You have to agree that after finishing a long day of Beijing tours, the perfect way to satisfy any hunger is with a big helping of fried and seasoned scorpions. In order to get a real Chinese experience, you cannot miss out on trying the gourmet spread at the Wangfujing Snack Street! When traveling to China, you probably expect to be eating your share of noodles, dumplings and rice. Nonetheless, don’t stray away from trying the real street food delicacies that can be found in this area. There are so many different creatures, sweets, and eats; be sure to b ring plenty of cash in case you want to try it all! I thought eating pork skins and bull frog at an upscale restaurant in Beijing was adventurous enough, until I heard about this marvelous food fair and new I had to push my limits even further. My friends and I ventured there in the evening, which provided a great atmosphere as the lights from the kitchens and lanterns above our heads lit up the night. I came with an empty stomach, expecting to grab some McDonald’s on the way home after trying a few things. However, I left the snack street that evening full and satisfied!

My first endeavor was the fried scorpions which seemed to be one of the most popular items available. Skewered on a stick, three very alive scorpions were dunked into a deep fryer, seasoned, and then handed to me ready for tasting. I was amazed! They were similar to eating a great batch of crispy potato chips, only with better spices and a little more substance. I decided to pass on the seahorses and starfish in order to save room for some meatier fare. Next came the snakes; a single long, thin piece of pink meat on a stick, cooked on a grill and dipped in spices. This was another great surprise, because it tasted so good. I could have eaten three or four! Being that is was pre-skinned, it was a lot easier to put the “snake” thing out of mind and just enjoy the flavors. The strangest thing I tried was a grilled bug. It was about the size of my ear and had a hard outer shell. When I crunched into it all the steamy guts kind of squished into my mouth, this sensation threw me off a bit, but I must admit the flavors were good so I just gulped it down all at once. Along the way there were definitely some things I absolutely avoided such as the centipedes, squids, winged insects, lizards, and dog. I was done tasting the creepy crawlers, so in order to get some real sustenance I nibbled on some ostrich and ducklings. I had reached a level of full satiation with no room left for dessert. If there had been room, I would have definitely indulged on a long kabob piled high with candied kiwis, pineapple, and grapes. All in all, this attraction is a ‘must-do’ during your Beijing travels. The pictures you take will be some of the best to share with friends back home, and your stomach will thank you too!

Jack Li

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