Noxious Nosh

It turns out that few people actually enjoy the taste of pangolin—a scaly anteater whose flesh is a blend of gristle and rubber. The same goes for the nocturnal civet, which has a gamy aftertaste that even the thickest brown sauce can't mask. And who really enjoys camel hump, which tastes just as you'd expect a blubbery lump to taste? But flavor isn't what really matters to many of the diners tucking into China's wildlife menagerie. "Businessmen come here to prove their wealth," says George Ng, a Shanghai-based restaurateur who specialized in cobra and...

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