Do not be fooled.
Despite the shiny foil wrappers and cutesy hearts on the package, these are not candy. They’re 肉粒, “meat pellets.”
Wow, that really doesn’t sound appetizing. Let me try for a better translation: How about “meat granules”? Um…“meat tablets”? Nope, that isn’t helping. Alright, “meat pellets” it is.
I’ve seen these at the store loads of time, but had never tried them. Until today.
Curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to shell out the whopping 一块五 (USD 0.25) for a small bag so I could give these puppies a try. (No, no, don’t worry: that wasn’t literal. They aren’t dog meat.)
Meat pellets come in pork or beef, and a wide variety of flavors. I’ll be sampling five spice flavor pork.
The ingredients on this particular brand include pork (whew!), salt, sugar, MSG and a bunch of scientific-sounding things that are probably food coloring and preservatives. Health food! Even better!
From that ingredient list, I’m not entirely sure what to expect. Cuboid jerky?
Let’s take a look inside.
All I can think is “bouillon cube.”
I smell it and nibble the edge. That tiny bite is enough to satisfy my curiosity. It not only looks like a bouillon cube, it smells like a bouillon cube and tastes like what I imagine bouillon cubes would taste like, too. The texture is even a bit granular, way more like bouillon than jerky.
(“Oh no, wait,” I panic momentarily. “Maybe I was totally misled from these being sold in the snack aisle, and they ARE bouillon cubes???” I check the back of the package. It says “for direct consumption,” meaning you eat them right out of the bag. Um, I feel…relief? Or more like solid confusion as to why anyone would eat these.)
Sadly, I’m finding that meat pellets are really not my cup of tea.
However, I am seriously considering using them the next time I make soup.
And I think YOU should seriously consider using these to fill your candy dish at work. Rig up a hidden camera, and send me the youtube link to the footage of your coworkers sampling these “mints.” We will all be grateful.