Last weekend, my wife and I and some friends/coworkers went to a Taiwanese restaurant, Bob's Noodle 66 in Rockville, MD, and for the first time I experienced stinky tofu.
Tofu is by far my favorite food, and my wife has introduced me to many varieties of it, including 腐乳, but none of these prepared me for the 臭 of stinky tofu.
At first glance it looked just like any other deep-fried tofu I've seen; at first bite its texture was just like any other deep-fried tofu I've bitten into. But then less then a second later, the 臭 was released. I don't have the words to describe the degree of 臭 that this little morsel unleased in my mouth.
While enduring this stinky tribulation,
my wife was chowing down on it with a thoroughly satisfied expression on her face. Meanwhile our two friends, both 华人, didn't dare go near it. Thankfully Bob served it with a spicy sauce and garnished it with spicy pickled 白菜, which I used to slightly distract my senses from the 臭.
I have to say that I don't understand how people enjoy eating this dish. When I first tried durian, it was both repulsive and delicious. Stinky tofu, on the other hand, was just purely repulsive to me. I'll keep at it though. It's disturbing to think about, but maybe I'll start liking the 臭?
Andrew Zimmern did a show on Taiwan, and was actually defeated by some particularly stinky tofu:
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