Here in China, Women’s Day is a big deal. You give flowers, have a special meal, and continually congratulate one another for … being a woman. Our workers invited me to join their special meal for the day. Dog soup was the entree.
Many of the soups here come with a basic broth and meat. At the table, you add pepper, onions, and other spices to your bowl of soup. The meat was amazingly tender, but there wasn’t a lot of flavor until I added all the extras.
I like spicy food. Korean 고주창 go-ju-chang (red pepper paste) is used abundantly in our house. But there was something in the pepper mix that I added to my soup yesterday that literally took my breath away. And the last bite was still painful hours later.
Maybe the magic ingredient in the pepper mix was numbing sauce. A sauce so hot that there is no taste, only pain. I’m guessing that the first English speaker to taste this sauce burnt their mouth so badly and when they tried to say “dumb sauce” everyone else heard “numb sauce.” Or maybe it causes the rest of your body to go “numb” because of the intense pain felt in your mouth for hours. Regardless of how it got its name, I would have been happy to have my mouth numbed so that the pain would go away.
I did have a great time with our workers. It is fun to see how much excitement can come from something so small. We work with great people!