After months in Argentina my palate has been coated with cobwebs, my taste buds have shriveled and my tolerance for spice has diminished to the point where jalapeno guacamole brings a few tears to my eyes. This is embarrassing and needs to change, and I’ve suddenly found myself in the perfect place to change it, Hong Kong. From what I can tell at this point, there is diversity and flavor and textural complexity in every bowl. The air smells like good stuff cooking (although sometimes it takes a while to figure out whether its good or disgusting), the streets of downtown are packed with small drop-in restaurants, animals cling by the neck in windows reminding me of my cherished excursions into Boston’s tiny Chinatown so many months ago. People here don’t talk while they eat, preferring to respect the process with silence. They chew and slurp loudly to enjoy it more. I can’t wait to learn all that this place has to offer – so far, so delicious.
And since this thing was my first exposure, you can imagine how excited I am to do so. Chia-pet lookin’ pet thing called rambutan, native to Southeast Asia, lives in the supermarket. Peel the neon pink and green messy hair covered skin and you get to a lychee-like fruit inside, sweet and sour with a grape-like flavor and a gummy, gelatinous lychee-texture. Ojo with the seed in the middle!