Shrimp Melon Popcorn

After my last post (and this one, this one, and, actually, almost everything else I’ve written about China), I need to explain that I don’t really hate all Chinese food. There are some amazing foods here, like scallion-egg pancakes and those little red plums. Most food in Yantai is fine, just fine, in a way that makes portion control easy because I stop eating the moment I’m not hungry.

It’s shocking, isn’t it? How can I live in China and not take every opportunity to experience new tastes? I should have a positive attitude and try new foods! But I don’t like Coke, I don’t like potato chips and I don’t like hamburgers so why would I like cocoons on a stick?

The other day I bought melon-flavored popcorn. I guess that sounds a little gross but it’s not as bad as it could be. When I asked the vendor the green popcorn’s flavor, I thought she was saying Shrimp Melon.* I bought it anyway, because I was so intrigued by the strawberry, orange and chocolate-coffee candied popcorn in the mixed bag.

The bag is clear plastic, so you can see the rows of Barbie pink, Nemo orange, Kermit green and, um, chocolate brown popcorn. With a few more ribbons, it could be dancing in the Nutcracker. It was almost too pretty to eat. It looked a lot better that the chou douf and spicy chicken guts sold nearby.

It turns out that orange, strawberry, mocha and Mystery Melon are really good flavors for popcorn. See? I don’t dislike every food in China!

*Chinese speakers: She was saying honeydew but I thought it sounded like Hai mi gua, Shrimp Melon. Stop laughing.

Look, I’m not the only person who makes translation mistakes! Read the full story here.

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0 Responses to Shrimp Melon Popcorn

  1. Stuart Benedict says:

    The word for shrimp is xi?oxi?. One of the few words I acutally tried to use in China, with very little success.

  2. Meg says:

    Maybe it’s a regional thing, but in Yantai ?? is used for shrimp.

  3. Stuart says:

    Yeah, probably the regional dialect.

  4. stuart says:

    That first character is the character for shrimp.

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