HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Piggybacking on the 1-100 palate posts: What was the most difficult thing to get down/ start eating/ order that you've actually tried??

For me-- deep fried whole baby bat.
Crunchy yet gelatinous. And lots of poke-y bits. And short stiff hair.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. As mentioned, I have many foods that I either refuse to eat due to ethical issue (e.g. dogs) or concept (e.g. live octopus). However, there are very few foods which I have already eaten that I have problem eating again.

    However, I have recently tried the stinky fermented tofu (bean curd), and I really have trouble eating it.


    1. Andouilette de Cambrai.

      Simply vile. Most unpleasant thing I recall ever putting in my mouth. Couldnt eat more than a couple of bites.

      There are, of oourse, many food items (like the OPs bat) which I have never come across and, if ever I do, I am not even going to attempt to eat.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Harters

        Maybe you just didn't serve it properly. I didn't know what it was, so did a Google search, found this information:

        "The genuine Andouillette de Cambrai is composed exclusively of calf's caul. It will allure you by his finely raised taste. This speciality can be heated with the furnace, the frying pan, or with the grill. Cooking should not however be led too quickly so that the interior of Andouillette is hot with wish. Serve this dish accompanied by apple-chips, apples vapor or of green salad and you will regale yourselves..."

        So if you'd cooked it on the furnace and served with apple vapor, you might have liked it better.

        1. re: judybird

          I was served it near Cambrai, so I assume it was what the locals regard as the proper serving.

          I think you're placing an over reliance on whichever online translation website was used for the translation. In the original French, the word was "four" or oven and "pommes vapeur" or boiled potatoes. :-)

          1. re: Harters

            Not over reliance, I added the translation for the humor.

            1. re: judybird

              Oh, right. Those crazy French people with their lack of command of the English language. What *are* they like, eh?

        2. re: Harters

          I concur!! You seem to have done better than I. I couldn't even swallow the bite- I had to spit it out. Must have been the first time since I was 5 and tried saurkraut perogies that I spit out food.

        3. Recently it was escargot. It smelled like garlic butter, but looked like a snail. I could see myself putting it in my mouth, but I couldn't imagine chewing. It was difficult. I managed to eat two, but did not enjoy myself past mentally patting myself on the back for trying it.

          1. Crickets - the flavor isn't much to write home about, but the antennae and legs have a tendency to come off and get lodged where you don't want them.

            Goose intestine - I don't have a problem with intestines, give me a good sausage or some chitlings and I'm happy, but this particular batch of red-cooked goose intestines had not been cleaned thoroughly and so just braised in their own "essence" for an hour, reinforcing their unmistakable flavor. I couldn't finish the plate.

            Phaal - the world's hottest curry, allegedly. Even if it's not, it was almost unbearably hot with not much discernible flavor besides burnt peppers. I've done it once; probably won't again.

            3 Replies
            1. re: JungMann

              I gather we invented phal in the UK for macho types who wanted hotter and hotter. The type is well parodied in the comedy shetch "Going for an English"

              I have never tried phal and don't want to.

              1. re: Harters

                "Going for an English" is an iconic skit. I see less of this type of behavior nowadays, or perhaps I just know fewer 20-year olds, but the skit was very relatable when I first encountered it. "Punjabi Girl," however, remains a classic for me.

                Phaal, with it cigarette ash/burnt chili flavor, is indeed an English invention. I imagine it attracts the same 2am crowd that goes for volcano tacos and Doritos Locos here.

              2. re: JungMann

                I agree with you about the Phaal, it was just foul. Burnt taste and very, very hot, although nowhere near the hottest dish or chile pepper I have had. (That would be recently with Scorpion peppers.)

              3. I grew up in a seafood-averse household. The taste, smell, and texture of fish and seafood was horrifying. Just a simple filet could gross me out with its smell. If a friend's family cooked it, the house reeked. That took the longest for me to get used to.

                Now I crave almost all manner of seafood, and my list of favorite things to eat has many seafood items on it. I often find myself going into a restaurant craving a hamburger or steak, but once I read the menu I am only interested in the seafood. We cook it at home on a regular basis.

                But starting out, seafood was 'ickier' than anything I've tried since. Ickier than tripe, most intestine dishes, larvae, turtle.... the list goes on.

                1. Squid tentacles, now I love them.

                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                      ..... Ha ha ha. If we go along this line, then I like to add that the the PF Chang Dan Dan Noodle is pretty bad. I like their other dishes, just not their Dan Dan Noodle. The noodle was overcooked, sticky and stuck together.

                    2. This goes back to grade school. It isn't something I ate, but was something I drank. Milk. Years ago, milk cartons used to have a thick wax coating. The wax would sometimes chip off and land IN the milk carton--thusly floating in the milk. Whenever I drank the milk and got a piece of the wax, I would gag to the point of almost vomiting. It wasn't until after the milk cartons changed and stopped using wax, that I was finally able to enjoy a nice glass of milk.

                        1. A McDonald's quarter pounder.

                          1. Hominy corn. Seriously,giant slimy corn. Oof
                            Smoked octopus tenticles

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: suzigirl

                              Really? I love hominy and smoked octopus. Not necessarily in tandem.

                              1. re: flavrmeistr

                                No, no, no! Can't do it. Hominy corn is the one thing I have not retried since childhood. I will not go into details but i got very ill. And you can have my serving of smoked rubberbands. It didn't say the aversions had to be logical. ;-p

                                1. re: suzigirl

                                  Cooked onions for me. Everybody thinks I'm crazy, but I just can't get them down. Blecchh. Same with dill in any form. Can't get near it.

                            2. toro. I still don't like it.

                              1. sweetbreads: neither sweet, nor bread.

                                i considered it a vile trick to misname them just so a 12 year old would eat them...

                                1. Chicken feet in soup. I'm okay with the crispy fried version, but when it takes on the consistency of a stale gummy worm, it's just no bueno.

                                  1. Raw oysters. I tried and tried again over a couple of decades -- always liking the initial flavor, but then almost gagging on the salt sea aftertaste.... but then I finally saw the light!

                                    Nowadays, the GCOB is a must-stop for lunch whenever I'm visiting the city.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: linguafood

                                      That was my guy. Years of trying raw oysters with no success...his diligence in the attempt and lack of success worked in my favor: more oysters for me. Something clicked in the past year, though. His last trip to Seattle had him bringing home a couple dozen Kumamotos, and I had to scramble for my fair share of those. His glee in now loving oysters is pretty sweet to watch - last Seattle flight got in around 10:30 pm; by midnight we were shucking oysters for a wee hours feast.

                                    2. Uni. I thought it would be a slam-dunk given my roe proclivities, but no can do. After three separate attempts, I gave up. It just will not go down. It's been quite a few years though, and I might have to give it another go at some point, but I'd do so with the greatest trepidation.

                                      And: deep-fried baby bat? The more I learn about the amazing array of things people eat, the more I feel like a piker with a pablum diet! I'm so curious; aside from the interesting set of textures ("crunchy yet gelatinous" actually sounds pretty appealing to me, but I could do without the stiff hair), did it taste good?

                                      1. The fruit bat I tried (the dish is called "paniki" in Manado, Indonesia) wasn't deep fried, but everything else that you described it as sounds about right. Where did you try it?

                                        Balut and durian are the two foods that were the most difficult ones for me. There are other dishes that belong in this category, but unfortunately I can't recall/never learned their names. One was in Jakarta, and it was more or less a big plate of beef parts. At least the eggplant was good.


                                        1. I encountered something simply vile during my last trip to Beijing: "douzhi", a fermented mung bean soup that's greenish-grey in colour:

                                          I'm usually game at trying *anything* but I simply could *not* swallow this one - it had an obnoxious smell and a sourish taste. My 7-8 dining companions, all Beijingers, have no problem downing whole bowls of the stuff!

                                          That said, I don't think I'd like to try that deep-fried bat of yours.

                                          1. Deep fried whole baby Bat?
                                            That does it! I lower my number from ca 90- 95 to perhaps 80.
                                            Reading the other thread and now this one, I realize there is a lot of stuff out there which IMHO has nothing to do any longer with reasonable eating, no matter how much fun it is to try different food while traveling, etc.
                                            To answer the OP's question, I happily use nowadays Parmigiano Reggiano and similar on occasion and actually like it. I always thought it smelled like vomit and had trouble even sitting near anyone sprinkling it on their salads -I didn't know that horrible stuff at the salad bar at my old work place was simply ancient stuff.

                                            1. If I'm that reluctant, I just don't do it. My attitude is generally, Sure, why not.

                                              That said, no to the baby bat.

                                              1. For me it was blood cubes - I really like the texture now, and the way they absorb the flavor of the surrounding dish/sauce like tofu, but for years I couldn't get the thought out of my mind that I was eating a scab. :(

                                                1. Tofu. Prepared, or unprepared, in any way, shape or form. I simply don't understand tofu.

                                                  1. There was something I ate a few mpnths ago that I couldn't even get down one bite. It was so bad that I put it completely out of my mind. I literally cannot remember what it was.

                                                    Yesterday I was a judge tasting heritage breed pork dishes and desserts at an excellent event. Much of the food was great. I rated almost a third of them 8,9, or 9.5 out of 10. But a quarter were in the 4,3, and 2 out of 10 range. By the time I made it to the last 2-3 of the 24-25 booths, which took almost four hours, I was so full I would take a mouthful, chew a bit to taste, and spit it out. I have never felt so terrible trying to eat something. Mind you I was also drinking a few unfiltered wheat beers and I think it was going through a secondary fermentation in my belly. Interestingly enough, the second to last booth, that almost had me gagging, was the one I rated highest in flavor. It was a very strange experience to taste a wonderful taco, heritage pork slow cooked with just the right amount of smoke and spices; and one of the best house hot sauces I have ever had, and yet couldn't force myself to swallow.