Cultural Observation #7: Beetle Nut

Picture yourself chewing a raw hard fibrous nut the size of a grape and wola--you have beetle nut--the Taiwanese equivalent of chewing tobacco. These little nuts are wrapped in opium coated leaves and look like little green pigs in a blanket. Maybe something a bunny would serve at a Super Bowl party for his herbivore friends. 

But beetle nut is not that cute. The inside of the nut is red which gives the chewer a distinct red mouth and explains the ketchup-colored splashes of spit all over the sidewalks. Talk about a dentist’s worst nightmare. What teeth a chewer still has from gnawing on nuts are coated in fuzzy red plaque. Mmmmm.... kissable. This delightful product is sold by scantily clad girls in Vegas worthy glass boxes. Their flashy neon lights are advertisement enough eliminating the need for signage. Beetle nut is not Taiwan’s best feature, especially when it's stuck to the bottom of my flip flop.  

The aftermath of a "chewed" nut. 

1 comment:

  1. great writing. i was sucked right in unto the very end. spitting/chewing people are gross.