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Bizarre eats in Tampa, St. Pete, Plant City, Orlando, Sarasota or just Florida

s
scpata May 21, 2013 12:14 PM

Hello! I'm looking for foods that the typical American palate would find weird, or unusual, served around the Tampa Bay area, or within driving distance of Tampa.

I'm looking for recommendations, but also some specifics.

Do you know where I can find these items near Tampa:

Durian?

Balut?

Haggis?

Kopi Luwak (civet coffee)?

Rocky Mountain Oysters?

Insects?

Do you know of any other "bizarre" foods available in the local area?

It's for a newspaper story. Thanks for the help!

  1. l
    larryMclean Jun 13, 2013 08:12 PM

    Interesting choices...can't wait to read the article.

    1. g
      gfr1111 Jun 13, 2013 12:11 PM

      Oceanic Market (the people who own C.K. Choy's in Hyde Park) has had them frozen in the past. Oceanic Market is downtown, practically under I-75.

      They are the fruit with the Spiky green or yellow outside. In Singapore, they say of the durian that it "Tastes like heaven, smells like hell." Some people are nuts about them and cannot get enough of them when they are in season. People are prohibited from transporting them in taxis because of the smell.

      They certainly smell like hell, but when I had them fresh in Singapore, I thought the flesh, which you peel off of the seeds, tasted like sweetened soap.

      I have also read on these boards that in season, they can purchased from a fruit stand near the Thai Temple. I've never been to the Thai Temple (and would like to go), but have no idea where it is, except that it is in Tampa.

      Good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: gfr1111
        deet13 Jun 13, 2013 06:23 PM

        The Wat Temple is on Palm River Road...
        Here's a link to it on Google Maps
        http://goo.gl/maps/LEyDK

        Just get there early 10:30am, or you'll be stuck in the lines

      2. c
        christinet. Jun 13, 2013 09:32 AM

        The Linger Lodge in Bradenton has been featured on the Food Network as having being one of the "Top 5 Weirdest Resaurants". It serves old Florida style food like Gator Bites and Frogs Legs.

        1. meatn3 May 30, 2013 07:31 PM

          The UF Anthropology Dept. has an armadillo roast each year.
          It's been going on for over 30 years now.

          2 Replies
          1. re: meatn3
            l
            Little T. Jun 10, 2013 06:03 PM

            That's awesome! I'd go just for the pies http://goo.gl/iXZKC - wow, they look great!

            1. re: Little T.
              meatn3 Jun 10, 2013 06:23 PM

              The pie at the top left looks like the crust was cut in an arrowhead pattern!

              I was invited in '81 but caught a brutal batch of the flu and missed it...one of my bigger regrets in life...

          2. l
            Little T. May 30, 2013 05:28 PM

            MD Oriental Market has balut. Pretty sure they have durian as well.

            1. sunshine842 May 22, 2013 08:04 PM

              Try Florida-specific goodies -- alligator and rattlesnake are easier to find than most of those.

              1. k
                kempshark May 22, 2013 04:12 AM

                You can find Durian and Balut at many of the asian markets/stores in the Tampa Bay area. I don't think you're going to find a restaurant that serves either one. You can get Durian flavored drinks. You might even be able to find some frozen insects at some of the asian stores.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kempshark
                  t
                  triff May 23, 2013 09:19 AM

                  At United Oriental Market grocery store 3681 62nd Ave. N. in Pinellas Park, I have seen durian frozen fruit, fruit bars and drinks. They also have packages of GIANT beetles labeled for fishing. See pic below:

                   
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