Okay, so for our family vacation this summer, the family and I spent a few days in Denver. I know, a Denver vacation doesn’t really sound like too big of a deal, and it really wasn’t, but you do what you can afford. Couldn’t really even afford that, but whatever. Money isn’t important (or so I keep being told and am trying to believe… kind of like in the tooth fairy). Anywho, we did some fun things and we did some lame things, but that’s all beside the point.
We went to my new favorite grocery store in the entire world: H Mart. For anyone not familiar with H Mart, it is a chain (apparently) of grocery stores that specializes in Asian foods. They have all kinds of cool seaweeds snacks and tons of Pocky. There are aisles full of Oriental canned goods and weird fruits and vegetables. There are meats from animals that I thought were extinct. There are cuts of meat that I didn’t know exist cut from animals I am familiar with. There were frozen and fresh (in tanks in the store) fish that were all amazingly priced (as in “move over Walmart, your prices are too high”). If I lived in Denver, I would be making weekly trips to this store. But I don’t live in Denver, so we just bought what would fit in our small cooler for the trip home.
We bought some seaweed snacks and some mahi mahi and some tuna and some shark and some swordfish and some preserved duck eggs (which may be the topic of another post) and some green tea Oreos and some dried shrimp and some clams and some midodock ***screech*** back that up, what was that? Midodock. Yep, had no idea what it was either at the time we purchased it, but it was right beside the frozen clams and it was cheap, so I figured it was going to be good. I figured I could always Google it later.
So later, I Googled it, because the wimps in my family refuse to eat something if they don’t know what that something is. I just figured I’d roll them in cornmeal and deep fat fry them. Nothing can be bad when breaded and fried, right? Well, Google didn’t help my cause. There were only three websites that had any reference to midodock, and none of them were in English. The first one Google helped with a little bit of translation, and I got the following:
“midodock is conch it? Who ate it? Not good?”
To which the reply was:
“Afraid to fry.”
Well, crap! You see, even though this might have caused a bit of hesitation for me, I still would have fried it up and fed it to my family. The problem is, the wife and the teenager both have access to Google and both of them did the same search I did. I was going to need more info.
The second link provided by Google was even less helpful to my cause of getting this stuff eaten. It was another site with Chinese writing that Google tried to help with the translation of. This site got even scarier, and weirder, because one person was asking what midodock is and people are saying maybe conch and then it turns to tumors and it ends with midodock potentially being conch long tumors. What in the hell is a conch long tumor?!? Then this weird site goes into another person saying that he or she knows what it is and will tell the original poster what it is for some buns? And then the original poster says that he or she paid the coins? Then the person who apparently knows what it is says that he or she isn’t a rabbit spread eagle and he or she didn’t receive the coins… and by this time I’m leaving the site to Google conch long tumors which results in another dead end and I’m cursing Google’s ability to translate anything and I know I’m never going to be able to talk my family into eating conch long tumors! But maybe the family won’t make this discovery.
About this time, the teenager says, “Uh, Dad, the midodock is conch tumors.”
And the wife says, “It can’t be healthy eating tumors.”
And the tween says, “I’m not eating tumors.”
And I figure I’ve just blown a couple of bucks on something that is going to sit in the freezer for a few months before the wife throws it out, because the third site Google gave as an option in its search results on “midodock” was some kind of PDF Korean magazine that Google wasn’t even going to attempt to translate for me… and I don’t read Korean…
So I stick the midodock in the freezer and start scheming ways to feed it to the family without them knowing what I’m feeding them.
The weekend after we get back to Nebraska from our Denver “vacation”, we go to the tween’s favorite Chinese restaurant for his birthday meal. While we’re there, I ask the owner, Bob (who is actually from China and I don’t think his real name is Bob, but I’m guessing his real name is impossible to pronounce so he just goes by Bob because, I don’t know, he thinks he looks kind of like a Bob, I guess) if he has ever heard of midodock. Bob looks at me kind of confused and says he doesn’t. So I give Bob a short rundown of the trip to H Mart and the purchase of the midodock and the Google results that led us to believe that midodock may actually be conch long tumors (whatever those are) and I didn’t understand how a market could sell tumors to eat and I kind of implied that this was all Bob’s fault because, you know, he’s Asian.
So Bob puts up his finger in a “give me a second, I may have an answer for you” kind of way, and he disappears. Bob comes back with his wife, who I’m just going to call “Mrs. Bob”, because I don’t know her name.
“My wife might know”, says Bob.
So, I repeat the whole H Mart, Google, long tumor story. Mrs. Bob doesn’t know what midodock is either, but she says she can find out. She has me write “midodock” down, along with my phone number, and she tells me she will give me a call when she finds out. I thank Mrs. Bob, and I thank Bob. We then leave, and I figure I’m never going to hear from Mrs. Bob and that she and Bob are back at the restaurant laughing at the dumb white guy buying stuff at H Mart when he doesn’t know what it is…
Within a half hour, my phone rings. It’s Mrs. Bob, and she talked to someone (in her family, I’m assuming), and she knows what midodock is. According to Mrs. Bob, midodock are conch. They come in small, black shells and are very hard to get out of the shell. She says her family boils them and then adds them to stuff like stir fry. She tells me that they used toothpicks to dig the meat out of the shell.
I thank Mrs. Bob from the bottom of my heart, and I inform the family of Mrs. Bob’s revelation. They are all put at ease and it looks like we will be having fried midodock in the near future.
How do we know we can trust Mrs. Bob? Well, we eat at her restaurant relatively often (for us) and I don’t believe she would steer us into something unsafe. Plus, I trust Mrs. Bob a crap-ton more than I trust Google’s ability to translate Chinese.
So, since there are like next to no Google search results for midodock, I’m hoping that this little post will be beneficial to anyone who has purchased some midodock at H Mart and they want to figure out what exactly it is that they bought! Trust Mrs. Bob, it’s nothing more than conch. There are no long tumors involved… and if you have any information that points to something else… PLEASE LET ME KNOW!