Is it Gross? – Buddha’s Delight

260px-delightful.jpgIt’s time for another round of “Is it gross?” Ed has returned as our special guest once again. Here’s today’s description:

Take two pig ears stewed in soy sauce. Chop these up into little pieces. Mix the pig ears with gelatinized pig blood and chicken kidneys. Place ingredients in a food processor. Add soy sauce. Process! Take the resulting mixture and bring to a boil. Add snow peas, onions, carrots, bamboo shoots, tofu, and Chinese napa. Serve this to vegetarians as “Buddha’s Delight.”

Ed’s response:

haha sounds Asian, not gross.

So despite my attempt to concoct the most foul mixture of meat products and serve it in a completely unethical manner, Ed has decided that my description is not gross but rather “Asian.”

Fortunately, for those of you who disagreed with Ed’s response and did find the mixture gross, you can rest assured that most Chinese restaurants do not taint their Buddha’s Delight with meat products. Vegetarians that cannot find anything better in Chinese menus will continue to find refuge in the sanctuary of Buddha’s Delight.

Looking back at my adventures in Chinese restaurants, Buddha’s Delight has always fascinated me as it seems to be ubiquitous in Chinese restaurants in the US. According to Wikipedia, Buddha’s Delight is an authentic Chinese dish enjoyed by monks (presumably of the Benedictine order — the article does not specify). The article also states that Buddha’s Delight is traditionally served during the first days of the Chinese New Year, which is a tradition that stems from the Buddhist practice of not eating meat for the first five days of the New Year as a form of “self-purification.”

News-flash: First, I’ve never met a Buddhist monk that ate meat during the other ~360 days of the lunar year either. And I’ve met about 5, which makes my anecdotal evidence compelling. Second, anything served “traditionally” in China needs to be available for hundreds of millions of poor people. Buddha’s Delight is essentially a bunch of vegetables thrown in water with salt and soy sauce added. Think about this next time you consider paying $15 for it.

Thanks for joining me in wondering if it’s gross. Next time: something REALLY possibly gross or not.


One thought on “Is it Gross? – Buddha’s Delight

  1. Michael Lynch says:

    I’d be interested to know if this was inspired by the smash hit song “Buddha’s Delight” by Halley Bennett, performed in the hit movie Music and Lyrics.

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