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  #1  
Old 05-06-2013, 09:56 AM
CoastalMaineiac CoastalMaineiac is offline
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What's the "weirdest" thing you've ever eaten?

I don't know how high on the weirdness scale this one goes, but I had deep fried alligator at a fair here once; I'll probably get slapped for saying this, but it really did taste like chicken.
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  #2  
Old 05-06-2013, 09:59 AM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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Sweetbreads, tripe, pickled deer heart (tasted like roast beef!).
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:02 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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Probably mopane worm. Not that I consider that weird at all.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:03 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Surstromming. (Video contains some foul language.) It really was that disgusting. Smells like a cross between a human corpse and a dog's ass. It's fermented herring. Doesn't sound so bad when described as that (at least not to me), but several years ago (c. 2005), after hearing how foul this stuff was, I ordered it from a Swedish import company expecting to be disappointed. The smell is intense. And the folks who say "oh, it doesn't taste as bad as it smells" are full of shit. It tastes exactly as bad as it smells (especially since taste is mostly related to smell.)

ETA: The worst part for me was that I washed it down with some beer, so I was burping up that putrid taste for hours afterwards.

Last edited by pulykamell; 05-06-2013 at 10:06 AM..
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  #5  
Old 05-06-2013, 10:25 AM
Jackknifed Juggernaut Jackknifed Juggernaut is offline
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While I probably eat Brazilian barbeque about once a week, I just had my first corazao (chicken heart) last week (after people trying to get me to eat it for about 2 decades).

I'm not a fan of the texture. I suppose it a taste that's acquired, since many Brazilians (including my girlfriend) can eat a dozen of them during a meal.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:28 AM
hogarth hogarth is offline
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The one that comes to mind is fried silkworm pupae.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:30 AM
Ludovic Ludovic is offline
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The worst thing I've ever put in my mouth that theoretically is potable is some spring water from the mineral springs at Saratoga Springs park. People are actually able to collect this water to drink and/or bathe in.

It tastes like what you drink in hell every day. It wouldn't be so bad if it were just a pure sulphur taste. But it has some saltiness too which somehow adds depth and complexity to the rotten taste that puts it over the top somehow. It's the only time I've retched from tasting something in my adult life. Thankfully I spit it out before I swallowed it or I may have actually heaved.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:33 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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Peppered chicken liver with a garlic chocolate glaze.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:37 AM
Prof. Pepperwinkle Prof. Pepperwinkle is online now
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My sister (as a teenager) once served the family a dessert of chocolate-covered olives. It was not a good idea.
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  #10  
Old 05-06-2013, 10:40 AM
NeonMadman NeonMadman is offline
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Wow, after reading the previous comments on this thread, I feel as if I've had a pretty tame culinary life. The most unusual things I can boast of eating are ostrich, African Lion and alligator. At different times, not all together (though it might make for a heck of a meatloaf...).

Last edited by NeonMadman; 05-06-2013 at 10:41 AM..
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  #11  
Old 05-06-2013, 10:41 AM
kcor1953 kcor1953 is offline
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Originally Posted by Jackknifed Juggernaut View Post
While I probably eat Brazilian barbeque about once a week, I just had my first corazao (chicken heart) last week (after people trying to get me to eat it for about 2 decades).

I'm not a fan of the texture. I suppose it a taste that's acquired, since many Brazilians (including my girlfriend) can eat a dozen of them during a meal.
From an American farm family, and we kids used to fight to eat the chicken heart. It would, like the rest of the chicken, have been pan fried. It does have a unique texture, among fired organs/tissue. But not unpleasant to me.

We also used to fight over the cabbage heart. Not analogous except for its limited supply and how much we desired it.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:41 AM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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Well, lutefisk. But that's a family thing. Kangaroo-tail soup (was given a can). Camel stew.

Oh, and I think she said her name was "Sunshine."
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  #13  
Old 05-06-2013, 11:02 AM
lost4life lost4life is offline
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I've had some of the standards like sweetbreads, alligator, kangaroo, and tacos made with unusual animal parts, but the weirdest was probably some bull penis chowder in Jamaica that a guy was selling from a beat up cart. It was supposed to be an aphrodisiac, but I noticed nothing.
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  #14  
Old 05-06-2013, 11:48 AM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Fricasseed (Polynesian) rat, in New Zealand. No, it didn't taste like chicken. It tasted very much like rat. I would certainly not order it in a restaurant.

In my opinion the tastiest rodents are Guinea pig (deep-fried, not boiled), and paca. Very much like pork. I've also eaten musk rat and squirrel. I've had buffalo (bison) burgers, as well as elk and red deer venison, and salted peccary in and Indian village in Panama. When I was a kid, I tried canned whale meat once, and kangaroo tail stew.

As far as birds go, I've had ostrich, curassow, and guan. For reptiles, crocodile, alligator, and (a long time ago) turtle soup. And frog legs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kcor1953 View Post
From an American farm family, and we kids used to fight to eat the chicken heart. It would, like the rest of the chicken, have been pan fried. It does have a unique texture, among fired organs/tissue. But not unpleasant to me.
When I was a kid I loved chicken hearts fried in butter. My mother used to get packages at the store, since they were very cheap. Like chicken liver, but milder in taste and with a chewier texture.

Last edited by Colibri; 05-06-2013 at 11:48 AM..
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  #15  
Old 05-06-2013, 11:49 AM
zoid zoid is online now
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Probably either lambs brains or goat spleens.
Lamb brains aren't bad, just a kind of unusual texture.
Goat spleen is foul, avoid at all costs.
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  #16  
Old 05-06-2013, 12:13 PM
harmonicamoon harmonicamoon is offline
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I have eaten chapulines (fried grasshoppers) in Oaxaca, Mexico. Pretty tasty.
The chichanerias here have every part of the pig deep fried. Buch is a pig stomach stuffed with chopped meats and spices then fried.
Morcilla is a pig intestine stuffed with blood, rice and spices then fried.
Then, of course, all the organs are fried. And pig head parts, nose, ears, cheeks, eyes (all deep fried) are for purchase also.
Never have seen a skinny person working in a chichaneria.
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  #17  
Old 05-06-2013, 12:34 PM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is offline
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Originally Posted by CoastalMaineiac View Post
I don't know how high on the weirdness scale this one goes, but I had deep fried alligator at a fair here once; I'll probably get slapped for saying this, but it really did taste like chicken.
I won't slap you, but I've had alligator too, and to me it tasted like baloney.
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  #18  
Old 05-06-2013, 12:49 PM
shiftless shiftless is offline
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Pickled pig lips.

Of course, if you've ever eaten Vienna sausage or Potted meat you've eaten the lips, snout and heaven knows what else. Still, plucking a delicious pig lip from the gallon jar of brine just adds to the experience.
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  #19  
Old 05-06-2013, 12:56 PM
dhoover dhoover is offline
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Grasshoppers

Probably deep fried grasshoppers....pretty disgusting.
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  #20  
Old 05-06-2013, 01:06 PM
Ms. Pumpkin Ms. Pumpkin is offline
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I feel very sheltered - strangest for me would be deer or rabbit. *Yawn*
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  #21  
Old 05-06-2013, 01:25 PM
romansperson romansperson is offline
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Probably chocolate-covered ants.
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  #22  
Old 05-06-2013, 01:57 PM
cjepson cjepson is offline
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Objectively speaking, probably uni (raw sea urchin gonads).
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  #23  
Old 05-06-2013, 02:49 PM
delphica delphica is offline
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Wax paper. It was decidedly unpleasant, I would not recommend.

(You didn't say it had to be things that are intended to be eaten!)
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  #24  
Old 05-06-2013, 02:49 PM
Sitnam Sitnam is offline
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I've eaten dog soup in Nanking, but I'd say the strangest texture was stingray - not quite fish, not quite chicken and all covering a strange cartilage structure like lined up finger bones.
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  #25  
Old 05-06-2013, 03:00 PM
Motorgirl Motorgirl is offline
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Crickets and meal worms, both deep fried so they were just crispy little bites. They turned out to be more boring than I expected.

I ordered giant leaf cutter ants from ThinkGeek. They were more weird than the crickets and worms - they had a strange nutty flavor and sometimes the legs would get caught in your throat and you'd have to wash them down (with beer!)

I've had thousand-year egg and natto, both of which were experiences I do not want to repeat. Egg due to the flavor and natto due to the horrible horrible strings.

Last edited by Motorgirl; 05-06-2013 at 03:01 PM..
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  #26  
Old 05-06-2013, 03:04 PM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is offline
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Originally Posted by Sitnam View Post
I've eaten dog soup in Nanking, but I'd say the strangest texture was stingray - not quite fish, not quite chicken and all covering a strange cartilage structure like lined up finger bones.
Skate (which is a type of ray) is still pretty popular in UK fish restaurants. Classically served with a nutty brown butter and capers it is delicious.

I know what you mean about the cartilage "fingers" or "ribs" that support the wings. When such fish is properly cooked you should be able to scrape your fork down these as oodles of tender white meat results. Yum.
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  #27  
Old 05-06-2013, 03:20 PM
bodangus bodangus is offline
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Balut. A food found in the Philippines and where Filipinos live in other parts of the world. Basically a fertile duck egg allowed to grow for 15 days, then hard boiled. The result is a little duckling with a yolk sack still attached and swimming in juice. You crack one end open and drink. Then consume the contents which are a little crunchy, etc. Puts hair on your ass. So they say...
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  #28  
Old 05-06-2013, 03:31 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Hmm. My "weird" food is downright normal compared to many of these. I've had octopus, and escargot, and squid, the latter in several forms. And, as someone observed above about alligator, if properly prepared, squid can taste like chicken (not so octopus, which in my opinion has the chewy consistency of Old Inner Tube)


But the weirdest thingI've had was served to me in the home of my friend's parents. It wa a pink mousse-like confection served on a large scallop shell.

"What is it?" I asked.

"Just try it first," they said.

I will never "just try " something again.




It was slightly salty and fishy tasting, reinforcing that scallop shell. What was it? It wasn't at all the same taste or comnsistency of the styrofoam-peanut-like shrimp puffs some of the Asian grad students once served us.



SPOILER:
"It's calf's brain."


I'll add that this was before we all knew about Mad Cow Disease/Creutzfeldt-Jakob/prion-caused illnesses.
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  #29  
Old 05-06-2013, 04:19 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiftless View Post
Pickled pig lips.
The mention of pickled foodstuffs reminds me that I once had a big ol' pickled turkey gizzard from a jar at a bar in Wisconsin. The thing that surprised me most was how big it was. I guess I had just never paid attention to their size before, but they really seemed to be a bit bigger than what's usually in the turkey giblet bag.

I've had most of the offal mentioned in this thread (including sheep brains in a curry in Mumbai) but never spleen. That doesn't sound terribly appetizing, and it sounds like it's not. While we're at it, I've noticed in the Filipino part of the freezer section of an Asian grocery store I used to frequent, they sold bile. I can't for the life of me imagine what bile is used for, if it tastes anything like what comes up when I'm about to puke or burp funny.

Last edited by pulykamell; 05-06-2013 at 04:21 PM..
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  #30  
Old 05-06-2013, 04:25 PM
BurnMeUp BurnMeUp is offline
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Maybe not super weird but all in my travels in Asia:

- - Fugu - blowfish - served up 4 ways - all of them delicious except the fugu skin salad
Snake soup - when I asked the waiter all he could tell me in broken English was "good snake!" - the meat was shredded, delicious and the texture was between chicken and egg drop soup
- Roast Pigeon - a little gamey but good
- Sea Cucumber - Not a fan and did not like the texture at all
and several other miscellaneous things that were delicious but not revealed to me what they were. I thought it better that way.
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  #31  
Old 05-06-2013, 04:41 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is online now
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Baby octopus at the sushi bar. They look like little bathtub toys. Taste great though.
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  #32  
Old 05-06-2013, 05:24 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Nothing too unusual. Alligator, ostrich, goat, and snake.

In non-meat categories, I ate some salt-pickled lime once.
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  #33  
Old 05-06-2013, 06:32 PM
Wolf333 Wolf333 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoastalMaineiac View Post
I don't know how high on the weirdness scale this one goes, but I had deep fried alligator at a fair here once; I'll probably get slapped for saying this, but it really did taste like chicken.
I would agree with this. Pretty much, if you deep fry small chunks of anything, it tastes like chicken nuggets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hogarth View Post
The one that comes to mind is fried silkworm pupae.
I tried them in Korea, but I was somewhat intoxicated and I don't remember much about them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cjepson View Post
Objectively speaking, probably uni (raw sea urchin gonads).
I tried it, didn't like it. Then again, I'm not a huge fan of sushi.

Aside from those:
Goat (roasted and curried)
Beef tongue tacos
Shark (not shark fin soup)
Octopus
Cuttlefish
Squid (fried, simmered, dried and on a pizza!)
Squid ink pasta (if you have ever smelled a dead carp, it's like that, but salty)
Turtle soup
Bison
Elk
Wild boar
Escargot
Conch
Ostrich (I ate ostrich for 2 meals a day for over a month. In North Dakota)*
Beef tendon
She crab soup (I tend to hate all things roe, but I love this)
Crawfish
Bitter melon**

Things that I had the chance to try, but refused for silly reasons:

Jellyfish - I was once stung by a jellyfish.
Eel - I was fishing with my dad when I caught an eel. It just freaked me out.

*A local grocery in Minot, North Dakota started stocking some odd things, like bison, elk, wild boar and ostrich. Most of it was fairly expensive, but apparently, nobody bought the ostrich, so the price dropped quickly. When it dropped to around $1 per steak, I filled my cart.

**Bitter melon lives up to its name. One of the worst things I've ever tasted.
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  #34  
Old 05-06-2013, 06:33 PM
even sven even sven is online now
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I've had a few things that are strange in isolation- balut, viper, porcupine, monkey meat, stir-fried bee larvae, mangrove worms, etc.

But the strangest meal I've ever had was at a hot pot restaurant that specialized in...duck throat. My friends took me there, and so I ate a nice big pot of duck throat. Apparently this is not just something people eat, but something people go out of their way to eat in great quantity. I still wonder how many ducks throats I chowed down that night (FWIW, it was presented as a bunch of rubbery squares.)
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  #35  
Old 05-06-2013, 06:34 PM
septimus septimus is offline
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The large Makro supermarket in our region has frozen crocodile and frozen ostrich. We've tried each once but -- perhaps our life is over-tame -- we prefer my wife's marinated chicken or even chopped pork with basil.

Noodle soup often comes with large chunks of congealed blood, which I eat, but squeamishly.

I eat fried grasshoppers as a novelty sometimes, or fried giant water bugs, or even fried scorpions.

Snakes are considered a food luxury here: they enhance virility. The more poisonous the snake, the greater the enhancement. But I, skeptical, let others eat my share, just taking blue diamond-shape pills if I get desperate.

An odd incident in Bangkok from 25 years ago was when I was invited to join in a snack of sticky-rice-and-something in a dark bar ... too dark to see what the something was, but I joined in to be sociable. By the time the plate of something was almost empty, the outlines were visible and I could see small insect parts -- a mild shock in a way that knowingly eating a grasshopper isn't. This has stuck in my memory not because it was strange, but because it wasn't, at the time....
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  #36  
Old 05-06-2013, 06:40 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjepson View Post
Objectively speaking, probably uni (raw sea urchin gonads).
I've had uni a number of times, it's tasty when it's fresh. When not, it's not good eats.

But this reminds me, I've also had milt in fish soups in Hungary (where it's called "halikra" as well as "haltej," which literally means "fish milk"), as well as deep-fried. Milt is essentially male fish gonads that contain sperm. Here is a picture.
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  #37  
Old 05-06-2013, 07:53 PM
elbows elbows is offline
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Ocean ray or flying fox. On an uninhibited island off the coast of Malaysia. Neither one tasted like chicken!
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  #38  
Old 05-06-2013, 08:56 PM
Das Glasperlenspiel Das Glasperlenspiel is online now
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Moose gut and moose nose. On a remote reserve in Quebec. As one of two non-natives at the feast, honour demanded that I keep it down. I managed - barely. The other moonias didn't. He spent the rest of dinner tossing it up in the bush outside.

Rabbit stew was my deal breaker. The stew smelled delicious so I fished around and brought up a lovely ladleful of rabbit skull and rabbit brain. End of meal.
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  #39  
Old 05-06-2013, 09:30 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf333 View Post
A local grocery in Minot, North Dakota started stocking some odd things, like bison, elk, wild boar and ostrich. Most of it was fairly expensive, but apparently, nobody bought the ostrich, so the price dropped quickly. When it dropped to around $1 per steak, I filled my cart.
I really liked ostrich the times I've had it and it's the high price that keeps me from eating it on a regular basis. At a dollar a steak, I'd have stocked up too.
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  #40  
Old 05-06-2013, 10:36 PM
stui magpie stui magpie is offline
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Wow, some of the stuff in here has me thoroughly covered.

Most exotic things I've eaten I guess most people would consider tame. Crocodile, Emu, Kangaroo.

The most horrible was lambs brains. One bite and spat it out.

Maybe the weirdest, only because it's not a very bright thing to do, is chomp a whole Habanero pepper. Doesn't that bring tears to your eyes quickly.
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  #41  
Old 05-06-2013, 10:44 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Probably the most unusual thing I've eaten is black bear. A friend of my grandfather's had to kill one in self defense, and hey, you don't let meat go to waste. I liked it, but I expect that was largely psychological.

The most disgusting thing I've eaten is probably Mt Dew-flavored Doritos.

And CalMeacham, I'm sure you could make squid taste like chicken, but why would you want to? Calamari, prepared properly, is one of the most delicious foods ever, far and away above anything chicken could ever aspire to.
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  #42  
Old 05-06-2013, 11:46 PM
Latimera Latimera is offline
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In a little village in the Peruvian Amazon I had chicha once. Women make chicha by chewing cassava root and spitting the juice into a bowl. You can drink it freshly made, or fermented into a beer.

I had it fresh.

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  #43  
Old 05-07-2013, 12:47 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Grasshoppers, baby bees in honey, freeze-dried caterpillars, chocolate-covered ants. But I guess the weirdest was vegetarian haggis. It's made with oatmeal, and somehow they make it taste just as repulsive as the real thing.
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  #44  
Old 05-07-2013, 12:52 AM
NIKI50 NIKI50 is offline
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Back in the eighties I went to Germany with a friend to visit his family. I'd never been overseas so it was very interesting seeing all the differences from the States. I don't speak any thing other than English so it was an experience. I love trying new things so when his Uncle got excited over his favorite restaurant meal I said I'd like to try it! It ended up being a lamb head cut in two vertically with all the body parts put back in their original places ,eye,tongue,brain etc. I ate it all, not gonna back out now!
Never want to try it again.
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  #45  
Old 05-07-2013, 05:44 AM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NIKI50 View Post
Back in the eighties I went to Germany with a friend to visit his family. I'd never been overseas so it was very interesting seeing all the differences from the States. I don't speak any thing other than English so it was an experience. I love trying new things so when his Uncle got excited over his favorite restaurant meal I said I'd like to try it! It ended up being a lamb head cut in two vertically with all the body parts put back in their original places ,eye,tongue,brain etc. I ate it all, not gonna back out now!
Never want to try it again.
Aah, yes, locally this is known as a "smiley" (because the roasting pulls the lips back off the teeth, I guess)
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  #46  
Old 05-07-2013, 06:47 AM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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I've eaten raw horsemeat and raw chicken sushi, both in Japan. But the oddest thing I've ever eaten was sea cucumber. Imagine eating pure gristle.
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  #47  
Old 05-07-2013, 06:48 AM
Biggirl Biggirl is offline
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I've also had alligator. It was blackened Cajun style. I, too, thought it tasted like chicken only it had the texture of steak. Weird.
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  #48  
Old 05-07-2013, 06:53 AM
AaronX AaronX is offline
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Why are people saying squid? Is it that weird? It's certainly more common than crab.

Things you guys might consider weird: shark's fin soup and bird's nest. I try to avoid shark's fin now. It's just like gelatin anyway.

Things I consider weird: mule (or is it donkey? Chinese isn't very specific) and snake. Oh and chicken feet. I don't like chicken feet.

I have to say something about thousand year/century egg: most shows present it as a weird food and dare people to eat it. That's because they're eating it wrong. You're not supposed to bite half of it and chew, like a hard-boiled egg. That's like thinking soya sauce is a soup. You're supposed to cut it into small pieces and nibble it. Also, the "white" (now black) is the best part. The yolk is a bit too strong.

Speaking of eggs, you might also consider salted duck egg weird. They're just... salty. Here, the yolk is the best part. It's like hmm, a firm, salty piece of butter.
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  #49  
Old 05-07-2013, 07:13 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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I've had many of the "weird" foods mentioned; I hardly ever pass up an experience.

Except. Maybe 25 years ago some goofy friends had a baby and I was invited to come over and share in the placenta. No thanks.
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  #50  
Old 05-07-2013, 07:19 AM
lieu lieu is online now
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Probably conch. Sweetbreads sound strange but they're so danged good it's hard to call them weird.
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