Now Serving: AIDS Kebabs?

I love Beijing's yang rou chuanr (ie lamb kebabs) and have had many memorable drink filled evenings in which they've played a major role (as Common said "drunk nights get remembered more than sober ones"). It is almost necessary dining after a night at one of Gongti's clubs or a Houhai bar.

Yangrou chuanr have sort of been adopted as a Beijing food (alongside jianbing and kungpao chicken) like curries have become a part of British cuisine. They are found all over the city and despite foreigners often denouncing them as "hepatitis on a stick", other than one incident, in 15 years of eating them, I've yet to get sick. Its the food that when Beijingers leave the city, especially to go overseas, they miss the most. The kebabs are great as a quick snack, an impromptu sandwich when put between some naan or shaobing, or as the best accompaniment to beer and good conversation.

However, as of late, fears have been spreading due to a text message and a nationwide rumor that some Xinjiang terrorists have been combining AIDS blood with yangrou chuanr and serving them to unsuspecting people around the nation. Other than Liuzhou Laowai's entry, this has gotten little play in the english China blogsphere (I guess people are sort of concerned with something else), though Chinese bbs' are going crazy. The only serious news article I could find after a very quick search was this one, debunking the story, from a paper in Fuyang, though Beijing Evening News carried an article in its paper the other night.

There are two things at play here, one is China's extremely limited knowledge of AIDS (hell, a few years ago a rumor was spread that eating watermelon could lead to AIDS) and realistic fear of food safety (even before the cardboard baozi scandal, Chinese (especially older people) regularly would comment about the dangers of dining at smaller establishments).

Anyways, this rumor has been debunked, so go out and enjoy yourselves tonight and have plenty of yangrou chuanr!

UPDATE: Having just read Shanghaiist's story on the proposed information security law currently being discussed, one wonders if these rumors, which typically spread through sms, will be a thing of the past.

note: while I love yangrou chuanr, I regret the name has been spoiled by the infamous troll...

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