered in strange places. Some parts had been sold or “trafficked.” Some were wrapped in the freezer. An Asian friend said, “Some great eating there.”
I said I didn’t want to know….
Finally, we met a friendly black dog today. We admired her and petted her. Her owner said, “Ten years old. And you know what they say in China? The best dog is black dog.”
I had a feeling this remark came from a chef and not a vet or a dog trainer.
But I didn’t ask.