We humans have a natural aversion to very smelly food, but some cultures over the long journey of civilization have managed to break free from this bodily instinct of gagging when trying to eat it.
My husband is one of these people who manages to enjoy foods like Nattō and stinky tofu with so much delight that many times I wish I could enjoy it as well… but not today.
For a man in Wenzhou, a plate of stinky tofu was almost his last meal. Fifty-two-year-old Su was hospitalized after he suffered major organ failure and fell unconscious for a week as a result of eating the popular street food.
The doctor said stinky tofu was the offender. Su probably ate an enormous amount of bacteria along with the savory tofu. Doctors said the tofu was likely contaminated by feces from sewer water.
This is no surprise for China, where there is basically no environmental protection and everything goes.
When asked if he had suspected anything wrong at the time he ate the tofu, Su said: “It was the same as usual. I couldn’t taste anything wrong with it.”