Wangfujing Snack Street

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In my last post, we weren’t sure what we’d be eating. But at Wangfujing Snack Street, we knew exactly what we were eating — scorpions and tarantulas — and yet, that didn’t stop us.

You have to come to Wangfujing Snack Street if you’re in Beijing. It’s a touristy, novelty kind of experience, but we need those, right?

There were all kinds of weird things to try:

Here we have beetles, worms, snakes and tarantulas. Decisions, decisions.

Here we have beetles, worms, snakes and tarantulas. Decisions, decisions.

Gigantic centipedes, anyone?

Gigantic centipedes, anyone?

Starfish seem too friendly somehow to eat. Plus, we didn't know how to eat them.

Starfish seem too friendly somehow to eat. Plus, we didn’t know how to eat them.


Scorpions on a stick

Scorpions on a stick

Actually, my husband was the first brave soul to try one. He ordered them from the vendor and the vendor held up two wriggling scorpions for my husband’s inspection (like smelling a wine cork, right?). He nodded and the vendor speared the scorpions on a stick and deep-fried them. I hate to say this, but they were delicious. They tasted like the crispy wing of a chicken. My daughter even liked his enough to order some of her own!

After that, my husband tried a tarantula. Cooked tarantula is not pretty.
??????????

He didn’t care for it. He said it tasted like char. My daughter tried a leg, too, but I declined. Hairy, charred spider legs just don’t do it for me. Not to mention the fact that I was now starting to wonder where all these scorpions, spiders and bugs were coming from? Almost made me afraid to look around our hotel room too closely.

But Wangfujing is not all about creepy-crawlie weird food. There are plenty of normal snacks to choose from, too. We ended up with noodles, won tons, and fruit to fill us up. My daughter got a sugared pineapple filled with rice, but it was waaayyy too sweet for me.

A dessert as sweet as she is. :)

A dessert as sweet as she is. πŸ™‚

I considered ordering some dim sum just because they were so darn cute! I don’t really like dim sum. I just wanted to take them home as souvenirs, but realized that was not a good idea. Can you blame me though? Look at these things!

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Cutest faces we saw on the food at Snack Street.

Cutest faces we saw on the food at Snack Street.

As we were finishing up, a young Aussie guy came up to us and offered us a bite of the sea urchin he was eating. We were a little taken aback by this odd (possibly high?) stranger literally walking up to us off the street and offering us a bite of food off his fork. Maybe we should have indulged, but it was all so crazy. And we didn’t have any leftover tarantula to offer him. Instead we declined and left with our bellies full of arachnids and fruit. That was enough crazy for one night.

Now, time for your order. What would you have sampled on Snack Street?

34 responses to “Wangfujing Snack Street

  1. I must confess that you and your husband are much braver than I am! I’ve actually been to this street fair, but had to pass on just about everything! As for the dim sum, I completely agree! Just the cutest ever!

    • I’m actually surprised that you passed on everything. Not that I was overly adventurous myself, but I was curious. I think my problem was that I was acually hungry and wanted something substantive, like noodles. But next time, I’ll treat it like the snack adventure smorgasbord it’s meant to be.

  2. Your daughter is a cutie–and she looks just like you! OMG! You were brave. I don’t know about scorpsicles, and I wouldn’t have been very tempted by fried tarantula either. What a great post. Definitely food for thought!

  3. Big, big kudos to you guys for being brave enough to try those creepies! Just looking at the pictures (especially the centipede! I just shuddered typing that) made me push my chair far away from my desk for a breather. This makes me think you guys would be up for visiting Snake Alley in Taiwan where you eat… (what else?) snakes.

    • No. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. I am petrified of snakes. Irrationally so. There is no way I would willingly walk down a street that had snakes – dead or alive. In fact, Quirky Travel Guy recently posted a picture with three little snakes he saw at Cuyahoga Park in Ohio. As soon as I saw his picture, I crossed Cuyahoga Park off my list of places I’ll go. It’s not that I don’t know there are snakes everywhere, but to confirm it with a picture of three of them together? No, no, no, no no. I’m trying very hard not to cross Taiwan off my list now, too. 😦 But of course, now my husband wants to go.

      • Hahaha oh dear, looks like this snake-phobia is really serious! Rest assured, there’s plenty of fantastic food in Taiwan without taking a single step down or near Snake Alley. Should you ever find yourself heading towards Taiwan, let me know and I’ll point out all the good spots. No snakes, promise. πŸ˜‰

  4. “Almost made me afraid to look around our hotel room too closely.” You really had me laughing at that line! So funny! The tarantula really doesn’t look appetizing at all…..

  5. Everything with an exoskeleton looks irksome… but there are some drastic and very cute contrasts! I would go for that super sweet pineapple and dim sum. I can’t even (and don’t want to) imagine what crunching on a charred tarantula would feel like…

  6. Omigod. Totally fascinating Julieann and I’m reblogging now. But I would need to be on my last breath with hunger before I’d snack on a tarantula 😯 Your lovely daughter has the best plan.

  7. Fascinating! I am a bit ‘fussy’ about my food, but only because I haven’t had the experiences you are. I must admit, I enjoy learning about these differences from reading you blog, instead of actually eating a, say, tarantula!

    • Yikes! Encountering them live, unexpectedly, is definitely freakier than eating one. I used to live in Florida and came across a few there on playgrounds where my son was playing. Truly frightening. I’d rather find them at a snack street on a stick.

  8. Full of admiration for your husband and daughter!!! We couldn’t bring ourselves to try any of that stuff. I had a banana fritter ;-D

  9. EEEEW!! These “snacks” are really creepy and I admit that I don’t think I will ever be able to “snack” on a huge hairy spider and those huge centipedes definitely give me the chills!

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