Posted by: Sam Olsen | November 19, 2011

Strange Chinese delicacy of the week 13

Riccy S is getting very good at this. Who else would have reasoned that the ballish thing last week was an equine bezoar. What? I hear you cry. Exactly, How Riccy knew about this I have no idea, but here is the Wikipedia entry. Check out the super unfair poisoning case:

A bezoar is a mass found trapped in the gastrointestinal system (usually the stomach),though it can occur in other locations. A pseudobezoar is an indigestible object introduced intentionally into the digestive system

Bezoars were sought because they were believed to have the power of a universal antidote against any poison. It was believed that a drinking glass which contained a bezoar would neutralize any poison poured into it. The word “bezoar” comes from the Persian pâdzahr (پادزهر), which literally means “antidote”.

 In 1575, the surgeon Ambroise Paré described an experiment to test the properties of the bezoar stone. At the time, the bezoar stone was deemed to be able to cure the effects of any poison, but Paré believed this was impossible. It happened that a cook at Paré’s court was caught stealing fine silver cutlery. In his shame, the cook agreed to be poisoned. He then used the bezoar stone to no great avail, as he died in agony seven hours later. Paré had proved that the Bezoar stone could not cure all poisons as was commonly believed at the time.

 A famous case in the common law of England (Chandelor v Lopus, 79 Eng Rep. 3, Cro. Jac. 4, Eng. Ct. Exch. 1603) announced the rule of caveat emptor, “let the buyer beware” if the goods they purchased are not in fact genuine and effective. The case concerned a purchaser who sued for the return of the purchase price of an allegedly fraudulent bezoar. (How the plaintiff discovered the bezoar did not work is not discussed in the report.)


Right, for this week we have a slight alteration to the rules. Here is a plate of combined Chinese delicacies that we had at a wedding last week. Can you name any of them? (one at least has been featured before to make it easier!)

Answers below….

Three's up




  1. Abalone, sea cucumber & bok choi?

    • Absolutely spot on ! Very dood you Sinophile

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