Stinky Tofu at the 2012 Asian Night Market, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I went to the Waterfront Asian Night Market with my friends who lived in Taiwan. The night market was sponsored by the T&T Supermarket. They turned their parking lot into a night market. It was crowded. The sheer number of people isn’t the first thing one would feel as you enter the market. You are faced with a noxious smell – a frontal attack on olfactory senses. My friends tell me the source of this mystery smell is stinky tofu (chou doufu).

My first reaction was to hold my nose and eating it was the last think to enter my mind. There were several vendors selling this stuff, and their lines were long. It seems people like it. My friends tell me that stinky tofu is popular street food in Taiwan (apparently in mainland China, too). They were serving stinky tofu deep-fried, golden and crispy. Vendors were serving it with toppings; my friends tell me that spicy toppings nicely compliment the stinky tofu.

While stinky tofu dominated my senses, there were many other noshes – from run of the mill kebabs to oyster pancakes. There was also a collection of interesting fruit drinks served in whole pineapples, cantaloupes and honeydews, and a wide selection of new and interesting treats.

Well, I usually don’t shy away from tasting exotic foods. I like smelly cheeses. I tried to conquer my fear of stinky tofu so I can dig in to this infamous snack, but I couldn’t pop one into my mouth. So I am still a stinky tofu virgin. Where was my sense of adventure? Perhaps I will give another try next year.

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