老北京小吃的英语介绍 - By Robert Foyle Hunwick, Beijing

Here’s a selection of classic Beijing eats you might not want to try at home.

Yangtou Ma (Ma’s sheep head)

Making for an alarming sight but a tasty treat, the head is boiled and seasoned with salt. It’s usually eaten cold, with the meat shaved off into thin slivers by the customer, leaving behind a Satanic skull that’s ideal for Halloween.

Lu Zhu Huo Shao (Tripe broth with pig’s blood)

There’s normally a cauldron of this stuff constantly on the bubble in traditional kitchens, containing gravy-soaked wheat biscuits, pork intestines, lungs and liver, all cooked in pig’s blood.

Baodu (Quick-boiled tripe)

Boiled goat, sheep or cow’s stomach lining is trimmed of all fat, cleaned, rubbed with salt and vinegar (helps with the smell), sliced, flash-boiled and served with dips including coriander, fermented bean curd, sesame seed paste, vinegar, chilli oil, parsley and chopped spring onions to create a dish that looks like a bowl of sea urchins hit by a flat-bed truck.

Ma Doufu (Fried mung-bean milk)

This oily dish, made by frying fermented milk until it evaporates, has an off-putting appearance that’s akin to wet cement. But the fluffy, granular texture and sour chilli bite make it a firm favorite with local and foreign palates.

Zha Jiangmian (Beijing noodles)

Truly a simple noodle dish – topped with shredded carrot and cucumber, and a tangy meat sauce – this makes for a classic street eat, and usually for less than a pound.

Bing Tang Hu Lu (Sugared haws)

A Spring Festival classic, these bright red fruits-on-a-stick resemble miniature toffee apples. Beneath the candied glaze, the texture and taste, which is both sweet and a little sour, is akin to a Granny Smith’s apple.

Kao Hong Shu (Roasted sweet potato)

The smell of these ugly, wrinkly but hot, sweet yams cuts right through the Beijing smog air on a winter’s evening, luring one straight to the vendor’s mobile metal cart. (Don’t make the same mistake as me and eat the skin.)

Yangrou Chuanr (Lamb kebab)

Technically more a Uighur snack that's sold everywhere, it's also probably the most recognizable snack to British palates. The classic chuanr – a stick of lamb, spiced with salt, pepper, chilli and cumin – has been partly blamed for Beijing’s pollution by government officials. It’s hugely popular, but has a bad reputation for dodgy meat: some unscrupulous vendors substitute mutton with cat meat soaked in sheep’s urine - a recipe to avoid at all costs.