This month I’ve written about markets around the world. You’ve seen how to buy saffron in Marrakech, peppers in Ljubljana, flowers in France and wooden toys in the German Christmas markets. But my blog wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t tell you how to buy centipedes in Beijing.
The night market in Beijing is like no other market I’ve visited. It opens late in the afternoon and runs through the evening, selling delicacies to locals and tourists. Wares range from the mundane (candy, tofu, meat) to the unusual (starfish, anyone?).
I think I’ve discovered the outer limits of my family’s taste habits. None of us sampled the snake, bought the beetles or scarfed down the silkworm. My youngest daughter, the one who averts her head when she walks by a butcher shop, had to be guided through most of the market with her eyes closed. I’m not sure if that helped, though, as the pungent aroma was almost as overwhelming as the sights of the market.
Don’t get me wrong – I love fully experiencing the places we visit. Even if (especially if!) we’d never see anything like it at home. But if you are what you eat, it’s a good thing we laid off those centipedes.