There’s a new culinary sensation sweeping the masses of Beijing lately—Donkey Burgers. They are not burgers as you or I may conceive of them–a meat patty on a bun. Rather, Beijing donkey burgers are BBQ donkey meat inside something that is very much like pocket bread. There’s a small restaurant near where I work that specializes in them.
Today, while eating there, I noticed a sign on the wall–a poem of sorts– that I’d never seen before, extolling the virtures of donkey burgers. It said, "xiang changshou, chi lurou; yao jiankang, he lu tang." Translated, it means: "if you want to live a long life, eat donkey meat; if you want to be healthy, drink donkey soup."
I’ve recently taken to trying to find out how widespread the love of donkey-meat is, so have been doing informal polls among my Chinese friends. The results: those from the north or northeast of the country are aware of the culinary value of donkeys, and those from the south turn up their noses. (But, keep in mind, folks from the south eat all manner of other strange creatures like civit cats!). One friend from the northeast even went so far as to quote a famous saying about donkey meat: Tianshang longrou; Dixia lurou. (In heaven there is dragon meat; on earth there is donkey meat.
Well, as clever as the sign and poem are, I still haven’t been able to bring myself to try a donkey burger! Sorry folks, my loyalties are with Culvers!!!