I Kill and Eat Ham, the World's Worst-Tasting Lobster
What the heck, I thought. I'll try one. I went online to visit
There is a long tradition of Chinese "mock meats" for Buddhists. Years ago in Hong Kong, I'd eaten at a Buddhist restaurant that served imitation meat that was quite delicious. So I was looking forward to testing PeTA's claim that the
I shot off a query about this "ham" word to a friend of mine, a gastronome who also has a Ph.D. in Chinese studies. (I will let you know what I find out.) In the meantime, to celebrate my confusion, I decided to name the lobster Ham.
As it happened, I had been invited to a weekend barbecue -- bring your own meat for the grill -- so I took Ham along. Everyone was very intrigued when I pulled Ham out and showed him around. A few people played with Ham.
Then we laid Ham on the grill.
Despite the searing heat, Ham didn't scream. He didn't writhe in pain, or snap his tail or scratch his legs on the grill in agony. He just sat there. We watched for a while, and then it got kind of boring and we went back to our conversations.
Now the hard part. I had to cut him to pieces with a big kitchen knife. I have to tell you, I felt awful slicing Ham. In our short time together, we had bonded.
So how did Ham taste?
Ham, I love you, but you tasted terrible. I mean, not spit-your-food-out terrible, but just . . . very lackluster. After all that, I just would have liked even the tiniest bit of lobster-like flavor.
Having conclusively repudiated PeTA's claim that mock lobster tasted "just like the real thing," I felt forlorn. It seemed unfair that vegetarians and animal-rights activists wouldn't be able to enjoy lobster just like the rest of us.
If that still sounds too gory for you, I highly recommend May Wah's