Whatcha eatin’?

I just got back from dinner with 3 of my friends from television.

While I was driving home from dinner, my mother called to see what I ate.  My mother is fascinated with what people eat when they go out for dinner.

I informed her we shared seared Octopus for an appetizer.  I didn’t get much further than that for quite a while.  Betty immediately started yelling “Blech” into the phone.    She actually used that word.  “Blech!  Why in God’s name would you eat that?? ”   Uh, I dunno.  ‘Cause they were all out of  human toe knuckles mainly.

My mom’s not the most adventurous when it comes to food.

When my mother finally calmed down, I told her that I tried my friend Jenny’s rabbit entree.  Betty’s blech was immediately elevated to animated barfing sounds.

Now I know rabbit isn’t super-common among those of us raised on white bread and canned peas, but it isn’t THAT crazy, is it?  To be perfectly honest with you it was very tender and really did taste like chicken.  No joke.  But for some reason it was less enjoyable than eating chicken.  Mainly because it was a bunny.  Mainly because it felt like I was eating my cat.

Which is nothing compared to what a friend of mine told me he ate a few weeks ago.  Porcupine.  He ate porcupine.  Remarkable, when you consider this same fellow squinches his face up at most other exotic dishes.  Like Chinese food for example.  Or vegetables. The thought of it makes him queazy.  But Moose?  Bring it on.  Porcupine … lemme at it.  Apparently it tastes like pork incidentally, which makes it one of the most appropriately named foods on earth.

So as we move into the weekend when most of us have more time to focus on food, I have a question for you.  Out of curiosity  what’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever eaten?

To get the ball rolling here … my entry:

The most adventurous thing I’ve ever eaten – barnacles.  Yup.  Those things you scrape off the bottom of a boat.  If you noticed the thumbnail picture at the side of this post on my homepage … you were noticing barnacles.  They look like ugly, angry little penises.  I tried them in Portugal.

So, even if it’s a can of ravioli that was expired by 2 years I want to hear about it.  Why?  Like I said … I’m just curious.  And a bit nervous to hear your responses.  As the saying goes, it was curiosity that killed the cat.  Hopefully  it wasn’t for the purpose of eating it.

ANY CHARA CTER HERE

And yes … I was wearing a headset for the telephone conversation in my car so don’t get on my ass about it please.  I have a mother for that.

ANY CHARA CTER HERE

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101 Comments

  1. Shannon says:

    I regularly eat Kangaroo, it makes great burgers.
    I also make Thai crocodile cakes (like Thai fish cakes but with crocodile tail)

    My dad once dated this hippy woman in the early 90’s who used to make me collect big grasshoppers for dinner. I can’t remember eating them though, maybe I have suppressed that memory deep within my subconscious.

    • Karen says:

      I went to a street fair on the weekend and they had kangaroo burgers. It is not what you would call common around here. In fact I’ve never seen it before. Would have tried them, but I had just eaten a massive pulled pork on a bun.

      • Shannon says:

        Pulled pork isn’t common round my neck of the woods. That’s what we would call exotic yankee food.

        I love it though, I am going to have pulled pork sliders with home made BBQ sauce at the wedding.

  2. Caroline says:

    Second blog post I have seen this week about weird/gross foods.

    I don’t really have one, but I looked at my couple days old corn bread the other day and it was covered in fuzzy black mold. looked like a grown cat was skinned in there. SO DISGUSTING.

  3. Lynn says:

    “They look like ugly, angry little penises.”

    HA!!!!

    • Well, have not eaten meat for over 30 years, so my adventures in food are of the plant kind and I am thinking that anything I could eat cannot out-gross some weird animal part, but I would have to say that some health food store items might be a bit abhorrent to your every day, standard American diet eater – blue green algae, anyone?

    • amanda says:

      HA to that too! Hilarious!

  4. Teri says:

    I travel quite a bit and have had the opportunity to sample a lot of different things. Crocodile, ostrich, emu, owl, alligator, guinnea, camel, bear, moose, caribou, rabbit, squirrel, milk served from a Maasai gourd container, Somoan ground roasted pig, Kvaas, Nile perch, Russian pike, pig foot gelatin loaf, roadside roasted corn in Kenya, marrow, kim chi (the good homemade stuff)… well, can’t think of any more…it’s late…

    I’ll try a lot because what is “adventurous” to an American is common to another nationality.

  5. Liz says:

    I’ve eaten Ostrich and Springbuck in South Africa. Both very tasty.

    What the hell is in the title photo? It looks…erm… interesting

  6. Brook says:

    I’ve eaten many unusual things while traveling and have seem to have a problem with texture. Jellyfish in sesame oil grossed me out because it was like chewing crunchy, oily gristle. Black bread with a thick quivering layer of cold fat – aaargh! And a pizza-du-jour with chunks of bone-in chicken and pickles. Somehow, I’d never imagined that particular combination.

  7. Cheryl says:

    Doesn’t it depend on which area of the world you live in whether something is considered weird? The strangest thing I’ve ever eaten was pickled turkey gizzards. I think they were served by JD. I’ve also been to a goat roast. It’s prepared on a spit like at a pig roast.

    I love to collect vintage cookbooks. One of my favorites “The American Woman’s Cook Book” circa 1945 has recipes for pidgeon, rabbit, squirrel, and possum (they should have named this secion of he book Roadkill Roundup).

  8. Umm… lets see… I once went hunting with some friends of mine. I shot a deer, and they made me eat the heart….. raw…

    It was quite good cooked, but raw, it was a little chewy.

  9. Amy says:

    I chickened out as a kid when Mom made snails. So the most exotic thing I have eaten was a whole baby octopus at a sushi resturant. It was not good. I love octopus sushi but the whole thing, head and all, it had some weird marinated taste…mineraly. Blech!!!

    By the way I was just looking for a picture of angry little penis just the other day.. couldn’t find any.

    Have a great weekend.

  10. Langela says:

    I tried octopus when I was younger. It tasted like a really fishy rubber band. Frog legs from our own pond cooked over the campfire were delicious like fishy chicken.

  11. Meagan says:

    I ate alpaca and guinea pig in Peru. The guinea pig, a delicacy there, was served whole on a platter. Poor little guy! That was pretty creepy.

    In Thailand I had grub worms and a small bite of some sort of pig’s blood jello, among other crazy things. (Gosh, sorry! That’s gross!) I don’t really recommend either. For whatever reason I blame the jello on “being adventurous”, but I wouldn’t even try artichokes until about a year ago.

  12. Lene says:

    A few years ago, I took part in a Toronto “City Chase”…one of the challenges was a spinning food wheel. Two of us got a huge hunk of rich unlevenned chocolate cake, one got a stack of ritz crackers with peanut butter, both NO drink (harder than it seems) and I got a styrofoam cup of LIVE CRICKETS…no drink. Ugh…they were hopping in my mouth.yuck! But I ate ’em!

  13. Rebecca says:

    Squirrel. Not good!

  14. Ecochic says:

    While on exchange in Japan, I’ve eaten raw horse meat. Some may shudder, but it was delicious. I just thought of it as blue steak. And it was so tender. My host family explained to me that the Japanese don’t believe in waste, and that horse was actually an elder horse, and eating it was a way of honouring its service to its owners.

    I’ve also had shark fin soup, sea cucumber, prairie oyster (bull testicle), chicken tendon, a whole smoked fish head to tail, guts included (thought of it as a salty chocolate bar).

    • Keegan says:

      I’ve had the raw horse in Japan too! I thought it was more similar to raw bacon…

      • Pam'a says:

        Prairie oysters, you say? I’m intrigued, because as the vet’s daughter/indentured slave, I grew up cleaning buckets of the things… on the Prairie.

        But guess what? We called them Rocky Mountain oysters. Are you from the Rockies? 🙂

  15. I’ve never eaten anything REALLY weird.

    I mean, my mother and I do sushi about once a week, so we eat octopus and eel on a regular basis.

    My grandparents are German and they used to try to feed us strange things all the time. Like tongue. And pig snoots. And this stuff that looks like bacon, but with more fat and you eat it raw. Yum-O. Oh, and my grandmother just made a plum cake that looked like it was covered in lady parts. Apparently when plums are quartered and baked they looked very strange. I couldn’t eat it, but my fiance said it was great. Eh.

  16. lori says:

    The weirdest meat I have eaten was dog.(while in Spain) but compared to what I have read here,that is not very weird.

  17. Lily says:

    I grew up in the country where we grew all of our food. Something kept getting to all of our strawberries, so my mom put a $10 bounty on the culprit. We cleaned them, cooked them, and brought them to a pot luck. Organic, free-range Squirrel Stew.

  18. Kim from Milwaukee says:

    Ah, you just reminded me that the annual Turkey Testicle Festival is coming in a couple months! Yum!!! Bring on them balls!

  19. shirley huang says:

    As part of asian culture, we eat almost anything and everything. Rabbit and turtle dishes are quite common on our dinner table. Most adventurous dish I’ve eaten, so far goes to, is snake. And no, I’ve not eaten cats or dogs, and not intend to.

  20. Tay says:

    Okay. SPAM and Goetta. Not exotic per se, but have you ever read the ingredients? This city hick is right proud to server her guests the aforementioned!

  21. Marilyn says:

    Deep fried calf nuts! Would NOT have eaten them had I known what they were – but they are absolutely delicious!!

  22. Kendra says:

    I have eaten sea urchin gonads – fried. Pretty tasty.
    Plus my mother ( named Betty also ) once made an entire batch of cookies and forgot the sugar. After trying a bite, I spit them out, saying they tasted like dog food ( have tried plenty of THAT in my younger years as well ). My dad however, ate them all and informed my mom they were delicious.

  23. Donna Lapeer says:

    Personally, I do not consider this unusual. Others do. Weeds. As a organic gardener I often prepare the weed de jour. Most of the year purslain is plentiful and it is packed with nutrition, just fix it like any green. Perfect revenge and very yummy!

  24. Jenn says:

    Between living in the Pacific Northwest and France, I’ve eaten some things that most others would find objectionable:

    sea urchin (not my fav)
    most kinds of sushi
    rabbit
    pigeon
    sea & land snails (sea are way better)
    ox tail
    jellyfish & seaweed salad (like salty rubber bands)
    squid (yum!)
    gooey duck (looks like a horse schlong)
    chicken feet
    dirt (hey, I was a toddler)

  25. aleenutsa says:

    Well, in my part of the world, things u might consiber “Bleach” are the most common.
    I regularly eat Pork feet gelatin
    Pork/chicken/duck/beef liver
    Chicken feet
    Sangerete(wich is a mix of pork organs prepared in pork blood)
    Chicken stomach( i don’t know what do u call it)
    Rabbit
    Pork ears
    Beef stomach(soupe)
    Lamb intestin
    Cow intestin
    And the usual worms i miss when eating my homegrown bio apples. I prefer not to see them, so when i feel something tickleing on my tongue, i chew fast and then swallow like there’s no tomorrow.

  26. Wendy says:

    Karen, I tried barnacles for the first time while in Barcelona earlier this year. They were REALLY salty, REALLY black but VERY tasty. However, I couldn’t get over the end that looked like a pig’s trotter – it was weird. But little penises? Wish I’d thought of them that way – I may have eaten more – LOL!

  27. Alisha says:

    Sea Urchin is disgusting. Not so much the flavor but it’s the texture I can’t handle. It’s like mushy fine grain sand. Chicken feet with molasses and tripe are the tops of my weird list sadly but I’m not exceptionally brave, nor have I travelled. Things with the word ‘blood’ in them (aside from blood oranges) is a no go. Blood pudding makes me want to puke in my mouth. For real.

  28. Wendi says:

    Cow tongue when I was in Kindergarten for World Foods Day…I remember loving it…and just recently, Durian gelato. It was incredibly repulsive and interesting. I would try chicken feet too. They are huge in Hanoi.
    I can’t believe there’s a place in the world where there’s no pulled pork! Remind me to NEVER go there.

    • Karen says:

      Wendi – Shannon, who left the pulled pork comment, is from Australia. Who would have guessed Australia wouldn’t have pulled pork! ~ karen

      • Julie shinnick says:

        Please tell us Aussies what the heck is pulled pork? We might have it here but call is something more sensible?? lol

        • Karen says:

          Julie. Pulled pork is slow cooked pork shoulder. Once it’s cooked the the point of falling apart you shred it with a fork. You usually cook it in a sweet/spicy sauce. You then serve it drenched in that on a bun. Succulent.

  29. Alissa says:

    Reading through all these answer kinda makes me wanna go vegetarian. Except they don’t get to eat bacon. And if God didn’t want us to eat pigs, He wouldn’t have made them out of bacon. I’m so thankful for Acts 10. :o)

  30. Theresa says:

    sadly I’m not that adventerous even though I live in a city where you can go to the peruvian butcher and get guiena pig – or the game meat butcher and get a saddle of rabbit anytime. smoked baby oysters. while on vacation as a kid we decided we would try new things using the appetizet course as our arena. they were awful.Did try Buffalo once that was tasty.
    I just don’t get out to eat much.
    Of course have had thousands of hot dogs and shisk kabob from street carts–many people consider that more then adventuresome they consider it suicidal.

  31. emily says:

    While staying with a host family in Japan, I was persuaded to try natto, which is fermented soybean, and something that they called “fish paste”, which was a little white disk with a pink border, floating in my soup. I think these are both acquired tastes.

  32. Tina in Cali says:

    Hm……
    Aligator
    Frogs legs
    Cow tongue
    Deer

    That’s it and willing to try more!

  33. Oh, Ostrich sausages, deer, moose, bear, elk, fried fish eyeballs, chicken feet…the list goes on.

    The worst tasting? Ginko soup, made with a very special ginko berry, in a brown sugar syrup. I still gag thinking about it.

    Jen

  34. mykidzmomnow says:

    Alligator, conch, all kinds of true sushi…

    But I am ore fascinated with the headset. I find little dogs on drivers’ laps to be a far greater distraction and therefore danger than holding a cell phone. But maybe that’s just me and my anti-gubmint ways…

  35. Jane says:

    Cows tongue. I always say you shouldn’t eat anything that can taste you back!

  36. Melissa says:

    When my sister and I were small my parents had meetings in Prince Rupert, B.C. Some friends arranged baby sitters for us who ended up being a couple of native girls who fed us Salmon Roe (eggs). With soya sauce. Just to be authentically B.C. Native, of course.

  37. Julie shinnick says:

    Emu pate (pat-ay) yum yum

    Anyone tried Pelican Soup?
    lol
    This is actually part of a riddle that is an excercise in learning how to ask non-fuzzy questions….lol very funny excercise we had to endure in training this week! Anyone else had the pleasure of this?

    And no, not interested in trying it! blech

  38. Janelle says:

    Having read the above comments, I believe I just tasted some of my own bile. Does that count?

  39. Stephanie says:

    My grandmother used to make soup with a substance that had the texture and consistency of tofu, but it was made of coagulated blood. Yeah. Never did figure out what that was called. Once I figured out what it was, I stopped being so willing to try everything.

  40. Liz says:

    My most adventurous food was probably lobster guts, or tomalley as the die-hard east coasters would say. I wouldn’t recommend it – the rest of the lobster is WAYYY better!

  41. Rachel says:

    Giant spider. May have been tarantula. My grandfather brought them back after being posted to Egypt while he was in the army. They tasted just like chicken!

    Also, frogs legs, cow tongue, beef liver, snails all got tried in kindergarten for World Food day. I can’t remember not liking any of them.

  42. Ree says:

    Cold steamed octopus. Croatian cold steamed octopus drenched in congealed olive oil and vinegar. It smelled like cat food so I assume it tasted like cat food. What can I say, I was in love and his mother cooked it special for me… What was it your Mom said? “Blech!”? Yep! BLECH!

  43. Katie says:

    I worked on an indian reservation school for a while, and the kids had a ceremonial buffalo kill. I was informed that it was tradition to eat some of the gigantic raw liver…so i did. well, i tried: it made my teeth bounce and tasted like blood, so it didn’t last too long in my mouth…i don’t like things that make my teeth bounce.

  44. Kate Tyndall says:

    Cicadas. In a pie.

  45. Kate Tyndall says:

    Addendum to cicadas ( which weren’t that bad as I recall; perhaps it was all the Karo syrup they were mired in):

    Kapenta, which look like dried minnows. A local dish in Zimbabwe, where I encountered a bowl full of them, all wrinkly and crispy and staring at me with their beady lifeless eyes.

    Thanks Karen, I had managed to supress this culinary memory for well over a decade UNTIL NOW! I foresee kapenta in my dreams.

  46. kasia says:

    OMG! LOL! I have to say Alyssa’s comment about God wouldn’t have made pigs out of bacon if he didn’t want us to eat them, cracks me up!!!!!!!! LOL!!!!

  47. Janet says:

    Bear. Tasted very gamey, kinda rank, very greasy, and also like I was eating my cousin. Never again. Bears should not be eaten.

  48. Karina says:

    I just tried sea urchin for the first time. I wouldn’t volunteer to do it again.

    That isn’t the worst though…

    Probably the worst would be a fermented drink made from a local plant people chew and then spit into a pot to let ferment in the Andes Mountains. I was tricked into drinking this by my loving father. It just tasted horrible. He did teach me a valuable lesson,”Be adventurous!”

  49. Gracia says:

    Barnacles are a delicacy here in spain,and suuuuper expensive! Personally i dont like them….and they actually are penises.The hole animals body is his penis! Here it is also very common to eat rabbit (tasty,but feels wrong),sea urchin ( dont like the texture really),horse in Barcelona (again tasty but feels wrong),bulls testicles ( not good but my mother made me eat them when i was little),deer, pigeon and anything hunt when in season (love it!), and i also tried alligator and byson fajitas in London ( it could have been chicken and beef as it tasted like it) and also jellyfish at a japanese (completely tasteless and rubber like texture)
    I recently discover in Cadiz they eat anemones deep fried and cant wait to try eat!

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