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repulsive texture; heavenly taste?

I've been privy to much discussion about foul-smelling foods that taste much better than their rank odor would suggest, but today I would like to examine yummy foods that have a nauseating texture.

On a recent visit to my favorite yakkitori place in NYC, I naively ordered a marinated or pickled seaweed appetizer billed as "Okinawa Umare". I eat as adventurously as most chowhounds, but when presented a small shotglass-like pool of cool, slimy and clingy dark green glop, I couldn't help but recoil. The way it ickily adhered to my chopsticks was not characteristic of a substance I'd willingly put into my mouth.

Fortunately, as the title of my thread suggests, the seaweed was delicious once I got over its slippery standoffishness--a nice balance of brine, sweetness and pungent vinegar.

I might even order it again.

So.... are there any tasty foods that *you* have found to have a vile consistency?

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    1. re: ipsedixit

      Wow. I happen to love the texture of all three!! ;-)

    2. cow trotters soup. cooked overnight, the gelatine and marrow and all seeps out and the stuff looks slimy and full of unidentifiable joints and bones and cartilege. But it is really good.

      4 Replies
        1. re: luckyfatima

          oh boy. that got my saliva going!

          1. re: luckyfatima

            Sounds good...think I need to try making this one.

              1. re: lynnlato

                Oh, and I'm not a big fan of flaked coconut, but I love the taste.

              2. Okra.

                Come to think of it, I'm not keen on the flavour either.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Paulustrious

                  Biting into shrimp gives me the willies

                    1. re: Paulustrious

                      I read "How about cookies" and I'm thinking what kind of cookies give people the heebie jeebies? I've not met a cookie yet that freaked me out...
                      Then I read it correctly.
                      And still felt compelled to comment with nothing of value to add.
                      Except that I've never knowingly eaten a cockle. Ever. What's it like?

                      1. re: Boccone Dolce

                        A clam by any other name would smell as sweet.

                2. Raw spinach and the gritty sensation when you chew it.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Cookiephage

                    I am totally with you on that one. I actually hesitate when buying a spinach salad because of that phenomina

                    1. re: Cookiephage

                      for me the grit with spinach isn't the problem, it's that it makes my teeth feel squeaky /slippery/dry after I eat it....I can't even discribe it

                      my husband thinks I'm crazy - he has no idea what I'm talking about because it doesn't happen to him and I can't put the sensation into words

                      1. re: Cookiephage

                        It's like a slippery, granular film that covers the surface of your teeth... a pretty terrible sensation!

                        1. re: Cookiephage

                          yes! thank you cookie! I was begining to think I was crazy...

                          I eat spinach at least once a week but the fresh stuff drives me nutz- not enough to quit eating it but I do brush asap after dinner

                          ps: I just read that I spelled describe as discribe above...bad english major....

                          1. re: chef4hire

                            I think it's the oxalic acid content in spinach that some people are more sensitive to than others.

                        1. Passion fruit and Salmon roe. Can get over the texture and enjoy them.

                          Uni. Couldn't get over the texture.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: viperlush

                            I love uni in part FOR the texture. Combined with the taste, it always seems to me like what eating something from another planet entirely might be like.

                            1. re: buttertart

                              The tripe (commonly called bible tripe) that is used in pho and the variety of tripes used in the dim sum tripe dish that is stewed with radish. I'm not a fan of the taste, admittedly, but it's the texture that gets to me most.

                              Fetal duck eggs. I nearly ate one in Cambodia, but balked after I saw my SO struggle through his. In retrospect, I should have gone for it, just for the experience, but my stomach was not in agreement, so I bailed.

                              1. re: 1sweetpea

                                Ditto the tripe in menudo. Had to make myself get over the texture, but now I love, love, love it.

                          2. Canned cranberry sauce -- the jellied kind that keeps the shape of the can at Thanksgiving. If it didn't taste great, I have no idea why it would be such a common side dish.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: RGC1982

                              you are so right about the cranberry sauce.

                            2. Calf's brains. Had it as a kid for the first time, after having seen it sit out raw in my mom's kitchen. The texture is... well, for those who don't know, slightly creamier than sweetbreads, with less bite. But damn, is that stuff delish. It's been forever since I had it.

                              Okra's also weird, but I love it anyway. As for the spinach-tooth sensation, blanching it before pan-frying usually does the trick. Obviously, that's not an option if you're serving spinach salad...

                              1. Sounds like you tried "mozuku", which is a type of Okinawan seaweed in a light vinegar mixture. "Okinawa umare" just means "born in Okinawa", so it's a cute menu name. "Mozuku" is not uncommonly served as a drink accompaniment at the start of a meal.....When I saw the thread title, I was almost certain that "mozuku" was going to be the guilty item.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Silverjay

                                  Thanks. A Google images search confirms that you are correct. As a side note, I *did* ask the waitress if was considered polite/impolite to just down the thing like an oyster or a shot of booze. In broken English she explained that she likes to drink the stuff when no one is watching but would not recommend doing so in public. I resigned to continuing battling the gloppy ooze with my chopsticks.

                                2. For me, it's not knowing whether to chew or to swallow. Say, for example, oysters: love them, but alternate between chewing and just swallowing. Know what I mean?

                                  Repulsive texture but heavenly taste? Definitely tapioca pearls and raw quail eggs (to top my buckwheat soba noodles). Truth be told, I think it's been years since I had tapioca... hmm.

                                  1. I need to start a slimy foods fan club. I love almost all of those slimy nasties that people are bringing up on this thread, precisely because they are slimy... And I know I can't be the only one out there! Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

                                    14 Replies
                                    1. re: cimui

                                      Bueller reporting. Yup, I love most of the slimy things mentioned on this thread because they are slimy too. I love different textures.

                                      But for full disclosure, there are a couple of exceptions listed. I am not a fan of brain, It is a texture thing, I can't even recall their taste as I can't get past the texture. I have some issue with okra, although I will eat it. Taste is good, but not heavenly. And I have never tried the fetal eggs, never had a chance, but I must admit I have a hard time imagining I'd enjoy it. I consider myself a somewhat adventurous eater, but I guess I'll have to give back my membership in the macho eat-anything club.

                                      Oh yeah... one other item which fits this thread perfectly! I had a whole tongue, they had not removed the tastebuds. I had a lot of trouble enjoying the texture of the taste buds... but I loved the flavour of the meat. I ended up peeling off the taste buds, then chowing down on the rest of the tongue.

                                      Am I still allowed in your club Cimui? (wistful glance)

                                      1. re: moh

                                        Only if you share some of that tongue with me!

                                        Actually, I have to draw some boundaries, too. Natto and raw egg spaghetti? Probably not for me: http://my.opera.com/tabatakayoko/blog... ... though I do love me some natto with rice.

                                        And well made okra masala isn't at all slimy. So I guess I love it for reasons independent of slime. Ah well. Maybe I don't get to be in my own fan club.

                                        1. re: cimui

                                          Oh wow. That is a crazy looking spaghetti! I'm very nervous.

                                          I am working up the courage to try natto with rice, i may have an opportunity later this week! Depends on my friend's schedule. Can't not try it at least once. Anyhow, I eat many other fermented soy products, how different can this be? We are planning a meal of natto and smelts, yum...

                                          1. re: moh

                                            Oh -- very exciting! I hope to hear about how it goes, if you take the plunge!

                                            1. re: cimui

                                              OK! Natto so fits into this thread!

                                              So my friend made some natto maki, she thought that might be the easiest way to introduce me to this food item. She brought them over to our place, and we had a lovely lunch of natto maki, along with some regular white rice and Korean seasoned cucumber pickle (oh ee gi) and Korean seasoned pollack roe (myung nan jeot).

                                              As I was slicing the natto rolls, I kept on getting these thin filaments that reminded me of spider web threads. "That's the natto" said my friend. "Think of marshmallow rice crispies" I said in an attempt to stay calm, "Same threads".

                                              Not bad! The smell of natto is somewhat familiar, and the flavour is quite mild. It tastes like fermented soy beans, something that is familiar to me, a flavour I quite like. The texture is quite special, it is indeed as slimy as it looks, but it was much more tolerable than I thought it would be.

                                              I am much less intimidated now! next step is to try it directly on rice, to see how I do when the threads are flying around, uncontained by rice and nori.

                                              Here is a picture of the meal. Starting in the upper left hand corner, going clockwise: package of natto, natto maki, pollack roe, oh ee gi.

                                              1. re: moh

                                                your lunch looks absolutely brilliant. especially from a slimy foods perspective: roe AND natto, oh boy! i might swoon from vicarious enjoyment.

                                                *high five*, moh!!

                                          2. re: cimui


                                            That looks like the spaghetti that I make and eat all the time! LOL!

                                            1. re: kobetobiko


                                              i don't know why the combination of the three doesn't seem delicious to me. i like raw egg with rice/noodles and natto with rice/noodles... but both, together, seem overwhelming. for one thing, the egg slime seems like it would overwhelm the natto slime... and i *like* that natto slime!

                                        2. re: cimui

                                          The older I get, the more appreciative I am of my parents "If it's alive - eat it" attitude to dining and the rich textures to which I was exposed from an early age. Count me among those slimy food fans: childhood trips to Chinatown were not complete without bowls of stringy and mucilaginous birds' nest soup, my grandfather would keep us quiet in the back of his car during long trips by plying us with oozy fried okra from Church's Chicken and I miss brain masala terribly (though I don't get the complaints about it's texture -- it's just like eggs). I need texture in my food to enjoy it and were I to cut myself off from slimey (bird's nest), explosive (ikura) or pastey (bilo-bilo), well it would be akin to a Westerner giving up salty, sweet or savory.

                                          1. re: JungMann

                                            so funny about your grandfather plying you with okra. i'm pretty sure at that age, it would've been the threat of having to eat okra that'd've kept me quiet in the car. you had a precocious palate!

                                            and re: "explosive" as a texture -- i like it! it makes perfect sense, actually, the concept of one texture suddenly giving way to another one. there's liquid center gum, chicken cordon bleu, even sausages in casing when you first bite into 'em... great, great, great.

                                            1. re: cimui

                                              Oh boy, liquid centre gum is my cryptonite! Explosive, yes; but also throws me out for the count!

                                              1. re: sf toronto

                                                Throws you out for the count? You need more practice eating exploding foods, little grasshopper! Daily practice will make you strong. ;)

                                                1. re: cimui

                                                  Ah cimui! It warms my heart to hear you say grasshopper... it used to be my nickname - I guess now we know why! ;) I promise to practice, just not with the gum... it's too, um, fake?!

                                                  Oh, and by the way, lychees are also on my "do not consume" list.

                                                  1. re: sf toronto

                                                    now that's *really* fascinating. i'll eat your lychees for you anytime, sf toronto. ;)

                                        3. For me it's banana.
                                          I just don't care for them texture-wise, yet I eat 1/2 of one with my morning granola bar maybe 3-4 times a week.

                                          Also don't enjoy seaweed (like in a salad) but if it's there, I'll have some 'cuz it's tasty.

                                          I used to freak out eating the calamari tentacles but I got over it- it was the texture, but I'm zen with them now due to their deliciousness.

                                          Masago eggs kinda stick in your teeth, but they are tasty critters.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Boccone Dolce

                                            >>Masago eggs kinda stick in your teeth, but they are tasty critters.

                                            Just saved there to be enjoyed, later...

                                          2. Raw mushrooms. It's like biting into a makeup sponge.
                                            And put me down for okra, too.

                                            1. I adore ripe pears. But once in a while I get a hold of one that is so horribly gritty I feel as if I fell face first into the sandbox and didn't get all the sand out of my mouth.

                                              1. I absolutely hate wet cooked okra. My Grandmother used to reserve a special batch of her gumbo without okra just for me. It's the one slimy food that I've never been able to get past the consistency with. Now fried okra, that's another story....love it!

                                                Reading about the quails egg makes me want to do a quail egg shooter. Chilled sake, a bit of ponzu, shaved scallions, raw quail egg and a pinch of togarashi, mmmmm.