Phao Câu Gà “Bankruptcy Chicken Questions” – 272 of 365

Chicken Parts Grilling

The menu calls this one “bankruptcy chicken questions.”  Sometimes the translations over here are priceless and beg the hungry to give the food a try.  Anh Tuyet restaurant in Binh Thanh District has already provided me a delicious excursion into the grilled quail arts and I returned to find some answers as to how a chicken files for bankruptcy.

And let me add this whole meal was truly against my better judgment, but I had to do it based on the name alone.  I couldn’t help but wonder what sorts of pestilence and salmonella infiltrate chicken innards, and I wondered what part of the bird had gone bankrupt to provide this most interesting meal.

As I lifted the skewer towards my mouth, weakness suddenly washed over me.  I laid it back down and my friend tried to provide some moral support.  Actually scratch that.  It was more like peer pressure so I just lifted that thing up, popped one in my mouth, and bit into the fattiest orb I have ever experienced in my life.  Something in it had a subtle crunch, too.

Phao Câu Gà

Imagine biting into something the texture of the nastiest cheapest hot dog on earth yet made of 100 percent gelatinous fat.  Choi oi!  The outer skin was charred nicely but I just couldn’t get past that sponginess.  Visions of biology class danced through my head as I tried to imagine if these were lungs, kidneys, balls or what.  Animal organs filter waste, process poisons and pump blood, right?  That hardly sounds appetizing and I could only eat two of these things before succumbing to the nastiness.

I prayed my stomach would fail to rebel against the contents now being forced into it.  As far as taste…how can I describe this one?  It’s like a pork rind mixed with a piece of bologna.  Biting into it causes some sort of weird liquid to squirt all over the tongue.  Dipping it into a sauce of sour orange juice, salt, pepper and dried chili made it somewhat palatable in theory, but I just couldn’t get past the awful fact this was offal of some sort.

The Menu

As far as food experiences go though, this one was hardly bankrupt.  And I believe the translation should have been grilled chicken anus.  Yeah, really appetizing, huh?  Here I was worried about eating an organ that processes waste and I actually ate one the expels it into the barnyard.

I tried it once, but probably this will be the only time in my life.  Lesson learned…if they can’t translate it properly, don’t eat it!

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

2 Comments on “Phao Câu Gà “Bankruptcy Chicken Questions” – 272 of 365”

  1. dkle
    September 4, 2012 at 3:02 am #

    I am a Vietnamese expat that now live in Salt Lake Utah. I am a big fan of your site and have read all of the entries for your 365 Vietnamese meals quest. It is very amusing to learn about a foreigner’s like and dislike towards my beloved food. It is very nostalgic for me in a way, since it is very hard to create the traditional Vietnamese dishes here when the spices, the herbs, the meat taste so differently.

    Anyway, phao cau is the fat pad and cartilage that is located at the rear end of chickens, after the anus has been removed of course. It is revered as the tastiest morcel of the whole chicken (as the old saying declares “Nhat phao cau, nhi dau canh”). I think this is because in the hunger-ridden past, fat tastes amazing to all starved Vietnamese people. And yeah, I don’t eat phao cau nowadays anymore, either.

    Good luck on your new endeavors in the US. I have full confidence that you will be able to finish your quest before leaving Vietnam in a few months.

  2. September 6, 2012 at 7:16 am #

    Interesting post. Some people prefer to remove the fat and just eat the meat. (What little there is.)

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