Tuesday, June 24, 2008
There are many reasons to love Chicago, but finding frozen water beetles at your local Thai grocer has to rank up there with Navy Pier and Rock n Roll McDonald's. And at $2.88 for four, I couldn't not buy them. Aside from mangda na, the Golden Pacific Market, 5353 North Broadway, has an amazingly huge selection of fish, meat, produce, soy sauce, noodles, wraps, candy, soda, sauces, and more. I got a 56 ounce can of sesame oil for $14! And organic tamari!
But what does one do with water beetles, aside from photographing them and posting them on a blog? I kinda figured you'd fry them with garlic and hot pepper and they'd taste like garlic and hot pepper, but no! According to Duck Fat and Politics:
"Mang da is one of the most haunting flavors I know, with an intense floral fragrance that reminds me of essence of gewurztraminer, with a concentrated rose petal and faint citrus taste."
Oh. That leaves another question: what is gewurztraminer? A bratwurst? Ah—a wine; thank you, Google.