June 9, 2009

Chinese Flashback!

Now that I'm officially back into the swing of things, a lot of people have been asking me what my favorite part of being in China was.  I have a few favorites... The people come first.  My favorite part of my trip was definitely the great people I met while staying in Chongqing.  I never felt more welcomed in my life!  My second favorite part was definitely the food! I LOVE authentic Chinese cuisine.  Not the overly-breaded, fried crap they typically serve here in the States, but the fresh, multi-colored, multi-dimensional taste explosions they serve up throughout China.  Not one Chinese person I asked knew what Kung-Pao or General Tsao's chicken was!  Chinese fortune cookies?  Nope, not from China.  Our version of Chinese food sucks!

The last time I went to China (last year) I was ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of eating gluten-free in the Middle Kingdom.  I didn't think about soy sauce, or MSG (which doesn't always have gluten in it, but is an overall caustic substance), and wasn't yet aware that McDonald's fries have wheat in them!  I know, it sounds crazy but it's true!  Look up the ingredients on their website if you don't believe me.  Anyways... since I wasn't prepared I got sick.  Actually real sick, with blood in the toilet and two migraines before I boarded the plane to go home. I know I know, TMI.

However, this time with a little help from my good friend Shen Xu, I was ready.  Shen typed up a statement that lets Chinese cooks know exactly what gluten is, why people with Celiac Disease can't have it, and some common hidden sources of gluten (i.e., soy sauce and MSG).  She also typed up a statement for our friend Melanie who not only has to avoid gluten but also pork, eggplant, dairy and strawberries. I published them both on Scribed so if you're going to China or know anyone with gluten issues that is, make sure to take these: Chinese Gluten Warning / Multiple Allergy Warnings. 

With a bottle of Braggs Liquid Aminos (a tasty and super healthy alternative to commercial soy sauce), multiple copies of my gluten-warning statement, a couple of bottles of Gluten-Zyme, an Activated Charcoal Tablets, I had a much better go at eating well in China this time around.  I ate a lot of great food, and didn't become glutenated once:)  At least not bad enough for me to notice.

My plane ride there was pure hell.  As luck would have it, I sat a few rows behind three sick and miserable newborns that cried the entire 13 hours to Beijing.  I didn't sleep at all the entire flight, and ended up catching whatever those kids had.  My two days in Beijing were physically miserable, but experientially awesome! The very first night I wandered alleyways filled with food vendors selling every kind of living creature skewered on a stick, fried in boiling oil, and doused with hot pepper sauce.  I ordered a few servings of squid on a stick, some spicy chicken, and whole mini-fish, eyeballs and all:)  Although it was hard to do, I passed on the secada bugs and squirming scorpions.  Maybe next time.
The next day, after a large buffet of "Western Breakfast Food," we went to the Great Wall.  This was my third climb on the Wall, and each time was a different section.  I've loved them all!  I don't think I'll ever get bored of scaling those countless steps snaking their way across treacherous terrain like the spine of a water-dragon.  The Great Wall of China is truly an awesome sight to behold:) If you haven't been there yet, you are seriously missing out.  Do it!!!

Once again, here's my gift to you: Chinese Gluten/Allergy Warning Statements


Angie's Recipes said...

I am glad to hear that you had at least some fun in China. "Chinese fortune cookies and Chow sui" ...... Most Chinese have no clue about them....I didn't either until I was kindly offered some chow sui as a lunch..... I think this is normal, Swiss roll are not from Swiss, French fries are simply American. You would see Caesar salad served in China with iceberg salad instead of Romaine salad. Did you find anything unusual from that Western Buffet Breakfast?

Angie's Recipes said...

"I ordered a few servings of squid on a stick, some spicy chicken, and whole mini-fish, eyeballs and all:) "
Hey, you, this is just BRAVE!!! I, as a Chinese, would not dare to try the street food if I was not feeling well. For the great wall part.
May is nice, but to truly feel Beijing, Sept-Oct. will be the best months.

Dr. Davon Jacobson, MD said...

This is really a well laid out website. I love how your posts tie in with the food and drink theme so well. You seem to really love your site. I myself love to read up on recipes along side helping others in health. Keep up the great work here and please visit by my blog sometime. The url is http://healthy-nutrition-facts.blogspot.com

H.Peter said...

All I ever think about while visiting the wall, is how great some of those granite peices would look in my yard....


Just So You Know...

The information presented in this blog is intended to educate and entertainment. However, I'm not a medical expert.  I also do not know absolutely everything about Celiac Disease.  What I do know has been learned through trial and error, research, and what has been taught to me by friends who also share my food-related affliction.  Please take the time to do your own research about Celiac Disease and gluten-related issues.  I have a list of links to useful resources along the left-side of this blog. Also, feel free to cross-check my statements. If you find contrary information, please let me know. Thanks so much for visiting Trav's Gone Gluten Free!