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How Broad Is Your Palate on a Scale of 1 to 100?

If you score 100 that means you'll eat everything from chicken's feet to blood pudding to live jelly fish to grub worms.

If you score 1 that means you're a one-note oboe who will only eat bread or rice or potatoes, etc.

I'd give myself a 74.

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  1. i'd say I'm about 75, I put the brakes on when it comes to food like Durian or some offal.

    12 Replies
    1. re: treb

      Ha. We tried Durian several years ago. It didn't really taste like anything and didn't smell bad. We must have gotten a...BAD one??????

      1. re: sandylc

        are you sure you didn't get jackfruit instead? they look kind of similar but jackfruit is distinctly less... well, distinct. i used to confuse the two all the time!

      2. re: treb

        I have had durian, and it was nearly offal... wait, that is a mis-spelling, but you get the idea. Actually, durian fruit tastes better, than it smells - just like some very ripe French cheeses.

        Hunt

        1. re: Bill Hunt

          I have never heard of a hotel in France that warns "No Ripe Cheeses." But in some places in the world a hotel will have a "No Durian" sign.

          1. re: Steve

            Hehe, I have a t-shirt with the slash through the durian symbol. it was a gift from a Thai friend, as I'm not really a durian fan.

            1. re: Steve

              Actually, I could abide by a sign for each, but in the right circumstances, each can be quite delicious.

              Hunt

              1. re: Steve

                Durian is not allowed on public transportation in Singapore.

                1. re: LMAshton

                  And with good reason.

                  Same for some Inter-Island airlines - no durian fruit.

                  Hunt

              2. re: Bill Hunt

                It does taste way better than it smells and can be really delicious depending on the preparation

                It is not a scary food.

                1. re: C. Hamster

                  I agree, but would not want to be in a CRJ-200, where 6 passengers were eating it - heck, would not want to be in a 777-400, where 6 passengers were eating it.

                  Hunt

                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                    Aren't we talking about individuals' palates?

            2. In terms of what I'll try, I'd say probably 75 or 80. In terms of what I'd actually be OK with eating on a regular basis, more like a 50.

              I'll try many things once. But that doesn't mean I want to eat pig tongue or whatever on a regular basis.

              7 Replies
                1. re: juliejulez

                  I'm with Julie. I will try many things (I draw the line at insects, etc., but most offal is ok), but I wouldn't want to make a regular diet of it. So I'd say 80-85 on the try scale, and maybe 50-60 on the eat regularly scale. Also, preparation plays a HUGE role, especially when it comes to things like offal.

                        1. I would need to see a scale, I think. Maybe around 75? I am 'offal' wimpy. I am really surprised at what some people find exotic.

                          26 Replies
                          1. re: jeanmarieok

                            In Asia, I sort of put the brakes on a dish of live baby chickens, thrown into a hot skillet. Watching them "dance" around, before the heat took their lives, was beyond my tastes. Same for some Filipino takes on impregnated eggs. Just not my thing.

                            Though I have eaten toasted grasshoppers, and even chocolate-covered grubs, they are not high on my list of food items.

                            Same for eyeballs. I do not want my food "looking" back at me. Sorry.

                            Also, if my choice of a "live Maine lobster," is referred to as "Fred," I will change my pick. I do not want to eat something with a name...

                            Hunt

                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                              "Same for some Filipino takes on impregnated eggs"

                              That's balut.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                Correct, but I thought that the description would have more impact - until I saw another mention of "balut," in this thread.

                                Hunt

                              2. re: Bill Hunt

                                Fred, Hank, Liz, whoever. I never met a lobster I wouldn't eat. :)

                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                  Well, when you pick your choice, and the cry goes out to all of the servers, "He just picked Fred!" and they all begin telling stories, and wringing their hands, tears streaking down their cheeks, one pauses.

                                  Hunt

                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                    Ha. When I was about 10, my dad took us kids to the store to buy a lobster for my mom's birthday. We thought it was going to be our pet and when Dad killed it, we (ages 10, 7, 4, and 3) are cried. When Mom ate it, we sobbed. It may not have been her favorite birthday...

                                    1. re: Hobbert

                                      Lobsters are not warm and cuddly pets for small children, especially when the rubber bands have been removed from their claws. Even housecats should beware.

                                      1. re: Veggo

                                        I grew up out in the country and had no idea what lobsters were :) Now I find them very tasty!

                                        1. re: Hobbert

                                          Excellent. I hope you catch up for the lost time! My nearby oyster bar has a lobster special all through Labor Day weekend, I expect to enjoy a few.

                                        2. re: Veggo

                                          Hi, Veggo:

                                          I had a boxer dog who learned this lesson the hard way. He won the fight, though, and the crustacean cooked up just fine.

                                          Aloha,
                                          Kaleo

                                          1. re: kaleokahu

                                            Interesting. I recall putting a 3 pounder on the kitchen floor, sans rubber bands, with my cat at the time, who was very curious and stalked it from a safe distance. He clearly sensed danger. I rewarded him later with a bit of tail meat for having put him in harm's way.

                                            1. re: Veggo

                                              You fed the lobster foe to your cat!?!?! New Animal Planer show "Pet Gladiators".

                                          2. re: Veggo

                                            Kind of like the rabbit in Monty Python's Holy Grail? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcxKIJ...

                                            Or perhaps, Ricky the Carnivorous Pony?

                                            Hunt

                                          3. re: Hobbert

                                            Sounds like the restaurant, with the "Pick Your Own Live Maine Lobster," when I chose Fred. The entire staff donned black arm bands, and held a mock wake... I felt so bad.

                                            Hunt

                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                              Pierre was mine at the Rosewood in Vegas. Full story another time.

                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                I do think that you will owe us that story. Maybe we need a new thread - "Did You Know Your Lobster?"

                                                Hunt

                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                  Mr. Hunt I offer you an IOU on my full story. For tonight the martinis are flowing and I am glowing, drinking away a summer I can not too soon forget.

                                                  Cheers!

                                                  1. re: jrvedivici

                                                    You are allowed, sir. When the time is right, just add the reply. I have been there, and sometimes wish that I had not. When "Wine-Thirty" comes early, say on a holiday weekend, I should just not post.

                                                    Catch you later,

                                                    Hunt

                                                2. re: jrvedivici

                                                  I was fairly regular at the venerable Rosewood, RIP.
                                                  Basic 4 pound Nova Scotia lobster with lots of butter for one black chip ($100).

                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                    The original Rosewood?? They moved at some point and I visited the new location once before their closure but my story took place at the original. I will have to wait till Tuesday when I'm back in front of a keyboard again to type the story. Sorry for the teaser!

                                        3. re: Bill Hunt

                                          "Hi there, I'm Fred. I'll be your meal this evening."

                                          1. re: flavrmeistr

                                            I have never encountered a talking lobster - must me something new -gene splicing?

                                            Hunt

                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                              Haven't you ever read the little tag?

                                              1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                They can WRITE too!?!?

                                                Wow, who knew?

                                                Hunt

                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                  They're also telepathic. (Fred has sent me a message for you, btw. Sadly, nothing from Pierre.)

                                                  1. re: foiegras

                                                    You know, that has happened before. I used to disregard clairvoyance, and especially with lobsters, but have changed my mind on that subject.

                                                    RIP Fred - you WERE a great lobster, and loved by the entire staff, all the way to the valet.

                                                    Hunt

                                      2. 63.

                                        And I add one for every year I age.

                                          1. re: Veggo

                                            Hahahahahah self control jr.....self control.

                                          2. I say probably 85. I can eat chicken feet, blood pudding, but I cannot eat live octopus, or live frogs, or worms or insects. I also have major problem of eating dogs.

                                            36 Replies
                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                              You are probably closer to a 95 than 85. I'd count "animals that are alive when you eat them" as one item you don't eat, and you won't eat dog. I'm guessing that, under certain circumstances, you might even consider larvae...... just that you haven't come across the 'right moment.'

                                              1. re: Steve

                                                Thanks Steve. So what about you? I haven't seen your answer yet.

                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                  I had no interest in trying the live small octopi wrigglng in the mouth - suckers trying to attach themselves to the tongue- that is the subject of drunken revelries in Korea. So far, no live stuff. I am a bit wary of food that is associated mostly with getting drunk.

                                                  Also I have never sought out dog and have no interest. Larvae stew and grasshopper tacos I have eaten (end enjoyed).

                                                  I seem to eat and enjoy most other items when the opportunity presents itself - so the next question is- what do I actively avoid as opposed to never had opportunity to order? Not much at all. So far, cow penis is on the list (I'm trying to cut back.)

                                                  However, when I see BIzarre Foods on the Travel Channel, I definitely see Andrew Zimmern eating some pretty strange things that almost anyone would have to go way out of their way to find. Some things I'm not even sure what it is. Even the people where he visits don't eat that stuff. Quite frankly, he didn't seem to enjoy those testicles in Spain.

                                                  So I'm giving myself a 95. The only body parts I've never tried outright are penis and testicle. I don't think I'd try some of the 'scarier' bugs on a stick or eyeball tacos.

                                                  1. re: Steve

                                                    I'm probably giving myself a 95 also. I'm unlikely to try durian unless drunk and even then.... I was hoping to have balut with Sam F., again while drunk. Now with him gone, it's not likely. Unless starving I'd not eat an animal that was in my family - dog, cat, horse - but that's for emotional reasons. That's probably about it.

                                                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                  If you eat oysters on the half shell then you do eat live animals.

                                                  1. re: Virginian

                                                    Thanks for the info. If I had to keep the oyster pinned down to prevent it from flopping around, I'd probably skip it.

                                                    1. re: Steve

                                                      Don't worry, an oyster's nervous system is so primitive that it couldn't possibly flop. It probably doesn't even "die" until it has been in one's digestive system for a while.

                                                        1. re: Steve

                                                          That is why I always use liberal Tabasco Sauce on my Oysters on the Half-shell. Nothing can live thought that, plus a big dollop of horseradish!

                                                          Hunt

                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                            Why bother eating them if you're going to cover up the taste?

                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                              Same reason people eat snails - the consensus seems to be it's all about the garlic sauce. Like you say, why bother? (And you can save some money too.)

                                                              1. re: Chatsworth

                                                                Do snails taste like anything other than garlic and butter?!?!? J/K.

                                                                  1. re: Chatsworth

                                                                    ACtually some years ago, Caroline1 talked about 'raising' snails for eating. Quite interesting.

                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                      Yes! If you live in (most of) California, your typical "garden snails" may well be the famous "helix" snails of Escargot Burguignon fame so loved by the French...

                                                                      Late 19th century and early 20th there was a terrible blight on the grape vines of California wine growers. To save the vines and precious root systems, HUGE numbers of grafts were imprted from France by shipload after shipload! Saved the budding wine industry, BUT... seems here were lots and lots of stowaways in those grafts in the form of bonaa fide French escargot!

                                                                      Somewhere on line there are photos of Prospect Street in La Jolla (I think it's Prospect) during the height of the "escargot plague" that shows the snails a foot or more deep on the sidewalks! Yes! I know this sounds like an urban legend. It is NOT! Somewhere on the web -- National Archives of LOC? -- there are newspaper articles of the time writing about it. One "control measure" was to load up trucks by the wheelbarrow full and haul them north of the city to open hills, dig trenches and bury them!

                                                                      And that's how they entered my life. When we lived in Del Mar Heights (of Del Mar, California) in the 1970s, there was one vacant lot left on our block. Since we were all living on a looooong slope to the sea, the pad for the house's slab foundation had to be graded and made flat if the new owners didn't want the dishes slidingoff the table all the time. The grading hit part of a trough of burried snails, long dead, right? Seems the little buggers have spores or something that allow them to play Rip Van Winkle games! When the kids saw all of those escargot shells, they filled their pockets, their shirts, their skirts, their pants, and brought 'em home to Mom...! Dropping many across the dichondra front yard, the flower beds, and simply put, all over the place. But they were neat kids! They picked 'em up, then dropped 'em again... and again... and again. First time the sprinklers went off or it rained, propagation time!

                                                                      I'm one of those who tries to use natural pest control Having the kids pour salt on them seemed cruel and unusual punsihment for the snailes, not to mention being a huge lesson in masochism for the kids. No thanks! So, I thought, I'll teach the kids to play hunter-gatherer games. Escargot for dinners and fresh strawberries for breakfast! duhhh! Snails love strawberries too!

                                                                      I gave up raising them in the yard, then puirging them for two weeks when I caluclated how much per pound the buggers were costing in the way of eaten vegetation. I mean those guys like the expensive stuff! So once I had a goodly supply in the freezer, I packed the project in.

                                                                      I've checked the web to see if I could find the California State handbook for how to raise them, but it's either not there or I'm not smart enough to find it. I used to have a copy I had scanned to my hard drive, but that was quite a few computer crashes ago and I can't seem to find it any more.

                                                                      Here's a fairly close approximation of the how-to's, but not as straight forward as the meathod I used. But they ARE delicious!!!

                                                                      http://www.ehow.com/how_2340081_prepa...

                                                                      Enjoy!
                                                                      .

                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                        The ehow article makes it sound like a major undertaking, I think I read somewhere that in France grapeworkers would build a fire for lunch, and cook the picked-off snails there, right on the spot.

                                                                        1. re: Sharuf

                                                                          I suspect the French vineyard workers weren't dumping toxic waste (pesticides and such) all over their grape vines and contaminating their snails like the common American yard owner does today! The two week purge is to get all the pesticides and toxic chemicals out of their systems. I wish I could find the California state brochure I used because I totally do not remember feeding the critters all this fancy stuff to flavor them "on the hoof," so to speak. As I recall, the kids and I would harvest them of a morning, especially during light rain, and then just unceremoniously dumped them into a waiting plastic dishpan that had a full box of cornmeal in the bottom of it for them to eat and live in for a set amount of time, but I don't recall it being as long as two weeks. But it was a loooooong time ago. The elementary school age kids who helped Momma harvest snails are now in their mid forties! <sheesh>

                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                            Actually, Ricky (maybe Rickí) the horse, who does the plowing in the DRC vineyards, probably takes care of most pests, plus does a great job at weed control.

                                                                            Hunt

                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                As far as "French vineyard workers" NOT dumping "toxic wastes," though one might argue that Ricky is dumping some sort of waste.

                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                  I just wondered how any horse could take care of pests or do weed control.

                                                                  2. re: c oliver

                                                                    I have never eaten a live one, so cannot comment.

                                                                    Hunt

                                                                  3. re: Chatsworth

                                                                    Snails are not always served in a garlic butter sauce. They are very delicious served in a variety of other ways. I don't like it when you can't taste them.

                                                                    1. re: Steve

                                                                      Never have had that. Can you tell more please?

                                                                    2. re: Chatsworth

                                                                      Good point. While I enjoy Escargot, I do not think that I would enjoy a live Burgundy Snail quite so much, and it would be more difficult to get out of the shell.

                                                                      Hunt

                                                                    3. re: c oliver

                                                                      It doesn't cover it up. It adds to.

                                                                      1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                        I find oysters SO mild that I don't want anything other than a squeeze of lemon or at most a little mignonette sauce.

                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                          Now, how could you pollute an oyster with lemon? If you are a purist, you will eschew everything - no salt, no lemon, no Tabasco, nothing.

                                                                          Again, I like my oysters with certain things, and I WILL squeeze a bit of lemon into the sauce.

                                                                          It is almost like asking why would anyone drink wine with their food - as that can alter the taste of the food. Ideally, it should. The ultimate pairing, at least to me, is a wine that enhances my dish, and then, is enhanced by my dish.

                                                                          Why would anyone put sauce on any food? Does that not corrupt the food?

                                                                          To me, it is a dish, that I wish to enjoy, so I construct it, as it suits me - others are open to do it their way.

                                                                          To do it, as a purist would, all ingredients would remain separate, there would be no seasonings, no condiments, no sauces, and all items would be uncooked. While that might work for some dishes, I think that the art of cooking would suffer greatly, at least IMHO.

                                                                          Hunt

                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                            Sometimes, raw oysters can be livened up with a drop or two of a really good Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce. Other than that, the accompanying sea water is just fine.

                                                                        2. re: c oliver

                                                                          Actually, I feel that the various seasonings and condiments enhance the overall flavor - greater than the sum of the parts. Some others feel differently. Just like my adding salsa to my eggs - some are repulsed, as they feel that it changes the pure flavor of the eggs. To each their own.

                                                                          Hunt

                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                            I've come to notice over the years it seems a lot of places wanted to try and re-invent the oyster wheel. All sorts of different accompaniments, sometimes even completely void of cocktail sauce at all!

                                                                            I am similar to you, cocktail sauce hint of lemon mixed in, extra HOT horseradish and that's it. It surprises me how many places lack hot horseradish, if so I will use tobassco, but I prefer horseradish.

                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                              Way I see it, the more oysters you eat, the more you might find it interesting to compliment their flavor in different ways. A buddy of mine used to farm oysters on the Chesapeake. We'd all hang out, he'd drink lots of the beer we'd bring, smoke another friend's weed, and pull oysters up outta the water.

                                                                              Sure, the first half dozen or so would be plain - not even chilled sometimes. Then you'd move on to the "usual" condiments - lemon, horseradish, cocktail, Tabasco or Crystal. Once such additions had been deemed "played", the fun would begin.

                                                                              "Dude, what if we grated just a sprinkle of dark chocolate on a big one and added a couple thin slices of those jalapenos you brought? I bet it'd be awesome with that Peche lambic!"

                                                                              "Alright."

                                                                              "Hey I got one we totally gotta try. Let's sprinkle some fuckin' Old Bay on one. And then vinegar . . . "

                                                                              "No, man. Old Bay sucks. Get that shit my wife makes. It's on the table in the kitchen. And let's not add vinegar. We should try it with different beers. Like a crab steam. Get it???"

                                                                              It could go on that way for a bit.

                                                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                We recently had a few oysters at a pretty renowned place in Seattle. They came out with little containers of lemon, mignonette and fresh grated horseradish. A couple of drops of lemon juice was all I wanted on them.

                                                                          2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                            I remember hearing of a study that found that people who eat tabasco or wasabi with their raw shellfish were much less likely get vibrio poisoning than those who didn't.

                                                                1. I ain't really ever had anything I couldn't choke down (except maybe a brutally overcooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast in the absence of hot sauce). But, in fairness, I have not tried some of the more "dare" foods. Nonetheless, if you let me hang onto the better part of a bottle of tequila, I bet I'd register in the high 90s.

                                                                  17 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                      It probably wouldn't amount to being the dumbest (or grossest) thing I've ever done while inebriated.

                                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                        I am morally conflicted by octopus. I have 6 tins of them in my pantry, and fresh are so good grilled. But as a diver, these are intelligent, neat, friendly, curious critters that will explore your whole body in a fascinating, harmless way.

                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                          <But as a diver, these are intelligent, neat, friendly, curious critters>

                                                                          Yes, octopuses can be very smart, but then so do a few other animals we regularly eat (e.g. pigs).

                                                                          <critters that will explore your whole body in a fascinating, harmless way.>

                                                                          :) Ocotopus pedicure? Just kidding.

                                                                          http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness...

                                                                          http://www.oneinchpunch.net/wordpress...

                                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                            As a divemaster it's fun to have an octopus walk across my shoulders and down my arms, and then pass it off to a novice diver who now feels nonthreatened after watching. The octopus goes right for the crotch. Harmless fun.

                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                              CK, I was just reading something totally unrelated to this and I think it made the point that octopus are more intelligent than fish but not up there with pigs. I read something long, long ago that the more you interact with a pig, the more it responds. The article was making a distinction between a "pig" and a "hog."

                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                I can understand. IIRC, there has been at least one well-received film, on pigs, "Babe," but few, where an octopus was the star - OK, they did appear in some Sci-Fi films, but none worth repeating.

                                                                                Some critters are just smarter, than others.

                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                  Maybe pigs just have better agents.

                                                                                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                    I think that you are correct.

                                                                                    Now, it does look like those black and white cows, must have gotten a better agent, 'cause I see them all over TV, carrying various signs, and the like. It is all about the agents!

                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                      Bill, those ten percenters get a pretty good "cut"....

                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                        Often - if all is "right with the world."

                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                            Well, what about a monkey? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjRdxu...

                                                                            I was going to do that, until I was told that the monkey was named Cletus. That clinched it for me - no go.

                                                                            Hunt

                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                              The dude at the meat counter at Whole Foods told me the grass fed beef I was buying came from a small local ranch where the animals had names. I did not need to know that!

                                                                              Nonetheless, the burgers I made were very tasty.

                                                                              1. re: Isolda

                                                                                So long as I was not also told the names, I would be OK too.

                                                                                Maybe that is why I am not a rancher - I do not want to get up close and personal with my meal.

                                                                                Hunt

                                                                              2. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                Most probably not. On the other hand, I have been told by many sources that monkey brain eating is very much an exaggerated cuisine.

                                                                            2. I'm going to put myself at a 71. Why a 71 you might ask, there is a very scientific way I came up with this conclusion. That was my number playing football!

                                                                              In my younger years I would put myself over 80% however I don't nearly have the stomach I use to and too many foods just don't agree with me anymore.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                  Winner, winner, winner, Chicken Dinner!! (actually played both sides so both offensive and defensive tackle)

                                                                                  1. I think would be in the 90's

                                                                                    I've eaten dog, rat, Sago grubs, water bugs, centipedes, sheep's lung, grasshopper, etc., etc.

                                                                                    The only food items I have turned down was a live octopus (I imagined it grabbing onto my tonsils and choking to death on it) and a large, live beetle offered to me in Malaysia, where the custom was to tear the back of it off and slurp down the inside while it was still wiggling, just couldn't do that. And scorpions, they just sort of creep me out.

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                      Verdict on the above which you have eaten?

                                                                                      1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                        If you're 90s, I guess I'm 99 (no monkey's brain or live baby mice, thanks!) -
                                                                                        I'd done the slimy bit off insects, scorpions, etc :-D

                                                                                        1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                          "Sheep"s dung?" Now THAT is offal...

                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                        2. A mother who insisted we eat whatever she prepared, years of world business travel, loving to eat, and a general tendency to explore food may have coupled with a less that finely-tuned palate sensitivity in me. I'd peg myself at 90 or so.

                                                                                          I tend to avoid overly spicy and./or oily foods, as well as most dishes where I can actually see that what I'm served comes from a part of an animal I'd normally toss in the trash............. or (here in the US) never see in the first place.

                                                                                          We have some friends who seem to eat only beef, potatoes and bread. Any 'salad'-like things are eaten with no dressing, except maybe some lemon juice. I don't get it, but life's too short and they're just fine with that.

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Midlife

                                                                                            Midlife,

                                                                                            So Deep Fried Lard was not in your diet?

                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                          2. I would consider myself a pretty good eater, but I will draw the line at insects, worms or whatever else might still wiggle on my plate. I have eaten a lot of meats which fall between curried Agouti and Zebra on our travels.
                                                                                            Strangely enough I do like steak tartare, but a really bloody hamburger or steak makes me shudder/ the kind of meat which might scream "moo" when my fork hits it. I will eat it however if I have to.
                                                                                            Perhaps a 90 - 95

                                                                                            1. Id say maybe 90 in the try-it once sense.

                                                                                              Besides oysters nothing live but I've eaten dead insects and they tasted like popcorn

                                                                                              I'm not eating that poison puffer fish either

                                                                                              By the way, Durian tastes much better than it smells

                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                                                Re during, that's good to know. So I could just pinch my nostrils shut and eat it? :)

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                  Durian is most delicious, especially If you get one that is just perfectly and not over the top ripe! I ate it the first time in Bangkok from a street vendor and was hooked. Good Durian tastes like a most delicious fruity custard, YUM!!
                                                                                                  If the taste is too strong for you, put some into the blender ( take the seeds out), mix it 50:50 with a suitable ice cream ( I like green Tea Ice cream for that) and refreeze!!

                                                                                                  1. re: RUK

                                                                                                    I've learned that the durian we get in the US is a far cry from Asian ones. I won't completely eliminate it but I'd want someone like you to taste test it first :)

                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                      No problem! :) I buy them here at HMart ( Korean market) and they are still pretty good. But yes, surely they are best bought "on location".

                                                                                                      1. re: RUK

                                                                                                        I bought one yesterday at HMart and it was really delicious!! It was probably as good as one would ever get one around here. We couldn't finish it all and I froze a couple of Arils to eat as icy treat tonight after dinner. ( remove from freezer and let sit for 10 minutes before eating)

                                                                                                      2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                        I have only had them in Hawai`i, and cannot tell of their provenance. Could come from a local source, from Indonesia, Thailand, or elsewhere?

                                                                                                        We were instructed to eat it on the lanai, and NOT inside our suite. I understood why.

                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                    A response like that is like issuing a dare!

                                                                                                    Well let me ask you what is the 1 thing you won't eat? What's the one thing stopping you from being a 100?

                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                      LOL! Non-Vegetarian animals / carnivores, such as, for example, dogs, cats, etc. Exceptions to that are two omnivorous animals, pork and bear.

                                                                                                      1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                        That's an entire category of animals!! There is no way you can be a 99 with that many exceptions. I'm over riding the 99 and marking your score down to 89!

                                                                                                        (you can bet a bonus point and be a 90 if you can name a carnivore plant!)

                                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                          you can. and you did. non-vegetarian animals, such as, for example, cougar. (a 'wild cat', i mentioned 'cat' along with dog above)
                                                                                                          I think that it is "an entire category" as you state.
                                                                                                          and one that contains few 'edible' (food) items in comparison to the other 99%.

                                                                                                          I am not a fan of aligator, but have eaten it. ditto for muskrat, nutria, beaver, turtle, horse, and others i've consumed.

                                                                                                          and, BTW, the best chicken soup / stock / broth that I make contains chicken feet. cocks combs are not much to write home about. and blood sausage along with Boudin are a delicacy i wish i could find more readily available here on Long Island.

                                                                                                          1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                            I had a Venus fly trap in college, but not enough flies because it died.

                                                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                              Bonus point awarded! You are now a 70 and I can comment on your score without having to bite my tongue!

                                                                                                    2. I'll give myself an 80.
                                                                                                      I won't eat dog or anything that is still alive. That said, I'll pretty much try anything once. I've eaten insects, larvae, eyes, etc... But if I don't like it, I won't eat it again (eyes being a good example).
                                                                                                      And I knocked some points off because I have a few strong dislikes that are very mainstream. Mustard of any variety, in any preparation, and blue cheese are the 2 biggies here.

                                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                        I'm going to shave off some points and give myself something in the 70-75 range after reading more posts. Mostly because I thought of another food I refuse to eat: quail. Why? They're cute.
                                                                                                        I get up early to run before the Arizona sun comes out in force to kick my ass and I love seeing the little groups of quail. It's like they're my friends wishing me a good run and nice day. Dumb, I know, but it's my thing.

                                                                                                         
                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                          Don't feel bad. I saw a bunch of ducks sleeping in "puppy pile" structure at my local Agway/Dodge Grain, and I'm off duck. I'm capricious and weird.
                                                                                                          PS great photo of the quail.

                                                                                                          1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                            Hmm, that's a toughy. Duckies are mighty cute, but quite tasty. I hope I never see a family of them with babies.
                                                                                                            I suppose had I ever tasted quail and liked it, I might feel differently, but my running with the quail started almost 20 years ago at age 19 in a new city feeling lonely. So, the quail as friends thing was pounded into my head long ago.

                                                                                                            1. re: pinehurst

                                                                                                              Not my photo, sorry. I just used a googled stock photo to drive home the cute factor :)

                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                "I just used a googled stock photo to drive home the cute factor :)"

                                                                                                                Hell, you shoulda e-mailed me. We have thousands of pictures of me that are elevens on the "one to ten cute scale".

                                                                                                            2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                              Those are blue quail - a bit larger, and they walk single file for a good skillet shot. Yum.

                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                We are not big quail eaters, but that is because we have several coveys around the house. We see them nest in the flower pots, see them hatch, then watch mom get them to jump down, to take them to the desert. We break for them on the street, and hope that each family does not fall prey to the coyotes. Nah, I will pass, and so will my wife - just too close to home, even though we do not name them.

                                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                                                1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                  Quail are the state bird of California, and we had them running through our yard when I was a kid, coming from a small orchard on the other side of our property. Never thought of eating them, though.

                                                                                                              2. I'd probably rate in the 80s. Blood pudding, no problem. Want to try durian but no access to it right now.

                                                                                                                Won't touch brains/scrapple due to prion proteins/creutzfield jakob's disease/scrapie/mad cow.

                                                                                                                I don't think I wanna eat worms. I have eaten some live baby sea crustacean that wiggled in my mouth before I crunched into it.

                                                                                                                I don't think I could eat rat/mice or rodents in general based on their disease carrying histories.

                                                                                                                I have no desire to eat chicken's feet because I have heard that they are just "boney" and I don't like chicken wings for that reason but I could probably do it if I had to.

                                                                                                                15 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: salsailsa

                                                                                                                  With chicken feet you just slurp off all the soft stuff. Skin, cartilage, etc. You spit out all the hard stuff like bones.

                                                                                                                  1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                    Just heavenly. As you say it's just texture and taste and swallow. We had dim sum in Seattle and we so wanted one more foot each but they came four to a bowl so we passed. Probably for the best but still....

                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                      Never saw such a small portion as four. usually when I order chicken feet dim sum it's a nice bowl with 10-12 at least.

                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                        Hmmm... hard to place a number. I will say that it is slightly lower than when I was younger, just because I like to enjoy tasty food, and many weird things actually aren't that tasty. During and after college I lived and worked in the wilderness. Besides being a guide for mountain and rock climbing, white water, backpacking, etc. I was also into wilderness survival. I took many courses and taught some as well. Back then I ate every and anything as part of my education. Bugs, raw and cooked. Worms taste like mud, and rubber bands if overcooked. I haven't had balut yet, but just haven't been anywhere that served it. but now a friend has it at his restaurant in NYC so I guess I will one day. I've tried brains once in tacos, but I think they were bad because they tasted terrible and made me feel ill. I will try them again, but at higher class of restaurant next time. I've eaten just about every organ except mountain oysters, just never ran across them on a menu, but have had bull cod in soup. I like durian if it isn't overripe. I wouldn't eat monkey, or dolphin on moral grounds, but if I was starving, no prob. I don't care for live things that squirm in your mouth. Done it, but not happy. Octopus tentacles gripping the inside of your cheek is slightly off-putting. Raw for many things is ok if I trust the preparation. Worried more about parasites than anything else. I have eaten critters with names. I have even eaten critters I help deliver. I've eaten just about any game available in North America, and many weird things in travels abroad. Won't try skunk again. Basically inedible.

                                                                                                                        1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                          I had a neighbor some years ago who raised some cattle. A couple of years in a row he gave me the testicles and they were great. But there's a double membrane, IIRC, that had to be removed before cooking. A bit tedious but tasty. I had haggis once, again like you, not at a very high end joint and didn't care for it. But I'd try it again. I had brains and eggs once and didn't care for the texture. There's little I wouldn't try once; that's how I scored myself.

                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                            I've had haggis in restaurants, frozen retail, and home made. It's actually kind of boring, but ok.

                                                                                                                            1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                              Good to know. Probably won't waste a meal. Thanks.

                                                                                                                            2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                              Several years ago, our country club chef had a "gourmet dinner." He prepared calf brains for the main, but unfortunately, that was the day after Mad Cow Disease was discovered in the US. Let's just say that not many ate their main course that night.

                                                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                                                            3. re: JMF

                                                                                                                              Imagine skunk not being good.

                                                                                                                          2. re: JMF

                                                                                                                            The one nice thing about fowl feet is that you do not need toothpicks - the little claws work just fine.

                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                              One of the etiquette 'gurus' said "Toothpicks are for skewering one's food not picking one's teeth."

                                                                                                                              BTW, they're toenails, I believe, not claws.

                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                Using the claws, or toenails would suffice - so long as you do not "put your eye out."

                                                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                                                            2. re: JMF

                                                                                                                              The slurp technique, eh? Well, I may have to give them a try next time I go for Dim Sum then.

                                                                                                                            3. I'm probably in the upper 80s to low 90s. I generally avoid uncooked items. Generally, I avoid worms and bugs with two exceptions:

                                                                                                                              1. Marine spoon worm (Urechis unicinctus).
                                                                                                                              2. Bugs I've accidentally swallowed on my bike rides.

                                                                                                                              I've consumed Durian, cats, snake bile, blood, brain, balut, bitter melon, civet, many types of offal, bird saliva (aka Bird's Nest Soup), duck tongue, fermented tofu, and Brussel sprouts. :-)

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: raytamsgv

                                                                                                                                <2. Bugs I've accidentally swallowed on my bike rides.>

                                                                                                                                In which case, I have eaten a lot of bugs when I was at in UC Davis.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                    But after harvest, all you hear is "Ah-h... Lack."

                                                                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                                                                  1. I'd give myself a 73.

                                                                                                                                    I'm not openminded when it comes to knowingly eating dogs, cats, horses, bears (some hunters in Canada have died after eating bear, due to the parasites!), insects, sharks and some other wild animals. I avoid deer and elk due to the wasting disease that's found in many wild deer/elk. I've eaten basa and tilapia in the past, but I avoid eating them as much as possible. I'm not openminded when it comes to some types of stinky, fermented foods, and I'm not open to trying still-moving animals, balut or monkey brains.

                                                                                                                                    While I've been openminded enough to try kidney and chitterlings, my palate is not broad enough to appreciate either one. I don't mind most chicken/lamb/beef/pork/duck/goose offal I've tried, but they only offal I'd actively seek out would be sweetbreads and chicken giblets.

                                                                                                                                    1. I have no idea, really. I have eaten live shrimp and cruel fish and didn't like either at all. I have tried a few bugs and didn't like them. As regards sushi, some of the ones that freak others out, like sea urchin roe, were actually way more tasty to me than things like salmon or snapper. I love caviar (cold and plain with a bone spoon, thanks). Kimchi rocks. I eat things I know are full of "weird" stuff, like bologna. I like most pates and I order sweetbreads when in fancy restaurants. However, I vastly prefer more mainstream tastes. So maybe it averages out to a 65 or 70.

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: tim irvine

                                                                                                                                        Yeah, I posted something very similar earlier. I do like sushi/sashimi/raw shellfish, and eat cooked eels/squid/octopus. Have not and will not try beetles/larvae, etc. I love a lot of things that make my inlaws squirm (blood sausage, beef tartare, chicken livers, pig's feet, etc) but I know I'll never be as adventurous as some. And that's okay.

                                                                                                                                      2. Probably about a 95, depending on where the scale ends.

                                                                                                                                        I like chicken's feet and blood pudding, and eat both at home. I cook offal at home regularly, I love durian, stinky tofu, natto, blue cheese. I'm not adverse to trying insects, but cockroaches are pretty nasty tasting. I've eaten raw chicken sashimi and chicken testicles, and I love beef tendon. I was out for Beijing duck the other day, and was pleased because I got dibs on the duck brain.

                                                                                                                                        I avoid eating anything that's still alive and has a nervous system. I don't eat endangered species, or foods that involve ripping a small part off of a larger animal (bear's paws, shark's fins). Those are ethical rather than culinary though - shark's fin soup is delicious.

                                                                                                                                        There are some things I don't eat due to basic safety - I won't eat blood unless it's cooked, I avoid pre-ground hamburger meat unless it's cooked to death, I don't eat unrefrigerated night market sushi.

                                                                                                                                        The only food I've eating that I dislike to the point of scraping it off my food is plain yoghurt (yoghurt in stuff is okay, and I will eat the plain if I have to).

                                                                                                                                        The only thing I've encountered in a restaurant that I wouldn't try was the fertilized duck eggs.

                                                                                                                                        1. ok, someone has to lower the bar here. I'll give myself a 35 because I won't eat any seafood, cooked, raw or alive. I don't like any of the offal items that I've tried, and I have no desire to try more. No interest in insects either. But I'm giving myself some points because I've never met a stinky cheese I didn't like, I'm not afraid of super spicy even though I don't always like it, and I'll happily eat any and every vegetable that comes my way. I'd also try durian if the opportunity presented itself.

                                                                                                                                          1. I am not a fan of Andrew Zimmern's, but have eaten "fowl feet," though I did typify them as "foul feet." I seldom eat worms, and not even things, with a name.

                                                                                                                                            I would give myself a 70, on that scale.

                                                                                                                                            While I will sample almost every cuisine, with which I am presented, I do draw the line at a point.

                                                                                                                                            My tennis doubles partner was Chinese, and his family owned many restaurants. We were invited to many weddings, catered by his family members. He usually placed us at a table, with a trusted "family elder," as those events were from 11 - 20 courses, and many were "traditional Chinese." We listened to the elder's admonitions, BUT would sample ALL dishes - regardless. Obviously, with our Western sensibilities, and palates, some dishes were better, than some others. Still, we tasted, even if our appreciation was less than for some others.

                                                                                                                                            We frequently dine at a San Francisco restaurant, where the chef is from Northern India. He pushes the envelope, with some of his "Tasting Menus," and we always go along. Most dishes are great, albeit "innovative," but a few, just sort of fly above our Western palates. Still, we taste everything - no grub worms, or foul feet yet...

                                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                                            15 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                              Having been to India numerous times, I've gotten used to Mr. Pine saying "don't ask" when I want to know what I'm being served.

                                                                                                                                              I've had durian, a few insect varieties, pig and chicken feet, brains, chitterlings, offal, stinky cheeses, and probably more stuff that I can't now recall.

                                                                                                                                              That said, my # would be low, maybe in the 40s, 'cause I don't care for seafood, most offal and some Asian flavorings (lemongrass comes to mind).

                                                                                                                                              1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                Yes on the various "feet." Been there, done that, but have been unimpressed. OTOH, nearly all seafood is fair game (even like Slimehead), and while I do not like many internal critter organs (gamey flavor that I do not like), I love good Foie Gras. Go figure.

                                                                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                  I like a number of organ meats as well as foie gras ... foie gras has very little liver taste. Personally I think if cooked properly it has none. It's all about the richness and mouthfeel.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                                    I think when you consider the size of a regular duck's liver and one for foie, it's really not liver, is it? And to Hunt, where does one find 'bad' foie?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                      I have never seen a regular duck's liver. Is it comparable to chicken?

                                                                                                                                                      I don't think the foie is bad, but the preparation certainly can be. I will never forget having it unrinsed, baked in some kind of sauce (details repressed), overall lukewarm and very cold in the center. I'm still warning people about that restaurant. There ought to be a food license you could lose over something like that ...

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                                        What I've read is that the liver is gigantic compared to 'regular.'

                                                                                                                                                        Anyone who would BAKE a foie gras should be thrown overboard :)

                                                                                                                                                      2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                        Well, I have had a few foie gras dishes, that were not up to the rest. However, most have been very good to great!

                                                                                                                                                        There are techniques that can improve the overall experience, like working the foie gras through a chinois a couple of times, before searing it. Also, the prep can impact the overall impression, at least for me.

                                                                                                                                                        I have had a few pates, that left ALL membrane, and connective tissue in it, and that fell far behind other preps - foie gras is not always foie gras, at least IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                          Hunt, I think you may be talking about terrines or pate's. One would NEVER put a foie through a chinois. Cut it in 3/4" slices, season, sear for about 60 second total and eat. If any place tells you what they're doing is foie gras they're ignorant or lying.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                            Yes, both terrines and pates can be odd.

                                                                                                                                                            Actually, the top foie gras that I have ever had, HAVE been run though a chinois, and by vaunted chefs. You need to try it sometimes, as you will be greatly impressed. I am talking about maybe 8 collective Michelin stars here. They know how to do foie gras, and in several preparations. Not one bit of membrane, or connective tissue - almost as smooth as great Flan, but more tasty.

                                                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                                                      3. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                                        I'm not the brightest bulb, sharpest tool in the shed or a perhaps a few cards short of a full deck. Somehow I knew prior to this post you liked foie gras. Call me crazy, but I knew!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                          Wow, you ARE such a great judge of one's obsessions... [Grin]

                                                                                                                                                          Maybe you should set up a Tarot reading shop in the French Quarter.

                                                                                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                              Stay humble, but use that "gift" to improve mankind.

                                                                                                                                                              Now, who really shot JFK... ?

                                                                                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                                          <<foie gras has very little liver taste.>>

                                                                                                                                                          And that is why I appreciate it so much - now, some is better, than others.

                                                                                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                            I've only had grade A and it's all been excellent.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Maybe a 50? I probably wouldn't eat anything that the OP listed, but I find myself willing to try a lot of things that I wouldn't normally find appetizing if the right person is preparing them. If my mom invited me for dinner and told me we were having insects, I'd decline the invitation because I know she'd have no idea how to prepare them in a way to make them appetizing for me. But if I'm in a nice restaurant with a professional chef who I trusts knows what he/she is doing, I might give them a try.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 90 for me i'd say. I'll eat anything but draw the line at bugs

                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: meatnveg

                                                                                                                                                        But what if those "bugs" are really tasty?

                                                                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                          but....bugs! maybe with a blind fold....stuffed in a lasagna

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: meatnveg

                                                                                                                                                            Walking through some local markets in Thailand I noticed these beautiful large bugs for sale. I was told that they were an ingredient of the spicy Chili sauce present at many meals,
                                                                                                                                                            http://www.thaitable.com/thai/ingredi...
                                                                                                                                                            in preparations ground with Mortar and Pistil and added as a flavorful ingredient.
                                                                                                                                                            Now adding this nicely spiced condiment to your dishes, you would never guess that you just added bits of this bug. :-)

                                                                                                                                                      2. i guess i'm only about 40-50. i'm not a big fan of "mixed"proteins! however, i do like some offal (tongue is a favorite, and chicken liver). basically, if i didn't grow up with it in my protein group, i have a hard time eating it now. i used to love oysters until i got terribly sick one night..

                                                                                                                                                        on the other hand, i'm really adventurous with spices and vegetables and grains. happy to try almost all vegetarian things, from all different cultures. i hope that is a somewhat redeeming feature... ;)

                                                                                                                                                        ps did try durian did not like durian. sweatsocks.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Here's one for all you 90-100s.

                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                            How I miss "Get Fuzzy!"

                                                                                                                                                            Thanks,

                                                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                                                          2. I'll say 75. I've had blood pudding, bugs, offal. I'm not interested in live vertebrates but from a cruelty standpoint, not taste concerns.

                                                                                                                                                            1. 60

                                                                                                                                                              Compared with most of my circle (friends and family), I'm a 90.

                                                                                                                                                              Compared with the people on this thread, I'm a 30.

                                                                                                                                                              69 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                I like that answer. I can relate all too well.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                                  I like it, too. My 74 score was in comparison to the general population. Compared to posters in this thread, I'd give myself a 39. Two vastly different groups of people.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                    I've been flummoxed by how to score myself for the same reasons. Ranking myself against whatever my perception of the general population is (including inner-ring friends and family), I'd likely be higher on the curve: love most offal -tongue, pigs's ears and chicken feet in particular - never really met a texture that puts me too far off (excepting thick layers of peanut butter; gag) and have dared the assorted durian/fried bug/"acquired taste" endeavors that present themselves. But compared to the larger CH community, I've just not been hungry enough or in close enough proximity to things like balut or eyeballs or grubworms and the like to even hazard a guess as to my place on the spectrum.

                                                                                                                                                                    Reflecting on the "general population" again: I think I might give myself a secondary "low" ranking on the palate curve, as there are so many prepared center-aisles grocery store items that I won't even consider. In a way, it makes my palate technically more limited than my surrounding local general populace/friends/family. Generally-regarded-as-"ooky" ingredients don't bother me much; packaged food hyper-processed beyond recognition puts me off my feed. I'd hazard a guess that more than a few posters here might have a similarly adjusted secondary rankings with regard to big corporate processed foodstuffs?

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                                                                                      "I'd hazard a guess that more than a few posters here might have a similarly adjusted secondary rankings with regard to big corporate processed foodstuffs?"

                                                                                                                                                                      I'm sure that's true. Corporate food doesn't bother me in the slightest (except to the extent I'm trying to control sodium and fat), but for others it's a non-starter.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                      PK, your love affair with hot chilies has to position you in the top decile.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                        You think so? I should mention that I'm shellfish averse. Used to absolutely love crab legs, shrimp in multiple variations and fried clams, but the Khantessa wised me up as to their biological ontology and I haven't touched 'em since. I miss them, too.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                          Could you explain that ontology part please?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                            Yeah, that one's got me scratchin' my noggin too. I somehow can't get past the images of Anselm the Oyster or Renee Descrabs.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                                                                                                                                              Or, the image of putting Descarte before the horse.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                              Simply what they are. And what they are is bugs, spiders and slugs.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                  The lobster is basically the cockroach of the sea. Shrimp are insects. Crabs are arachnids. Mollusks (clams, oysters, scallops, etc.) are little different from snails.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I guess this doesn't bother most people, but it does me.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                    I believe the PR firm who came up with "Chicken of The Sea" for tuna tried to pitch
                                                                                                                                                                                    " Cockroach of The Sea" to the lobster industry. Surprisingly it never took off.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                                                                                                                                      That WAS the first choice, but a young copywriter voiced objections - luckily.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Same with the Slimehead and the Patagonian Toothfish. Good PR goes a very long way.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                      I guess also that salmon is fish and filet mignon is cow. Etc. Not sure why it bothers you but I don't need to understand :)

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                        It doesn't bother people because it is simply not true. None of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Virginian

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks. Doing some checking. Lobsters, crabs, shrimp are crustaceans. And mollusks aren't snails. PK, still may choose not to eat them but at least you got us headed down the right path.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                            One can choose to not eat ___, based on their personal choices, but perhaps those choices are not based on science.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                            fresh, not the canned crap, snails are delicious! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                There is a creep factor to eating something called a snail. Escargot, fine. Whelks, I'll live with that. Conch, one of my faves, is called caracol in Spanish, which, yes, translates to snail. Something about the slime trail is unappetizing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Actually, my wife makes a lovely sauce out of "snail slime... "

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes, sometimes it depends on what you call it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  My dear, late M-I-L would NOT eat squid, no matter what. However, on a trip to Hawai`i, she fell in love with calamari steak. We never told her any details, and she took the concept of some Hawai`ian fish, called "calamari" to her grave. Hope that her spirit forgives me, but she loved it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I don't know if any restaurants still do it, but there was a time when it was risky to order the expensive abalone steak on the menu because it could often turn out to be a 5" circular cut from the hood of large squid! If you close your eyes and try real hard, the flavors are fairly similar. And if you've never had abalone before...? Caveat emptor!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Caroline, as far as I know wild west coast abalone can't be sold commercially, and divers are limited to a small personal take. I don't know if it is farmed anywhere - maybe someone can help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                                                                          JMF, in any discussion about fish, I'm always glad when someone links to the Monterey Bay Aquarium site. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Interesting, thanks. I have never had it, how does it taste?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Honey Bunch, how old am I? I wasn't talking yesterday. I was talking a LOT of yesterdays! Like back in the 70s. '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sorry for not making that more clear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            In the 70's, abalone in and around the giant kelp forests off of La Jolla Shores, California were plentiful, HUGE when compared to the size of even the largest farm raised abalone today, and incredibly delicious! Kelp is a major part of their diet, so while other areas may have been more sparse, according to some documentation available on the web, that was not our personal experience.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Just in case anyone may think we may have been poaching illegally from protected areas, we were not. My husband and his dive partner were licensed Scuba divers under the auspices of Scrips Institute of Oceanography, and while my husband was an electronics engineer, his dive partner was a Scripp's oceanographer. NO POACHING! They regularly brought home giant red abalone that were eight to eleven inches across their shells at the widest part.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Years later, El Nino seriously damaged any and all kelp all along the area, so there was an even greater decline in abalone than what had been purportedly done by "over fishing."

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Here's some interesting info about the subject: http://www.marinebio.net/marinescienc...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Don't be sorry darlin'. I have nice memories of eating turtle steaks in Mazatlan and P.V. in the 70's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I grew up in California, about 30 miles from the central coast. In the 50s & 60s you could harvest abalone, but there was a size & quantity limit. If I remember correctly there were some places where you could find them without diving. I love abalone. I remember when I lived in Reno in the late 60s there was a casino between Reno and Washoe Lake called Lucky 7. They served a 7 course meal for $7.00 and one of the entrées was a huge abalone steak which I always ordered. The last abalone I had was dinner at a friends several years ago. They were from a farm in Crescent City, CA and were not much bigger than a silver dollar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: BeefeaterRocks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I remember the last abalone I DIDN'T have. It was lunch at a nice place in Oakland, CA, and it cost $32. Nope.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've been lucky to have free dove in 10 meters with friends (they knew what they were doing, I muddled) for conch, hauled about 6 onto a rickety wooden boat (I found one, if fond memory serves correct), and eaten one straight from the shell, not 5 minutes from harvest, spray splashing our laughing faces, on the way back to shore...until the 3 meters waves hammered our dinky 20hp engine ship, which spun and flipped on the way in, with us all bailing out and trying to save the conch and bring the boat in at the same time. Mission accomplished. We had conch 3 ways when we got back to our hot plates - sauteed with garilc, boiled, and raw. Great stuff, and great memories!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't think I could handle being served abalone the size of small clams, even if they were free!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I forgot to mention that was in the early 80s. And I have no reason to believe that they were that small size.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          My 99 Ranch Market has farmed abalone on sale this week for $15(?) a pound, or thereabouts. I plan to at least look at them, but if they're no bigger than a silver dollar they'll stay in the store! Sometimes I'm convinced the world's greatest shopping cart is a time travel machine. Earn today, buy then and get MUCH better food as a bonus!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Here's a picture taken a few years ago from a great Asian market in SF. Go for it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              lol! So how many pounds did you buy? '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Interesting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                We do dine on quite a bit of squid, and a certain amount of abalone (more often now, from the Kona area of the Big Island, which is a tad different), we have never noticed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                As my poor wife cannot do bi-valves (no mussels, scallops, clams or oysters), BUT can do abalone, plus limpets (one shell), she loves her abalone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I will say that in the last 20 years, it is not what we once expected.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the H/U.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So do they dive for abalone in Hawaii or farm it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I *believe* that they are farmed, but cannot verify that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      From a sustainability standpoint, you might want to verify that they're farmed. Just a thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I'm pretty certain they're farmed. They're a "Pacific Rim" sort of critter, and Hawaii would be a loooooooooooooong swim from any PacRim shore!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Conch is scungilli in Italian. I'd much rather eat something called scungilli.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Or Orange Roughy, or Chilean Sea Bass...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sometimes, it IS in the name on the menu.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Orange Roughy is on the "avoid" list for the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Chilean Sea Bass' status is based on its source. I've started paying serious attention to their lists, which btw are downloadable to a pocket-sized paper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have no problem avoiding orange roughy, but those tasty gamefish better look out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                        That's the exact reason I have tried bugs, spiders and slugs

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MVNYC

                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's one way of dealing with the cold, hard truth!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Like PK, and having read what many folk on the thread have said they are OK with eating, I'm going to downgrade my original 63, to somewhere in the 30s or 20s. I'm happy to eat most foods from my own culture but appreciate that I draw the line fairly soon after that. No, I'm not going to eat bugs and the like. And I'm not going to eat foodstuffs that I know many folk find unpleasant. Not am I going to eat foodstuffs that, in my general culture, would be thought of as weird.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now, though I like the meat of the cow, Boiled Beef has never done anything good for me - still, better than some things, that others eat everyday, but the end result has left me scratching my head.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        OTOH, some of the lower-end seafood, that I have enjoyed in the right prep, would likely make many scratch their heads.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                          What would those "lower-end seafood"(s) be please? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Croaker, Sheepshead, Triple-tail, Choupique, Gaspergou, Gar (both Alligator, and Long-nosed), many Drum (including Redfish), Gulf Butterfish (not a Ling Cod, Black Cod, or Escolar - different family), and Needlefish, come immediately to mind.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I dunno...I've made some high-end money from croaker, sheephead and drum. Don't forget red mullet, which is excellent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I will never degrade those fish, as I have enjoyed them greatly. However, that does not elevate their status to "game fish."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mullet (or "Biloxi Bacon," as we called it) is a great fish, when fried. Cannot think of any other preps, that I have had it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sheepshead, and Triple-Tail are great in Gumbo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Croaker, due to the bones, just does not fill my bill.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mullet in FL are commonly smoked, and are tasty whole or sometimes I make a smoked mullet dip, which is as good as smoked amberjack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Smoked kingfish is my fave for dip, on a cracker with a little hot sauce and ice-cold beer. That is living right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I do not recall anyone on the MS Gulf Coast smoking the mullet, though I do recall people with mullets smoking something. On The Coast, the primary prep was deep frying, just like they did with lard. Actually, much of the Fried Mullet that I recall, was done in bacon fat, and quite tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I will bet, that when smoked well, that would be a good fish. I like many varieties, when smoked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In my brief forays to FL, I recall other fishes, but not mullet - maybe it was just the locations, or perhaps the individual restaurants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Still, mullet gets good marks from me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now, amberjack was not considered a delicacy, back in my youth. We loved to catch them, but would more often cut them up for bait, seeking other fish. Same for a saltwater butterfish (not black cod, ling, cobia, escolar or other species, that get that name, depending on where you are).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now, amberjack is popular, and many chefs are sort of doing the "talapia thing" with it. Some interesting preps.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Times they change - once, there was no "season" on redfish, speckled trout, or any other salfwater fish. Fish that we considered as "cut-bait," or "trash fish," are now being served at US $48 per plate. Yes, the times they change.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Also, and while I do love many grilled fish dishes, it is a shame that great Southern Fried Fish has become such a scorned treatment, as it can be so very flavorful, and a little, will not harm you.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bill, I remember catching so many redfish by the offshore platforms off Port Arthur that we came back riding low in the water. The amberjack, at 3 feet and good fighters, wore me out. The redfishing is limited now, but those were good times. Our big thrill was going out 55 miles to blue water to catch and release a sailfish. Wahooo!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          For us, it was the Chandelier Islands, when the rat reds were running. We would catch, and catch, hoping for a few bull reds, in the surf, on that side of the islands. We often stayed in the old lighthouse keepers cabin - long unused, and would cook up our catch, icing down many pounds of reds and specs, for a neighborhood fish fry. Life was good then, and we were young. Life has changed, and I have not been offshore in many decades. Still, I miss the surf on the windward side of the Chandelier chain, whatever is left of it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We never had any hopes for billfish, but did mop up on wahoo (king mackerel, or ono), when things were right. Around the rigs, or in the shadow of manta ray, we often caught lemon fish (ling, ling cod, cobia, depending on where you were), and then did some great lemon fish steaks. Those were totally outstanding, done on a charcoal grill with just some lemon slices on top of them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Maybe some day, when I hit the Lottery, I will buy a nice offshore fisherman, and ply those waters again?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I'll pass on the ling, and always release the spectacular billfish ( that distance requires a LOT of gas) , but a few blackened redfish for the weekend was a beautiful thing, thank you Paul.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              OTOH, if it wasn't for Paul, there'd be a lot more redfish around.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Though I do love my Ling, Lemonfish, Black Cod (certain areas of the world) and Cobia, I have only had one billfish dish, that I enjoyed - a Black Marlin Steak, in Florida. Swordfish, I can do without, and the same for every other version of Marlin, that I have encountered.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                For many years, I thought that Redfish could ONLY be deep fried, until Chef Paul Pruhomme came around - no, that is not true, as the old Roussels did a great Redfish Court Buillon/Courtbullion.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Also, my mother could deep fry Spanish Mackerel, and make one think that they were eating Wahoo (King Mackerel in some parts). She managed to "cook around the natural oils." I have had Mackerel around the world, and none match what my mother could do with a hot skillet of lard. Though not a great cook, otherwise, she had a way with deep fried fish, that transcended what many NOLA chefs do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Wahoo is wahoo, the fastest fish in the ocean and largest of the mackerel. King mackerel is a different fish. You'll never see an 8 ft. 130 pound kingfish. My personal record for wahoo was 7' 2" and 110 lbs. Yes, I'm bragging.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Friends and I caught a 5' wahoo deep in the Cozumel Channel from a small panga boat. Once we got him up to within sight of the boat, about 50 feet deep, that rascal gave us a great fight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mine was in the weed line about 3 miles off the Stuart Inlet. She was hungry and would have gone heavier. Magnificent fish. Wahoo is my favorite fish to eat. Steak on the hoof.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Pwmfan

                                                                                                                                                                                                        yeah... I used to think I had a pretty broad palate until I read what some of you have tasted!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'd probably give myself a 50-55 - as cookie monster commented upthread, I will not try offal or insects, but I do like spicy food and will eat most non-animal foods (at least once).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. I'm giving myself an 81 based on my willingness to try almost anything ... and liking many different things.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I think I am a 65 now after today's adventure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Today morning I started at 64, this thread reminded me of a recent recommendation made by a fellow hound. So for lunch I added tripe to my list (I had mondongo).

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I think I'm about a 70. I will try many things, but draw the line at bugs, stuff that's still moving, and some offal.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            And I think the 1-100 scale seems to be more about the animal products one is willing to try, rather than how broad one's palate is. Surely a willingness to eat durian or stinky tofu should count for a few points?

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                                                                                              This is not limited to animal products. Certain fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy revolt some people more than the more exotic animal products.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Hmm, I've mistakenly eaten live bugs, but didn't try to fetch them out either. Waxing nostalgic about my youth? Nope. Just that there are some things you don't forget.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I've eaten too much offal (not against it, just don't like it, except I guess for an kimo and foie gras), fish roe is no big, bugs are ok just don't necessarily like the texture, and any animal is fair...game.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Plus, has anyone seen the movie "Alive?" Haven't made it to that point yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Balut was unpleasant, and of the "exotic" that I don't think I'd want, the cheese in Corsica is likely on the list. Durian, in three different forms, was terrible, but I'm used to the smell now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              There's one odd addition to this list that I don't think I can ever try again- cucumber juice. It was warm, so that might have been the problem, but it truly did me in. Otherwise, cucumbers are great and "cucumber water" was nice too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jonathan
                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://buildingmybento.com
                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://collaterallettuce.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. 97 maybe. I really can't think of anything I wouldn't eat. I am not too keen on dog but if it was served to me I would try it. I suppose long pig would fit in that category too ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I really want to participate but I can't because I can't help but feel the scale is somehow flawed. That is: I LOVE blood sausage, for example, and many of its relatives, but don't find the flavour to be a challenge as much as the notion (which I got over pretty quickly because it was never an issue; this was common food in my family/community). Similarly, I have grown up loving a wide variety of patés and stinky cheeses.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I also have enjoyed bugs, but the flavours, I've often found, had more to do with preparation and condiments than it did actually what a cricket, say, might taste like if I came across one in the field.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I'm not sure if my reluctance to eat dog is a palate matter, and certainly not an issue regarding cat: By which I mean, from all accounts, cat tastes like rabbit, which I like. but I would never knowingly eat a cat. It is psychological, but has nothing to do with a palate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I will taste most things, but I draw the line where I am either squeamish or somehow (even if not justifiably) morally opposed (live animals save for oysters are out as are cats and dogs). And eyeballs? I've eaten fish eyeballs, but not others, and unlikely to want to do so: I have an eye thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  But these just don't strike me as palate issues (where I feel that I have utterly failed by not caring terribly much for natto).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  In that regard, I award myself 'nuls points' (some of you will get it): Is my palate broad? I don't know. It is what it is and I indulge it. But it feels neither adventurous nor like something that merits any kind of points.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Am I willing to try something new provided it passes my conceptual threshhold for what goes in my mouth? Most of the time. But that's not a palate issue, is it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have taught my US friends to use "nul points" when we play Hearts. We laugh. It's all about the accent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 50 I'd say I draw the line at live animals, land animals with heads (I thought I could handle it but that fiasco with the duck did me in, the cat however loved duck brains), bugs, brains, and bitter tasting things. I give myself points though for enjoying headcheese and kimchi.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. JMF about 4 hours ago

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hmmm... hard to place a number. I will say that it is slightly lower than when I was younger, just because I like to enjoy tasty food, and many weird things actually aren't that tasty. During and after college I lived and worked in the wilderness. Besides being a guide for mountain and rock climbing, white water, backpacking, etc. I was also into wilderness survival. I took many courses and taught some as well. Back then I ate every and anything as part of my education. Bugs, raw and cooked. Worms taste like mud, and rubber bands if overcooked. I haven't had balut yet, but just haven't been anywhere that served it. but now a friend has it at his restaurant in NYC so I guess I will one day. I've tried brains once in tacos, but I think they were bad because they tasted terrible and made me feel ill. I will try them again, but at higher class of restaurant next time. I've eaten just about every organ except mountain oysters, just never ran across them on a menu, but have had bull cod in soup. I like durian if it isn't overripe. I wouldn't eat monkey, or dolphin on moral grounds, but if I was starving, no prob. I don't care for live things that squirm in your mouth. Done it, but not happy. Octopus tentacles gripping the inside of your cheek is slightly off-putting. Raw for many things is ok if I trust the preparation. Worried more about parasites than anything else. I have eaten critters with names. I have even eaten critters I help deliver. I've eaten just about any game available in North America, and many weird things in travels abroad. Won't try skunk again. Basically inedible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: JMF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What happened to the earlier post...that I replied to?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I prefer to eat only tasty things. Not sure of the numerical value of that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: flavrmeistr

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I think that makes you eligible for a 100 score.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. 96, cannot think of anything l would not try, but l am sure there is,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My favorite food is gras double, tripe from a cow's first stomach.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I can't find anything in English that describes what this is but the pix look great and I love tripe. Could you elaborate a smidge please. TIA.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This in USA goes immediately into pet food, but is treasured in most other countries. Just had it in Turkey where whole restaurants serve only a soup from this ingredient.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In France and Spain when ordering tripe you never get the honeycomb or second stomach, you get the first stomach and it appears as sections about 1.5 " x 1" and has the texture of the youngest veal. Just love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                BTW before you make sport of anyone who eats a 'baked foie gras and should be thrown overboard' on your next visit to Paris have Jego's whole roasted foie gras for 2-3 at Chez L'Ami Jean, l suspect your opinion may be changed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks and double thanks. You always give great info. Can we agree that putting a foie gras through a chinois is no longer a foie gras but rather a perfectly lovely terrine?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I've seen recipes that call for searing, then baking, the whole foie gras. I believe it can be done ... just not by the restaurant where I had it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I want more info. Once seared, to me, it's done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not if it's the *whole* liver, right? I assume the baking/roasting is to cook the middle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: foiegras

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Oh, never thought about a whole one.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I'll go with 85 on the try scale, 80 on what i'll eat on a regular basis. There hasn't yet been one thing I haven't tried. I draw the line at dog and cat, but any other form of protein is fair game. Horse, sea turtle, and camel are great. Liver (whole and fried) is one thing I won't eat on a regular basis. Andouillette I'm fine with, just not too much in one sitting. Tripe is OK, haven't had it in a while (my mom used to make it a lot. I have a funny kidney story while in France. Never had lung or bladder. Lamb testicles are good, not sure I ever ate penis (hold the jokes, please).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Eating live stuff, it depends on what. I was going to write that I draw the line at live vertebrates, but I have no problem with live fish. If it goes done in one swift swallow, I'm good with it. Never tried live octopus, but I would if given the opportunity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Now, if one is a Level 5 Vegan, where would the "scale" place them?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Just curious,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I believe they are officially off the scale.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. pretty high, i think? there are things i've never tried (balut, maggot cheese, live octopus, rodent (to my knowledge)), etc... but i'm not sure i wouldn't try them. i probably would if it was offered.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i like offal meats and strange parts of animals (including organs, feet, tails, tendons, skin - i once had grilled squid throat). i have eaten plenty of "weird" animals (crocodile, ostrich, kangaroo, snake, bear, horse, elk, deer, jellyfish, cuttlefish...), and "weird" plants (i don't mind durian, kiriboshi daikon, edible flowers, i've eaten but did not like natto, etc). i've tried things like lutefisk, and i like epoisses and blood sausage.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        living in japan and thailand, and traveling a bunch in korea, china, cambodia, malaysia and singapore means i've tried a lot of things... chicken sashimi including liver, raw horse, bear meat ramen, turtle blood soup, shiokara, shirako, dog, fugu, cat, live drunken shrimp, tomato lemonade (foul!), curry-flavored soda (not as horrid as you'd think), aloe vera kitkats, fermented crab-flavored potato chips, century eggs, stinky tofu, baijiu, crickets, silkworms, fish bladder, tuna eyeballs, fish head curry, scorpions, whale (raw and cooked - both awful), dolphin (see whale - it was a social obligation at a work dinner and i was ill after i felt so guilty), and more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        but, i have some very mundane hatreds and dislikes. these include asparagus, rosemary, bacon, tilapia, lemon desserts, and ice cream. and i'm allergic to chocolate and oranges. so i guess maybe like 85?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I'm a 75'er..wierdest thing I've eaten..fried bugs in Thailand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Not bad actually...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I'd give myself a 30, and maybe that would be generous? It's not that I'm unwilling to try new or exotic things, but I tend to be pretty incurious about exotic dishes. I would much rather eat something tried and true that I know I am going to enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Ok, PK, I'm having trouble with your question because it is too diffuse. Should I scale my palate by the standards of those I live among, or on the basis of Indiana Jones movies, or on a range of all foods eaten by man in all parts of the world?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As a moderately well travelled American currently living in the 'burbs of Dallas, Texas, on your scale of 1 to 100, I would have to rate my palate at 125 compared to friends and housekeepers native to this little corner of the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              On a foods eaten everywhere else in the world, probably a fairly solid 65.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Indiana Jones? Let's not go there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have farmed my own escargot (helix lucorum) when I lived in California and they were readily available in my yard, and once you've eaten fresh escargot it becomes very difficult to order them in restaurants because they all use canned!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I ADORE uni (sea urchin), and have literally eaten pounds and pounds and pounds of it, but I have never eaten one that I have not opened myself or that has been out of the ocean for longer than five minutes. I'm scared to death of uni in restaurants because I fear the flavor would be as bad as drinking evaporated milk when you want a glass of fresh milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              And the same goes pretty much for beluga caviar... I've eaten it by the breakfast bowl full, BUT it was fresh caught from the Black Sea in Turkey, and the caviar was freshly taken from the sac and delivered to/from a restaurateur friend fresh without EVER being salted or tinned. Since then I have had very expensive tinned "fresh" beluga malasol, but obviously not in like quantities. It AINT the same ball game!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My second husband was a professional SCUBA diver working at Scripps Institute of Oceanography when we married, and for five years our table was laden with free food. We regularly ate abalone, sea snails, sea cucumbers, barnacle stew, octopus, squid, keyhole limpets.... Well, let's just say that if it lives in the Pacific Ocean, there's an excellent chance I've not only eaten it but was also the cook.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have eaten horse meat steaks from a registered American Thoroughbred racehorse: incredibly tender and delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Similar to Bill Hunt's experience, I have erroneously chosen a lobster from the tank that was the favorite of the entire city of Istanbul! The fresh fish tank was a large tank landscaped into the restaurant to blend and look like the sea. The aquarium was large enough that the size of the lobster I chose was GREATLY distorted to look like a 2 pound lobster max. When it arrived at our table, the large claw was the size of a cowboy T-bone!!! I think the beastie weighed in excess of four kilos! I could not eat it all, but had to doggy bag it back to the Istanbul Hilton, where the head chef generously refrigerated it for me, then made lobster salad, lobster collops, lobster bisque and anything else he could think of for us for lunch for the next three days. When you're young, pretty, seriously myopic and platinum blond, those silly Turks will serve you the world on a platter if you just point and ask! Just ONE of my life's most embarrassing moments. To this day I will NOT choose my own lobster from a tank in any restaurant!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              As I age, so many great and wonderful foods I've known and loved have become like that famous Zen river that you can never step into again because the water (and many of my favorite foods) are now too far down stream to ever catch up with. I tell my grandson he had better learn to like beetles and ants and worms and such, because with the population explosion and what we've done to the climate it may soon boil down to bugs or Soylent Green... <sigh>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh... I no longer eat ANY kind of brains because of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and I never have been able to handle tripe because I was seriously licked in the face by a slobbering mama cow when I was cuddling her baby when I was a kid. Having lactating cow spit in your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth as a kid turns you off on tripe for life because tripe tastes exactly like cow spit smells. Trust me on this one...!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              LOL! PK, aren't you glad you asked? '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                "PK, aren't you glad you asked?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am, Caroline. Rare is the question that I do not enjoy "hearing" you answer. To that end, let the Khan offer his next query!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  thanks. I guess that was the same reason why I replied with just a number alone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I get the gist of your story, especially the first part, the first two paragraphs. So Very true.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I have to ask you about,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "have erroneously chosen a lobster from the tank that was the favorite of the entire city of Istanbul!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  "the large claw was the size of a cowboy T-bone!!!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  was this in the nation of turkey?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I remember reading an alleged tombstone for a 'spinster' that said: "Don't put Miss on my tombstone cause I haven't MISSED anything!" You've missed nothing and I also love to read about your adventure. And, yes, I also was pretty, young and blond and those beautiful dark-skinned gentlemen were most flattering :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I really liked that "125," based on folk near you. With part of my family, I would accord myself a score like that, BUT with many others around me, then I fall behind - below that 100 baseline. Then, if I factor in some folk who I know, or have met, my number decreases. Last, I see National Geographic episodes, and the number decreases, yet again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Growing up on the MS Gulf Coast in the '50s and '60s, where Chun-King canned whatever was considered daring, ethnic and exotic, I HAVE progressed. Also, since my mom eschewed many fresh items, as she imagined that the new "frozen" offerings were what "well-to-do" people ate, there was much that I hated - frozen veggies, canned/jarred beets, any form of Brussels sprouts, etc.. It took my wife, and Chef Thomas Keller, to convince me that there were tastes beyond frozen, or canned, or commercially jarred. Then, if I did not need additional encouragement, one trip to Blackberry Farm opened up my eyes even more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now, my father was the culinary adventurer in my family. While my mother insisted on the new "frozen foods," my father would haunt the "exotic food" aisle of the Schwegmann's Giant Supermarket, when we would go to New Orleans. He would bring back Chocolate-covered Ants, Toasted Grasshoppers, various veggies, whose names I could not pronounce, Honeybees in Gelatin, and the like. He and I would snack on those, while my mother would heat frozen veggies, that could well have been green pablum, and about as tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Still, using all of Chowhound as a baseline, I fall way, way back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Caroline, you can use whatever referents you like: the general US public, Hounds, your friends and fambly, Texans, citizens of the globe. Whatever you find interesting and feasible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Duly noted, kind sir. Thank you. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              You can have my share. I'm afraid of Mad People Disease! '-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think that is more likely, than many imagine, but will not go there.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Enjoy,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hunt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Three, there is enough tried and true out there to keep me euphoric. Yes, the tomatoes have come in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I guess I'd give myself a 50. I won't eat bugs, worms, brains, some offal, dog, horse, etc. I love just about anything else, including spicy or ethnic. Compared to most of the people I am around, I have the an exotic palate, but still nothing compared to some chowhounds here or my husband. My husband is probably a 95. We get along fine as long as I don't watch him eat sometimes.:) I grew up eating hamburger helper in midwest america. He is from the middle east. He grew up eating all the bits of the animal... even sheep brains is "normal" for him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I haven't read everyone's reply, but I guess I'm about a 90 if I'm being generous?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have tried bugs, they are available as snacks for science classes, etc and are dead and tasteless. Crunchy and seasoned with nacho cheese or something. I would probably draw the line at live worm, unless it was somehow made to smell or seem appetizing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I would eat anything from any animal, except a live mammal like when people eat monkey brains (or human!) while they are still alive. I don't think I'd have a problem if in the appropriate situation with live octopus or shrimp, fish, etc. Although I would rather not see them cut it...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Blood sausage? lol. not an issue. Rotten food? Ok I may lose points there- from what I've heard lutefisk etc may have such a funky taste that I wouldnt like it. But Ive eaten plenty of other funky foods- cheeses, fermented shrimp pastes, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oh I dont like certain smoked items- most are Ok, but I've had a few smoked cheeses and cold cuts that make me gag.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Anyone care to offer a strange item I havent thought of?