Chinese cuisine is known to be tasty but sometimes westerners may find it rather gross. That is why the far-sighted Beijing officials banned dog from official Olympic eateries. The kinds of dogs eaten in China are raised as cows or lambs but the images of skinned dogs are disturbing to people with different cultural background. However, there still remained numerous rather strange specialties that have not been banned.
Among maybe the most uncommon dishes are animal penises. Penises are the unique specialty of the local Guolizhuang Penis Restaurant. In this restaurant you may order donkey penis, horse penis and testicles with chili dip or Canadian seal penis, which costs as much as L220. Beginners should perhaps start with the hotpot, which includes six types of penises, and four of testicles, boiled in chicken stock.
In China tourists quickly realize they are encountering a different culture. Eating may often be connected with traditional medicine. The Chinese that eat in the Penis Restaurant often believe the dishes will improve their yang, or virility. Naturally they are mainly males. Nevertheless, also female may supposedly benefit from eating penises as it is supposed to be good for skin.
Other Chinese specialties are for example cow stomach, deep-fried scorpions, sea urchins or brains and the well known hundred year-old eggs. A gourmet may perhaps like to try the famous bird’s nest soup.
Chinese officials have, however, taken measures to ensure that the food eaten during the Games will be safe. Also numerous Beijing restaurants have their menus in standard English translations now. Quite interesting are also the revolutionary restaurants, where waitresses are dressed as Mao Zedong. In these restaurants guests may order the favorite food of the revolutionary leaders. A visitor may also try some less exotic specialties like for example Beijing roast duck and there is of course a number of good European restaurants as well as McDonald"s and KFC.