Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day 314

Preserved Orange Peel: It's been a long time since I've spit anything out after taking my first bite, but that's exactly what happened with today's new food. I found this bag of "preserved orange peel" at the Hoa Binh Market on Buford Highway last weekend. The market had an awesome selection of Asian snacks, and when I saw these in a section with other preserved fruits and vegetables, they looked really interesting. I like oranges, but who eats the rind? Apparently some people do, so I considered them safe enough to try. Man, was I ever wrong.

I finally got around to opening these this afternoon, and I was extremely curious. According to the ingredient list, the contents consisted of orange peel, salt, sugar, citric acid, licorice (?), sodium benzoate, and sodium metabisulfite. Wow, that's a lot of sodium for something that was originally fruity. Each piece of peel looked like it was candied, then coated in sugar.
I expected these to be sugary and tart, but no. My first bite flooded my mouth with a bitterness that eclipsed any citrus rind I've ever tasted, with a super-salty aftertaste that almost made me choke. There was very little sweetness, just the overpowering bitterness of the rind. I guess the preservation process only makes the bitterness worse. I also detected something that reminded me of soy sauce - maybe that was the licorice? After a couple chews, I spit the remainder in the sink, then rinsed my mouth out with coffee. Ugh.
These were by far one of the most unpleasant things I've tried. Ever. Unless you're in love with insanely bitter citrus rind permeated by salt, stay away from these at all costs.

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