You’re Eating WHAT?December 8, 2009
There are several shows on cable TV these days about cuisine around the world, fraught with locals eating all kinds of things we would never eat in this country…or at least would not find on any restaurant menu here. When I was in Beijing a year ago, we found a long row of snack stands frequented by the locals at night (in fact this location has been featured on some of those shows). Some of the lovely menu items included fried scorpions and honeybees, fried seahorses, sheep kidneys, goat lungs, and yes, dog. I had no interest in trying any of the organ meats or certain animals that people usually keep as pets, but I was prepared to give the fried honeybee or seahorse a try. The problem was I could not get near enough to place an order. The stench from 10 feet away nearly knocked me over, and nausea enveloped me. I don’t know if it was from one specific thing or a combination of items, but it made it impossible for me to approach the counter.
So as it stands now, here is an unimpressive list of the most exotic things I’ve eaten:
Rattlesnake – I had this in ravioli, and it was good, though it was mixed with cheese and herbs, so I did not get any pure rattlesnake meat. But I liked what I had.
Alligator – many Cajun eateries have little fried balls of alligator meat, and I tried it once, and I didn’t care for it, much to my surprise (pretty much anything deep fried is going to be good, right?).
Escargot – not too exotic, I know, but they are snails after all. I like shellfish, so it’s wasn’t too surprising that I liked escargot, especially with lots of garlic butter. They have a texture similar to mussels.
Frog legs – they did NOT taste like chicken, as I had been led to believe. I didn’t care for them – maybe because I love Kermit the Frog and the bad guys in the Muppet Movie wanted to serve his legs for dinner.
Caviar – again, I didn’t care for it. I just don’t like the texture – why people pay tons of money for this is beyond me.
So what’s the weirdest/most exotic thing YOU’VE eaten?