Getting some tongue

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.


9 thoughts on “Getting some tongue

  1. The idea of “french kissing with a dead cow” wouldn’t even have entered my mind I think. But maybe because eating some kind of meat (which we call roughly translated: “head and tongue”) with tongue in it, doesn’t look like it at all… It just looks like meat to put on a sandwich… ;-)

  2. Yeah, only crazy people like me come up with demented thoughts like that!

    I think I know what you’re talking about re. the meat in a sandwich. They look like rolls of regular ham in a supermarket? I don’t think I would’ve minded that.

    The one I had above was really just one big tongue on a plate. They sliced it, but put it back together. If tongues have eyes, I’d swear it was staring at me. Heh.

    • Head cheese?! You had me there. I had to google that one.

      I’ve had similar stuff before…..quite the same, only it was made up of actual meat instead of the head and heart and all that. (At least that’s what the label said!) I actually really liked it! I’m assuming heads and heart wouldn’t really taste that different in the vinegar.

      Speaking of which, my mum makes something similar with pigs’ ears. Sounds really crap, but it’s one of my favourite foods ever. ;)

  3. Ohhh I m going to respond “no I do not eat tongue…” This will b in the same context as “no I do not eat chicken feet. Goose webbing. Pig intestines.’ Live’ lobsters.”

    Oh but I have eaten old racehorse in a curry.. My friend rides and we visited her stable’s handlers at their homes. If they have to put a horse down they usually cookn the meat.. You canNOT say no, and no it doesn’t taste nice, it’s old…

    • Oh dear hope my previous comment wasn’t misleading – old racehorse curry in Malaysia, I don’t know about Hong Kong… They didn’t want to waste the horsemeat in Malaysia after mercifully putting an old horse down… :P

  4. You don’t eat chicken feet?! Heheh.

    I kinda like the idea of old racehorse curry actually – no point letting the meat go to waste right? But I can’t imagine it being that tasty either, since it’s, well, OLD. Maybe they can turn in into dog food or something. (I have a feeling that’ll offend people too.)

  5. dora,
    head cheese (discovered the ingredient list after I tried it ) consists of beef brain, beef fat, beef heart, beef membrane, internal parts of the cow, etc. just marinated in little bit of salt.

    another thing I exclude from trying ever is “Rocky Mountain oysters” (beef balls/testicles.) only tried pork blood cubes once, don’t care for them but will eat again when preseneted…

    yeah, I remember the cow parts that my mother marinated in special soy sauce like pig ears (sliced thin with the sauce is good), pork togue(pain in the rear to clean), beef tripe, chicken, goose and duck feet and wings, pork or goose intestines.

    dora, ever have dogs, cats, and snakes?? personally haven’t tried any of those (as well as horse,) will give it a try when opportunity arises…(unfortunately, it is illegal to consume in my neck of teh woods.)

    aileen, what you stated ain’t that bad…however I do feel sorry for the lobster or crab for being boiled alive…rather screw with it before diced him up into little pieces :) I recall people in Guangzhou cooking the fish while it still alive with hot oil over the body of the fish (crying fish)

    aileen, horses are regularly slaughtered and sent to Japan (and parts of europe) where they considered it a delicacy…have fun raising rockstar….wait until he becomes a teen and start dishing thing right back at you…

    • Definitely NO Rocky Mountain Oysters!

      I actually like pork blood cubes. When you think about it, it’s completely dirty and disgusting, but it’s like eating….uh…jello in a soup. Ok, I don’t think that helps. But yeah, I try to avoid them coz I just think myself into disgust….

      Haven’t had dogs, cats or snakes either. At least not that I know of. I’ll have a bite if someone puts a piece in front of me though.

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