Sea Cucumbers/Beche-de-Mer/Namako/海鼠

Sea Grub or Sea Mice?
Solomon Islands Currency

beche de mer or sea cucumbers

Beche de Mer
Frozen, Chinese Origin

You see them in Asian markets.  They do look like cucumbers, and are typically about six inches long in the fresh state.  Sometimes they are sold dried.  The dried form is usually black and rock-hard, and only a few inches long.Despite the name, they are not a vegetable and are not related to cucumbers.  They are a kind of seafood.

A common name is Sea Cucumbers, from their shape, also Trepang, or Bêche de Mer, from the French word for “sea grub.” Continue reading

Ng Ka Py 五加皮

Steinbeck’s Tipple
Fu Manchu’s Magenta Martini

What kind of word consists of “Ng”? This is the Cantonese rendering of Northern Chinese “wu” the word for the numeral ‘5’. The Mandarin name of this drink is Wu Jya Pi, 五加皮  literally “Bark of Five Additions.” [1]

So  Ng Ka Py is the Cantonese name for a Chinese spirit or liqueur that might be an infusion of five kinds of fruit peel.  A sort of alcoholic Five-Spice Powder, perhaps? [2]

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