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戴记独臭之家,台北的臭豆腐神殿

更新时间:2017-11-22 12:28:35 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Where Stinky Tofu Is at Its Malodorous Best
戴记独臭之家,台北的臭豆腐神殿

TAIPEI, Taiwan — In a small, unassuming building below the growing skyline of Taipei’s Xinyi District, Wu Hsu Pi-ying has built a shrine to stink, attracting the faithful from far and wide.

台湾台北——在台北信义区不断延伸的天际线下一座不起眼的小楼里,吴素萍(音)建起了一座发臭的神殿,吸引了四面八方的信徒。

Since 1989, Dai Family House of Unique Stink has cultivated a following among aficionados of one of Taiwan’s most prevalent, and most pungent, snacks: stinky tofu.

自1989年以来,戴记独臭之家在台湾最流行、最刺鼻的小吃臭豆腐的狂热爱好者中培养了一批追随者。

“We’re happy,” Ms. Wu said, sitting on a low stool at her restaurant. “We give people healthy, natural food, and it’s super cheap.” Menu items range from 50 cents to $3. “I don’t need to make a lot of money.”

“我们很开心,”吴素萍坐在自家餐厅的矮凳子上说。“我们给客人提供健康、天然的食物,而且超便宜。”菜单上的价格从50美分到3美元不等。“我不需要赚很多钱。”

A fermented bean curd that came via immigrants from mainland China, stinky tofu has long been a staple in Taiwan. A versatile food, it can be fried, steamed or cooked in soup, all of which are on the menu at Dai’s. Ms. Wu also pioneered cold stinky tofu, which is served covered with crispy flakes of seaweed-flavored batter, the edges of the tofu slab a bluish-gray.

臭豆腐是通过移民从中国大陆传来的一种发酵豆腐,长期以来一直是台湾的一种重要食物。它有多种做法,可煎,可蒸,也可以在汤里煮,所有这些做法戴记的菜单上都有。吴女士还开创了冷臭豆腐,它的表面覆盖着一层脆脆的海藻味面糊,豆腐块的边缘呈蓝灰色。

Across Taiwan, deep-fried stinky tofu is commonly sold at stalls in night markets, where its odor carries for long distances.

在台湾各地,油炸臭豆腐通常在夜市的小摊上出售,臭味会飘得很远。

Describing that odor is a matter of contention. As with eaters of smellier cheeses, proponents of stinky tofu tend to use the term “chou,” or stinky, in a positive context. Those who detest the dish might compare it to smelly socks or even to rotting garbage. Then again, so might those who enjoy it.

如何描述那种味道是存在巨大争议的。和吃味道刺鼻的奶酪一样,喜爱臭豆腐的人喜欢把“臭”字当成一个好词来用。讨厌这个小吃的人可能会将它比作臭袜子,或腐烂的垃圾。不过话说回来,爱吃的人可能也会这么说。

Lovers and haters tend to agree on one thing: Stinky tofu is a much less intense experience for the palate than it is for the nose.

但不论是爱是恨,两派往往会一致同意:臭豆腐吃起来比闻起来容易多了。

One exception is the stinkiest tofu available at Dai’s, aptly named stink paste. Fermented at a low temperature over two years in a vegetable and medicinal herb-based brine, this tofu decomposes and attains a creamy texture and gray hue. If stench were spiciness, it would be a habanero-plus, making its presence felt long after swallowing.

但戴记最臭的臭豆腐“臭膏”是一个例外。“膏”是个贴切的称呼。豆腐在蔬菜和药草卤水中经过两年低温发酵,腐化成偏灰色膏体。如果把臭味比作辣味,那它要比世界最辣的哈瓦那辣椒更辣,在吞下之后味道久久不会退散。

Previously an artist, Ms. Wu, 70, has spent the last 30 years creatively pushing the boundaries of the stinky tofu realm. She no longer works every day — her son and daughter-in-law help run the shop when she’s resting or traveling — but she still oversees operations. She has the air of a master at the top of her game.

70岁的吴素萍曾是名艺术家。在这30年间,她已创造性地开发出了臭豆腐的各种可能。她现在已经不每天工作了——在她休息或旅游时,有她的儿子和儿媳帮忙打理店铺——但她仍然监督着生意。她有一种高高在上的大师风范。

“I’m the one who’s done everything here,” she said, smiling. “If I don’t get it, no one does. I’m the only one in the world who gets it.”

“这里的事情都是我在做的,”她笑着说。“如果我做不了,也没人做得了。全世界就我一个懂这些。”

She said she learned the art of fermenting bean curd from her parents, who had made it and sold it wholesale for more than 60 years. (The restaurant takes its name from her stepfather’s surname.)

她说,她从父母那学来了做臭豆腐的手艺,她父母制作、批发了60多年的臭豆腐。(餐厅得名于她继父的姓氏。)

After bouncing around the United States throughout the 1980s, Ms. Wu returned to her native Taipei in 1989 and decided to open a restaurant focused solely on stinky tofu. Others have followed, but hers has won an exceptional reputation.

20世纪80年代,吴素萍辗转于美国各地生活,1989年回到故乡台北后决定开一家专做臭豆腐的餐馆。有人效仿她,但她的店赢得了特别的声誉。

The first location, in the Wanhua District of old Taipei, was a tiny, standing-room-only affair that drew complaints from neighbors who took their story to Taiwan’s raucous local news media. The cramped space and bad publicity compelled her to move to a larger shop.

第一家店开在台北的旧城区万华区,那是个只能站立进餐的小店,当时引起了邻居们的抱怨,他们把此事曝到了当地的八卦媒体上。拥挤的空间和糟糕的名声迫使她搬到了一个更大的店里。

All of Dai’s tofu production and fermentation is done in the nearby city of Taoyuan, with the store logo stamped on every slab. The restaurant’s neighbors, a convenience store and an auto repair shop, had praise for Dai’s tofu, and said the restaurant’s ventilation system, which releases kitchen fumes three stories up, was good at minimizing odors.

戴记豆腐的制作和发酵都是在附近的桃园市完成的,每块豆腐上都印着该店的标志。餐厅的旁边有一家便利店和一家汽车修理店,邻居们对戴记赞不绝口,称该餐厅的通风系统把厨房的气味释放到了三层楼以上,极大地减轻了气味。

When on duty, Ms. Wu takes orders and chats extensively with guests, while Chang Te-feng, her 74-year-old partner, operates the cash register.

轮到吴素萍管店的时候,她会负责点菜,与顾客们神侃,她的伴侣、74岁的张德峰(音)负责收银。

Working on her tofu noodle soup with metal chopsticks, one customer, Lin Yun, said she trusted Ms. Wu’s creations more than any others in Taipei.

顾客林云(音)一边用金属筷子吃豆腐汤面,一边说,在台北所有的臭豆腐店中,她最信任吴素萍家的出品。

“The flavor of the stinky tofu here is truly different — it’s really delicious,” Ms. Lin said. Pointing at a chunk of cold stinky tofu, she praised its probiotic properties. “Some doctors will tell you that if you’re having gastrointestinal problems, you just need to eat this for three days straight.”

“这里的臭豆腐的味道的确不同——真的很好吃,”林云。她指着一块凉拌臭豆腐,称赞它的益生特性。“有些医生会说,如果你肠胃不好,连着吃三天臭豆腐就好了。”

A framed calligraphic ode to stinky tofu’s health benefits hung on the wall above Ms. Lin, praising the dish’s ability to clear the lungs, cure constipation and increase the flow of chi, the vital life force of traditional Chinese medicine.

林云头顶的墙上挂着一幅颂扬臭豆腐健康益处的裱框书法作品,称臭豆腐能清肺、通便、理气——中医认为,“气”是至关重要的生命力量。

Some customers, however, are simply in it for the flavor.

不过,有些顾客仅仅是因为它的味道而迷上它的。

Paul Hsiao, dining with two friends who had joined him from across town, has been a regular at Dai’s for more than seven years. “I love to eat it,” he said. “Whether it’s healthy or not is irrelevant to me.”

保罗·肖(Paul Hsiao)和两位大老远赶来的朋友一起在这里吃饭。七年多来,保罗一直是戴记的常客。“我很喜欢吃这个,”他说,“我不管它健不健康。”

Steamed stinky tofu was one of his favorites, he said. It’s a simple, satisfying dish — a block of Dai’s signature tofu topped with enoki and shiitake mushrooms and sprinkled with green onion, sitting in a shallow bowl of umami-rich broth and edamame.

他说,蒸臭豆腐是他最喜欢的一道简单而过瘾的菜,一块戴记特色豆腐上放着金针菇和香菇,撒着小葱,搁在一只盛有鲜美高汤和毛豆的浅碗里。

Some stinky tofu in Taiwan uses brine containing seafood or pork, while some vendors have been found to use chemicals as a shortcut to obtaining the funky odor. All of the dishes at Dai’s are plant-based, Ms. Wu said, which helps to draw vegetarians as well as vegans.

在台湾,有些臭豆腐是用含海鲜或猪肉的卤水做的,也有些商贩被发现用化学品作为获得臭味的捷径。吴素萍说,戴记的所有菜肴都是植物做成的,这有助于吸引素食者和纯素主义者。

Not everyone who enters the House of Unique Stink enjoys the experience, she said. Whether customers love it or hate it, Ms. Wu doesn’t seem bothered. Just as with art, not everyone knows how to appreciate stinky tofu.

吴素萍说,并不是所有来戴记独臭之家的人都喜欢在这里的进餐体验。吴素萍似乎都不在意顾客是否喜欢。和艺术一样,不是所有人都懂得如何欣赏臭豆腐。

“Now and again a tour bus full of foreigners stops by,” she said. “Some of them love it. Others will spit their first bite into a tissue.”

“时不时地会有一辆满载外国游客的大巴在门口停下,”她说。“有些人很喜欢它。也有些人吃一口就吐到纸巾里了。”

Although Ms. Wu is no longer in the restaurant every day, full retirement is not on her agenda anytime soon.

虽然不是每天都在餐馆里,吴素萍短时间内还没有彻底退休的打算。

“I’m still going to be behind the whole operation,” she said. “It’s still early days.”

“我仍将掌管幕后的整个运营,”她说。“现在还早。”

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