Looks great, but the smell…

IMG_0670When I first saw these wrapped in plastic, for sale in the market, I though they were candies. Chewy candies. The deep orange colour looked like a promise of tartness. Later, as  I walked through the village of Tai O, I saw this basket sitting on a white table out in the sun. Full of salt and fresh egg yolks, I realised that what I saw was not candies at all.  Unappetising now, the flies buzzing around make them seem even less so.  I am told, however, that my prejudices are wrong. These things that I struggle to think of as food are according to some “quite good”.


Drying eggs are not all that you will see laid out dwelling in the sun in Tai O. Beyond the market toward what is now the Heritage Hotel, where most of these dried items are sold, you will see fish, oysters and brownish grey goo also taking advantage of the tropical intensity. Indeed, Tai O is famous for its shrimp paste (the above mentioned goo).  According to Hong Kong Pantry this paste is a key ingredient in the making of curry paste, but others suggest it can be stirred directly into steamed greens, thereby adding a pungent saltiness to the dish.  You know when you are nearing the places where the shrimp paste is produced by the smell. It is strong and unmistakable. Truly a new thing to see, if not to smell.

GeoFoodiePerhaps a better way to eat eggs: HK’s best egg tart @ Tai Cheong Bakery (buzzarfood.wordpress.com). But if you insist on the dried yolks, this site from AEB food manufacturers suggests using them in baking as part of a glaze.

This blog offers a recipe for using the dried shrimp paste. The Narnia Curry (the1234girls.wordpress.com).

This post was written in response to WordPress’s Weekly Photo Challenge. The theme is From Above. You can find the link to the challenge here.

How to reference this post in non-web publications. If you would like to cite this post I suggest the following format:

Blake, M (2013) Looks great, but the smell… ‎‎https://geofoodie.org/2013/05/05/looks-great/ ‎Geofoodie.org  5 May 2013 (Accessed: XX/XX/20XX)

Other posts for the Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above