Thursday, February 28, 2013


 The above photograph has been doing the rounds online lately, causing a lot of hilarity and disgust.  I tend to join in the hilarity.  Can you get them WITH bones?  And what are the advantages of inverting them?  As for the disgust, well of course I don’t really get it.  How is pork rectum philosophically or existentially any more disgusting than a pork chop?

The image seems to have first appeared on the website – “Taiwan’s Global Online Community” - and it was posted by somebody called 5000 CB, based in Taipei County, Danshui, and was taken outside a “local dumpling shop.”  Assuming this is all what it appears to be, the obvious inference is that American pork rectums are being exported to Taiwan, which is surprising, but a great triumph for international trade.

And of course it seems that Taiwanese customers have no time for euphemisms.  As the diagram below shows they might equally have called the product “bung,” or “fatend,” though sensitive souls might think that wasn’t a huge improvement.

As an occasional sausage maker I’m well familiar with the parts of the pig that sausage filling gets put into, admittedly from rather higher up the alimentary canal.  We call them them hog casings – a name, and a euphemism, we can live with.

Naked Lunch – “a frozen moment when everyone sees what is on the end of every fork.”  Well yes, but it’s not just a  matter of what you see.  It’s also matter of what you call it.


  1. Two words: Fake Calamari (

  2. thegrumpygerman - yes indeed - I saw that - and they sure do look the same - and so much calamari doesn't taste of anything at all. As with the horse scandal in Britain - I don't see any absolute objection to eating pig rectum - but it would be nice to know that's what you're getting.

    I also have some real suspicions about most of the scallops you can buy in America - they look nothing like the ones in Engand - which have corals - I think somebody once suggested to me they were whale meat - -and again - no objection per ser, I'd just like to be told.

  3. I don't really care what they label it, and it isn't ALWAYS prepared as "fake calamari", because most of the time, it's a necessary "evil" when preparing such Taiwanese delicacies such as "da chang bao xiao chang":

  4. I suppose you could argue that most food words are in fact euphemisms - we say "meat" rather than "a lump of dead animal flesh."

    "da chang bao xiao chang" as I understand it translates as "big sausage wrapped around small sausage" - who could object to that?

  5. I agree with you Geoff. I don't see a problem with that, but then again I like truck stop food.

  6. [Hm, I tried to reply to a comment and it didn't seem to work...]

    Yes, the horse-meat seems to be all over the place right now. I don't have a problem with eating all parts of animals, especially if the bungs apparently are indistinguishable in texture and taste from calamari, but I agree, it would be great to know what you're being served. Never heard the whale meat one...I have to investigate.

    As far as horse-meat is concerned; I've eaten horse-meat pizza several times in Berlin (the restaurant is called Il Casolare Trattoria and it's generally very good, if you find yourself in Kreuzberg looking for a bite to eat) and horse sausages are sold at Christmas Markets in Germany, as well. But again, there's a difference in ordering horse and getting horse and ordering pork and getting horse.

  7. thegrumpyman - I got behind with my comments - I have indeed wandered around those Berlin Christmas markets - I had no idea what I was missing -