I have a theory.
My theory is that, while the reality show Fear Factor has taken the West by storm; if NBC is ever to film a local version of it in Hong Kong, though we would see thousands of Hong Kong people lining up to get a chance of the audition, the ratings would sink big time domestically if the participants are mostly Cantonese.
The rationale is simple: to Cantonese, East is Pest and Pest is East. Repeat this 5 times and you'll understand. Bugs or reptiles or whatever, they have no fear. Once the host waves go, the Cantonese contestants would rush to the podium and put the crawling leggy bugs into mouth with haste, without a friction of hesitation -- there might even be a reflection of adoration on their faces all the while. All the audience watching the show would goes like, "Fear Factor, fear what?" That would prove to be catastrophic to a show naming itself *Fear Factor*. That's why NBC would never recruit one single Cantonese soul for the show.
My theory despite, I have no intention to lodge complaint against discrimination whatsoever. None is to blame. After all, it is the Cantonese themselves who believe the myth that the weirder it seems, the better it does to health, and end up actually eating everything the weirdest.
That said, the prize is now all you non-Cantonese for the taking. And if you ever want to have a serious run on the championship, come to Woo Mei Restaurant, a outlet in Sun Po Kong, which is an old quarter in Hong Kong full of ramshackle buildings. If there is ever a boot camp to put your through the Fear Factor reality show (the eating part, at least), this is it. Trust me, it has a menu to get even the most jaded palate bugeyed:
1) Dytscide: The Thais call them "water beetles" whereas Cantonese call them "water cockroaches." The tastiest among all the bugs you gonna eat. Peel off the shell and legs and sup out the fluid. The bugs live in water and live off small fish and shrimp. This explains where's the "umami" of seafood comes from. Draining level: 3 out of 5.
3) Nercis (Tylorrhynchus heterochaeta): It lives by rice crops so it is supposedly oozing with the fragrant of cereal. Can either be mildly fried or baked with eggs in a clay pot. Draining level: 4 out of 5.
4) Bamboo warm: The Thais eat this one as well. Draining level: 5 out of 5. I know this is hard for you but I have a prefect way for you to bear it through. Just take it as Petite Bibendum, the Michelin Tireman figure. Eh, yes, I know this is quite anti-climatic, and those of you who read the Michelin Red Guide would've known better. Think of all those starred restaurants you've visited when you suck this (in fact, quite a many are showing on the side bar on your right).
5) Reed worm. It live by reeds. All curled up after such a deep fry. Your commander don't like the taste of it at all. It tasted very hallowed. The commander is a "Body" man! "Body for his wine, body for his worm, he so demanded. Toughness, soldiers, where is your toughness? Draining level: 5 out of 5.
6) Silkworm pupae: Draining level: 5 out of 5. But, wait! You are lucky, the commander says this one is out of stock today. So, go home now and get some good rest. Meanwhile, keep in shape for your next round of strenuous boot camp.
Woo Mei Restaurant (Defunct)
Address: 72 Choi Hung Road, Sun Po Kong, Kowloon
Fare: 70-100 (Cash only)
Transportation: Minibus Route 25M from the Kowloon Tong EastKCR Station