Posts Tagged ‘cuisine’
But when I looked around an open-air market in Hanoi today, I did get slightly nauseous in one corner of the market. I came across something that I hadn’t anticipated: dog butchers.
Nothing for the faint-hearted
As I walked by, a Vietnamese woman was buying some dog meat. I guess she didn’t want the whole animal, because all of a sudden, the butcher swung her big knife and hacked the dog that lay in front of her in two. WHACK!
And CHOP, WHACK, CHOP, the butcher continued her mad frenzy. In the end, she had chopped the grilled animal to pieces the size of goulash.
The butcher put everything in a bag, the Vietnamese housewife took it and walked away happily.
Dining with the dogs
I knew that there are dog restaurants in a northern suburb of Hanoi. But I hadn’t expected to stumble upon grilled dogs at the market stalls just outside my hotel. After all, it’s an upmarket hotel in downtown Hanoi.
But I suppose not many of the hotel’s international guests venture into this Vietnamese market – even though it’s just a few steps from the hotel.
It must be an acquired taste
The smell at the dog meat market stalls was strange. Hard to describe. Was it the smell, the sight or the idea of the dead dogs that made me feel sick?
The Vietnamese clearly aren’t as sensitive. For them, dog is just as common a dish as pork, beef or chicken.
A tourist from New Zealand, whom I talked to a few days ago, said he had tried dog meat at one of the city’s dog meat restaurants. He said he liked the taste.
I don’t think I could have eaten dog meat. Even if I wasn’t a vegetarian, dog is where I’d draw the line. Seeing and smelling those grilled dogs at the market made that very clear to me.
In Vietnam, it’s mostly men who will eat dog. Women don’t seem to enjoy it as much. Eating dog is associated with aggressiveness.
But even the Vietnamese men will not eat dog meat at the beginning of the lunar month. That’s considered bad luck.
So At the beginning of every lunar month, Hanoi’s dog meat restaurants stay closed.
And the ladies selling grilled dog at the street market have a few days off. To walk the dog?