Suodiu is an unusual type of Chinese street food that consists of small river rocks stir-fried with a mixture of spices and herbs.
Yes, rocks, and you are supposed to suck and then spit them out.
Roughly translated as “suck and throw away”, and dubbed “the world’s hardest dish” – literally – is a traditional stir-fry featuring stones as its key ingredient.
Suodiu is believed to have been invented hundreds of years ago by boatmen who would prepare the dish when they became stranded in the middle of the river with no real food while delivering goods.
To trick their stomachs, they would stir-fry some river pebbles with various condiments and then suck the stones dry.
The traditional dish was passed down through several generations, and today roadside vendors in China can sometimes be seen stir-frying bunches of river rocks with chili oil, garlic sauce, garlic cloves, diced peppers, and a mixture of spices.
But It wasn’t only the peculiarity of the dish that intrigued people, but also the steep price of 16 yuan ($2.30) per serving, considering that there is hardly any edible stuff in it.
Ok, it consists of river rocks coated in this spicy dressing that you’re supposed to suck off of the rocks before spitting the hard pebbles out, and some wouldn’t even call that a meal, let alone pay money for it.
However, it seems that river rocks are used because they apparently acquire the taste of marine life with time, so sucking on them while eating suodiu, you get the taste of fish combined with the spices.
Once you suck on all the rocks, you are left with the sauce, which, some say has a distinct fishy taste from the river pebbles.
Just don’t get carried away and chew on the rocks…
Images from web – Google Research