Ever wondered what that incredible secret ingredient is at your favorite restaurant? Well, it turns out, it’s opium.
At least that’s the case for the patrons of 35 addictive Chinese restaurants that were found yesterday to be using opium poppies as a seasoning. The opiate-added food ranges from dumplings to noodles to crayfish.
According to China Daily, police are carrying out criminal investigations into 25 of the owners of these establishments, while the China Food and Drug Administration handles the other 10.
One especially notable location serving up illegally-addictive fare was Beijing’s famous Huda Restaurant, famous for its insanely long lines and unbelievably tasty spicy crayfish. It’s all starting to make sense now.
China has a law in place making it illegal to add poppy powder to food, no matter how small the amount or how mouthwateringly good it makes the food taste.
Of course, this isn’t the first that Chinese chefs have broken the rules and sprinkled in a little bit of ground poppy powder into their soups and seafood. Back in 2014, a pair of Shanghai restaurant owners were arrested for adding opiates to special crayfish dishes. They were jailed for three and a half years each.
// Top image: @Frank Yu