For those of you who read my blog regularly, you will know about my camel hump adventures during the filming of Al Chef Yaktachef for Abu Dhabi TV. This was three years ago and from that day on, I have been wanting to write an article about camel hump. Finally I did. If you buy Lucky Peach’s Travel issue no. 7, you will find my piece with a picture of the sweet baby camel who gave up his life to provide me with the best camel hump I have ever eaten. Admittedly, I have not had so many but the few that I have tasted were nowhere near as good as this last one. And not so much because of my cooking skills, although I cooked it for less time than an Emirati cook would have, but mainly because the baby camel was a particularly fine milk-fed specimen. As a result, its meat was particularly tender.
Every now and then I find myself in a rather disgusting food market where I find beauty amongst the horror. A few years ago, it was in Karachi where I couldn’t believe the number of flies swarming inside a tiny fish stall but they looked beautiful against the stone counter and the fish. And again the other day, there was beauty amidst the filth at an offal stall in Sayida Zeynab in Cairo, where I noticed a piece of honeycomb tripe hanging over a red tub with flies feeding on it. Naturally, there was nothing appetising about the scene but the pattern of the pale tripe with the black flies dotted over it was just as beautiful as it was repulsive, so, I took a picture, which I cropped further to add to my edible abstractions series!
the long penis comes from an ox and the middle one from a donkey
The first time I read about people eating them was back in September 2006. I was intrigued and from that time onwards, I have been wanting to taste them. I did see them on sale once, in the market in Sao Paolo but they were raw. I had to wait another couple of years to achieve my culinary goal and finally, this afternoon I visited the penis emporium in Beijing.
Or to be more accurate in a pick up van on the street. I love these startling sights that are quite common throughout the Middle East. I was in Aleppo I think when I spotted this poor animal. As luck would have it, I was with Jason Lowe who doesn’t need introducing, and only he can make something so gruesome look so beautiful. I love this picture and it’s a perfect follow-up on the lamb testicles post to illustrate the quick passage from freshly slaughtered to the butcher’s counter. The sheep was about to be unloaded at a local butcher who was going to skin and butcher it.