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Strangest chow you've eaten?

a
anon646 Jul 3, 2006 03:35 PM

Okay, so I'm just trying to get a sense of the wackiest, most off beat chow anyone has eaten. I don't want to use the word "weird" because "weird" is subjective.

Mine actually was eel intestine, by accident when I was in Tokyo. Was not pleasant.

What about you guys?

  1. OCAnn Jul 3, 2006 06:10 PM

    Horse sashimi, in Kyushu, Japan.

    9 Replies
    1. re: OCAnn
      missykins Jul 10, 2006 06:22 PM

      WHAT?

      1. re: missykins
        lambretta76 Jul 10, 2006 06:39 PM

        Yeah - I had lamb sashimi outside of Tokyo at a Okinawan restaurant. Meat tasted great, but the cartilege was weird. They have horser taretare at several places in Montreal.

        1. re: lambretta76
          pinstripeprincess Jul 11, 2006 04:24 PM

          didn't have it as a tartare, but as a steak, oh yeah.

          it's not written on the menus or widely advertised, but there are many places in toronto where you can get a good ol' horse steak. sometimes you can get the quack & track (feather & leather) meal... duck and horse together at last.

          i recall enjoying it and being similar to beef but don't remember any distinct differences.

          i wouldn't consider this my strangest food, but it hasn't been mentioned so i'll toss it out there: jellyfish. love the stuff.

          1. re: pinstripeprincess
            OCAnn Jul 11, 2006 06:56 PM

            I've had jellyfish salad; consistency was of a lively noodle with a very slight crunch.

            I guess strange is relative, since I too think the "weirdest chow has been in Asia" like gourmaniac said below.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess
              jennjen18 Jul 12, 2006 04:01 AM

              Where in Toronto would I be able to get a horse steak??

              1. re: pinstripeprincess
                pinstripeprincess Jul 14, 2006 01:25 PM

                la palette is most widely known for serving horse. however there are a number of restaurants who do so but don't have it written down for fear of the equestrians who might be offended.

                many french restaurants would do it up.

            2. re: missykins
              OCAnn Jul 10, 2006 06:46 PM

              20 years ago, as a teenager, we took a family holiday to Kyushu, Japan where basashi (raw horse meat) is considered a specialty/delicacy. Kindly refusing another country's delicacy wasn't acceptable behaviour, so I ate it...tasted a lot like beef sashimi.

              Having National Velvet/Black Beauty as a teen wasn't a mental block as much as eating Donald Duck as an 8 year old was for me.

              1. re: OCAnn
                g
                gourmaniac Jul 11, 2006 04:55 PM

                The horses are especially raised for sashimi (like Kobe beef) and the one time I had horse sashimi (in Osaka) it was pretty good. Seems most of my weirdest chow has been in Asia. Fugu bones steeped in tea had a slight tetrodotoxin-laced buzz (Tokyo) and snake soup was pretty nondescript (Guangzhou). The latter reminds me of a funny incident when my host took me touring in the old Shanghai markets. He would stop occasionally and asked "You like snake?" to which i replied that I'm not partial to snake. After several similar requests and rebuffs, we finally stopped in a dumpling house for a snack, which he pronounced "snake". the dumplings were excellent and had not a whit of snake in them.

                1. re: OCAnn
                  m
                  morrismixmaster Sep 12, 2013 07:00 PM

                  Basashi is good, in Kumamoto its practically compulsory

            3. o
              OCElizabeth Jul 3, 2006 06:25 PM

              Lamb brains as part of the Moroccan experience in Marrakesh. It was intentional and voluntary, but still not something I would do again. The sauce was surprisingly tasty but the texture was revolting. Agh, I just gagged a little thinking about it :)

              1. c
                cheryl_h Jul 3, 2006 06:37 PM

                Chicken testicles which we were told were "chicken beans" by my parents. We loved these and fought over them - we were three kids and couldn't understand why there were only two beans.

                2 Replies
                1. re: cheryl_h
                  janethepain Jul 12, 2006 02:42 PM

                  HAHA thanks for the laugh. I'm going to chime in, the strangest food I've had that can recall at the moment were turkey testicles at an izakaya near my apt. Didn't really like them. They also serve bull penis.

                  1. re: cheryl_h
                    RWCFoodie Jul 17, 2006 03:30 PM

                    At a cooking class that was all about duck, we were served duck testicles - we were all surprised at their size - like Vienna sausages! I really don't remember much about what they actually tasted like or the texture, rather just the novelty is the only memory...

                  2. t
                    TomSwift Jul 3, 2006 06:49 PM

                    I'd have to say balut. Definately the richest, most intensely flavored broth I've tasted. Perhaps a day or two younger would have been better as the crunchy beak and feet, while not offensive, is an aquired frame of mind.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: TomSwift
                      f
                      feelinpeckish Jul 5, 2006 02:56 PM

                      In my exposure to balut in the Philipines, I never saw anyone even try it who was sober. PS I was always sober.

                      1. re: feelinpeckish
                        Foodrat Jul 5, 2006 11:55 PM

                        After YEARS of eating everything but the chick, I gave it a try about 3 years ago (sober). It was actually pretty good! But I probably will not eat it again unless I was trying to impress somebody!

                        As for my strange chow, it would have to be stir fried silk worms in China. Delish, but can only eat a few spoonfuls not the whole plate... with rice rice, of course.

                    2. ipsedixit Jul 3, 2006 06:49 PM

                      Big Mac.

                      1. Rubee Jul 3, 2006 07:31 PM

                        Witchetty grubs in Australia. I have to say that I don't think I could ever try balut, so hats-off to TomSwift.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Rubee
                          RWCFoodie Jul 17, 2006 03:32 PM

                          I totally agree with you - I'll pretty much eat just about anything but the idea of balut and large grubs is more than I can deal with...

                        2. Divamac Jul 3, 2006 07:39 PM

                          Ice fish sashimi.

                          1. Will Owen Jul 3, 2006 08:56 PM

                            Crane soup as part of the farewell feast on a food tour of Hong Kong led by Martin Yan. I was not nearly as put off by the crane skulls floating in the serving bowl as I was by the flavor, which was mostly ginseng, a taste I despise.

                            Everything else was splendid...

                            1. JMF Jul 3, 2006 08:57 PM

                              Assorted insects prepared various ways. I have had these fresh in SE Asia and canned. Fried baby bees, fried grasshopers, assorted fried grubs and such which are ok, and sauteed ground worm patties (nasty!!!, a practice session during survival courses.)

                              The nastiest stuff I have ever eaten is the glop that remains in the bottom of a food pack at the end of month long wilderness expeditions when I was working as an Instructor for Outward Bound. Students usually gorged on the food at the begining of a course and ate too much. They also never listened when warned to be careful with food packs, to not drop them or sit on them, and never let them fall into water (which always happens at least once on a canoe expedition.)

                              This stuff in the packs near course end was the remains of all the broken bags of powdered foodstuffs such as cocoa, assorted spices and garlic, biscuit mix, granola, oatmeal, jerky, powdered cheese, powdered milk, etc. Usually the last few days of a expedition it was either dump a few handfuls of this into boiling water and eat as a gruel or forage for something edible. I always ended up sneaking off to forage and privately eat some of my personal stash of emergency supplies and MRE's. I wuld still end up 10 lbs. thinner after each course.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: JMF
                                h
                                Humbucker Jul 4, 2006 04:46 AM

                                This reminds me of some of the things I ate during an Outward Bound-ish youth wilderness camp. On the first night, I bet some of my fellow campers that I could drink the salty, urine-colored water that they had boiled the hot dogs in in under 10 seconds (probably about a quart or two). I failed, having taken about 12 seconds, but still got points for completing the task. I remember that there were a dozen ants and some dirt that had fallen into the water that I ended up swallowing with the rest of the broth.

                                At another point during the trip, a friend and I set out to finish a two foot long stick of pepperoni in one sitting. I ended up having to pick up the slack when the other guy got a little sick of the bright orange sausage.

                                Another time we were camped out by a high-altitude lake and used the water to make macaroni and cheese. The water looked mostly clear when we collected it, but as the macaroni was cooking we noticed small pink particles floating towards the top of the pot. The millimeter long bits were actually tiny prawn-like crustaceans that made their home in the lake; their shells were turning pink as they cooked just like their larger cousins. We ended up getting some unexpected seafood mixed in with the mac n cheese.

                                Later on, I ate part of a block of sharp cheddar that I had been carrying in my backback for the better part of a week. Judging by the way it smelled, the lack of refrigeration had clearly taken its toll on the cheese, but for some reason I decided to eat it anyway. Within 10 minutes of swallowing the cheese, my stomach turned and I felt the overwhelming urge to defecate. The problem was, our party had stopped for lunch on the top of a mountain ridge well above the tree line so there were no trees, shrubs or even large boulders that I could hide behind. Consequently, my fellow campers had me run along the ridge, my sphincter loosening with each passing second, back the way we came until they yelled that I was far enough away that they wouldn't be able resolve the explicit details of my crouching form. Even though I knew that the limits of human vision would deny them the nasty details, I knew that everyone could watch as a teensy-tiny figure relieved his bowels by the side of the trail. I'll always remember seeing orange clumps in my "leavings" that were undeniably cheddar and being amazed that something could make its way through my digestive tract in such a short amount of time.

                                And then of course there was tons of grey-water stew that we drank throughout the course of the trip so we could avoid washing our dishes.

                              2. sunsuze Jul 3, 2006 09:12 PM

                                Wow, you folks have had some strange chow! Down here in the deep south we eat cooter. Go ahead and laugh cause that is what it's called. Men, women, and children alike eat cooter and it is dee-lish-ous! For those of you that have your minds in the gutter let me set you straight! Cooter is fresh water turtle. And it can be served in soups, stews, grilled but I must admit - being a true southern girl I love it fried! My friends get a good laugh whenever I, a middle aged woman who looks like a Sunday school teacher,asks complete strangers in rural areas "Yall know where I can get me some Cooter?" But I love the stuff!

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: sunsuze
                                  Will Owen Jul 4, 2006 09:17 PM

                                  Otherwise known as the snapping turtle. And if you ever find yourself in the San Gabriel Valley part of Los Angeles County, just go to any of the many Asian supermarkets and you'll see tanks of live "cooter" for sale in the seafood department. The fish guys will even butcher it out for you.

                                  1. re: Will Owen
                                    JMF Jul 4, 2006 09:41 PM

                                    I don't think Cooter is synonomous with snapping turtle.

                                    Cooter is a turtle species name for certain types of river turtle from the south and east US.

                                    P. alabamensis - Alabama Redbelly Turtle
                                    P. concinna - Eastern River Cooter
                                    P. floridana - Florida Cooter
                                    P. gorzugi - Western River Cooter
                                    P. nelsoni - Florida Redbelly Turtle
                                    P. peninsularis - Peninsula Cooter
                                    P. rubriventris - Eastern Redbelly Turtle
                                    P. suwanniensis - Suwannee River Cooter
                                    P. texana - Texas River Cooter

                                    Two African tribes have similar words for turtle. The Mandingo word is Kuta and the Tshiluba word is Nkudu, and they possibly became the word Cooter.

                                    One definition of Cooter is: In South Carolina, Georgia, and the Gulf states Cooter means the edible freshwater turtle of the genus Chrysemys (Painted Turtles) and, by extension, other turtles and tortoises.

                                    1. re: JMF
                                      j
                                      Jim Washburn Jul 5, 2006 05:39 PM

                                      I grew up in the swamps of South Carolina, where "cooter" did not include the snapping turtle. To most folks "cooter" meant the common mud turtle, but some also called sliders by that name. However, the term did not include all freshwater turtles other than snappers. E.g., I never heard anyone call a soft-shelled turtle a cooter.

                                      Jim

                                      1. re: JMF
                                        Will Owen Jul 14, 2006 05:32 AM

                                        I was taking my clues from the first "White Trash Cookbook", which defines cooter as I did. If this book is in error, then so am I, and I will apologize for my own lack of understanding. The guys that wrote the book can By God fend for themselves...

                                  2. p
                                    Phoo D Jul 3, 2006 09:26 PM

                                    I have consumed the mammary secretions of bovines (both fresh and sometimes aged for years when it can get real smelly), the ovums of birds, and the blood, fat, and flesh of porcine creatures preserved with salt and chemicals.

                                    Strange can be relative.

                                    But I do love good shiokara - described on the menu of my favorite Japanese Izakaya as "salted squid guts."

                                    ed (old handle: e.d.)

                                    1. Pei Jul 3, 2006 11:20 PM

                                      Dried seahorse.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Pei
                                        limster Jul 4, 2006 02:35 AM

                                        By itself? One classical pairing is with duck, typically in a soup.

                                        1. re: limster
                                          Pei Jul 5, 2006 05:08 PM

                                          My dear mother hid it in the soup, and didn't reveal it until the end.

                                      2. f
                                        fara Jul 4, 2006 01:19 AM

                                        deep fried chicken intestine that was extremely hard and chewy and flavored w/rosemary in a northern chinese restaurant.

                                        1. tuqueboy Jul 4, 2006 01:24 AM

                                          i had a brochette of some kind of meat at a road-side stand in the middle of a jungle in cameroon. i was so hungry that i didn't stop to consider until afterwards it may not actually have been beef as the nice vendor assured me. my first clue should have been the complete lack of grazing room for cattle. in retrospect, it was in all likelihood some kind of primate.

                                          1. MEalcentric Jul 4, 2006 02:32 AM

                                            dog...vietnam...the neighbors dogs have never looked at me the same since...

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: MEalcentric
                                              Pei Jul 5, 2006 06:46 PM

                                              My aunt's dog loves everyone except my dad, the only person we know who's eaten dog. I swear the dog knows. He won't go near my dad, even though other (less discerning?) dogs love Dad.

                                            2. Davwud Jul 4, 2006 12:54 PM

                                              Pickled Seal

                                              As strange as it sounds, it's fantastic. It has the consistancy of brisket or some sort of beef cut like that (Stringy) and had a taste that would be like what you expect if you fed cattle nothing but fish. Fishy beef.

                                              Try it, you'll like it.

                                              DT

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Davwud
                                                f
                                                fara Jul 4, 2006 01:22 PM

                                                sounds like the whale I had in Norway. filet mignon texture w/an iron fish taste, they served it with some kind of light gravy and ligonberry jam.excellent.

                                              2. i
                                                IHTJ Jul 4, 2006 01:06 PM

                                                Live whole baby octopus in Korea.
                                                Was just texture, almost no taste except the sesame oil and raw garlic served with it.
                                                The strange sensation was when it didn't want to be swallowed and used its suction cups and beak to actively object. I like it better when they cut it up first. Far less dangerous

                                                8 Replies
                                                1. re: IHTJ
                                                  JMF Jul 4, 2006 02:52 PM

                                                  Do you know that scientists just released research that Octopi are as intelligent as cats?

                                                  1. re: IHTJ
                                                    l
                                                    LizATL Jul 4, 2006 05:15 PM

                                                    Hmmm, are you exaggerating about the suction cups and the beak? It is pretty hard to believe that something could still object after you chewed it...

                                                    1. re: LizATL
                                                      The Ranger Jul 4, 2006 08:19 PM

                                                      I saw this very scene in some travel show's episode on traveling through Korea on one's stomach. One of the locals (Korean) showed the proper way to eat live octopus and then asked the two college-aged hosts to follow suit. The resultant acts of survival from the live octopi had me rolling on the floor with laughter. The chutni or relish made one kid huff and puff it was so spicy-hot.

                                                      A Korean friend I described the scene to afterwards said the secret lay in how fluid the diner's motion was with how "resilient" the octopi were. He said it was not unusual to hear of someone choking because the octopi had tried to escape back out the diner's mouth.

                                                      The idea behind the dish is to squeegee the live octopus with your chopsticks from the tip of the head down to its tentacles. Holding the base of the body (where the tentacle and torso join), slap a generous portion of relish on all sides of the bulbous body. Then one gulps the critter down whole.

                                                      I like octopus but that is something I just couldn't do. Thoughts of "Alien" aside...

                                                      1. re: The Ranger
                                                        l
                                                        LizATL Jul 4, 2006 08:40 PM

                                                        Ok then, that is officially the weirdest I've heard. And I thought balut was challenging. About the most challenging thing I've eaten are duck tounges and congealed blood cubes - child's play compared to a snack that is resisting. Seriously, why would you want to experience that sort of struggle? Especially if there is no real taste involved.

                                                        1. re: LizATL
                                                          The Ranger Jul 4, 2006 09:40 PM

                                                          I remember the guide from that episode explaining it as the octopi were the "freshest" and the sauce made one feel "alive." Personally, I think it's simple machismo. Sort of like eating blowfish.

                                                          1. re: LizATL
                                                            i
                                                            IHTJ Jul 5, 2006 11:34 AM

                                                            I was with a group of Korean friends in Seoul and would have looked like an wimp if I didn't eat it. Yes it was just another case of useless male bonding. Rather expensive too for nothing but a very very chewy texture and lots of fighting.
                                                            I also did the Anthony B. thing in Changsha China(capitol of Hunan provence) and ate the beating heart of a snake. Once again just texture and no real flavor. Though the warm blood mixed with beer was really silky and nice.

                                                      2. re: IHTJ
                                                        missykins Jul 10, 2006 06:31 PM

                                                        WHAT?? Picturing that literally made me lose my appetite. I hate to judge but that's just nuts.

                                                        1. re: IHTJ
                                                          o
                                                          Omnivore Jul 14, 2006 05:02 AM

                                                          My husband had baby octopus in Korea. They did cut it first, but it was still wriggling and the tentacles would wrap around and suction onto the chopsticks. I'll have to tell him he got off easy, given the descriptions of the alternative.

                                                        2. p
                                                          Patches Jul 4, 2006 02:01 PM

                                                          Pigs blood which is firmed to the texture of jello. Not too much taste, but when I was a kid, I just thought it was jello!

                                                          1. The Ranger Jul 4, 2006 03:49 PM

                                                            As a teenangster, I was once served a lamb brains taco by my Gpa's neighbor. Gpa loved'em and cojoled me into giving it a taste. I shrugged and gave it a try. There wasn't anything -- no texture or taste -- beyond the onions and cilantro. I decided that I was missing something and allowed him to finish off the batch.

                                                            When I was just out of college, I was part of an international team of engineers. My culinary experiences really opened. We hit this sushi place in Cupertino and two of the team ordered uni (sea urchin) for everyone. I took a bite and didn't taste a thing. I popped the rest in my mouth and my look sent everyone into hysterics. It's indescribable; the entire lack of texture was very off-putting.

                                                            Recently I was served natto at a Japanese banquet. It was the guest of honor's favorite snacking item. All I can say is that I ate what I was served and tried to drown the remaining tastes and smells away with the free-flowing sake (which was also the GoH's only choice of refreshment.) It's an "acquired" taste.

                                                            1. s
                                                              S_K Jul 4, 2006 04:37 PM

                                                              I tried a cow placenta soup. (Didn't enjoy it since my mom kept commenting that it smelled like baby.)

                                                              I like balut (in my language it is called kai louk). I agree with a previous poster that is the best broth. Duck eggs, chicken eggs, they're so good! And I agree that they are best young enough that the chicken doesn't have hard bits.

                                                              Yep, "strange can be relative". I love nectar regurgitated by insects in tea sometimes and so does my mom. :D

                                                              There are lots of other "strange" things I've eaten, but I want to hear more from other people.

                                                              1. a
                                                                Akatonbo Jul 4, 2006 04:51 PM

                                                                Cod fish testicles at the late lamented Benkay in Chicago. They were served in a broth of dashi, and looked like ribbons. More recently, at Matsumoto, we were served baby squid in a sauce of squid intestines, but I guess that doesn't count, since I refused to eat it.

                                                                1. c
                                                                  cipsi Jul 4, 2006 05:26 PM

                                                                  What's balut?

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: cipsi
                                                                    Brian S Jul 4, 2006 09:00 PM

                                                                    Fertilized duck eggs with a partly grown fetus-duck inside. I heard about those when a kid and always wanted to try one but never have. Here is a long article on the social and semiotic signifigance of balut in Filipino culture http://www.findarticles.com/p/article...

                                                                    1. re: cipsi
                                                                      Rubee Jul 4, 2006 09:41 PM

                                                                      An Asian delicacy - here's more info with pictures.

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

                                                                      1. re: Rubee
                                                                        c
                                                                        cipsi Jul 6, 2006 01:11 AM

                                                                        Thanks for filling me in, Rubee and Brian S.

                                                                        Now I know.

                                                                        Well, I guess I'm not as adventurous an eater as I thought I was, because those descriptions kinda turned my stomach.

                                                                      2. re: cipsi
                                                                        m
                                                                        morrismixmaster Sep 12, 2013 07:01 PM

                                                                        honestly you dont want to know :-)

                                                                      3. Science Chick Jul 4, 2006 07:16 PM

                                                                        Cured reindeer....my Swedish friend let me try some of hers. Sort of a "reindeer jerky". Real tasty....Sorry Rudolph!!!

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Science Chick
                                                                          j
                                                                          jenn Jul 5, 2006 05:07 PM

                                                                          We bought reindeer on a trip to Stockholm once and it was very tasty indeed. I think it was smoked. We had a big chunk, sliced it very thin and ate it on crisp bread with a bit of butter. I didn't think about Rudolph once.

                                                                        2. j
                                                                          jamie Jul 4, 2006 08:02 PM

                                                                          Probably candied cricket, during a "taste of the world" dinner at an international residence on my university campus. I will fess up to merely swallowing the cricket.

                                                                          1. modernist Jul 4, 2006 08:03 PM

                                                                            im chinese so i feel like i can pretty much eat anything (including most organ meats from most mammals - or animals for that matter)
                                                                            i've eaten canned horse meat from mongolia (it was braised in a soy sauce so it just tasted like tough salty meat)
                                                                            i've eaten dog at one of those traditional places up in a mountain near seoul korea. with the ajashi's playing that card game and drinking soju.
                                                                            i've had bear steak (the most expensive thing on the menu) and lots of other game meats (reindeer, rabbit etc) at a russian restaurant in helsinki called shashlik.
                                                                            i've had deep fried whale at an izakaya and raw chicken sashimi at a hipster futura 2000 designed cafe under a train station in tokyo. (natto, raw squid guts, live octopus, or live/raw any seafood i simply dont consider that weird)
                                                                            i've had balut in las vegas.
                                                                            i've had fried scorpions in china
                                                                            i'm sure i consumed some crazy shit in china that i didnt realize i was eating, the year that i lived there.
                                                                            all manner of insects in asia.
                                                                            cow brains and heart in germany and france (honestly not that weird, but european people seem to freak out with asian foods, but come on, foie gras is pretty weird and cruel food too, whats up brigitte bardot!)
                                                                            sea squirt in korean seafood restaurants in LA is actually quite odd, especially when eaten raw and it squirts the flavor of the ocean into your mouth.
                                                                            that reminds me of eating these crazy crawfish/shrimp looking things with chinese locals in beidaihe (where the great wall meets the sea) who i think were cooking them with straight up sea water (i had the single and worst case of projectile diarrhea in my life - and i have an iron stomache - i had to clench my butt cheeks together with my hands as i waddled to the bathroom in what resembled a fetal position - sorry if this is out of line, but the smell was: oceanic)
                                                                            in vietnam i was riding a bike in hue and it started pouring. i ducked into this little wooden shack and made the international sign for "i want to eat" they served me a little banh beo pancake sized dish of bright red jelly. i kind of slowly tasted it, as they all looked at me, smiling. and it tasted tangy and tart. i made the international sign for "what is this": eyebrows arched up, palms up pointing to food. and the guy made the international sign for "chicken": thumbs in armpits waving the elbows. i think it was chicken/duck blood jelly. to this day i really dont know what it was.
                                                                            i rode my bike out of the tourist area of hoi an vietnam and ended up eating dinner with a local family that spoke no english. it was a typical asian/chinese style dinner. but the fish they served were tiny, silvery and flat. more like something you'd see in a freshwater fish tank than eat. it was almost all bones, but they picked at it lovingly.
                                                                            burmese fermented shrimp paste flavored curries served room temperature are an acquired taste.
                                                                            hmm, there must be more, but i just dont remember right now.

                                                                            1. Pamela Jul 4, 2006 08:31 PM

                                                                              I really enjoyed reading about all your unusual eating experiences. You guys are all so brave! Me? I'm a big wimp. I stay away from the more exotic stuff, and try to stay away from most meats usually.

                                                                              Years and years ago, I recall seeing in the freezer section of an Asian grocery store a packaged meat labeled "beef pizzles." Well, I didn't know what a "pizzle" was, because I hadn't heard of the term before. In hindsight, I suppose I should have known what it was, based on the appearance. Well, a "pizzle" is a penis. I don't know if any of you have cooked and eaten one; if so, perhaps you can enlighten us about your experience.

                                                                              In the meat section of the same store, they had assorted meat parts. They had the usual meat parts, but also some rather unusual parts, including pig uteri (uterus plural). Needless to say, I learned quite a bit that day about the reproductive anatomy of animals.

                                                                              1. o
                                                                                okk Jul 4, 2006 08:35 PM

                                                                                got to be bbq pig fallopian tubes.

                                                                                1. g
                                                                                  geekgirl Jul 4, 2006 11:03 PM

                                                                                  I served my fiance a dish of scrambled cow brains. He ate them but complained there was something crunchy in his eggs. When I explained that it was brains, he replied " It must be a piece of skull." With that sense of humor, I knew then that he was a keeper!

                                                                                  1. Steve Green Jul 4, 2006 11:17 PM

                                                                                    Dehydrated flavored cow-hoof derivative (reconstituted).

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Steve Green
                                                                                      Brian S Jul 5, 2006 02:28 AM

                                                                                      I think Jell-O comes from cow and pig bones as well as hooves.

                                                                                    2. Pat Hammond Jul 4, 2006 11:39 PM

                                                                                      At a place in the Bronx a sign proclaimed they had "cow skin". I asked for a taste and was given a styrofoam bowl with a small flap of gelatinous skin inside. I ate it. It was good.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Pat Hammond
                                                                                        Pat Hammond Jul 6, 2006 03:59 PM

                                                                                        Mustn't forget camel! And I prefer the cow skin!

                                                                                      2. Velma Jul 5, 2006 12:29 AM

                                                                                        Jellied moose nose in Alaska when I was a kid and Puffin in Iceland. To me, the Puffin was like eating liver.

                                                                                        1. b
                                                                                          Biggie Jul 5, 2006 03:39 PM

                                                                                          It's tough to get my hands on anything too weird as a white boy in Massachusetts...

                                                                                          I enjoy beef and chicken heart, pickled pig's feet, any and all seafood. I'll try anything once, so I wish I had more opportunities to sample culinary oddities

                                                                                          1. j
                                                                                            jenn Jul 5, 2006 05:13 PM

                                                                                            I had Puffin in Iceland too but thought that it was just gamey in a very good way, especially with a nice red wine.

                                                                                            The strangest would have to be that fermented shark stuff that they make in Iceland. If I remember correctly, its called Harkarl or something like that. Rather nasty to be perfectly honest and I probably wouldn't have tried it only I was challenged by a friend. Of course when he ate his, he had lots of brenivin to wash it down with and I had SQUAT.

                                                                                            Not something I would hunt down for seconds. If I recall correctly, it resembled a washcloth soaked in urine.

                                                                                            And no, I didn't get a bad batch--I tried it in an open air market in Iceland and everyone else was tasting it and nodding approvingly.

                                                                                            I bow to those who have tried balut. The tasty soup part is attractive but I can't get past the beak/feet aspect.

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: jenn
                                                                                              Das Ubergeek Jul 9, 2006 11:30 PM

                                                                                              Oh God... I've eaten hákarl. One piece. On a dare. Even blind drunk on vodka, it was the nastiest thing I've ever eaten. They also made me try sild, which is dried fish that's beaten with a stick (I swear) to tenderise it, then smeared with butter and is supposed to be sweet!!

                                                                                              Other contenders: surströmming (spoiled herring); lutefisk (lye-treated reconstituted cod); fiskögon (fish eyes -- you spit out the hard bit); cho do fu (stinky tofu).

                                                                                              Why is it that everything except one of those is from Scandinavia? Oh, I forgot czernina, which is duck's blood soup... that's not Scandinavian.

                                                                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                                                The Ranger Jul 9, 2006 11:58 PM

                                                                                                My viking-esque friends feel very strongly about their national dishes. Don't ever make fun of lutefisk in front of a Swede or mämmi in front of a Finn. Gahds, can it be unpleasant...

                                                                                                1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                  jenn Jul 10, 2006 10:04 PM

                                                                                                  Okay, to be honest, I"ve had the dried fish and found it to be rather tasty, particularly with butter. We even smuggled some home from the last trip. Don't know about the beating with stick part--I always thought it was just tossed over a stick to dry--sort of freeze dried. Hmm, now that you bring it up, I wish we could get some more.

                                                                                                  Surstromming I was going to mention but its my husband who has eatten it, not I. I can't get past the descriptin and his claim that it is illegal to open a can indoors. . . according to him, its not bad if you have crisp bread, sliced onions and some booze.

                                                                                                  And watch it with the lutefisk---Description of manufacture aside, it doesn't have that much taste and in our household, is just considered an excuse to eat butter. Besides, is it that much wackier than bacalao? hunk o' fish soaked in salt?

                                                                                                  1. re: jenn
                                                                                                    Das Ubergeek Jul 11, 2006 02:59 AM

                                                                                                    I just wasn't into the fish. I don't like dried fish anyway (even the little tiny ones you get in Filipino restaurants). It is illegal in some towns to open the surströmming indoors because if you have an open flame it can catch (theoretically... I think this is like the exploding toilet myth).

                                                                                                    Bacallà (bacalao, bacalhau, whatever) is more "normal" to me because salt isn't poisonous -- lye is. I just can't get around the production process... to me it's a filler for lefse, potatoes and peas.

                                                                                              2. Scagnetti Jul 5, 2006 07:31 PM

                                                                                                Faux foie gras of parakeet in sweated yak's milk with wild forest nettles.

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Scagnetti
                                                                                                  i
                                                                                                  isadorasmama Jul 11, 2006 07:19 PM

                                                                                                  Wow, where was that?? I love nettles:)

                                                                                                  1. re: Scagnetti
                                                                                                    steinpilz Jul 15, 2006 04:54 PM

                                                                                                    No way, really? Please do tell more.

                                                                                                    1. re: steinpilz
                                                                                                      Scagnetti Jul 18, 2006 02:12 PM

                                                                                                      My tongue was firmly planted in cheek when I posted that. It was just an fun example of the over the top meal descriptions you see on high end restaurant menus.

                                                                                                  2. s
                                                                                                    scottso Jul 6, 2006 01:19 AM

                                                                                                    I was guest of honor at a banquet in Taegu Korea and was served silk worms. I swear, they looked like they were moving.

                                                                                                    1. s
                                                                                                      S_K Jul 6, 2006 03:36 AM

                                                                                                      On balut: just think of it as the original chicken soup.

                                                                                                      One thing I really like is chicken feet at dim sum.

                                                                                                      1. s
                                                                                                        swindledestron Jul 9, 2006 11:06 PM

                                                                                                        i just have to say this is like a sick episode of "fear factor".

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: swindledestron
                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                          monday Jul 10, 2006 12:18 AM

                                                                                                          Cured horse meat from Switzerland. It was actually tasty, like very thin jerky or very gamey prosciutto, but I could not get over the National Velvet factor. So much of what we will eat is in our heads!

                                                                                                          1. re: monday
                                                                                                            Das Ubergeek Jul 10, 2006 02:35 AM

                                                                                                            Bresaola is traditionally air-dried horse meat, which is made in the same manner as prosciutto; since so many people have the same "National Velvet" reaction, most bresaola in Italy (and all bresaola imported commercially to the U.S.) is now made from beef.

                                                                                                          2. re: swindledestron
                                                                                                            jennjen18 Jul 12, 2006 04:17 AM

                                                                                                            Speaking of Fear Factor--I would seriously go, on one condition. Whatever they get me to eat, I won't mind. BUT, they have to get me soy sauce, and maybe chilli sauce. :)

                                                                                                          3. b
                                                                                                            beer786 Jul 11, 2006 02:26 PM

                                                                                                            emu but i dont think its really that strange.

                                                                                                            1. missclaudy Jul 11, 2006 08:01 PM

                                                                                                              Whale sperm at a slow food event in Genoa called Slow Fish. It was spongy and strange and sorta flavorless.

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: missclaudy
                                                                                                                Honeychan Jan 7, 2008 07:31 PM

                                                                                                                I shudder to think just HOW one procures whale sperm?! There's one job i'd refuse to do, no matter how much I was paid for the effort.

                                                                                                              2. Snackish Jul 11, 2006 08:27 PM

                                                                                                                Why are the weirdest foods uniformly animal products?

                                                                                                                I ate an Odwalla bar that was certainly the most unpleasant thing I have ever put in my mouth...spongy and the flavor of terrible chewable vitamins.

                                                                                                                Also some leaves that the Chinese ladies at Farmer's market just described as "Spring Herb." Gave my mouth the oddest buzzy/numb sensation.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Snackish
                                                                                                                  jennjen18 Jul 12, 2006 04:18 AM

                                                                                                                  Whoa, be careful of what herbs you put in your mouth. Some can be potent. Some can have chemical reactions if taken together, or with certain foods. Ask before putting any herbs in your mouth!

                                                                                                                2. Low Country Jon Jul 11, 2006 10:50 PM

                                                                                                                  Not the strangest thing I've ever eaten, but since it hasn't been mentioned yet: kangaroo. It pretty much tasted like beef.

                                                                                                                  1. w
                                                                                                                    wayne keyser Jul 12, 2006 03:27 AM

                                                                                                                    Asian/Hispanic market...

                                                                                                                    Frozen bull penis, Canned Iguana.

                                                                                                                    1. m
                                                                                                                      melly Jul 12, 2006 05:55 AM

                                                                                                                      fried bull balls...but that seems very tame compared to all of the above!

                                                                                                                      i ate a cigarette butt when I was a kid..does that count?

                                                                                                                      1. janethepain Jul 12, 2006 02:55 PM

                                                                                                                        Asian cuisine gets a bad rap for featuring "odd" ingredients, but I have to say, the Brits and Scots have their share of weird s#*t. Haggis? Mashed up organ meats in an organ pouch? Jellied eels?? I love eel, but not when it's cold and in gelatinous ooze.

                                                                                                                        1. davinagr Jul 13, 2006 05:22 PM

                                                                                                                          Ethiopian Food

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: davinagr
                                                                                                                            f
                                                                                                                            fara Jul 16, 2006 02:36 PM

                                                                                                                            Yeah really. I don't understand that cuisine at all. Requires a completely different palate than mine (and I'm otherwise very open to anything).
                                                                                                                            And there's always one in every college town!

                                                                                                                          2. h
                                                                                                                            Hunicsz Jul 14, 2006 05:23 AM

                                                                                                                            Roast guinea pig, in the Andes in Ecuador. Actually quite tasty, although not a lot of meat.

                                                                                                                            1. h
                                                                                                                              Hunicsz Jul 14, 2006 05:24 AM

                                                                                                                              Also meant to mention it's called "cuy" locally & is quite the delicacy.

                                                                                                                              1. e
                                                                                                                                Ellen Jul 14, 2006 02:49 PM

                                                                                                                                1. Fermented mare's milk in a herder's tent in Outer Mongolia.
                                                                                                                                2. Ragout of duck testicles along with other duck offal at Laboratorio in DC. Quite yummy actually.
                                                                                                                                3. Alligator and rattlesnake.
                                                                                                                                4. And didn't everyone try dog food when they were a kid?

                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Ellen
                                                                                                                                  Dommy Jul 14, 2006 05:32 PM

                                                                                                                                  I worked for a pet food company in my consulting days, and on occassion, we'd taste some of the food off the line, dry and wet. It's not so bad... a little bland, meaty and dense (especially the biscuits)

                                                                                                                                  --Dommy!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ellen
                                                                                                                                    c
                                                                                                                                    chefinthecity Jul 15, 2006 07:29 AM

                                                                                                                                    i love both alligator AND rattlesnake. Tough but great flavor.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ellen
                                                                                                                                      kare_raisu Jul 17, 2006 03:13 PM

                                                                                                                                      i think that calpico (japanese drink) is derived from that mongolian drink though not sure

                                                                                                                                    2. Robert Lauriston Jul 15, 2006 12:35 AM

                                                                                                                                      cold natto

                                                                                                                                      dried horsemeat salad

                                                                                                                                      frozen beef salad with pears

                                                                                                                                      spleen sandwich

                                                                                                                                      tacos de asinos

                                                                                                                                      tacos de excamoles (Oaxacan ant eggs)

                                                                                                                                      stew of cockscombs, sweetbreads, boned duck's tongues, & blood sausag

                                                                                                                                      dried lamb testicle hotpot

                                                                                                                                      garlic ice cream

                                                                                                                                      suet pudding with chocolate pork blood gelato

                                                                                                                                      bacon ice cream

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                                                                                                        Robert Lauriston Jul 17, 2006 02:36 AM

                                                                                                                                        Thinking more about this, cold natto's in a class by itself. Everything else was good enough to eat again.

                                                                                                                                      2. toodie jane Jul 15, 2006 03:22 PM

                                                                                                                                        only offbeat to my gringo palate, but cueritos (pickled pigs skin) in a tostada--it was all I could do to choke it down, as I'm not a fan of vinegary things and the visual texture was very odd to me.

                                                                                                                                        Had a horsemeat burger in Morocco and it was strong but OK.

                                                                                                                                        Sort of a gelatinous, oozy soybean preparation at a sushi bar. very salty, and texture of snot. ugh.

                                                                                                                                        You guys are brave eating the live seafood!

                                                                                                                                        1. kerwintoronto Jul 15, 2006 03:42 PM

                                                                                                                                          I've run thru the typical Asian foods but I was wondering if anyone in this thread knew the proper name for those grubs that come out of the rice paddies in SE Asia? They look like a centipede (lots of legs) and it I believe they come out on a full moon or something like that. In Cantonese I think they are alled 'Waugh Chung'...'Rice Paddy/Field' 'Insects' or a translation close to that.

                                                                                                                                          I've had them in a Chinese quiche and also stir-fried.

                                                                                                                                          1. steinpilz Jul 15, 2006 05:18 PM

                                                                                                                                            My experience isn't nearly as fun as what I've read here (I've got to get to Asia):

                                                                                                                                            cow brains in germany
                                                                                                                                            random fish innards by morimoto (tastes like cat food?)
                                                                                                                                            those tiny sushi crabs (crunchy)
                                                                                                                                            horsemeat in europe
                                                                                                                                            polish blood soup (tastes like a penny)
                                                                                                                                            haggis in Wales
                                                                                                                                            raw shad roe sashimi
                                                                                                                                            pigs feet (not too exotic but I didn't like the texture)

                                                                                                                                            I knew a guy in middle school who would eat a green inchworm for 50c and a black one for $1, he did a good business on the bus to school until his family moved to Algeria (he probably had some real fun there).

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: steinpilz
                                                                                                                                              m
                                                                                                                                              ML8000 Aug 27, 2006 05:42 PM

                                                                                                                                              I knew a guy in college who would eat live cockroachs for $20+ bucks. Part of the "show" was watching them crawl around in his mouth before the crunching began. It was sort of parlor trick but I suspect when he needed quick cash the trick would be dusted off.

                                                                                                                                            2. s
                                                                                                                                              Syre Jul 16, 2006 09:48 AM

                                                                                                                                              Chicken sashimi in a restaurant in Tokyo that served a particular famous variety of chicken in a banquet of about 30 different preparations.

                                                                                                                                              Even my Japanese hosts looked shocked and sceptical when it was brought to our table.

                                                                                                                                              1. f
                                                                                                                                                fara Jul 16, 2006 02:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                Syre, Can you elaborate? I thought chicken sashimi was fairly common in Japan.

                                                                                                                                                1. g
                                                                                                                                                  gsw Jul 16, 2006 08:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                  when I was a kid the neighbor kid next door routinely ate dog biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                  I thought I was an adventurous eater, but after reading you guys, I feel very sheltered.

                                                                                                                                                  1. w
                                                                                                                                                    Wineman Jul 17, 2006 02:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Though not really "strange" (as most of the above) I had nuoc mam in Vietnam. With rice. It looked like thin soy sauce but with strings and/or bits of fish floating in it. It was very stong smelling and would almost take your breath away. I don't see how it could be served in a restaurant. Nothing like the mild versions of fish sauce we see here.

                                                                                                                                                    1. j
                                                                                                                                                      j2brady Jul 17, 2006 03:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                      This might not have the same 'ugh'-factor as chicken sashimi but some of the stranger (clearly from a ethnocentric perspective) items I have had are:

                                                                                                                                                      Marinated beef hearts (from a great Peruvian in TO)
                                                                                                                                                      Jellied Eel from the Thames in London, England
                                                                                                                                                      Pickled pigs feet

                                                                                                                                                      and I enjoyed them all!

                                                                                                                                                      1. e
                                                                                                                                                        eastvillagegirl Jul 19, 2006 06:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                        I had a baked bat dish in Sulawaysi, Indonesia.
                                                                                                                                                        Fried grub patties and different fried waterbugs and insects in Northen Thailand.
                                                                                                                                                        Yak, made any and every way you can think of, when I drove from Lhasa, Tibet to Khatmandu, Nepal. Trust me--I never want to taste yak again!

                                                                                                                                                        1. k
                                                                                                                                                          KTFoley Jul 20, 2006 10:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                          I imagine that most folks who fish might like to land a couple pan-sized ones and grill 'em up for lunch that day.

                                                                                                                                                          When it's piranha in the Amazonian jungle, and the tackle of choice is bits of raw chicken stuck on a safety pin, somehow that is a little less lyrical than Brad Pitt flyfishing for trout in "A River Runs Through It."

                                                                                                                                                          I imagine that most folks who try new food might like to sample it several different ways and see which one pleases them the most.

                                                                                                                                                          When it's a seven-foot rattlesnake that was trapped on the grounds of your basecamp and, since no herpetologists were answering their phones, had to be destroyed by chopping off the head with a machete -- and then it STILL wouldn't die -- then the prospect of baked broiled bbq'd and fried is slightly less delectable.

                                                                                                                                                          I imagine that most folks who care about food might like to see themselves as sympathetically aligned with the goodness of slow-food movements, authentic cuisines, heritage ingredients and the like.

                                                                                                                                                          When the authentic presentation of earth-roasted cuy (guinea pig) is to serve it whole, featuring shriveled legs ending in curved sharp nails plus the unmistakeably rhodent-like teeth, the fact that it wins the local/organic/traditional trifecta is completely overshadowed by its kinship with a rat.

                                                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: KTFoley
                                                                                                                                                            limster Jul 20, 2006 10:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                            I think there was a New Yorker aritcle that once described a restaurant in Guangzhou that specialized in rat dishes.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: limster
                                                                                                                                                              k
                                                                                                                                                              KTFoley Jul 21, 2006 04:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                              Yaaagghh.

                                                                                                                                                              Got to confess, I had to give the dish to my dining companion. He cut off a piece of meat and handed me it to me on a fork while I faced in a totally different direction. Got that out of the way, and then contented myself with corn and various potatoes that were roasted in the same earthen pit. George enjoyed his two-for-one.

                                                                                                                                                              It did not taste like chicken. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KTFoley
                                                                                                                                                                steinpilz Jul 21, 2006 11:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Hahaha. BTW, that bat dish just above sounds mighty tasty.

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: limster
                                                                                                                                                                Robert Lauriston Aug 12, 2006 07:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                I remember that New Yorker article. I think there were two competing rat specialty restaurants across the street from one another.

                                                                                                                                                            2. n
                                                                                                                                                              nicki Jul 22, 2006 01:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                              I was offered rat fire-roasted on a stick in a remote village of Chiang mai, Thailand. I declined,though..

                                                                                                                                                              1. YYZSolly Jul 29, 2006 11:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Dog in Shanghai (lots of it, in a special dog restaurant...it was remarkably fatty, actually) AND grasshoper fajitas at a pretty mainstream place in Mexico City. Tasty, but the grasshopper exoskeletons DO NOT digest...makes for a rough next morning.

                                                                                                                                                                1. frankiii Jul 30, 2006 12:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  i had a newspaper funnel of curried grasshoppers in Oaxaca. Not too bad, not too good either. The goat head soup i had there too was pretty interesting, but i guess not that strange in comparison. I say the grasshopper were curred but it was more like paprika was sprinkled on them after they were cooked (fried i think). The wings had a strange texture.

                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: frankiii
                                                                                                                                                                    Robert Lauriston Aug 12, 2006 07:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                    The Oaxacan fried grasshoppers I had in Guadalajara were great, vaguely like crayfish. I'd go out of my way to eat those again.

                                                                                                                                                                    Ant eggs at the same joint were significantly weirder.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. frankiii Jul 30, 2006 12:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Ponce, which is kind of like Cajub haggis, is pretty off-putting but then again maybe heavly salted pig stomach appeals to some people

                                                                                                                                                                    1. j
                                                                                                                                                                      jesi1882 Jul 30, 2006 12:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      I made ricotta cheese out of the milk that I used to leech the blood and impurities out of a lobe of foie gras. it was pretty bad. i tried to order ducks feet in thailand but they were out, so i had a raw fermented pork sausage(i got trichinosis from it, for real)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. z
                                                                                                                                                                        Zengarden Jul 30, 2006 12:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        While travelling through Queensland, I had kangaroo. It might not be exotic to the locals but I thought that this would be the only place in the world where I could have it, so I did.

                                                                                                                                                                        It tastes like a high grade steak. The smell of it cooking is apparently not great but yum, this was a lovely meal.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. k
                                                                                                                                                                          kimmer1850 Jul 30, 2006 12:58 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          Fried muskrat at Faidley's Seafood in Lexington market in Baltimore, MD. I kid you not...it's a huge seller.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Midlife Jul 30, 2006 11:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Very old, tiny sushi bar.... in Osaka. Taken there by a business associate who was also a local restaurant critic. This was supposedly the oldest such establishment in the city.

                                                                                                                                                                            Chef's wife brings live prawn from an aquarium and chef beheads, shells, butterflys, then places prawn on top of rice pad for me. Sounds normal so far.

                                                                                                                                                                            I dip prawn in wasabi, then place whole thing in mouth.... up to the tail joint. H-m-m-m-m. As my teeth sever the tail, the tail proceeds to 'convulse'involuntarily. I guess the prawn was indeed fresh.

                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Midlife
                                                                                                                                                                              r
                                                                                                                                                                              ricepad Jul 31, 2006 02:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                              That's called "odori" (lit. 'dance'), for the way the prawn dances in your mouth. If you had waited a few more seconds (10-15), the effect would have been lost, and it would have been nothing more than a plain ol' raw shrimp.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. l
                                                                                                                                                                              Leper Jul 31, 2006 12:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              I was stationed at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey for six months. One evening mess hall meal, served on a stainless steel 5 compartment tray, was so weird looking I ran back and got my camera. That was 30 years ago. Since then, other than the slice of bread on the tray, absolutely no one has been able to identify the 5 other items on the tray--including me after I ate it. Now, every time I watch "Eating Raoul", I get really nervous.

                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Leper
                                                                                                                                                                                JMF Aug 21, 2006 06:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Can you post that photo online for us?

                                                                                                                                                                              2. p
                                                                                                                                                                                PicklingJessica Jul 31, 2006 02:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Most of the weirdest stuff I've eaten has been in Asia. Dog meat, fermented beans, sea urchins. For the most part I have simply closed my eyes and chewed. I quickly realised, especially after eating dog meat, that what you can and can't eat is really about cultural values. Now I gobble just about anything, with the exception of offal, particularly tripe. One day I hope to be able to eat my way through the inner regions of China bordering Tibet and in Tibet itself. Until then I will occasionally snack on bbq:ed chicken feet.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. a
                                                                                                                                                                                  AquaW Aug 1, 2006 04:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Personally - probably chicken beans/testicles (as noted above) and no, I didn't figure out what they were till later (and have ceased eating them since.)

                                                                                                                                                                                  But I had a co-worker who said "squirrel brains" (and he had to think a while about it... which makes me wonder what other oddities he's consumed before.)

                                                                                                                                                                                  And I also had a friend's dad who mistakenly consumed Beggin Strips (much like this guy: http://www.thesneeze.com/mt-archives/... ) -- "Dogs don't know it's not bacon" ... and apparently dads don't know it's a dog treat.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: AquaW
                                                                                                                                                                                    Robert Lauriston Aug 12, 2006 07:42 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    The New Yorker had a long article about squirrel brains a while back. Apparently they're a traditional dish in Kentucky and thereabouts.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. c
                                                                                                                                                                                    chaz Aug 2, 2006 01:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    How 'bout unborn calf? Thank God only served but not actually eaten. Fortuneately asked what it was before digging in.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. mielimato Aug 4, 2006 11:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      sheep's head, in the cross-section so you could see the teeth and eye sockets.

                                                                                                                                                                                      obviously there is not a lot of meat. you eat the tongue, brain and the cheek.

                                                                                                                                                                                      it was ok, not great.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. c
                                                                                                                                                                                        catfood Aug 5, 2006 01:39 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Giraffe and zebra at a Kenyan version of a Brazilian steakhouse. The giraffe was a bit stringy and tough, but the zebra was surprisingly good. That meal also included wildebeast (gamey), ostrich and crocodile (tastes like alligator) among some other things.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: catfood
                                                                                                                                                                                          ML in Naperville IL Aug 13, 2006 04:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Sounds like The Carnivore, where my wife dined once in Nairobi. She ate gazelle ("Tasted like chicken"). Drew the line at giraffe.

                                                                                                                                                                                          I savor chow as much as the next hound, but I'm not Fear Factor material. I'm still reeling from back in '99 at Yankee Stadium when some dummy served me sauerkraut, along with the peppers and onions on my italian sausage ...

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. l
                                                                                                                                                                                          long_ballers Aug 9, 2006 11:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          tripe soup. disgusting.

                                                                                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: long_ballers
                                                                                                                                                                                            Will Owen Aug 10, 2006 04:20 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                            One of our finest old recipes is Philadelphia Pepper Pot, a tripe soup, which I ate as a child and still love. And braised tripe, and fried tripe, and tripe sausage...

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                                                                                              mielimato Aug 12, 2006 07:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              i love tripe. they make great mondongo at the Cafe Internacional which is dominican restaraunt in the Upper West Side. dim sum tripe with ginger and black bean sauce. pho with thin slices of tripe. callos madrilenos with spicy chorizo and blood sausage. mmmmmmm. i've never had fried tripe but that sounds good too.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mielimato
                                                                                                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                                                                                                chef poncho Aug 13, 2006 03:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I'm also a tripe lover. Childhood memory. I still love slow roasted goat head with lots of garlic and crusty bread. Told the story of eating these at a holy communion while in cooking school and nearly had the instructor pass out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I used to make a pig face butter to finish some pasta dishes (not vegetarians)as they went to the dining room. It was delicious. Especially with braised duck tongues.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chef poncho
                                                                                                                                                                                                  mielimato Aug 16, 2006 04:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  wow, pig face butter. what is that exactly?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: chef poncho
                                                                                                                                                                                                    designerboy01 Aug 28, 2006 05:46 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pig face butter...please tell us more!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: Will Owen
                                                                                                                                                                                                  LT from LF Aug 22, 2006 06:47 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Ooooo...I'd love a big dish o'tripe right now....

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Daphna101 Aug 16, 2006 11:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                I love sushi, however, after trying sea urchin..not under the influence...and under the influence..I still cant stomach it. I know it is a delicacy, but I think it resembles an oyster that sat in the sun for a long time, but instead of going hard from being cooked, it went nasty and slimy..sorry..

                                                                                                                                                                                                and cant stomach the raw egg yolk either.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Daphna101
                                                                                                                                                                                                  m
                                                                                                                                                                                                  morrismixmaster Sep 12, 2013 07:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  sea urchin is fantastic, a whole sushi full can be too much, try it with pasta instead

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. s
                                                                                                                                                                                                  serious Aug 21, 2006 11:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  In Djenne, Mali, had a dish that incorporated sand..

                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: serious
                                                                                                                                                                                                    StriperGuy Aug 21, 2006 08:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've been to Djenne... sand? I ate all sort of things in Mali, including a piece of delicious river fish, but sand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: serious
                                                                                                                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                                                                                                                      morrismixmaster Sep 12, 2013 07:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      more info please!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: serious
                                                                                                                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                                                                                                                        morrismixmaster Sep 12, 2013 07:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        actually Greek Jews used to make a symbolic cake with brick dust in it

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. welle Aug 21, 2006 07:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Twizzlers and Hershey's kisses - neither taste anything like what they claim to be: strawberries or chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. h
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hapa Dude Aug 22, 2006 06:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Beef Spleen Sandwich. Motivated by Anthony Bourdain, I had this delicacy at a Foccaciaria in Sicily. The thinly sliced, stewed pieces of spleen were a dark grey. The flavor was very beefy, but there were still some very chewey arteries/veins in it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I've also eaten rattlesnake & alligator. Both taste like chicken!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          ^To the person way above who ate jellyfish - it's fairly common in Chinese cuisine and I think it is pretty good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. t
                                                                                                                                                                                                            the_best_darn_cook Aug 22, 2006 07:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I've had frog legs, which to me are the most disgusting thing I have EVER tasted. BLECH!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            one of my freinds was on Fear Factor and she ate a whole bull nose. I can only imagine how NASTY that was.....

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. designerboy01 Aug 27, 2006 05:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Silk worm caccoons and worms baked in eggs. The latter one was pretty good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                ML8000 Aug 27, 2006 05:49 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Musk Ox steak, not really strange but unusual. Gamey beef really.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. pikawicca Aug 29, 2006 12:56 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Frogs' legs and kangaroo steak I love. I'm quite sure that I was served dog or cat in a Chinese restaurant in Bury St. Edmonds, England years ago -- it was supposed to be pork. The goat eyeball at a "goat grab" in the desert outside of Riyadh was pretty strange. Oddly, of all the foods mentioned here, the one I absolutely would not eat is raw chicken. Never!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Polecat Aug 29, 2006 01:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My Korean trifecta: Dog (stringy grayish beef mixed with greens that are not unlike broccoli rabe in look and texture), live octopus (clingy and delicious) and a dixie cup full of brown worms that looked like Troglodytes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Horse sashimi at an onsen hotel in Kitakatta, Japan. Without question, the one strange food that I've tried that truly turned my stomach was Motsu Nabe, a popular Japanese staple which I had one drunken night under an elevated train in the Ueno section of Tokyo. Perhaps, someday, I will aquire a taste for this brown, smelly stew, made out of cow intestines and various veggies, but I'll have to down quite a few glasses of sake beforehand. Impression upon first try: raw sewage in a bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Right here in NYC: Cow Penis (Ushi no chin-chin) at Kenka in the East Village (nothing to write home about), Alligator at Shun Lee Dynasty, across from Lincoln Center, and some very tasty ram testicles at Rego Park's Cheburechnaya.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If there is such a thing as karmic justice, I will begin my next life charred and crispy, between two slices of bread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Polecat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      morrismixmaster Sep 12, 2013 07:08 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      motsu nabe - i dont like it either!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Polecat
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        morrismixmaster Sep 12, 2013 07:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't think cows have penises

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: morrismixmaster
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          alkapal Sep 13, 2013 04:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          huh?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          oh, i get it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LOL

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Joobu Jan 7, 2008 04:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Shirako at Tsukiji
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        白子, literally "white children", i.e. fish sperm. I'd do it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Kelli2006 Jan 7, 2008 06:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I love Durian fruit

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          spit roasted goat is amazing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I tried fried grasshoppers and ants on a taco.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          we had to sample rocky mountain oysters in grade school. (rural kids will know what they are)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Elk or buffalo jerky is very good, but buffalo burgers are my favorite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ive had rattlesnake and turtle soup and fried gator.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Kelli2006
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            maplesugar Jan 7, 2008 09:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I assume "rocky mountain oysters" are the same as prairie oysters? ie: Bull nuts? If so, you don't have to be rural to know what those are. Although I can't say they're on my top ten list of things to eat again- sober anyway ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: maplesugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Kelli2006 Jan 7, 2008 09:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You are very correct. They are the testicles from castrated cattle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Kelli2006
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                maplesugar Jan 7, 2008 10:06 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                lol They're a "delicacy" here in Calgary - particularly in bars during Stampede.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Sam Fujisaka Jan 7, 2008 07:05 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Oh well, here we go again: balut, carabao knuckles, chicken feet, horse, dog, sparrows, ants, rice field rats, roasted whole cow head, grubs, deep fried adults (bugs) of white grubs, snake, sun dried pork fat, capybara, kudu, impala, wildebeeste, ostrich, dik dik, gnu, small live fish in the southern Philippines, pirania, smoked lung, dinaguan, assorted testicular matter, marinated but not cooked beef heart, live octopus, ...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ekammin Jan 8, 2008 09:47 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Seal flipper pie. It's a well-known delicacy in Newfoundland, although I found it a bit greasy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. k
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              KariAnneATL Jan 9, 2008 10:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              While in Finland, I had Reindeer Pizza with smoked reindeer on top of it. It was actually very good, very strong. We then went to Lapland and saw the reindeer in person, then bought lots of Poro snacks (reindeer jerky) that my youngest brother's friends still beg for.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. g
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                gratefulchow May 3, 2008 04:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Baby camel heart

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. j
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  jentami May 4, 2008 01:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Grilled whale, reindeer, wild rabbit on a stick, gator tacos, ostrich.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. thew May 4, 2008 03:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    iin the hills of northern thailand living with the tribal chief they threw something on the fire they said was like a potato. and it was kinda like a dry flakey potato.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    i asked him to show me an uncooked one

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    raw it was a stick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: thew
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      LordOfTheGrill Sep 6, 2008 02:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Most recently: chapuline -- roast grasshoppers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      All time: Thiet chanh viet (sp?) -- Vietnamese duck's blood pizza.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: thew
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        m
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        morrismixmaster Sep 12, 2013 07:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For weird stuff you have to go to a 'getemono-ya' in Japan, they have all kinds of strange things to eat!

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