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谢迈克在中国 » Blog Archive » A & D part 2 - Special import from Italy

谢迈克在中国

Mike Shecket Goes To China!


So Friday night, I went out to eat with the foreign teacher crew, and after dinner we went to the fancy department store. We went up to the top floor where they had the fancy imported goods, and I decided to treat myself to a bag of penne pasta (15 yuan, or about $2) and a can of Del Monte spaghetti sauce (35 yuan, or almost $5).

Today, I decided to indulge and break out the good stuff for dinner. Aaaannd I chopped up a big onion and some garlic and sauteed them all nice…dumped in half of the bag of pasta. And it cooked…and mmm mmm looked good…meanwhile I tried to get the sauce can open (my current can opener is super lousy). The minutes went by…just a few more until the pasta was ready to go.

Then I started to see little bits and pieces floating to the surface. No prob, I thought, probably little burny things from the sauteeing in the same pot. I took my bamboo spatula, balanced one on the end, and flipped it into the sink. Another came up, and I did the same. Then I stopped to look at it. Sort of…segmented…with…appendages. Naahhh…I thought. It’s some kind of spice from one of the things I put in.

Then I took another one out. Rolled it between my fingers. This really does look like some kind of…ew. I checked the little glass jar of black pepper. Nothing suspect in there. Checked the cumin powder jar. Clean. Then I checked the bag of pasta…

ARRRRGGGHHH!!! Back in the bag, little dudes are still running around. BAD PASTA! BAD PASTA! Who knows if they’re Italian bugs or if they invaded the bag in China, but there went my meal, my $2 for half a kg of pasta, one big, decent onion and a few cloves of garlic, and my time, and my patience.

Now, since the sauce is already open, and hopefully clean since it’s been in an aluminum can all the way from the U.S., I’m making some rice. Rice & spaghetti sauce ain’t quite the same, but…

Come to think of it, the pasta bag had some Chinese on it. I’m pretty sure it said it was from Italy though…maybe it was imported in a big batch, left to sit around in a factory somewhere here and get infested, then bagged and delivered to all the hoity-toity imported foods floors of all the fancy department stores throughout the provinces.

Sigh…it wouldn’t have killed me to eat it. I just would have gotten some extra protein. I did boil it for ten minutes, after all. But still…some things are just beyond the pale for me. When I want pasta, I want pasta hold the creepy crawlies.

4 Responses to “A & D part 2 - Special import from Italy”

  1. CN Heidelberg

    Oh my god, that is nasty!!! And so sad, since you were really looking forward to pasta :/

  2. jenn

    Had that happen to me once… AFTER I had made it to the bottom of the bowl of store-brand raisin bran. Only then did I notice the bits of floating “bran” had legs. Did not get sick! Felt a little faint but that was just revulsion. Very proud of myself in a wierd way.
    It’s probably Indian Mealy Moth larvae. You should freeze your grain products for two hours when you first get them home from the store, that kills the crawlies. And you might want to clean out your cabinets if that pasta spent any time whatsoever up there… those things like to spread… colonize as it were…

  3. Teresa

    Mike: I’ve enjoyed reading your blog. Your experiences with how friendly Chinese citizens are reflect my own. I am teaching English to kids in Beijing and having the time of my life! If every U.S. citizen could spend some time in China…….oh, the changes in the way folks think, right? :) Hope you continue to enjoy your life and experiences!

  4. strudel

    May you post a pic of that “Italian” pasta? The story sucks. I never heard of a bug in real Italian pasta, not even of the cheapest brand. And if I were you, I would drop the idea of eating real Italian pasta in China: we don’t have enough land to grow up and supply noodles abroad and overseas. Ah, well, I am Italian of course

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