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must try - bizarre food?

Having a kind of "Bizarre food" party. already on a menu: balut eggs, ankimo, sea urchin in it`s own shell, sweet breads, sea snails, geoduck, foie grass, escargots, oysters. Any recommendations? What else can I try and were in San Francisco or Bay Area can get it? Thanks

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  1. I think people think Roasted Bone Marrow is weird. Simple and delicious

    1. oh, great idea! thought of that, but forgot.. thanks

      4 Replies
      1. re: nakasf

        Is the huitlacoche for the party or for personal use?

        1. re: wolfe

          Wolf, actually, I was looking for huitlacoche for a long time, i like to try every thing at least ones. If I find it before party it would be a bonus.

          1. re: nakasf

            Try some of the organic corn farmers. I believe I have seen it occasionally on 1 or 2 of the ears when I husked many boxes at work. As we say frequently in the Bay Area wait until next season.

            1. re: nakasf

              I don't know if this is too late, but actually I've seen canned huitlacoche in Mexican grocery stores. I think the Herdez brand makes one.

        2. Folks, keep your suggestions coming, but remember, this board is all about where to find all those unique ingredients, so please, if you have suggestions, include a source.


          7 Replies
          1. re: The Chowhound Team

            If some one want to know were to get a marrow bone, that it`s so easy. ask any butcher they will cut the right size for you and give a good advice on how to cook it. I usually go to Guerra Quality Meats. you can order stuff from them. Last time they got me foie grass A-grade 55 dollars -1lb , frozen Italian porchini 2,2 lb -50 dollars (they have much more flavor then I bought fresh at Berkeley bowl market) sweet breads about 2 dollars a pound. Oh, have a crazy thought, i probably will ask them if they can get eye balls.. never tried that before(update:I called them, they cant get that

            1. re: nakasf

              Why not just get the whole head? That way you get ears, tongue cheeks and brain.

              1. re: wolfe

                whole head it`s too much. I dont like pork, and beef head gonna be a lot, they have huge heads. tongue is not unusual for us, I cook it in a regular basis. brain is too soft, i prefer sweet breads they have similar taste

                    1. re: nakasf

                      Yes, that post started pre-website although there are other halal butchers. For instance there are 2 on the same block of San Pablo at University in Berkeley and more all around the Bay Area.

                      1. re: nakasf

                        I called them, they gonna have it for me. thanks for suggestion.

            2. Bottarga is an unusual ingredient for a lot of people. It is (usually) the salted dried roe of the Grey Mullet and is terrifically pungent grated over fresh hot pasta, toasted garlic, crispy bread crumbs and garlic. I have not sourced it here although I am sure it available but I have seen it at Corti Brothers market in Sacramento.

              3 Replies
              1. re: tomatoaday

                From previous bottarga quest but without followup post on whether it was successful.

                1. re: tomatoaday

                  Any thing more close then Sacramento I can find bottarga?

                  1. re: tomatoaday

                    I got bottarga at Boulette's Larder in the Ferry Plaza. http://www.bouletteslarder.com/

                    It's absurdly expensive but a little goes a long way.

                  2. Durian. You can get it at, say, The Berkeley Bowl.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: D Hound

                      They had it at Monterey Market last weekend too. Can't imagine they sold out of them already.

                    2. Are any Asian markets still selling turtles? Up to a few years ago I always saw them in Chinatown, but no longer. Did laws change while I wasn't paying attention?

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Pei

                        i thing turtles out of season now. they sell it during summer a lot.

                      2. I think you need to add some bizarre vegetables to this meaty mix. How about cardoons, rutabegas, and sunchokes? I don't know how bizarre these are but maybe nopales and daikon. Orange or purple cauliflower. All are available at the Alemany Farmers' Market.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Euonymous

                          thanks, probably will need some veg to go with my meal.

                          1. re: Euonymous

                            cauliflower not bizarre enough, daikon serving with ankimo, rutabaga is very common in a country where some of my friends from. sunchokes are interesting idea. cardoons ? what is that? never heard of that. what does taste like?

                            1. re: nakasf

                              Cardoons are cousins to artichokes. Look like huge spiky celery and taste mildly like artichokes. Very popular in Italy.

                              Google it for more info.

                          2. News:I could not wait until weekend, went to halal butcher on 24th st and folsom, the guy who works there were very nice very informative about some stuff. i bought lamb testicles and kidneys to try before party, he cleaned it for me and sliced. He gave some suggestions on cooking. He even offered help on cooking it him self if he is invited. Very nice guy.
                            on the same street there many Mexican stores , i went in one of them and asked where to get corn smut, they recommend me to try Lucas?(not sure about name) on 24th st and Alabama, vent there ask a few yang clerks they didn`t know what i was talking about, I told them they have to have it some body told me.. they asked an older women and she showed it right a way. Its my luck. I bought it, yey! tried it already straight from the can,it has starchy bean squid inc kind of flavor. was not a fan, but glad i tried. hope fresh will taste better. 7 oz $5,39.
                            there is an Italian delicatessen on Valencia and 22nd st where i asked bottarga, they said they can get it of i order, 42 dollars for 1 oz.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: nakasf

                              I guess my idea of bizarre (ish) is different - only think I'd think of in the category on your list is balut BUT never mind, along those lines what about fruit bat (?fried) - I think it's a delicacy in ?the Philipines - anyone know and can suggest a local store? Also fish head curry (yes the whole head) - I'd ask in a Chinese market (also 99 ranch) - if that fits your category.

                              Dragon fruit might fit your category - beautiful outside and in (chinese stores again for source). 99 Ranch - or other large chinese of japanese shops might be a good place to go looking for veggies (does lotus root count?) and fruits - just make sure if plantains fit your bill that you don't eat them raw!

                              1. re: estnet

                                I shoppe at ranch 99 on a regular basis, at least ones a week for sea food and asian goodies. there i tried Balut for a first time. I love this store. I forgot to mention, i planed on serving small sea snails from ranch 99. they very tasty. And i wanna introduce them to my friends. Fish head is too bony and too messy. It would be super if i could get a bat here, but .. i don't think its possible. Yeah i will buy some exotic fruits, if they gonna have dragon fruit i will buy it (about a week ago in ranch 99 they had dragon fruit for just $2.99 a pound.) I don`t like it, its tasteless but beautiful. Lotus -interesting idea. I like plantains when they crispy but i didnt planed on frying things its too messy Im not gonna have time to clean.

                                1. re: nakasf

                                  I agree about dragon fruit - beautiful but tasteless - just though it would add an interesting dimension. Passion fruit or mangosteen would been lovely but I've almost never seen them here and even then they're not the best and super expensive.

                                  Oh and I forgot - thousand year eggs (amazing to those unfamiliar with them).

                                  1. re: estnet

                                    Trader Joe's had dried dragon fruit. It looked like deflated small basketballs with a similar chewability.

                              2. re: nakasf

                                Regarding the bottarga - the Italian deli is Lucca Ravioli. Was it mullet bottarga or tuna bottarga?

                              3. Buddha's Hand -- I have seen at both the Farmer's Market and Safeway.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Carrie 218

                                  Any clue what it tastes like/how to use it? i think i recall seeing it zested somewhere but i havent any idea what one would do with it (or why they seem to be so expensive)

                                  1. re: tex.s.toast

                                    I have a tree. I candy mine and use it in baked goods.

                                    1. re: adrienne156

                                      It would make an amazing sorbet! Anything you would use lemon zest in/on but something that shows off a lemon flavor more robustly with the Buddha's Hand elegance.

                                  2. re: Carrie 218

                                    Buddha's hand is a type of citron. So, it's more valued for the peel than the minimal fruit itself. It's traditionally candied and used in things like fruitcake and steamed puddings. Anything that uses zest is a good bet.

                                  3. Maybe some Filipino pork blood stew, Dinuguan. Alot of Filipino places in Daly City sell.

                                    Pre-meal table snack: The Japanese dried baby crab snacks (last seen Berkeley Bowl). You eat them whole, shell and all.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: J T

                                      Pork blood in general, add it to soups. You can buy at Ranch 99. Also more standard items like chicken hearts, gizzards, ox tails, ground fish balls.

                                      Many Japanese grocery stores have the dried tiny crabs -- I've seen them at Suruki in San Mateo. There's also lots of other dried things which some folks think are strange: dried whole fish, dried cuttlefish/squid, etc.

                                      1. re: PekoePeony

                                        already bought small dried seasoned crabs have for snacking . also will go to Korean store in daly city, they have spiced cooked things by weight: tiny crabs, tiny shrimps, tiny anchovies, and stuff.

                                    2. Unfortunately I don't know of a local source to suggest, but if you can find it, perhaps hakarl, the fermented shark from Iceland?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. I forget the restaurant name, but there's a place in SF chinatown that sells geese wings...they taste like duck wings, but bigger and a bit more gamey. Also, any chinese restaurant that has the roasted duck hanging at the window, go in and ask for a pound of duck head and necks, those are delicious.

                                        1. blood sausage is always good.

                                            1. Rambutans are fun. I served them at a diner party and they were a huge hit. They are a little smaller than a golf ball and look like a red sea urchin, all spiny and strange looking. Tear them open and eat the fruit inside, it's sweet, juicy and fleshy. Kind of like a lychee.

                                              I've seen them off and on at Trader Joes.