Food At The China Olympics – Behind The Scenes

Food at the China Olympics will be amazing…Peking duck, Duck Tongue (still in the jaw, no less,) Pigeon Soup, Pig Tail Soup, and many more delicious choices for adventuresome attendees.

The first meal I had in China was scramble eggs with tomatoes in it. The second meal presented to our table was a fish on a plate… with it’s head on… and its eye staring up at me. I was a bit taken back. But…it wasn’t long before I got into the groove of the food and loved it. (Had to pass on the duck tongue though.)

We were generally guests of factory owners, who wanted to share the very best with us. We dined in the finest places. The offering generally look like the photo. Notice the small the plate in front of us. That’s because you eat once item at a time and don’t need trencher. Using the chop sticks, you lift the food on to your plate, eat it and serve yourself the next dish. I found the food to be very good… although very different than the Chinese food served in the states.

However… when your behind the scenes… the fair can be a bit different. The “real people” of China don’t dine the way we did. A simple bowl of rice… perhaps a few greens… and on occasion… a little meat is the standard for most of the people.

This photo is, a behind the scenes experience… in a rural factory. Yes…we’re in a bathroom… and yes… that is a squat toilet. (That squatting business is a whole other experience… and one I don’t care to repeat anytime soon.)

Yes… we’re still in the bathroom…and yes… those are chicken feathers. You guessed it. The meal, that we were invited to stay for, was being prepared in the bathroom. Puck the chicken… clean the chicken… cut up the chicken. Just outside the bathroom door… a young woman was getting ready to cook the chicken. Not a pretty site!

As gracious as the factory owner was trying to be… I had no desire to join him and his small staff for dinner. I whispered into my bosses ear… “I don’t think we should stay for dinner. The chicken is being prepared in the bathroom.”

After thanking the factory owner for offering to prepare a meal for us… we excused ourselves with, “Oh we just remembered… we’re late for another factory appointment,” pretense. Whew!

Now that we’ve moved from dining in China to “potty talk”… there is just on more thing you need to know… especially if your at the China Olympics, dining at a fine restaurant. Don’t squat on the western style toilets. No, No,…you sit down on them.

Yes, this sign was posted in the bathroom of a restaurant where we dined. It was a pretty nice place… and apparently, many locals… or the common folk… didn’t know how to use the bathroom properly, and this little sign was a reminder on how to use a “western style” toilet. Yep… I’m sure you get the picture.

I’m sure the Olympic guests will be served China’s finest foods … along with the American Hamburger. They most likely will never have the pleasure of being ask to stay for dinner… where the chicken is prepared in the bathroom. Of course… you never know what’s behind the scenes at the China Olympics.

Till Later

Kathy Griffiths

Insightful Nana

P.S. I bet that most of the China Olympic guests will never see a “squat toilet”. They don’t know what their missing… and I mean missing!

5 responses to “Food At The China Olympics – Behind The Scenes”

  1. Hi Kathy,

    I’ve loved the blogs about China. Brings back a lot of memories–some better forgotten! I remember the first squat toilet I used in the airport. I couldn’t stop laughing and never did get too successful at it. Remember the soup we really liked until they scooped the chicken feet out of the bottom of it? What an adventure! We have so much to be grateful for.

    Your site is so impressive! Thanks for all the useful and fun information.


  2. LOL! I rode a bicycle across the interior of China and am very familiar with these “amenities!” What never ceased to surprise me is how ornate and beautiful the Hotel Lobbies were and then when you got to the room, it was a whole different story!

    It was quite an experience, back to the dark ages!

  3. Yes Mer… I remember the chicken feet. The soup was good though. I remember eating another good soup… but these little round things were floating around on the top. When I pulled out the fleshy end of a pig’s tail… I got under stood what the round bones in my soup were.

    Kristal… I know what you mean by the dark ages. When I boarded the train from Nanjing to Shanghai, I felt like I was in a 1940’s World War II Movie… with the military and all. Weird time warp!

  4. Growing up I thought of the Chinese were a very drab people, dressed in their dark clothing. Then a trip to China Town Changed that view.
    It is really sad what the communists destroyed when they took over China. One of my all time favorite movies is “Raise A Red Lantern” it is a must see.

  5. Speaking of military, I was in McDonalds where the menu was written in Chinese (of course). It was so delightful to see so I raised my camera to record the memory and was immediately told to put my camera away.

    McDonalds? I never did get that. Were they afraid it was proprietary information? LOL