How can one explain the potency of stinky tofu’s smell to someone who has never smelled it?
I don’t know if it’s possible, lol.
I smelled it for the first time in South Korea, 2005. I was teaching middle school and walked into the cafeteria for lunch when I was assaulted by an awful and foul stench . . .
At the time I remember turning to a Korean English co-teacher and saying, “Is someone washing dirty laundry? It smells like dirty socks are being washed in the kitchen? And . . . other bad things too . . .” She thought my reaction was quite amusing.
After filling my tray with other foods and getting a bowl full of the stinky tofu I sat down with several other Korean teachers–all of whom were watching me with GREAT INTEREST to see how I’d react to trying the stinky tofu.
I ate it–and it was GOOD! In fact, it was awesome and I sometimes miss it over here in China.
The stinky tofu in China, however, in contrast to Korean stinky tofu . . . well, let’s just say that the pungency power rating of its smell is off the charts! It’s ‘nuclear stinky tofu’ in terms of its olfactory assault capabilities, and Julianne and I have yet to try it.
If and when I get a chance to try Chinese stinky tofu I’ll definitely blog about it . . . the problem is working up the courage to eat something that in my experience with foreign foods only compares to the smell of “skate” (‘honga’ (Korean name) aka sting-ray) that Hans Zimmerman tried while he was in South Korea for his Bizarre Foods TV show . . .
Julianne has pretty much said she doesn’t want to try it. As for me . . . well, if I was willing to eat the “skate” I should be willing to try the stink tofu here.
Time will tell . . . lol.