Gà Chiên Mật Ong Honey Wings – 343 of 365

Gà Chiên Mật Ong

A friend and I wanted to veer a little bit off the beaten path in terms of food so we ordered frog legs stir fried in coconut milk.  Unfortunately, the waitress returned ten minutes later to explain, “cannot!”  Man, I just wanted my exotic food on this rare occasion I was feeling adventurous.  And it took her that long to discover nothing was croaking ribbet, ribbet in their refrigerator?  Just find a frog legs in the alley, and soak it in coconut!  How can a restaurant run out of a critter lurking in any sewer or festering canal in Saigon?

We ended up substituting Kermit with some exotic sounding gà chiên mật ong, or in plain English a quite ordinary chicken wing with honey sauce.  I still wanted my cocofrogs rather than something so mundane, but beggars can’t really be choosers.  Honey wings are something even the WalMart deli carries, and a few minutes later we had four wings right at home back in America.

I bit in and the taste was actually quite good.   Did all this pleasantness taste like chicken though?  Nope.  Not at all.  Something more akin to crispy bacon dipped in maple syrup confused my mind but did tickle my tastebuds.  I am looking at chicken but tasting pork.  Just give me a minute to wrap my head around this one.  Actually, I was tasting more than pork.  Was that a hit of fish sauce I detected?  What a dumb question given this is Vietnam!  Sorry.  That’s like asking does a bear crap in the woods.

This al got me to thinking.  Ask someone how the alligator tasted, and what does he say?  Tastes like chicken.  That piece of rattlesnake?  Chicken.   Possum and squirrel?  Yep, you guessed it.  More chicken.  Well, what happens when an actual piece of chicken doesn’t taste like chicken?  Have we assigned “chicken” to so many other meats, we’ve forgotten what the original tastes like?

We paid about two bucks for this Vietamerican interpretation of wings.   That’s quite expensive now that I think about it.  Cheaper, meatier and moister wings can be had when Hooters back home is running a special.  Yes Hooters, that bastion of big bosomed tackiness where most everything there is artificial in nature and not what nature intended, but at least the chicken tastes like chicken.

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Categories: Vietnamese Food

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