Weird Food

The previous post got me thinking…

What’s the weirdest, most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?

Leave it in the comments!

(And this has nothing to do with this topic, but this is the most unusually-focused, in-depth food blog I’ve ever seen. Who knew?)

Never miss a post!

74 comments

  • C
    April 11, 2007 3:37pm

    I don’t know about you, but I could write volumes on the many joys of hummus (wish I’d thought of the blog idea first).

    I’m adventurous when it comes to vegetarian foods, but not animal products so much. I suppose the weirdest things I’ve tried, then, have been natto and durian. I thought both were kinda good yet kinda bad, aka an “aquired taste”.

    …and fried oreos. I hate to admit it, but those were really good.

  • April 11, 2007 3:39pm

    Although it’s become common for me after many travels to various places, and now living in Argentina, I still remember the first time I was in Rome and someone stuck a plate of “Rigatoni alla Pajata” in front of me and told me that the “pajata” are the small intestines of an unweaned calf, still filled with mother’s milk, cooked until the milk solidifies and the intestine is tender… and then tossed with pasta and tomato sauce… After a description like that, how does one dig in? But, somehow I did, and I like them, I really do!

    It’s either that, or on my last trip to Paris eating at Les Amognes and being presented with a dessert of warm crepes filled with an eggplant cardamom compote, topped with orange sauce… never again, and the food police should have been called.

  • April 11, 2007 3:45pm

    I don’t think anything is really weird, I have no food taboo that I can think of (I’d eat dogs and cats anyday…) However, in the stuff that people think is weird that I have eaten is a number of insects, many varieties of ants, crawlers, flies etc. I have had a few reptiles as well including cobra meat. I have eaten lots of fermented fish and seafood as well. Perhaps the most intriguing and good thing I have had is stinky tofu though, it stinks so much but is so good, it is quite something.

  • AHarste
    April 11, 2007 3:47pm

    Durian, which I bought at a wet market in Singapore, brought on the subway (where an old lady was giving me the evil eye like she knew my dirty secret while I kept swinging my plastic bag to try to dissipate the smell), into my hotel room, somehow cracked it open with plastic utensils, took one bite (I think I gagged), didn’t know what to do with it and so wrapped it all up and took it out to throw away in a garbage can on the street.

    Fish head curry

    Oh, and Purina Dog chow when I was little. My mom couldn’t figure out why I loved going with her to the basement when she did laundry. I was sneaking dog chow!

  • April 11, 2007 3:50pm

    C: I don’t think there’s anything left about hummus that hasn’t been said. (The poor guy is probably wondering there all this traffic is coming from!)

    Dan: Ok, that was scary. And gross. Sorry…

    Btw: Les Amognes is closed! A friend recommended it and when I went by to check it out, the inside was a wreck. (Must’ve been some going-out-of-business party. Too bad I missed it!)

    There’s an Italian wine bar in Paris, L’Enoteca in the Marais, that has a dessert which is a confit d’aubergine, or candied eggplant with ricotta, candied orange, and chocolate sauce. The waiter told me not to order it, that I wouldn’t like it. But I did order it. And you know what? I liked it!

    Hey, eggplant is a fruit. Add enough chocolate sauce to anything and it would probably taste good. (Except those intestines. Sorry…)

    Aharste: I just have to tell you, that totally cracked me up. Luckily I was alone when I read it. Purina Dog Chow??

    So far, you win…

  • April 11, 2007 4:02pm

    Despite my fear of insects (I don’t like anything with tiny legs or antennae, yuck!), I once ate fried crickets, well hidden inside a blue tortilla with lots of avocado. They were actually very tasty and crunchy; the ones I tried were seasoned with chili powder and garlic. I hope to overcome my phobias and be able one day to eat them without the garnishes.

  • deanna
    April 11, 2007 4:51pm

    Jellyfish soup in China. It’s absolutely repulsive.

  • April 11, 2007 4:52pm

    A plateful of crickets, organs and a prairie chicken.

    Ack.

  • KateC
    April 11, 2007 4:58pm

    When I lived in Southern Japan, the specialty of the region was horse sashimi. I admit I did not eat it, especially after having seen the place where the horses were bred. They were the sweetest, fluffiest little horses! So sad. But I’m not against cooked horse in general.

    Was also served something that looked suspiciously like cat in Russia. I went vegetarian for the rest of my visit.

    When I learned to crawl I went straight for the Meow-Mix. Fortunately my parents broke that habit early.

    Alligator. Yum!!

    I had a lady bug in some spinach risotto recently. Vile, gross, ick. Definitely no cricket or grasshopper.

  • April 11, 2007 4:59pm

    Kidneys and bushmeat cooked in hot pepper sauce, with cassava dumplings – courtesy of Nigerian friends of my parents, who were going to grad school near us when I was about 12. I have no idea what it tasted like – either because the peppers were so hot, or because I was completely traumatized by being made to eat what was essentially organ meat in peppered dried monkey sauce. Refusing to eat it may have offended my parents’ friends, and this would have been an unforgivable act in our house.

    I’m still contemplating whether or not I should forgive my parents for that.

    Aside from that, I guess it would be huitlacoche, which is really, really tasty — just don’t look at it too closely.

  • Kate
    April 11, 2007 5:19pm

    First, i have to say that i recently found your blog and it has made my day. I searched your links page and found your link to kitchen arts and letters in New York. I used to live in England and Books for Cooks was one of my favorite stops… I am heading to the big apple next week and all i can say is “taxi… 1435 lexington ave please!!!” thank-you…

    as for strange foods… i originally hail from north dakota and grew up eating elk and antelope… at the time i didn’t think it unusual… but now have to admit that it is relatively so…

    as far as organ meats go… one of my first trips to france, i was sitting in a winstub in alsace and ordered a lovely plate of ‘rognon de veau’ i somehow had it in my head that rognon was similar to a roti…. i could smell the plate before it got to the table… ammonia and food are not things that correlate in my book… i cannot stand kidney’s in any size, shape or preparation.
    I guess they are my squid.

    Cheers,
    Kate

  • April 11, 2007 5:31pm

    I’m of Asian descent so weird food is not new and I am adventurous eater as well. I’ll try almost anything once. So I’ve tried a lot of bugs: beetles, worms, silkworms, crickets, etc. Every part of a fish you can imagine. I even had jellyfish last night. I’ve had baby pigeon. Eels are fun too. I have yet to have dog, cat, or snakes (but my parents have had them all). And yes, I love durian. It’s an acquired taste, but the smell goes away once you acquire it.

  • traci laurent
    April 11, 2007 7:25pm

    i used to travel to asia for work and love the food there. however, i encountered a plate full of jellyfish noodles that reminded me of rubberbands in my mouth. also, after eating a hundred year old egg, it leaves a terrible aftertaste in your mouth.

    i had the most incredible steamed fish in hong kong and we ate the whole thing including all the head parts. very tasty.

  • April 11, 2007 7:26pm

    This one is for you David. Raw squid eyeballs. On two separate occasions. In Kyoto.

    It was sort of a crunchy initiation into an unusual sashimi joint.

  • April 11, 2007 8:23pm

    1) Shirako Soup at a Japanese sushi bar – its Cod fish sperm sac. Sushi chef say good for kinky kinky in bed. Did it work? No. All hype. Maybe a little barfy barfy in toilet but thats it.

    2) I don’t know what the Vietnamese name for it is, but the duck egg with fetal duck still inside of it, totally formed with beak, feet, fur and all. Poached I think. Cut off the top of the egg shell, slurp out the remaining yolk/white and then scoop out the fetal duck and crunch and munch. Did I like it? No. I’d say that really grossed me out.

    3) When we were little, Mom used to tell us to eat the Jelly soup. She called it Chinese Jelly. It took me 15 years to finally figure out what the Jelly was…..something about when the frogs spew eggs – the sac that the eggs all stay in is the “jelly.” Why on earth would my mother feed me such stuff? It really does explain my ability to touch my nose with my tongue.

  • TikiPundit
    April 11, 2007 8:40pm

    Jeez, some of the comments got me squirming in seat.

    I don’t think mine can compare, but here goes.

    Ate kangaroo at a posh restaurant in Australia once. Once. It came with a wine reduction and risotto, but I thought it was still what I saw along the roads there: roadkill.

    Crocodile was on the offing at a Carrefour in Brussels once. Once. Tasted like gamey chicken. It was slices from the tail.

    I’m pretty sure I ate dog at a dodgy restaurant in Honolulu when I lived there. Made me sick for two days. Dog, badly cooked, is even worse than dog well-done.

    And a long, long time ago, barbecued chicken feet. Kind of tasty to nibble on but the calorie count must have been in the teens. Not much nutrition there.

    Blood pudding and chitlins in the South.

    Sauermagen — rank bits of meat, and potatoes, stuffed into a pig’s stomach and boiled — in Germany. Also, Pferdwurst — horse sausage. That wasn’t that bad. It had a crimson color to it and was sold around football grounds on Saturdays.

    None of these, however, may equal the interpretation of American dishes by Japanese cooks at an Air Force chow hall in a remote part of Japan. Weird? They knew weird. Lasagna consisted of five layers of pasta, topped by one layer of sauce, with cheese on top. They also made meat sauce for pasta with horse. I still think their fried rabbit (extremely tasty) was “locally-procured” by the cooks themselves.

    I stick to milk-toast these days.

  • April 11, 2007 8:56pm

    When I was a kid my Dad would go hunting for squirrel, elk, deer, antelope.My mom would cook beef tongue, heart, liver and kidneys sometimes, I liked the heart and the tongue was really tender and good on sandwiches with mustard and horseradish. Turtle & frog and alligator taste like chicken and donkey reminds me of corned beef.I had Ostrich,thousand year egg,durian, shark fin soup, pidgeon, and Indonesian fish head curry is nice though I am not into eating the eyes or anything. Fish lips anyone…mmm yum!
    Living in China going to restaurants we see the dogs hanging in front of the restaurant and the cats and snakes and various other creatures are in cages waiting for the customer to choose. You can choose your own fish from a tank too, and they will bring it to your table in a plastic bag flopping around so you can tell them yes you want that one. I won’t go into what happens at the snake restaurants..trust me it is just gross! They like their food really fresh here. I prefer my meat covered in plastic,in a refrigerated case thanks or at least all ready dead and not still clucking.
    As far as I know I have not eaten cat or dog however when we lived here in the late 90’s I was a little suspicious of the ribs I found in my soup a bit small, Woof woof… I will never know..
    Oh and there are many bugs you can eat too and Monkey brains are a delicacy here, I have not tried them, EWWW! The Chinese also like to eat all the organs,feet etc of the animals instead of the actual meat. No thanks I will stick with Chicken, Beef, or Pork in China.

    Expat daughter used to eat paste and doggy biscuits at daycare in the states before we moved to China. She recently admitted to me that she liked the taste of paste and the dog biscuits were yummy too. Blech!

  • April 11, 2007 8:56pm

    My personal weirdest — pig ears — sound tame in comparison to this lot. But you know what? I’m really, really glad. (shudder) You poor people.

  • April 11, 2007 9:05pm

    Rattlesnake Sausage.
    Surprisingly sweet and unsquishy!
    I would eat it again.

  • Abra
    April 11, 2007 9:11pm

    Fried chicken knuckles, kangaroo stir-fry (tastes almost like beef), pig ear salad, crocodile (tastes almost like chicken), lots of eel and pigs feet and chicken feet dishes and blood sausages (all of which barely even qualify as weird), and durian that I liked a lot.

    I think the weirdest thing I’ve eaten on purpose is probably tete de veau. All gelatinous and horrific with the empty eye sockets (thank the gods the eyes had gone missing!) and the tongue hanging out and smothered in green sauce. I know, in France you can eat it for breakfast and be normal, but to me it was pretty appalling, although I ate it to be polite.

    The weirdest thing I’ve eaten by accident was a bunch of little green worms in a box of raisins – taught me really fast to look at my food, not just put it in my mouth while reading!

    And the weirdest thing I’ve passed up was cow nose salad, a staple in the supermarket when I live in Geneva. I mean really, cow nose salad. Why does the world need that?

    Of course, that’s all nothing compared to cod sperm sac!

  • Mama Gina
    April 11, 2007 10:00pm

    Wow. Some folks could be on that weird foods show on cable!

    Crocodile . . .just like chicken!

    Gemsbok, zebra, ostrich, probably a couple other game on a kebab at Joe’s Cafe in Windhoek, Namibia.

    And I did not eat this, but watched as my fiance carefully considered and managed the eisbein . . .”knuckle of game”. Still gives me shivers.

  • Connie
    April 11, 2007 10:07pm

    I just wanted to thank you all for helping me in my quest to lose weight ! Now I am going back to the Caramel Ice Cream piece, thank you.

  • April 11, 2007 10:48pm

    Ok, now you’ve got me going David. I thought of another one:

    4) The last time I went back to Hong Kong, my dad served an amazing feast to celebrate. Nothing says “Welcome to Hong Kong!” than a bowl of regurgitated bird saliva. Mmmm mmmm good. Now, I just want to know what my ancestors were snorting when they decided to climb up a dangerous mountainous cliff, scale the cave wall, sneak in and steal a bird’s nest, shimmy on down, run home and pick out the unwanted twigs to be left with the prize…..a glob of bird vomit that holds the nest together. Hmmm…lets make SOUP! Lets charge $1000 a pound for bird spit! Lets tell people its supposed to help your skin complexion!

    I think I’ll stick with my Oil of Olay. Smells better.

    Photo My Peeps Enjoying a Bowl of Bird Vomit

  • April 11, 2007 10:51pm

    Squid :P

  • April 11, 2007 11:09pm

    I ate polar bear. I still feel guilty about it, but I was staying with Inuits in Greenland, and they had killed a bear, and I did not dare to be rude. It was very good too, much better then the seal.

  • April 11, 2007 11:17pm

    Spicy stewed bat.

  • April 11, 2007 11:30pm

    Wow, there is some weird food being eaten in the world, isn’t there? To me, squid and eel aren’t weird — they’re simply yummy. Especially the salt and pepper squid at Ton Kiang in San Francisco. But weird things I’ve tried: Sea cucumber (ick, but at least I’ve tried it), chocolate covered ants (a trick played on me at my 7th birthday — not bad — a bit spicy), jellyfish salad (not so bad, but I wouldn’t order it on purpose), fried rabbit at K Pauls (YUM), snails (a garlic and butter delivery vehicle — yeah!). I’m sure I must have had something weird on travels to India or Mexico but nothing’s jumping out at me.

  • April 11, 2007 11:37pm

    Hmm, I’ve had pig’s blood, iguana, deep fried fish heads (tastes like potato chips), ostrich and “thousand year old eggs.” Organ meat is standard Chinese fare, so I grew up eating cow’s intestines and plenty of cartilage. Sometimes I crave pork knuckles (fatty and chewy…it’s comfort food). I tried to order frog at a Vietnamese restaurant, but I chickened out at the last minute. I’ve also eaten dog food, but it was homemade and vegan.

  • April 11, 2007 11:56pm

    Witchedy grub, in the Australian outback — an experience I hope never to repeat!

  • April 12, 2007 12:48am

    Chapolines: crunchy and shrimp alike, but still insects…

  • Stephanie
    April 12, 2007 1:39am

    Voluntarily: I ate haggis three weeks ago. It tasted like pâté.

    Involuntarily: I’ve eaten more than my share of shad flies from
    biking
    along the waterfront in the Montreal suburbs in my youth.

    And I dated someone who went to China and ate duck heads, duck
    feet, and
    scorpions–all at the same meal. That was fringe. Athena is
    right–the
    Asian angle gets you all the unusuals.

  • Judith in Umbria
    April 12, 2007 2:46am

    One person’s weird is another’s home cookin’. In Ecuador I was fed both iguana and dog without realizing it. I wouldn’t go back for either.

    In Italy I do not eat any sea creatures with tentacles. That’s hard to do here. I do not eat rabbit if I can help it, nor snails. I have not been offered the cheese with maggots, but I think it sounds repulsive and I’d say no, which fortunately is the same in both languages.

    This past week in Puglia I avoided horse and donkey girl. Both apparently are local delicacies…

    Over the years I have eaten the local specialties that are all the innards of an animal wrapped up in its intestines– because it is now a great favor to have someone go to all that trouble, but I certainly would not pay for it!

  • April 12, 2007 3:09am

    In one meal in Japan I had baby bumble bee larvae (a nice meady sweet flavor, but disturbingly crunchy) and raw horse meat (a very fine grained red meat, like good beef but better).

    I think it all comes down to the sauce (would anyone bother with snails if they weren’t in garlic butter?). The horse meat was dipped in a ginger soy sauce mixture that made it taste amazing.

    Oh yeah, I too had a thing for dry cat food when I was little. My brother and I both liked it–but our mother put a quick stop to that. I remember it tasting something like potato chips…

    Great topic. I’m thinking Steamy Kitchen is in the lead so far. Anyone who’s eaten cod fish sperm sac, fetal duck, and frog egg jelly deserves to win!

  • Tina
    April 12, 2007 3:21am

    Growing up in Japan, I covered most of the fishy things (jellyfish, sea cucumber, fish eyes, blowfish, etc) in addition to frogs, snakes, and other friendly squigglies. Raw horse meat. Oh, and raw chicken sashimi.
    Since moving to Italy (Rome), I’ve had my share of intestines, but one courageous order I made at a restaurant in Florence, was cow’s urinary tract. Not sure I would order it again, but it was nothing a glass of carmignano wouldn’t wash down.

  • April 12, 2007 3:23am

    At a little soiree in the 8th arrondissement.
    A type of saucisson that was described to me by a French friend as “Bambi’s Dick”. (Bite de cerf?) Kind of triangular. Go figure.

  • dinazad
    April 12, 2007 3:34am

    Oh, I don’t know – I eat horse meat (far tastier than beef, and cows and calves are just as pretty as horses and foals, so why doesn’t anybody have qualms about those?), squid, snails, tripe, heart, lung, liver, kidney… and find them neither unusual nor gross. What I DID find pretty unusual was Spanish chocolates with vinegar filling. Those take a lot of getting used to! And a Catalan dessert consisting of hard-boiled eggs in a nut-and-sugar coating, rather like a sweet Scotch egg. Traditional it may be, but not really something you’d ask for the recipe of!

  • April 12, 2007 3:47am

    Seems like a been there ate that.. BTAT
    mexico.. crickets/grasshoppers in chili, tripe

    Italy.. tripe, all parts of a cow and pig, testicle pate.. yummy! liver, face,blood… yeah

    I haven’t been to the orient yet ( going in november) but in Sf had live sushi.. chef cut the fish and it was still twitching when I ate it..
    Never again!

    I haven’t had the cheese in sardegna with the maggots in it.. probably never will, I eat the strained version.

    Horse.. I made horse hamburgers once in Paris by mistake.. was on overload looking at the fat content of the meat… cheval.. not again.

    But in italy the dried horsemeat if fabulous.. shredded and in a salad!

    Blood crepes with either sugar and lemon and parmesan.. really lovely

    rome’s rolled and grilled intenstines pagliata are fab… they also do a tiny tied off version in a tomato sauce for pasta.

    And As Judith mentioned.. donkey is popular here too.. in certain areas.

    When I was in Puglia I bought dried Tuna tripe.. still haven’t done it yet. ( and dried squid!)
    I adore squid and octopus!!!

    I think all the orient eaters make the rest of us look like wimps!

    Look out Tony Bourdain.. I see another show!

  • April 12, 2007 3:50am

    PS I am also a fan of the eggplant chocolate combo..
    I have had severeal versions..
    also the sweet meat pies in sicily with chocolate

    Here in FLorence I can buy almost any animal body part….
    osophagus, lungs, kidney, spleen, heart,ears, tongues, tails, whole face.. boned or not,
    testicles, penis..

    Dinner anyone!

  • April 12, 2007 5:13am

    another asian here so we’ve kinda grew up unfazed by lots of (strange) food stuff…

    i have to say mongolian butter tea doesn’t taste like any other tea i know ;)

    ostrich meat was another strange one that i tried when i first moved here…

  • brenda
    April 12, 2007 7:42am

    Raw lamb spinal cord marinaded with fresh mint, parsley and lemon served as part of a Lebanese meza. Over the top wonderful!

  • April 12, 2007 8:52am

    Nothing so very weird, comparatively speaking. I’ve eaten an assortment of bugs – roaches, crickets, etc. Chicken feet, tripe. That sort of thing.

    I must say that I did feel weird about ordering pork neck bones the other day to make collard greens for the first time. It felt vaguely exotic to me for some reason.

  • Mario
    April 12, 2007 8:57am

    Ant eggs in Mexico City; they’re called escamoles and they’re quite a delicacy.

  • April 12, 2007 10:09am

    This morning i didn’t mix my groud flaxseed with my milo properly. when i accidentally drank the lump of slime at the bottom of the cup, i almost threw up.

    The smell of bird’s nest (swallow saliva) makes me nauseous. My aunt used to prepare it in my grandmother’s kitchen when i was young.

    but one of the worst experiences had to be yak butter tea. When I was living with a tibetan family in tibetan village on a study trip to sichuan china, i learnt within the first day to hide in my room when i heard the sound of the tea churn and stay in the room for at least an hour. They always serve it to you, and it’s impolite not to drink it, but i think it’s worse to throw up in your host’s living room. Salty yak butter churned into lukewarm tea. Yak meat was really yummy though.

  • April 12, 2007 10:11am

    The weirdest things I have eaten were crocodile and mopane worms. The crocodile is nice, kind of fishy but somewhat chewy. It wasn’t actually that weird.

    The mopane worms were! Ick!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gonimbrasia_belina

  • squeaker
    April 12, 2007 12:00pm

    Well, two things I’ll never eat: Okra and anything in a clam shell. Once a friend tricked me into eating some deer meat and I nearly cried when I found out. But I love durian and stinky tofu, and I dare eat almost all kinds of animal intestines. Duck tongues, yum!

  • Noel
    April 12, 2007 1:16pm

    I grew up in Chicago, a very multi-cultural city with an Asian mother. Squid and eel are a breeze. But I’ve been forced to taste cow’s tongue, shark fin soup, filipino pork blood sauce or “chocolate meat”, I’ve eaten beaver, no not thats one, the real thing, grilled with worstershire sauce, and venison salami that was pretty yummy. In chicago there are a lot of asians and for years I ate marinated chicken feet everytime we had chinese food and loved it, until I found out what it was in my teens, and I haven’t been able to eat it since.
    Its probably not that gross but I love love love beef tendons and cartilage, like some of the stuff you get in Pho and other beef-bone soups. Hate tripe though… nastyness

  • eg
    April 12, 2007 1:44pm

    Not too exotic but … frog. Yuck.

  • April 12, 2007 1:46pm

    une bernique crue, fraichement arrachée du rocher au couteau. eh ben c’est vraiment dégueu :) .

    http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patelle

  • Brenda
    April 12, 2007 3:38pm

    Lived in Japan, so horse and chicken sashimi and whale and giant snails? Of course.

    Alligator in the southern US and Kangaroo in Australia? Of course.

    Insects in Mexico? Yes–bees and ants and grasshoppers.

    And I love bbq’d animal feet–chicken and pig.

    But the strangest thing I’ve eaten was a Vietnamese dish called hot vit lon, fertilized duck eggs, from which the boiled duck embryo is scooped and eaten with salt and herbs.

    Even some friends from Vietnam, upon hearing that I had eaten hot vit lon, said, “Ugh! I would never touch that!”

  • Shea
    April 12, 2007 4:34pm

    For disgusting and weird there’s nothing like rutabagas. My mom made me eat it and now I use it to threaten my own children with.

  • Linda H
    April 12, 2007 5:02pm

    Lime jello and Cool Whip salad

  • KateC
    April 12, 2007 5:09pm

    Lutefisk!

  • JJane
    April 12, 2007 8:40pm

    shark fin soup (yuk); sea slugs in a cream sauce (when Nixon visited China, I thought, because I was living in Asia at the time, that I should partake of the same menu [a mistake]); chitterlings (no, thank you); and a few bugs here and there. Are you all aware that, if you consume some of the major brands of port wine cheese spread (and numerous other things), you are consuming crushed insects? The red color comes from carmine. See the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carmine

  • jess
    April 13, 2007 12:26am

    I won’t eat anything scary, but I like to read about other people doing it. Steve, he’ll eat anything. Check it out if you haven’t already.

    http://www.thesneeze.com/mt-archives/cat_steve_dont_eat_it.php

  • Sandy
    April 13, 2007 9:51am

    When I was a kid my dad was always practicing his “chef skills”. We ate lots of funny things but I always remember Shark Fin Soup and Birds Nest Soup! As an adult? Snails! They were so good until I found out what they were!!!! I couldn’t eat another bite! :P

  • sam
    April 13, 2007 4:07pm

    cockscomb

  • Evelyn
    April 13, 2007 7:58pm

    I’m Chinese so I have had lots of strange food that I don’t consider that strange because I grew up with it. However, when I was a teenager, I had a fish/amphibian animal when I was visiting Hong Kong. I have no idea what it was but it had short stubby legs and a tail, like an alligator, but lived in water. It was definitely weird to nibble on the skin/meat on the stubby limbs! My husband thinks I ate some prehistoric animal!

  • Eliane
    April 13, 2007 8:06pm

    I had whole preserved raw crabs in Korea; they were very salty and extremely pungent! These weren’t the soft-shelled variety, simply small sized full-grown crabs so the shell was rather stiff and chewy! A runner-up, also in Korea, was the preserved skate ray with kimchi and cold pork. The kimchi was delicious, the cold pork nothing out of the ordinary but the skate ray had been preserved for months in ammonia and wouldn’t let anyone forget that! The taste doesn’t “hit” till after you’ve chewed it for a while, which is why most (forewarned) initiates fearlessly away at it proclaiming “It’s not THAT bad!” until the ammonia literally fills your mouth and chokes you! This is when the enterprising restaurant owner rushes over with bottles of Hite and suggests, “beer?”

  • John
    April 13, 2007 8:16pm

    Stewed duck head, served whole (in Zhejiang province, China)

  • April 14, 2007 12:16am

    I’ve been a vegetarian for 22 years. Last week; however, I noticed my cereal tasted awful. Looking down, I noticed it was full of ants. I wretched over the sink for several minutes, prompting my carnivorous husband to ask me what in the world was wrong.

    He laughed at me for the rest of the day. Not quite grounds for divorce, but I was not pleased.

  • tom
    April 14, 2007 12:14pm

    I love organ meats (heat, livers, kidneys, sweetbreads, etc.) so no problem there.

    All seafood and fish, too, with the exception of eel and that hideous stockfish, or stoccafisso, as the Italians call it. I can’t believe they consider it a delicacy; my father, a fine cook from Italy, raves about it. One taste ten years ago was enough for me. Both the texture and smell I find repulsive.

    I had guinea pig in Ecuador; tasted like dried out chicken to me.

    However, I think the prize goes to chicha morada, a fermented corn beverage that I had to down in Bolivia. I felt so bad, because I was generously offered some from a very poor family, so I tried to drink it, but I really just had to sip it a little to be polite.

  • julietgb
    April 14, 2007 1:28pm

    don´t know if fish food is weird, the fish had too many and I wanted to try it.
    Good flavor!

  • Natasha
    April 14, 2007 5:40pm

    Boiled duck embryo [cambodian restaurant, provo, utah]= almost unbearable
    chapulines in a taco (fried grasshopper) [Oaxaca, mexico] = pretty good
    plus other things I don’t think are strange, but which others have mentioned here: pig’s ears/head; huitlacoche; rocky mountain oysters (bull testicles); rattlesnake.

    But if you think about it, some of the things we Western European and Americans love [raw oysters, fish eggs, rare meat, snails, lobster, raw sea urchin] would seem strange to the unitiated.

    I recommend: man eating bugs, a great book with pictures about insect eaters the world around.

    Also, a few years ago, Gourmet had a really great article about some Chinese chefs who were touring the great restaurants of the U.S. and were absolutely appalled by the strangeness of our food–cheeses, rare meats and so on. It’s all in the cultural perspective.

  • April 15, 2007 7:27pm

    I often eat a paste made from a nut that’s grown in dirt, shelled, toasted, and then ground up. I spread it on a spongy substance made from a grain (also grown in the dirt, believe it or not) that’s plucked, dried, degerminated, ground to a powder then mixed with water and a type of wild airborne fungus, allowed to sit for a few hours until it swells to an enourmous size, and then the whole thing is subjected to extreme heat for an hour in a metal box until it hardens, and finally it’s sliced. Ew! On occasion I’ve also been known to eat milk (from a large animal that eats grass!) that has been thickened with an enzyme from the stomach of its own young, then the resulting hard substance is injected with bacterial spores, and allowed to sit for weeks until it’s filled with moldy blue veigns and it reeks. Then I eat it, sometimes drizzled with bee vomit. Disgusting, no? Not nearly as good as the bull’s whip (penis) I ate in China.

  • April 16, 2007 1:07am

    Growing up we used to say my brother would eat sh*t sandwiches only he doesn’t like bread.

  • April 16, 2007 2:55pm

    Let’s see, here is my list:

    Fugu (blowfish) sperm in Japan (along with a multicourse fugu meal, fried fugu, broiled fugu, sashimi fugu, fugu soup. And I lived to tell about it!

    Jellyfish
    Chicken Feet
    Pigs ears
    Organ meats, gizzards, hearts, kidneys, marrow, tripe, Yum!
    Fermented squid

  • April 18, 2007 9:48am

    Served up as a version of Fish N’ Chips:
    Deep Fried Rattle snake with chips in a newspaper cone at the James Beard House.
    I shot it, but refused to eat it :P

  • andrew
    April 18, 2007 3:11pm

    pure fat

  • April 19, 2007 12:36pm

    As a child I ate Fritoes covered in ants. Live ants. They bite your tongue. It’s amazing what kids will eat.

  • April 20, 2007 12:34pm

    I’m Singaporean Chinese. I love pig, and by that I mean I’ve eaten just about every bit of the pig there is to eat. Pig intestine soup, pig trotters, pig brain soup, pig stomach, kidneys, livers (Chinese delicacies) I eat them all. I ate pig’s fallopian tube satay in Ipoh, Malaysia once.

    Also these worm-like, eel-like things in China, which swim in the paddy fields and tasted fab fried up in chilli.

    Squid is delicious. Durian is the most heavenly fruit grown in Asia, and I’ve eaten whole durians by myself before. I can’t imagine why you folks don’t like the smell or taste. It’s delicious.

  • April 20, 2007 12:45pm

    Who doesn’t like durian??

    I love durian!

  • Katherina
    April 22, 2007 2:31pm

    Okay, I did not, repeat, DID NOT want to eat this, but had to (we must always be polite to our hosts):
    Privates of a goat. The absolute worst thing about eating them was that they still looked like what they were. Honestly, they could have at least cut them up so that the fact that I was eating a ram’s balls and dick was a little bit less obvious.

  • Jerod Gilliam
    May 4, 2007 4:53pm

    Being from Texas I have eaten things that would be considered by many to be strange….. Calf Fries for instance.. They are Bull Balls that are peeled and then sliced into quarters, breaded and fried up.Dip them in BBQ sauce and its a slice of heaven.. Sometimes we have whats called popcorn balls… you take an unpeeled bull testicle and fry it whole in a pan with butter and garlic until the thing pops like a big popcorn kernel and then you put salt and pepper on and eat it like lobster…..