Fertilized duck egg is not a Chinese delicacy. It is mostly consumed in southeastern Asian countries such as Vietnam. Live sea horse? I've lived in China, have traveled pretty much all over the country and I've never seen anyone eating that! The average Chinese have very simple home cooked foods -- mostly vegetables and some poultry or pork.
Thanks very much for your e-mail. I never said that fertilized duck egg was a Chinese delicacy. I wrote that it was available in Beijing. Some of the people I spoke with said that item stuck out from their tour.
Hmmm, you characterized fertilized duck eggs as "local fare" which implies that they are Chinese. Anyway, I mostly enjoyed the article but I am tired of the western media/and some of my fellow Americans' tendency to always focus on the "bizarre" aspects of food in China -- creating the impression that somehow that's the norm. Instead of munching on seahorses and duck eggs, I'd encourage American Olympians to visit my grandmother's village. When I go there, I am told to pick out whatever that's ripen in the vegetable garden. We'd have two or three fresh vegetable dishes, some noodles and a little bit of meat on the side. Simple and healthy and that's the typical diet of the average Chinese.
Who is right?
Here is the link to the full article (not sure if it still works since NYT archives their articles after like a week).