I've been addicted to a particular form of Chinese condiment for as long as I can remember. In fact, my mother told me that I first tasted this stuff when I was six months old. I am referring to fermented bean curd. I must go through a half dozen jars every month.
You can find jars of it in many Asian food groceries. There are a multitude of brands. This stuff comes in a jar, containing bean curd chunks shaped like cubes, immersed in a liquid base which may or not include alcohol. Some of them have chili added and some do not.
This stuff is definitely not suited for most American palates, and the mere sight and odor of it grosses most people out. Also, I have never seen it offered at any Chinese restaurant. Yet, I have often seen the cooks use it during their lunch breaks. When I mention that I enjoy this stuff, they seem amazed.
Also, I have never been able to "convert" any of my American friends, many of who have a passion for Chinese food, for this stuff. Most have tried it but they do not like it. I guess it's an acquired taste. Again, I first had it when I was six months old.
In any event, I use this stuff liberally whenever I order take out Chinese food. It really adds a lot of flavor. In essence, I love it.
Have any of you ever developed a fondness for this little known but wonderful condiment? If you have, is there a particular brand name that you prefer over the others?