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Craziest, but good thing you've ever eaten.

I'm sure we have a pretty sophisticated and daring palette in chowhound. What have you eaten that would people go either "what?!" or "ew~" or some other strong reaction...but actually tasted pretty good? I grew up eating bird's nest soup, sea cucumber sashimi (slimy), octopus sashimi (the tentacles stick to your mouth), etc.

I think the craziest thing I tried was fried grasshopper---without batter, of course---in a rural town in Korea that was actually pretty good (if you ignored the fact that it still looked like insect).

Pretend that you're Anthony Bourdain in the show No Reservation if that helps you. :)

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  1. The craziest thing I've probably ever eaten is sea urchin roe. It was an interesting experience. It went from being the most disgusting thing, to being incredible....and the taste didn't leave my mouth for a long time. My brother is a fisherman in Alaska and I spent six months up there one time, I also ate the roe out of a salmon just a few minutes after it came out of the water.

    2 Replies
    1. re: afoodieslife

      I love love love sea urchin roe (although it's not really roe but the sea urchin's organs...did you know that?) If they weren't so expensive I'd eat it all the time. Salmon roe is too fishy for me though. It has interesting texture but the inside the roe is a little too oily perhaps (or maybe it wasn't fresh enough).

      1. re: baekster

        I didn't know that about sea urchin roe. Very interesting. It was probably over ten years ago since I had that experience with the salmon roe so I don't remember exactly.

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      1 Reply
      1. Probably not crazy in the extreme, but crazy for me. I ate jelly fish last night in a Chinese restaurant. It had the texture of bean sprouts. Can't think of a way to descrbe the taste. It was good. Doubt I would order it as an entree though.
        Spencer

        2 Replies
        1. re: Spencer

          Yeah, jellyfish is a texture thing -- it usually gets most of its flavor from whatever they've marinated it in or dressed it in (usually some sesame oil). No one orders it as an "entree" -- it's a side dish.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            I had jellyfish too at a wedding banqet for Chinese friends. Good! (I agree, it had a faint sesame oil flavor -- but subtle).

        2. Probably raw artichoke heart salad. It doesn't sound that weird, but if you have ever experienced the horrible bitter flavor of raw artichoke sap, you really can't imagine it being palatable. But it was, shaved very very fine.

          1. Durian - the fruit infamous for its stink - but it's really good

            1 Reply
            1. re: peanuttree

              Ha! There's something wrong with the wiring in my brain. I actually enjoy the smell of durian, but I find the taste to be disgusting.

            2. Also I like escargots - some people find the idea of eating snails weird - oh and frog's legs (but in a Thai dish, not French)

              1 Reply
              1. re: peanuttree

                How is frog legs prepared in thai? I've had it in French (and yes, I love Escargo!)

              2. Fish eyes - in india it's a delicacy and my cousins and I would fight over them when I would visit as a child. I don't remember what they tasted like, but remember thinking they were delicious!

                1 Reply
                1. re: pslopian

                  I think I used to eat them (and yes, fight over it with my cousins) in Korea when I was young. I don't remember them tasting that delicious...very neutral tasting...

                2. Shirako (codfish milt), served atop rice sushi-style. It was very creamy and delicious. I would absolutely eat it again.

                  4 Replies
                    1. re: peanuttree

                      "Shirako" is the sperm sac of a cod (as opposed to the roe). It's often topped with a small dollop of grated ginger and slices of green onion. It's not unusual to have it served in a simple broth topped with the ginger and onion as an amuse bouche at fine Japanese restaurants... I'm not sure how "crazy" an item this is....

                      1. re: Silverjay

                        Fish sperm sounds pretty crazy to me! The craziest thing I ever ate was fried grasshoppers but I think the sperm is crazier.

                        1. re: LAfoodfiend

                          The "crazy" part was that it tasted so good when I wasn't expecting it to. It was plain, no broth or ginger or anything, just plain old fish sperm.

                          I've had those grasshoppers too and they were okay but the texture got to me after a while. The ones I had weren't fried enough for my liking and were more chewy than crunchy. I wouldn't eat those particular ones again.

                  1. Stinky tofu in Taiwan.
                    Sweet breads
                    Chicken hearts grilled at a yakitori joint - lightly salted, tasty and tender

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: chowmeow

                      Yea...stinky tofu was a bit too much for me. I didn't like it at all. God it smells like sewage, don't you think? Maybe I need to revisit the item and get used to it although I don't know if I ever will. Chicken hearts is good...especially when you're coming home at 4 am from clubbing or late night drinking and it's the only thing available...

                    2. Haggis.

                      Well, it was weird for me.

                      I did enjoy it though. I had it from a booth at the Highland Games in Waukesha, Wisconsin a few weeks ago. I'm betting that it was only remotely like Haggis would be in Scotland, and nobody shouted a Robbie Burns poems at it before serving. But I look forward to trying it again.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Fydeaux

                        Was there whiskey sauce on the side? Gotta have the whiskey sauce to make it worthwhile.

                        1. re: MsDiPesto

                          Nothing served on the side, I'm afraid. But I was told that there was Drambouie in the recipe.

                      2. Depends on the crowd I'm telling but Lambs Testicals recently in Paris and loved them, and of course fabulous bone marrow (usually freaks out a few). I ate things that I didn't know until after the meal what it was - I'm ok with that. Goat liver was another - great. I'd prefer to know after my taste buds.

                        1. Fish sausage. From Japan. It was delicious.

                          1. Okay, UGH on the grasshopper and the octopus sashimi!!!! Whoa. I'm impressed, tho. I had rabbit kidney and tiny little rabbit ribs at Tom Keller's Per Se. Quite good. Now, on the other hand, I had beef tongue carpaccio (also at Per Se) and didn't care for it at all... ew. I can still feel those little, rough taste buds (shiver).