I love trying new food, especially when I have to travel to eat it. In the far west of China’s XinJiang province is a small city called Kashgar, where you can find an interesting Muslim Uyghur specialty: roasted pigeon. Click here to watch this three-minute video about my first experience with roasted pigeon.
Kashgar is a city comprised of roughly 70% Uyghur Muslims and 30% Han Chinese. Since it was Ramadan during my time here, most restaurants were closed during the day, so it was a chore finding a running kitchen before 8pm. Of the few restaurants that were open, one of them happened to be a pigeon joint.
The selection is limited. You can choose between pigeon soup, pigeon with noodles, or just plain pigeon. I opted for roasted pigeon with a side of noodles.
The bird comes served in a bowl filled with sweet broth and chickpeas. The meat is excellent and tender, but not very distinct. I was hoping it would have some interesting texture or flavor, but I can now say without fear of sounding cliché that pigeon tastes a lot like chicken.
There’s no mistaking what’s on the menu in restaurants that line the streets in China. Pictures of whichever animal is being served cover the windows. In this case, it’s friendly pigeon stickers and decals.
I’ve filmed videos like this before in restaurants and food stalls, but I’ve never gotten so many stares. The people here really got a kick out of me filming this video. Many folks even stopped while they were walking down the street to watch me eat and film.
Kashgar is easily one of the coolest cities I’ve ever visited. I stayed there for nearly a week, exploring the surrounding natural scenery and visiting some culturally distinct local venues. I’ll post more about my stay in Kashgar soon, including videos and photos from the epic Kashgar night market.