Guest Blog: Adventurous Meals
by Tara Quan
I had so much fun stopping by Eva’s blog last week, so now I’m back again. After doing an author interview with Eva (scheduled on www.taraquan.com for Jan 20th), food in Mumbai somehow came up. While my experience with fine dining and fancy chefs is somewhat limited due to the size of my pocketbook, I’ve eaten my fair share of adventurous meals. Below are three that come to mind:
1. Chicken/Goose/Pork Blood Jelly: Okay, I’m totally cheating here. Blood jelly is not at all adventurous for someone who grew up in Thailand. It’s a standard ingredient in many noodle dishes. (By the way, if you’ve eaten noodles in Bangkok, you’ve most likely eaten blood jelly, along with liver and intestines). The dish is exactly as the name implies: Blood + gelatin. It’s served bite-sized cubes in a bowl of steaming hot soup and is, for lack of a better term, the poor man’s red meat. It actually has the texture and taste of tofu. I didn’t even know eating blood wasn’t normal practice until I moved to the U.S.
2. Fried Ants and Grasshoppers: This brings me back to my high school years. As part of our Spirit Week, my student council’s somewhat sadistic event organizers procured multiple buckets of fried insects and held an eating competition. The grade that finished first won the most points. While I did manage to gobble up a handful of these greasy fritters for the sake of my class, the 10th grade’s overall victory should be laid at the feet of our star basketball player who lifted up a half-filled bucket and literally poured those grasshoppers down his throat.
3. Brain Curry: Before going on our trip to Mumbai, my husband and his (male) co-workers watched an episode of No Reservations which referenced a roadside stall selling brain curry. For reasons I couldn’t fathom (I was the only female on this trip), finding said roadside stall in the middle of the night turned into their equivalent of the Holy Grail. We roamed the streets, hopped on rickshaws, and got directions from random people until we finally reached the (not so famed) establishment. After gingerly sitting on an almost-broken and extremely dusty stool by the side of the road, I had the privilege of eating this exotic dish. It tasted like spicy cream cheese—and not in a good way. What did bring me quite a bit of satisfaction was the ensuing bowel sickness that assailed all three gentlemen but left me immune. After all, I told them having ice from a roadside stall was a recipe for trouble.
In Delicious Delay, my heroine has an adventurous meal of on entirely different variety. With an Arab playboy sitting on the other side of her table, there’s enough heat to satisfy any woman’s appetite for spice. If I’ve managed to pique your interest, the blurb, excerpt and buy links are below.
Stranded in a Middle Eastern airport, Michelle Day finds herself the object of interest for an abrasive, but all-too-sexy stranger—a stranger who tempts her with the forbidden in a land where indecency could get her killed. But how does one say no to such a deliciously, relentless pursuit?
Khalid Al Dehri takes one look at the red-headed spitfire in the business class lounge and knew he’d either been transported to heaven—or hell. Her tart response to his surliness intrigues him beyond all propriety and the longer he spends in her company, the more he can’t deny his forbidden attraction. But will she explore the sensuality between them or will society’s rules keep them apart?
Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, Tara enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Armed with magical powers or conventional weapons, her characters are guaranteed a suspenseful and sensual ride, as well as their own happily ever after. Learn more at www.taraquan.com