HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


what's the most unusual thing you've eaten?

  • o

and I don't mean on a dare! :-)

I'm a standard fare road chow-er.

No ant eggs, sweetbreads, intestines or brains for me.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Sheep's eyeballs.

    Not that weird, it turned out.

    1. McDonald's McRib Sandwich. What IS that meat? And yet, I crave it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rworange

        I dont get that sammie.

        They make it look like it has bones in it.

      2. Duck "Rocky Mountain Oysters"... were from a large duck; can't remember if it was a Moulard, Muscovy or what but these things were about the size of Vienna Sausages. I had to try them; they weren't bad.

        1 Reply
        1. re: RWCFoodie

          I've tried Bradshaw Mountain Oysters - mountain goat testicles. Not bad with some BBQ sauce.

        2. Dammit that I grew up in Louisiana....alligator, squirrel, turtle, possum, rattlesnake, rabbit's not really weird, but man I love paneed rabbit.

          I don't miss most of it much. Turtle soup, yum with sherry, to die for.

          1. Olm, My philosophy of eating (especially related to travel) is, if "they" eat it, so should I. I've dined on cold smoked monk fish liver, smoked eel, grilled lamb's kidneys and chile lased menudo. But when it comes to actual taste that wows the senses, nothing compares to "spicy pork intestine" served Seszhwan style. At first taste, it appeared to be "the poor man's Foie Gras"; However, this dish was elevated beyond that. The texture and flavor were incredible. What's more, I instantly realized the cosmic distance between Sweet & Sour pork, Chow Mein & Garlic Chicken to the culinary genius I was experiencing. This meal also allowed me to transition to the tastes Asians adore rather than the mundane offerings provided to the Olive Garden crowd. My suggestion is, if it's the house specialty for "locals", order it.

              1. re: nooodles

                OOOO !!

                How was that, and where can I get some?

                1. re: nooodles

                  Wow! I have been all over the world and have never heard of that. Little crunchy I suspect? When we were kids in South Africa we ate "songololos", Zulu word for worm like millipedes, fresh! :)

                  1. re: nooodles

                    Seahorse is a traditional accompaniment for duck in certain cantonese consommes.

                    1. re: nooodles

                      I was forced by my mother to drink seahorse soup as a teen because it was supposed to help clear up acne.... well, let me tell you, not only did it not work, it (almost) made me throw up. And I can stomach most of the noxious Chinese herbal potions around.
                      But my experience pales in comparison to our Cantonese neighbours who would occasionally boil up a pot of dried cockroach soup (good for asthmatics)..... thank the Lord I had/have a healthy pair of lungs!

                    2. Raw Whitchetty grubs in Australia. 'Nuff said, tho texture aside, the taste wasn't that bad. Not like - I imagine - something called hakarl I just read about(decomposed shark, an old authentic method of preserving fish in Iceland).

                      1. had to live off the land for a couple months in a very remote part of labrador during field school, thus:

                        seal meat (very tasty in stew)

                        braided seal intestines (if you didn't know what it was, you would swear it was a delicious, al dente pasta)

                        walrus meat (very stringy & gamey)

                        intestinal contents of caribou (humans can't digest what little grows in labrador (moss, lichen, scrub brush), but caribou can. you squeeze out the intestines to get your "greens". actually not as bad as it sounds, assuming you're doing it to survive.)

                        also ate some ceremonial dishes with the inuit. can't remember most of them, one that stood out the most was auk fermented in a gutted walrus/seal. can't really say i enjoyed it (if 1000 year eggs are your thing, it's probably delicious), but it didn't kill me.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: mark

                          You win.

                          All I have is duck tongues (nasty texture, flavor eh.) at a wedding banquet in China. Also chopped up frog (bones still intact), deep fried. The everyday food in china was fantastic, the special delicacies...not so much. Perhaps they grow on you.

                          1. re: Jess

                            i'm fairly sure the inuit who were working with us and serving as guides were playing the "let's see what we can get these fools to eat" game at times (they swore at one point that caribou antlers were a regular snack - they're actually not bad, you just eat the tips, they're kind of peanuty - but they didn't seem to enjoy them much when they ate one trying to coax us into doing the same). oddly, the weirdest food response i saw up there was when i made mashed potatoes & left the skins on. They (the same people who declared the auk delicious) couldn't believe anyone would do that & refused to eat them despite watching the rest of us (safely) doing so.

                            i guess what might qualify as the most unusual food for me isn't all that strange, it's where i got it that makes it weird. after living, completely isolated & relying just on our guns & nets to feed us, for weeks in the far reaches of labrador, when we got back to civilization our first stop was for some fresh fruit & veggies. the only fresh fruit available that whole summer were kiwis. they were delicious.

                            1. re: mark

                              That does seem to be a popular game; I got the same thing in Cote d'Ivoire. My host family would make, say "escargot" (slugs off the wall of the house, as far as I could tell), then watch, a-twitter, until I put some in my mouth and tried desperately to control my facial expressions, at which point they would scream with laughter.

                              I enjoy escargot. These tasted like dirt. And they didn't eat much of it, either.

                              Re the mashed potatoes and kiwi, I guess it's all what you're used to, huh? A century ago in Asia, someone was telling their family, "and then they told me a popular snack is cow milk that had been fermented until it was hard, with mold on it!"

                              1. re: Jess

                                Hate to disappoint you, but the huge land snails (20 times as big as French Escargot) are in fact a delicacy in West Africa. You can often see them in the open air markets. Not just a joke on the tourists.

                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                  Pulling a slug of your wall cooking and eating has to be a joke. Snails need to be feel on a clean diet and then purged (starved) until their stomachs are empty to be properly.

                                  A snail of a wall is just dirty and nasty. It is like smearing killing a chicken and smearing excrement all over it and then eating it. (Wait, that is factory farming...)

                                  1. re: JudiAU

                                    If you read the earlier post, the poster said slugs, "as far as she could tell." She clearly did not actually see them collect the "slugs." Large West African land snails look exactly like large slugs once you shell them, which is usually how they are served.

                                    I am 100% certain that this meal was no joke, though they might have teased the newbie a bit, this is in fact a special meal in West Africa as the land snails are fairly expensive.

                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                      I didn't mean that the consumption of the snails was a joke. I meant that plucky them off the wall and cooking them must be a joke.

                              2. re: mark

                                I agree with the Inuit about the mashed potatoes with skins on. I always want to strangle people when they do that. WHY oh why would they wreck perfectly good mashed potatoes???

                            2. re: mark

                              You win hands down!

                            3. I've eaten rattlesnake, alligator, and turtle burgers, but at the top of my list is camel. Not bad!

                              1. My mother-in-law's "pink salad," which really is pink and, if memory serves, involves a quantity of Pepsi-Cola.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: neighbor

                                  That reminds me of the pink pie a friend of my mother's brought to our family when my Mom died. It seems to be some strawberry jello, cool whip, "something else" concoction in a graham cracker crust. It was scary stuff.

                                  1. re: Janet

                                    Janet, I'm glad you posted, b/c now I remember what the main ingredient in m-in-law's pink salad was: Cool Whip. Just imagine, Cool Whip PLUS Pepsi, and god knows what else, probably candied fruit. Just thinking about it, I can feel my teeth rotting.

                                    1. re: neighbor

                                      My MIL used to make a great dessert ( I thought at the time) it involved Dream Whip (or Dream something mix). You made a sheet cake and poked holes in it, and poured red jello over, and then topped it with Dream Whip mixed with...something? Instant Pistachio pudding? I used to make it a lot, does anyone remember something like this? If you didn't know what was in it you might think it was pretty good.

                                      1. re: coll

                                        It's called ... Poke Cake. Tah dah! And it was cake mix with pudding in it then iced with jello. There's a recipe for it in Square Meals by Jane & Michael Stern.

                                2. The Chinatown "ice cream" store off Pearl Street in Boston, in a dirt-floor cellar:

                                  Spicy Beef Gelatinous Vein

                                  Who could say no?

                                  I'm pretty sure it was stewed aortas. Had a consistency like Cuban pigs feet, in a mildly spicy sweet-and-sour sauce. Looked like General Tso's chitlins.

                                  Don't bother. The pigs feet at Margon in Times Square are more satisfying.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Clams247

                                    For some reason I picture you being held hostage during this experience.

                                    1. re: Clams247

                                      Good man/woman Clams247 very impressive chowhoundery!

                                    2. Pureed sea urchin in Peru.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Far Far

                                        was that as a sauce on the guinea pig?

                                      2. Cod sperm. Need I say more?

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: KenOnDean

                                          Tempura cod sperm with tempura bitter melon. Wonderful.

                                          1. re: KenOnDean

                                            did the cod pay extra for that?

                                            1. re: bryan

                                              ... and was he happy with the service?

                                              1. re: bryan

                                                ... and was he happy with the service?

                                            2. c
                                              Canchito (JDiStefano)

                                              Geez I don't even know where to start -- guinea pig, duck tongue, jelly fish, tendon, raw beef liver.

                                              Here's an unusual thing I'll never eat again. Salted, fermented squid guts. I'm game for most any Japanese food, natto, uni. But this has to be the nastiest thing I have ever tasted. I was at an izakaya in Manhattan and decided to order it. Anticipating its funkiness, I ordered a bowl of rice.

                                              The small bowl consisted of slimy ribbons in a brownish liquid. It was salty and fishy. So far none of this was a problem. Whatreally put me off was the fermentation flavor. It tasted rotten. I tried to soldier on. Taste of squid, bit of rice, sip of shochu. Ultimately I sent it back. The thing that gets me is that this stuff is supposed to taste that way.

                                              Eat on,

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Canchito (JDiStefano)

                                                Actually, shiokara (salted squid guts) when well prepared is quite tasty and savory. It should have a pinkish cast to it, not brown. Sounds like you got a bad or old batch.


                                              2. 1. Fallopian tubes (pig, I think) - came in "spare parts" soup, a peppery hearty broth with pig liver, kidney, cubes of steamed blood, stomach, intestines and vermicelli noodles. Very tasty.

                                                2. Seahorse soup (mentioned below)

                                                1. Isn't it interesting that 90 + percent of these posts are about animal products. Eating odd veggies just doesn't seem that odd, but strange animal parts intimidate people.

                                                  I am a vegetarian, so I have missed out on lots of weird animals. Passed up chapulines (tiny grasshoppers) almost every day in Oaxaca.

                                                  Violet sorbet I made for a party was pretty, and pretty weird. That sweet gjetost cheese is dang odd, IMO.

                                                  Link: http://3oaxacaweeks.blogspot.com/2005...

                                                  1. Well, down Argentina way they eat every part of the cow. Like blood sausage and bull balls are nothing to them. BUT, we were once served unborn calf. (The other other white meat.) No way, Jose'. Served but refused. Does that count?

                                                    1. Just had scorpion at typhoon. A slight burned taste (maybe they overcooked it, where do you get a recipe?) Crunchy, just the tail I was hoping for the whole thing. Waste of money other than I can say I ate it.

                                                      1. This is the weirdest request I ever heard and I think it fits this category. Someone wanted a Philly Cheese Steak put through a food processor for his 82 year old toothless dad. I've always been an adventurous eater and my saying is that "I will eat anything that can't walk off the plate under is own power." I'm afraid I must rephrase, "...and not blended!!"

                                                        1. Wow, this is a really old post - with a recent response. I've regularly eaten lots of things in Asian cuisines that would probably gross a lot of people out (perhaps not CHers), but I've paused at:

                                                          blood cakes (steamed gray squares that look like tofu not as bad as it sounds
                                                          & not something i eat regularly)
                                                          intestines & tripe (a personal not a flavor thing)
                                                          scorpion on a stick (night markets)

                                                          and my favorite, for novelty, definitely not for taste:

                                                          deep fat fried cicadas (served belly up on a platter)

                                                          i passed on the snake bile & soup.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: bbc

                                                            Black bear...had it once when i was a kid...don't really remember what it tasted like, though my mother assures me it was gamy and tough and fairly nasty tasting

                                                            Rotten bay scallop...sun-baked for hours on the beach

                                                            Alligator...not that strange for some parts of the country...but it was different for me

                                                            1. re: vermontpoet

                                                              Ugh, did you know the scallop was rotten? That's past unusual. That's just disgusting, and kind of dangerous.

                                                              1. re: vermontpoet

                                                                Exact same here... my dad caught a black bear back in Manitoba where I used to live and for a year after that, we ate quite a bit of it. I don't really remember what it tasted like, but I don't think I liked it one bit.

                                                            2. I live on a 20 acre property with its own 3 acre pond, beauifully landscaped and my house overlooks it. Last winter a beaver arrived and began cutting down all my trees to eat and to make a den with. I trapped it, skinned it and and ate it. The flesh was excellent, tender, slightly gamey and resembling pork.The loin and tenderloin can be treated like the same cuts of beef or pork, ie, brief high heat searing or grilling. The hams and roundsteak area requires braising and is excellent that way. I had heard the tail was regarded as a delicacy by trappers in the old west and so I fixed that. You char the surface over a flame or under a broiler. The scaley skin can then be scraped off. The flesh is fatty, with scattered pink streaks in it which I took to be muscle bundles. I sliced it and sauteed it in strips. Not bad. A little like calf fries or sweetbreads in texture, but not as delectable.

                                                              1. I've eaten a ton of weird things, but when I got married my MIL threw a shower where everyone had to bring a recipe. Anyone for cauliflower and grape salad with Miracle Whip and prepared horseradish? Or maybe you'd prefer chicken salad with craisins, apricots, almonds, curry, Miracle Whip (yeah, sounds fine but keep reading), yellow mustard, pimentos, olives, pickles, celery, and mandarin oranges.

                                                                And yes, these were lovely old ladies who were completely serious.

                                                                I eat fish heads and the fried skeletons on a regular basis, I've eaten alligator and rattlesnake and something that my host swore was squirrel, but that chicken salad recipe just makes me cringe.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: dalaimama

                                                                  Those are indeed a couple of scary sounding salads! That chicken salad sounds like someone just emptied their fridge into a jar of Miracle Whip and voila!

                                                                2. sparrow yakitori (Japan), but it didn't taste strange. Tasted pretty much like quail, but with less meat on the bones.

                                                                  Huitlacoche (corn smut - means "raven's poop" in nahuatl ). Delicious! Right up there with cepes/porcini and truffles. Just the name in English makes it weird. Just read it's been renamed "corn truffle". Marketing strikes again.

                                                                  Sea slug (at a Chinese wedding). No real flavor other than the sauce; you eat it for the texture.

                                                                  I missed the chapulines (grasshoppers) in Mexico - never even saw them on a menu, must have been out of season. Ditto the agave worms.

                                                                  Right now, the weirdest thing I find is brightly colored Jell-o with no real fruit flavor. It's typically served at my family reunion - I'd rather have the insects.

                                                                  (I'm not considering various game meats from large herbivores unusual, nor octopus/squid, so I'm skipping them)

                                                                  1. Reindeer. A bit like a cross between porkchop and liver. Not bad, however.

                                                                    1. Venison BBQ burritos. What can I say, I grew up in the sticks.

                                                                      1. calf brains. it was by mistake - it'd been fried and looked like fried chicken to me so i tried a bite. it was much creamier than fried chicken!

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: yogurtsoda

                                                                          My wife nearly made that mistake in Cuba. This was in the old days before ther Spaniards took over the hotel industry, raising standards - and prices - to an international level.

                                                                          At a lunch buffet she said that she would have some of the fried chicken. The chef understood, but didn't know the English word, so he said "Sesos", which my wife didn't understand. So, he tapped his head - she understood and had the piccadillo.

                                                                          In Newfoundland, someone gave us a package of ground moose meat. We used it in a recipe for Moussaka, in a Greek cookbook, duibbing the result, of course "Mooseaka".

                                                                        2. My adviser in graduate school liked to make strange foods, so I've had toasted meal worms and a banana bread with earthworms baked into the batter. The meal worms tasted like popcorn. I can't really describe the banana bread.

                                                                          Growing up in Florida, I've also had more tame things like alligator.

                                                                          1. Dog stew, twice. Posum stew. Some mystery Chinese sausage that I am sure had cat meat, maybe even rat meat, in it, but I can't be certain.

                                                                            Others that I am not sure if it's that unusual, hair vegetable (just had it this past sunday).

                                                                              1. I worked at a Cherokee Museum here in Tahlequah. One day during a manager's meeting, Perry, our maintenance guy was complaining that we were overrun with squirrels. His suggestion was to shoot some and cook some squirrel and dumplings. I thought, 'that Perry, he's such a kidder', until the next day I came in to work and there was a big ol' pot of that greasy goo on the stove.