For reasons I can’t explain (other than I’m a Chinese woman – hey, we’re raised to be subordinated and taught to hold others deference right?), I have this tendency to say and do things I otherwise wouldn’t when I’m with people I don’t know well.
Because of that, I had ox tongue for the first time the other day.
I was having dinner with people I semi-knew. They were ordering for us and when they asked me if I eat ox tongue (while I’m at it, I blame colonial history too), I felt compelled to say yes. So I did.
I thought it would be covered in gravy and what-not and I wouldn’t be able to tell it was a tongue. My plan was to just stuff it in my mouth faster than my neurons could fire TONGUE! TONGUE! to my conciousness, grin at my companions, and be done with it.
But no, it was salted ox tongue presented in a few spoonfuls of clear brine. It was grey and big and pointy, complete with the characteristic bumps on the surface. Ugh.
Before I say anything else, it was actually unexpectedly tasty. It was a good restaurant, cooked very well, and the texture was quite appealing. Beef, but not quite yet. I know tongue is not an uncommon food, esp. in this part of the world. But I’ve never had a thing for organs, with a very few exceptions. I couldn’t get it out of my head that my very own tongue was making contact with a cow’s very large and once-very slimey flicky tongue.
It was like french kissing a dead cow. That is probably the worst thing to think about at the time. But once I had the thought, I really couldn’t get it out of my head. I chewed fast, swallowed hard, and tried not to gag.
Unless someone drown them in a big pot of beef stew, I’m not sure I would do that again.
When the chicken wings came, I couldn’t be thankful enough.