Chao Vịt Duck Porridge – 310 of 365

Chao Vịt

Plucked ducks hanging by their necks in the glass and metal serving cart should have been my first clue the wheels were going to fall off this meal.  My most recent meals do not seem all that exotic but then again maybe I have just become used to the strange foods out on the street.  Since I don’t think smoked dog is going to grace my dinner plate any time soon, duck was going to have to do.

I know I clearly ordered bun vit, duck and noodle soup, at this fan cooled, open front joint in Binh Thanh District because the girl repeated it just as clearly back to me.  What arrived minutes later was anything but bun vit and I called her out on this.  She just shook her head and walked away when I identified the shimmering mass of coagulated liquid as chao vịt.  This bowl of duck porridge was not exactly what I had wanted, but it was a food I had yet to ever sample.

Congealed Blood Chunk

I never knew a spoon could dredge up such interesting junk out of the depths of a food bowl.  The placid surface of this porridge sure did hide a house of horrors.  Well, at least for my western tastes duck bits hacked to hell just don’t fly.  The bland rice gruel was not all that grueling to eat, but I could only manage to find one tiny bite of edible duck meat.  What can I say about duck?  It sure doesn’t taste like chicken, that’s for sure.  This stuff was overly oily and of course infused with all sorts of gaminess.

The biggest shocker was a giant hunk of congealed blood festering like a dense piece of crimson Jell-O.  Troi oi!  All this debris collected in the bottom of bowl and several women became concerned I wasn’t touching it.  A random lady came over to admonish me with words I couldn’t understand, and I can only imagine she was giving me the same lecture my mom always did about starving children in India, blah, blah, blah.  She invaded the sanctity of my feeding area, scooped up a piece of blood, and tried to shovel it into my food hole.

The matron of this joint then gave me a look I think I know.  It’s something like, “I know this western fool did not come up in my restaurant and order the duck only to not eat the duck.”  Yes, I am afraid it’s true.  Accidentally chewing down on a piece of gelatinous duck skin caused an early conclusion to dinner.

I tried.  I guess it beats fertile duck eggs hands down any day.  So do I at least get an A for effort?

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

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