What the heck did I just eat?

Oh, it was betel. Betel, I learned in my Vietnamese History class, was traditionally chewed by the folks who liked having red teeth. Also, Wikipedia informs me that betel (aka paan) is a stimulant, an antiseptic, and a breath freshener. Sure.

What they DON'T tell you is how NASTY this stuff is. It tasted like a leather shoe with a touch of cheap menthol. I unwrapped it to see what was inside: little shavings of cardboard?

Funny thing is, I see the leaves for these guys everywhere on the streets. They're usually in a high pile in some basket.

Take it from Auntie Nikki: DO NOT EAT THIS STUFF. IT IS GROSS.

You've been warned.