March 27, 2014

What is the Weirdest Food You’ve Ever Eaten?

Aug2

grosser food

By the time I got married, I had traveled to over twenty five different countries; half of those trips being third world type of experiences.

Ah, the years of being an adventurous world traveler with story after story to share are over. Since I’ve been married, I have been out of the country only once -  to pick up my sweet new nephew in Ecuador. (Kids sure do change those world travel expectations, but they’re so worth it. aren’t they? :))

Amidst those years of traveling, one thing was so important to understand and respect. When you are offered something special to eat by a host, it is like a slap in the face if you refuse to eat it. Americans do not understand that concept since we dispose of as much food as we consume, but in many countries, it’s the epitome of disrespect to turn down food. So, I learned to swallow, and hide my gagging…a lot. I have eaten things assumed to be a “delicacy” that were revolting to this fairly simple palette. Tongue, innards, small animals that will remained unnamed as well as the hygiene of certain areas were all in question. One trip, I lived with a precious, yet poor family for one month.  I can vividly remember insects crawling out of my rice, and yet, the family was all smiling at me so sweetly hoping that I would love my bite. This was a sacrifice for them, so I did it. I swallowed it with a heart of gratitude, praying the whole time that this was all about a little extra protein.

Now that I am older, I can’t believe some of the things I did and tried, and yet, I sure hope I would rise to the challenge again if the opportunity arose.  I am definitely not the gamer anymore that I was for that decade of my life. My days of thinking that being a contestant on the original Survivor would be a blast are over!

gross food

Since we are all lovers of food here at Tasty Tuesday, I thought it would be fun to hear what the oddest, grossest, weirdest, or even the most interesting food you have ever eaten would be?

Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be really weird…could just be interesting.

I need some good chuckles or maybe even a few “eews.” ( I just won’t read this at meal time.)

If your palette hasn’t lived on the wild side yet, no worries, I have had my share for you.

iguanas eating

And I thought Americans attacked their food…:) (Iguanas in Ecuador)

Yes, I know this was an odd topic for Tasty Tuesday, but I just need to keep you all on your toes. I can’t wait to see all the great recipes you’re sharing this week. (If you are reading this by email, you need to click on the title link to bring you to my blog. If you’re not doing this, you’re missing out on hundreds of recipes every week.)

Simple Rules for Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods – If you’re joining in with a recipe link, two simple requests. As always,  Please link directly to your recipe post and not your blog URL, so that everyone can find the recipe months from now.

Also, link back here so that everyone can join in the fun. MANY OF YOU ARE NOT linking back, and it’s just common courtesy of blog carnivals.

Don’t forget to support your fellow bloggers by checking out some of their amazing recipes…be inspired by others.


Comments

  1. Thanks for the link up! The weirdest food I’ve ever eaten was cow tongue. It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought either.

    Of course, I don’t have a recipe for that on my website, so I posted the cheesy garlic bread we ate tonight instead!

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    Jens Reply:

    hahah – you didn’t want to post your cow tongue? I saw your garlic cheese bread earlier today…yum!

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    Kassandra Wood Reply:

    @Andrea @ Simple Organized Living, THAT is hysterical! Bwahahahahahahahahahaha

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  2. I just remembered what would have to top my list…when I was 16, I ate some chocolate-covered cicadas at the Taste of Chicago festival. My adventure-seeking tastebuds died shortly thereafter, but at the time, they weren’t too bad!

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  3. I have eaten cow tongue, but that isn’t weird, it’s delicious.=)
    I have also eaten dog (and would do so again), moose, elk, deer, frog legs, snails, – oh, and cuttlefish pizza as well as cuttlefish jerky. Cuttlefish are like squid or octopus, only more so.

    I’ve eaten crustaceans, including mudbugs, but never -landbugs.

    I think the weirdest thing I have ever eaten is probably snake soup- a nasty, bitter concoction made from the Habu snake of Okinawa, Japan.

    The weirdest thing my kids have eaten- our sixth daughter got to the entry mat before I did once when her sisters had not wiped their feat from being out in the barn milking the goats. Yes, she ate goat poop.

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    Jens Reply:

    @DHM, Ok, I have yet to read all the other comments, but I can’t imagine any one topping yours, or should I say, your daughters, for the matter. :)

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  4. similar to you, jen, when i was in thailand, our group had been invited over for dinner at a hilltribe hut. what a feast they fixed! it was all sooo delicious. however, after dinner, they invited a few of us (that they really liked) into the back room for “dessert”. we smiled and said thank you, and then, they brought us the deep fried locust type bugs covered in a soy sauce type coating. we knew what we had to do… so we prayed, (silently for strength!) smiled, and swallowed as quickly as possible. but they were so chewy, that we really had to chew and chew to get them to go down!!! it was fun, and definitely the weirdest thing i had ever eaten!

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  5. The weirdest food I’ve eaten was cow heart. My mom told us she was feeding us roast. I had a friend whose father was a rancher who informed us of the truth. I liked it until I knew what I was eating.

    My kids think that crawdads were the weirdest food I’ve eaten. :)

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  6. For me, it was escargot. It took all I had! :)

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  7. Probably the oddest thing I ever ate in a restaurant was frog’s legs… actually quite good… a wonderful sauce and they tasted like chicken!

    e-Mom @ Susannah’s {Kitchen}

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  8. Horse steaks in France, steak tartar in Germany, I know it’s a delicacy, yikes, raw meat and raw egg…and chicken heads in China, beaks and all! Thanks for a fun party!

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  9. I took the skin off the cow tongue for show and tell to school once. And no one would sit next to me at lunch as a child when I took leftover frog legs! I wonder why . .. (j/k).

    I had escargot in France and horse in Switzerland.

    When I was a child I got out a box of muffin mix. I thought it had sprinkles in it, and I likcked my finger and ate one. I truend around to get the spoon, and when I turned back around, the sprinkles were crawling. Turns out I had eaten a weevil.

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  10. Living in England means being exposed to – and I had to at least take a bite, lest it turn out the be wonderful (not). Black pudding (oatmeal and blood), white pudding (in Ireland – blood, oatmeal and milk), haggis (in Scotland: sheeps heart/liver/lungs + suet, oatmeal, onions, etc), frog legs at a French restaurant in Newcastle, in France, ris d’agneau (possibly lamb testicles, whatever it’s ‘laugh’ is). Some of this actually tastes pretty good, I just wouldn’t likely make it at home on a regular basis…

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  11. You are very brave! I’m not honestly sure what the weirdest thing I have eaten is – I’m pretty cautious and although I have travelled quite a bit, luckily I have never been in a position where my refusal to try something like what you described would offend! I have eaten things I don’t like so as not to hurt someone’s feelings though :)

    As always, thanks for hosting!

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  12. It wasn’t weird it just icked me out. We were camping in Jordan and one of the guides had “honey” he had collected himself. He took a big old spoonful himself, then dipped it back in the honey, then handed me a big old spoonful. It was not good and I could barely choke it down using the same spoon his ickiness just had. Is there Purell for the tongue?

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  13. I have not been very adventurous with my taste buds. I’m not sure what the weirdest food I’ve eaten is – probably a vegetable of some sort, lol. Let’s just say, I’d never make it on Survivor. :-)

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  14. Being in Florida for so long it was only a matter of time before I had me some Gator Tail and yes it does taste like chicken! LOL!

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  15. You are FAR more adventurous than I am, Jen! Over the years, I’ve become a bit more brave with my culinary taste. As a chef-in-training, I really had no choice in the matter. After all, it’s difficult to serve a food to your guests when you have no idea how it’s supposed to taste!
    The strangest thing I’ve ever eaten was actually not an exotic food at all. It was someone’s attempt at creativity. This person (who shall forever remain nameless, since I’m related to her!) decided to make a jello mold filled with fruit…but she realized that she had no fruit, so she used fruit jam! It brought a whole new meaning to “gag me with a spoon”!

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    Jens Reply:

    @Becca, Becca – I was hoping someone would share one of their odd concoctions. :) Because some of my early cooking could probably be in that category as well. :)

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  16. The strangest thing that I’ve eaten..well it was strange to me, is shark. I know, people it that all the time, but I’m not “normal people”…I am a picky eater, so trying shark was a big step for me. :) It tastes like chicken. LOL I do eat other seafood like scallops, crablegs, oysters etc, so I guess it wasn’t that far fetched for me to eat shark, but it did take some coaxing from my son to take that first bite! :)
    Missy

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  17. I’m not very adventurous! The weirdest thing I’ve eaten would be squid… which really isn’t all that weird I suppose! LOL!

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  18. What a fun topic! Hmmm… I haven’t eaten anything particularly weird or crazy. Cow tongue, chocolate covered ants, alligator, antelope… the only one I’d be interested in repeating is antelope. That was AMAZING… (worth noting that it was my husband who was actually brave enough to order it- I’d chosen the filet with rosemary blue cheese crust. ;))

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    Jens Reply:

    @JessieLeigh, I’m with you. I would have ordered the steak any day. Actually, I’ve gotten so boring that I have ordered a hamburger over a steak (when someone else was even paying). lol

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  19. I have not let the adventurous life that you and some of the commenters have. I have never eaten a bug, or an odd animal body part or a domesticated animal for that matter. Unfortunately I have not traveled very far from North America, maybe some day.

    The strangest food experience I have ever had was an authentic Chinese dinner in China town in New York. An Asian business associate took me and my boss to dinner one evening. I tried my best to get through it, but it made me realize just how different people eat around the world. This was not the meal I eat at our local Chinese restaurant in small town PA.

    thanks for the carnival.

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  20. Wow – after reading all those comments I realized I have lived a sheltered culinary life! My strangest foods are lots of organ meat (when you butcher your own animals – nothing goes to waste – bleh!) lots of goat meat (we raised goats for years), elk, bear, and pheasant.

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  21. I Love that iguana photo!! Who says dinosaurs don’t exist.

    The weirdest food I’ve ever eaten, probably, was boa constrictor, when I spent a year in Bolivia. No, it didn’t taste like chicken. It was actually okay, but a bit gristly. Nothing I’ve longed for since. :-)

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    Jens Reply:

    @Judy from Cranberry Morning, YIKES – did you know that’s what you were eating when they served it? Now that would have been a REALLY hard one for me.

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    Judy from Cranberry Morning Reply:

    @Jens,
    Oh yes, I had watched them skin it and cut it up. Alligator tail was much tastier and more tender. :-)

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  22. Jennifer R. says:

    I’ve been outside the country many times too and ate what thankfully to this day I know as “mystery meat” (though we had fears it was dog or somthing like that!) Though like you said, these people were litterally giving you the shirt off their backs, and we learned had “saved up” for months so they could provide us this feast. Definitely gives you a different perspective of the wealth we have in this country.

    The weirdest “known” food I’ve eaten voluntairly was fried rattlesnake (I just remember it being chewy)…and unvoluntairly (I had 3 older male cousins that pinned me down and made me eat it) was rocky mountain oysters—ewwwwwwww!!!!!!

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    Jens Reply:

    @Jennifer R., ok, with three boys who all live next to their cousins, can I just say that imagining you having to do that made me chuckle. My boys BETTER not try that on the girls. EWWW!

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  23. I think the weirdest things I’ve eaten were snails, ostrich burgers and kangaroo steaks. Also in here in Germany they have something called TeeWurst which is basically raw pork and you eat it on bread… so good! Nothing too out there, but they were all delicious!

    Thanks for hosting, i’m looking forward to having a browse through all of these recipes!

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  24. I studied abroad in Beijing for six weeks in college, where I had the privilege of eating cow intestines, “thousand-year-old eggs,” whole baby squid, and probably several other things I can’t remember.

    I had a friend in another part of China at the same time, though, and during a feast they were served live shrimp which then had wine poured over them. Then, when the shrimp died from drunkenness, they ate them.

    THAT scares me!

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    Jens Reply:

    @Vanderbilt Wife, Just reading it to my 16 year old, and he is laughing. UGH. That would have scared me too.

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  25. One time I was in Austria trying to order at a crowded little restaurant. I finally figured out they had pizza and ordered that the best I could. It arrived with green beans on top!

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  26. Haven’t eaten too many things I’d consider weird, but some people might consider escargot and whole baby octopusses weird. The escargot didn’t bother me the first time I ate it, but the whole octopusses did. Now I love them (as long as they have been marinated!)

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  27. It’s fun to hear what weird food people have eaten! Great question! I am not that adventurous though! The only thing I can think of that was incredibly weird was a Twinkie Weiner Sandwich. My kids are fans of Weird Al and he had them in a movie so we made them. It’s a twinkie, hot dog and cheese whiz. I actually photographed them and will be posting them in a few weeks when we go to his concert at the State Fair. That was some truly weird food.

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    Roy S. Reply:

    @Debbi Does Dinner Healthy, did you dunk it in milk, like he did in the movie?

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    Debbi Does Dinner Healthy Reply:

    @Roy S., My kids did. I didn’t go that far. Nice to see that I’m not the only Weird Al freak here. My kids have Albuquerque memorized.

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  28. I ate a “hundred year old egg” while we were in China – it’s made by taking a whole, raw egg in the shell and submerging it in prepared quicklime (like you’d use for cement). As the quicklime cures, it heats up and cooks the egg – but at the same time, it causes a chemical reaction in the egg that makes the whites gelatinous and clear with tinges of color and crystalline structures running through it, and the yolk kindof black/green and still a little runny. Cracking it open, it smells like ammonia. It didn’t taste TOO bad, but the texture was very off-putting. The Chinese love them, though.

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    Jens Reply:

    @Roy S., oh yes, my mom and dad have spent a lot of time in China and I remember them telling me about those.

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  29. Weirdest food? Hhmmm… well, I have not had the pleasure of traveling to other countries, so I don’t have a lot to draw from here. I suppose the weirdest was chocolate covered meal worms and crickets. Lost a bet. :( I don’t plan on adding it to my regular menu. ;)

    Thanks for hosting. Can’t wait to add some (yummy) new recipes to my arsenal.

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  30. My parents used to purchase our cousin’s 4H cows so we had to eat tongue and heart – hated it. I went on a week survival and we had to butcher the sheep, clean out the stomach, make a batter and fill the stomach with the batter and boil the whole thing for stomach bread, then clean out the intestines, chop the heart, liver, etc. and mix with rice and seasoning and stuff the intestines for sausage. The stomach bread was good except where it touched the stomach and then it was disgusting, the sausages were actually very tasty (plus we were starving, we had had 1 apple in two days.
    We also had to help with the butchering, I had to place my hands in the warm stomach and help separate the organs from the cavity – I gagged. When people comlain about the factories where animals are processed, I just feel so grateful that someone else is willing to do it!

    I voluntarily ate smoked rattlesnake at a New Year’s Eve party in Denver one year and it was like smoked fish, tender and tasty.

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  31. Obviously, I’ve lived a sheltered life after reading the story and the comments. I can’t even come up with anything good. The story was great and I just wanted you to know that I could have read on and on… :)

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  32. Hmm… I’m not very adventurous when it comes to eating ‘delicacies’.  The most exotic thing I had was down in rural Mexico. They fed us some kind of pork (I know – not very exotic!) that was cut very thin and bright pink. It didn’t look like pork but someone told us that’s what it was.

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  33. I guess the weirdest thing I’ve eaten is kangaroo meat. When I was in Tasmania for two months on summer missions (a lifetime ago…19 years!) someone fixed roo patties (kind of like salisbury steak with gravy and everything!). It wasn’t too bad…really gamey, really sweet…I couldn’t eat but one.

    And the weirdest thing I eat now? Read this post!

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  34. I’ll defer to my hubby here … scorpion. :)

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  35. Hi Jennifer :-)
    The weirdest meal I ever ate, is actually one that most people would think of as totally normal if they were just told what it was. However, it was so memorial that it often comes up in conversations these what, 19? years later.
    We had been invited to some good friends home for dinner. No big deal. We had gotten together with them often, and eaten there frequently. We had been told that she was making sloppy joe’s and fudge brownies for dessert. Sounds perfectly normal, right?
    The meat she used for the sloppy joe’s was ground turkey, and the ONLY thing she added to it was Tomato sauce. No onion. No salt or pepper. No spice of any kind what-so-ever. It was the stringiest blandest stuff ever!!!
    Then there were the home made brownies. They not only didn’t set up, they were oozie. And when she plopped some on your plate, it looked like she’d just taken it out of one of our young kids diapers. Oh my gosh!
    We ended up being behind on a bill that month, due to having gone to McDonalds before we went home that night! o;-p

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  36. Living in Spain for a summer, my host family fixed a very nice farewell feast for me- Squid in it’s own ink! It was not fried squid (calamari) like I love, it was boiled and rubbery with it’s own ink poured over it with rice. The ink was very black and very nasty. Very difficult meal to smile through and pretend it was good. :O

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  37. In Caracas, Venezuela my husband took me to a ‘private’ restaurant. We went in and he ordered for us. When the server came to the table and sat my plate in front of my I think I nearly fainted. It was a great big omelet teeming with baby eels!

    Never in a million years would I have expected to see such a thing!

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  38. I’m a person that likes to try a small bite of something, just so I can say, “yes, I’ve eaten that”… so I’ve eaten alligator tail (delicious), opossum (gross), ground hog (not terrific), squirrel (it’s a regular at my dad’s house, it’s good), haggis (from Scotland, I liked it, but my mom wouldn’t touch it).

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  39. Hmmm! I think you have most people beat in teh way of weird food. Id have to say escargot (snails). My parents made me try it. Didn’t really like it then that I remember. :D

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  40. Thanks for hosting Tasty Tuesday!

    The weirdest thing is probably sushi at first. I have had just about all different kinds already. When it was first introduced to me I thought no way am I ever going to like this and now I am an avid sushi eater and lover.

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  41. Since I’m a very picky eater, the fried alligator at Ralph & Kakoo’s in Baton Rouge was weird. Tasted like chicken! :)

    Growing up, we used to eat Ruffles potato chips dipped in cottage cheese. I think that would qualify as weird for most people. It grosses my husband out to think about it. It seems a lot like getting a milk shake and fries when you go through a drive-thru (potato and dairy), just together and in a different consistency.

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  42. A couple of my friends think some of the vegan foods I eat are weird . I haven’t eaten any living creatures, well none intentionally, I’m really not that brave :)

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  43. Weird food? Maybe the Green Monster recipe in my post qualifies for weird food. Thanks for hosting Tasty Tuesday!

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  44. Jen, Thanks for this linkup! What a fun topic…. but boy am I boring in this area. :) I have nothing that I can compare to you adventerous gals!!!

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  45. Being from Louisiana, YES, I’ve eaten alligator. To say it tastes like chicken is to say dark chocolate tastes like milk – ‘gator is GAMY!!! But, I’ve had the requisite “weird foods”: escargot, frog legs, venison (hated it), rabbit (hated it WORSE), bison (yum), elk (yummier), and crawfish (crab is so much better!)

    In Venezuela, I had octopus for the first time, & I fell in LOVE!!! When my husband & I go to Mexico, it’s a requirement to have ceviche (barely cooked seafood in pico de gallo), octopus, & squid as many times as possible. I also adore carpaccio (paper-thin sliced tenderloin raw beef dressed with olive oil, fresh black pepper, & capers) and steak tartare (chopped raw beef mounded and dressed the same).

    But the all-time weirdest food I’ve eaten was when I was seventeen, & had my wisdom teeth out. My 9 & 7 year old sisters wanted to make me something to eat, and all I was eating at the time was jello & pudding, etc. So they made me jello. Then, while it was still warm, they added chocolate chips, because hey! I LIKE chocolate. Descriptions fail me. But I ate it. So would you.

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    Jens Reply:

    HAHHA…Elaine -I’m envisioning my kids making something like that for me, I hope I will be as gracious to them as you were to your sisters. :)

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  46. I’ve done some traveling but mostly to Europe…so nothing really weird. Except for the extra crunchy baby squid in my spaghetti at one Italian seaside restaurant.

    However, my husband has traveled to some locations with interesting cuisine and he always loves trying out new things. On one trip to South Korea he took a video of the octopus (raw) he was about to attempt to consume….IT WAS STILL WIGGLING! He said the suction cups were still active. WEIRD!!!!

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  47. Before I became a full time mom, I travelled in Asia for business quite a lot. Each trip was a culinary adventure.

    On one particular occasion, I was dining with some friends in Hong Kong and they ordered soup for the whole table. As I was eating it I asked what it was. There was much discussion around the table as they tried to decide how to translate for me.

    Finally, they announced it was “Bird Spit Soup” . At this point I needed more information. After quite a process they explained that a particular type of bird makes its nests high in the mountains and uses it saliva to hold the twigs of the nest together. Some poor soul scales the mountain to retrieve the nests. After a process that removes the twigs, you are left with the saliva which is used in the soup.

    At the end of the discussion, they informed me that it was “good for the complextion” :-)

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  48. I could use a little balance in my life:) This is my first time visiting and it looks like you have tons of great information here!

    I had rattlesnake on a pizza once… I don’t know if that is weird or not. I suppose it is all relative!

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  49. This was such a funny article! I am not one to go outside my comfort zone when it comes to eating things, but I can honestly say one of the most awful things I ever ate was fried green tomatoes and lowfat pumpkin soup made by me! I tried new recipes one night for dinner and it was horrible. Horrible. We ended up eating PBandJ sandwiches that night.

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  50. I have been blessed to travel and try out a lot of “delicacies.” In Argentina, I ate various cow parts – stomach, tongue, and blood sausage packed in cow intestines – you eat the intestines and all! THAT was nasty.

    Also, I did my study abroad in Ecuador and had to try the local treat – cuy. What is cuy you may ask? Fried guinea pig. It was disgusting, and to add to it – I had guinea pigs as pets growing up, so I just kept picturing poor little Furball and Mr. Piggy as I ate.

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  51. Well…I’m a little late to join in the fun here, but I’d have to say the weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten is octopus. I’m surprised that I didn’t see anyone else mention it. I haven’t traveled out of the country except to Canada (and that’s not a big deal since I live near the border. I almost always have Canadian money on hand). I tried the octopus in my biology class when I was a teen. Our teacher brought in different things for us to try. I believe there was seaweed and squid too. I think I tried them all. I think I remember the unit being on ocean life. That was about 30 years ago!

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