Ting Tong and Dong
Dog lovers are advised not to view the following story or at least read it with your fur combed down over your eyes.
They say if you are offered something on a plate you should take it. If the offered hand has a plate of Thit cho nuong or Cho Xao Sa Ot , in my mind you’d have to be ting tong with a wallet full of Dong to take it. The Tay Ho District of Hanoi has many dog meat restaurants and the above mentioned delicacies, grilled dog meat or fried dog in lemon grass and chilli, are two of seven different ways the Vietnamese cook dog meat.
The consumption of dog meat is most popular in the North of Vietnam, and is mainly eaten by men, although some women do like to gnaw on a paw sometimes. Males believe the meat, eaten mostly towards the end of a lunar month, increases the libido and is also linked to astrology and good luck. The head, internal organs and feet, are the parts that most tickle the taste buds of the Vietnamese dog diners.
The dog meat on offer is bought from puppy farms where the pups are reared and sold when they are about one year old. If the dog on your plate has a texture on the tough side, there’s a good chance it came from one of Vietnam’s countryside villages. The canine killing is usually with a single blow, and then the poor deceased pooch is boiled to make it easier to take off the fur.
So where does Thailand come into this story…..
Earlier this week I stumbled upon a very good blog site named Life in rural Thailand and a post called The bucket truck. On many occasions when I have stayed at our village house in Udon Thani I have seen a caged pick up truck, crammed full of dogs drive past our home.
I have always considered myself street wise or perhaps that should read soi wise enough not to ask where the dog show is taking place. The pick up trucks apparently head for the Laos border where the dogs are transported over the Mekong River and from there Vietnam. The bucket truck post covers this in greater depth, with some rather sad photographs.
I certainly won’t be dining in any Hanoi establishment, but if you’re partial to a hot-pot and a side plate of dog biscuits, lets take a look at what else is on offer. Please remember dogs are welcome in these restaurants, but never on leads.
Rua man….. steamed dog in shrimp paste, rice flour and lemon grass
Doi cho….. dog sausage
Gieng Me Mam Tom….. steamed dog in shrimp paste, ginger, spices and rice vinegar
Canh Xao Mang Cho….. bamboo shoots and dog bone marrow
Thit cho hap….. steamed dog meat
Here are some other countries where walking your dog is not advised on a long lead……China, Ghana, Indonesia, Korea and Nigeria.
Here’s a few countries where it’s safe to throw a ball and let your dog run, without fear of his family jewels being turned into meatballs…. United Kingdom, USA, Germany, Mexico and Canada…… I have heard about one province in Thailand where the locals are a little partial to a bit of a dog’s dinner, perhaps you can help me on that one, as I’m not sure which province it is.
Photograph Vietnamese dog meat dish VietGrant