When Hot Pots (火鍋 or huo guo) come out, they typically look like this:
Ahhhh Hot-pots: a bowl of mystery. Typically you get a bowl or pot of broth over a fire (which may or may not already have some food in it), then you get a bowl of random food that you put into the pot to cook. Usually there are some vegetables, tofu, tofu skin, cabbage, lettuce, corn, meat (or seafood, depending on what you order), fish cakes, noodles, mushrooms.... and other random things.
The first was a bloody rice cake. It was a small, black rectangular block of rice; rice mixed with pigs' blood. It was actually really good. The consistency was that of sticky rice, it was chewy and a bit grainy. The taste was mild and I really liked the texture of it. I ate mine and then took Nick's and ate his as well!
I have to say that after this encounter, I feel ready to try out the bloody rice cake stand at the night market!
One way you can tell you are becoming acculturated is when someone tells you there is duck blood in your soup and you don't really think its a big deal! At this point, we are no longer surprised or frightened by this. Ahhh c'est la vie.