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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Jew's ear juice, anyone?

Thirsty?

The Consulate General of Israel in Shanghai was surprised to discover on the shelves of a local supermarket chain a canned beverage called "The Jew's Ear Juice."

The drink is made of a black mushroom which does resemble a wrinkled ear. (I can't find liquid, but if you want to make your own, Amazon has lots of choices for the alternative name of wood ear mushrooms.)

Israel's Consul-General in Shanghai Jackie Eldan stressed that this was not a case of anti-Semitism, as Judaism is considered in China a synonym of success.

According to Eldan, the juice's manufacturer must have thought that linking it to the Jewish ear would be profitable.

ElderOfZiyon found a review:

From the Chinese name, 黑木耳露 (Hei1 Mu4 Er3 Lu4), I know that it's wood ear juice. Wood ear (evidently a.k.a. Jew's ear) is a fungus that's pretty common in Chinese dishes, but I would never think about drinking it.

Also available powdered!
It's a nasty-looking thick semi-transparent cloudy brown liquid. It's smell is weird, like a mix between the apple vinegar drink and turkey gravy. It's a little thick and slimy, but the flavor is actually mild. The flavor isn't anything at all like the cooked wood ear that I'm used to eating.

It's so strange that it tastes like bland, bad, old apple cider, that I decided to check the ingredients. The Jew's Ear Juice is made of: pure water, black wood ear (Jew's ear), haw (Chinese hawthorn), big Chinese date, sugar, honey, sodium of citric acid, and stabilizer.

It all makes sense now, the strange appley flavor is coming from the haw. It does taste similar to hawthorne juice now that I think of it.

Jew's Ear (AKA Wood Ear) fungus
Well, the can says that if you drink the Jew's ear juice cold, it's clear and refreshing, but you can heat it up to make it more "densely" fragrant. I gotta try it.

They were right about the smell, it is definitely denser. The strange thing is that it now smells more like food, almost like spaghetti-o's. Believe it or not, Jew's ear juice actually tastes better hot. Maybe it's the thickness, but I think it's just that wood ear is usually served cold, and when the juice is hot it reminds me less that I'm drinking fungus juice.

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