Weird Food You Eat.
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18-08-2012, 09:00 PM
RE: Weird Food You Eat.
(18-08-2012 10:18 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Fish finger sandwiches with Worcester Sauce.

With the exception is endangered species, I'll try anything once and if I don't like it I won't have it again.
(I refused shark's fin soup at a chinese wedding and I would refuse e.g. tiger if I get served it).

But to my shame I did fail with this in Manila:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balut_(egg)

Yes, I am often very relieved to be a vegetarian. Undecided Laughat

Your Balut experience reminds me... I have had these and I actually like them - Century Eggs. Basically an aged, pickled egg and not to be confused with Horse Piss Eggs or Urine Eggs.

Asian celebrations are quite an experience. Wink

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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19-08-2012, 11:59 AM (This post was last modified: 19-08-2012 12:16 PM by cufflink.)
RE: Weird Food You Eat.
I'm an adventurous eater. One of the things I like most about travel, domestic or foreign, is sampling what the locals eat. I usually have good experiences, and sometimes I discover things I never knew existed that I wind up loving.

Like durian (the fruit in my avatar).

Or curry-flavored chocolate. I know . . . sounds awful. But it's indescribably good. (Bacon-flavored isn't bad either.)

Found this recently in a Los Angeles market: "dragon fruit"!

[Image: DragonFruit.jpg]

One recent less-than-pleasant experience was in a local Philippine fast-food restaurant, where I generally love the food. They have trays of steaming hot food behind the counter: I usually order a combo of rice plus two meat or fish dishes. Tried this pork dish a while ago . . . and it came with a tiny paper cup filled with a pasty substance that was day-glo magenta in color. I figured it was a condiment, which it was. VERY strong, very stinky . . . too much even for me. When I was through I went back up to the counter and asked what that was in the paper cup. The woman smiled and said, "Fermented fish paste." Oooookay.

And speaking of stinky . . . A long time ago I was working at a job I hated, and the only thing I looked forward to every day was taking an hour for lunch and checking out new ethnic restaurants in the area. One time I found a Thai restaurant that specialized in southern Thai cooking. The place was empty, but that didn't bother me. On the last page of the extensive menu was a list of "southern Thai local specialties," and one of them was Stinky Bean. I think there was a note indicating it was "challenging" and only for people who were familiar with it. So of course that was what I ordered. Soon after I did, the cook came out of the kitchen and told me I wouldn't like it, and please order something else. I said I thought it would be fine. He said I REALLY wouldn't like it, it was only for southern Thai people, trust him, order another dish. I said I wanted to try it. This went on for some time until I said "THAT'S WHAT I WANT!" He retreated, shaking his head. When the dish arrived, it lived up to its name. Stinky. VERY stinky. Phew. To save face, I finished the whole thing, smiling all the way.

Another time I was a guest at a Chinese feast hosted by a friend from Taiwan who's an amazing cook. One of the dishes, which I had never had before (or since), was garlic sprouts. Not garlic cloves, you understand, but rather the green sprouts that grow from the cloves, which are cooked like a vegetable. They have a strong garlic flavor and are absolutely delicious. I must have had three large helpings. The next day I went to work without giving the previous night's dinner a second thought. As I walked through the office, people's heads whipped around. The receptionist looked at me in horror and said, "WHAT IN HELL HAVE YOU BEEN EATING?" I hadn't realized it, but I was reeking garlic from every pore. I was given a wide berth that day.

But the weirdest thing I ever ate was probably a dish from my childhood in New York. I was raised on Eastern European Jewish cuisine. One dish mom would make every so often was a stew of organ meats from a cow--heart, lung, and pancreas. It probably originated as peasant food: organ meats were much cheaper than regular beef. Each component of the stew retained its own particular--and peculiar--flavor and texture. Definitely not for the squeamish. It just seemed like normal food at the time, but in retrospect I realize it was very weird stuff. I doubt I'd have the stomach for it today.

One more story: Back in the '70s my partner and I were in Paris, and we were having lunch at a little family-owned café off the tourist track. My French is only so-so--I have a good accent but a tiny vocabulary. To make matters more challenging, the menu was handwritten in a beautiful but difficult-to-read script, and so faded it was illegible in places. When it came time for dessert, the only clear thing I could make out was "Crème Chantilly"--Chantilly cream, which sounded like a custard or flan. So that's what we ordered, with as much confidence as I could muster. The waiter said, "Oui, monsieur" with what might have been a bit of a smirk, and disappeared into the kitchen. A few minutes later, out came our dessert--a huge bowl of whipped cream. They had been kind enough to include a few little wafers on the side. I gulped but of course pretended that was EXACTLY what we wanted, and we dove into the whipped cream with feigned delight.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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19-08-2012, 12:10 PM
RE: Weird Food You Eat.
Cuffs,
You and I are gonna fall out over this durian thing. It's a banned substance in my apartment.

What I find interesting about travelling is the word "exotic". Back in the UK, where I grew up, the supermarket would have an exotic fruit section with e.g. mango and dragon fruit. Now I'm in Singapore and these fruits are normal to the point of boring.
Yet, they have also exotic fruit like strawberries and raspberries... which I used to grow in my back garden in England!

Anyhoo, you can keep your stinky fruit but having also lived in Paris for a while, I do have a thing for stinky cheese (and all things garlicy).

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19-08-2012, 12:22 PM
RE: Weird Food You Eat.
OK, we'll agree to disagree on durian. But have you tried mangosteens? (Buah manggis in Malay.) If I had to name the single most delicious fruit I've ever eaten, it would be that.

[Image: websitetemplatestockphotomangosteenfruit19.gif]

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19-08-2012, 12:25 PM
RE: Weird Food You Eat.
(19-08-2012 12:22 PM)cufflink Wrote:  OK, we'll agree to disagree on durian. But have you tried mangosteens? (Buah manggis in Malay.) If I had to name the single most delicious fruit I've ever eaten, it would be that.

[Image: websitetemplatestockphotomangosteenfruit19.gif]

Yeuch!

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19-08-2012, 12:28 PM
RE: Weird Food You Eat.
Great stories Cuff! You're so lucky to be well travelled - I'm an adventure eater as well! Smile
Sweet or not; Crème Chantilly - YUM!! As for the French language - I also speak it like a toddler but hey... your story is proof that sometimes, it can pay off. Wink

Cuff or D -
I've seen the dragon fruit at my local Asian market, but I've not tried it. It's so beautiful, what's it like?

Mmm... I like Mangosteens! Smile

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
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19-08-2012, 12:28 PM
RE: Weird Food You Eat.
Duck's feet anyone? Drinking Beverage

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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19-08-2012, 12:40 PM
RE: Weird Food You Eat.
(19-08-2012 12:28 PM)kim Wrote:  Great stories Cuff! You're so lucky to be well travelled - I'm an adventure eater as well! Smile
Sweet or not; Crème Chantilly - YUM!! As for the French language - I also speak it like a toddler but hey... your story is proof that sometimes, it can pay off. Wink

Cuff or D -
I've seen the dragon fruit at my local Asian market, but I've not tried it. It's so beautiful, what's it like?

Mmm... I like Mangosteens! Smile

Sweet and juicy but not especially flavoursome. The seeds get stuck in your teeth.

Definitely try it.

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19-08-2012, 12:58 PM
RE: Weird Food You Eat.
DLJ--Hmm. There's gotta be some local fruits you like. Rambutan? (They're kinda dull, but OK.) Duku? Langsat? They have those in Malaysia--smooth-skinned shiny fruits, dusty yellow, about the size of a walnut, with little sections inside tasting somewhat like grapefruit. I could never tell them apart, although to the locals it was like apples and oranges. ("A catty of those dukus, please." "Dukus??? These are langsats." I thought I had the word wrong. The following week: "I'd like some of those langsats, please." "These? These are dukus!") I felt like they were gas-lighting me.

Kim--Yup, adventurous eating is one of life's great pleasures. Glad you feel the same. My two major extended foreign experiences were Malaysia and Iran, both of which had amazing food. I've mentioned elsewhere about how Iranians love to cook meat together with fruit and vegetables. Fesenjaan--duck or chicken cooked in pomegranate and walnut sauce--is not to be missed.

As for dragon fruit, it's visually incredible but tastewise pretty meh. Surprisingly watery and bland. But boy does it make an impact on a plate!

Erx--I've never had duck feet, but chicken feet aren't bad! I used to teach a course for international students, mostly from east Asia, and towards the end of every semester I would take them out on a Saturday or Sunday morning for dim sum at a local Chinese restaurant. Among the little dishes on the carts that came around to the tables were two different varieties of chicken feet, which I surprised (and I think delighted) my students by ordering. I would recommend the hot braised chicken feet over the cold, jelled variety, however.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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19-08-2012, 01:08 PM
RE: Weird Food You Eat.
If you gathered all the items listed here, I would probably starve in a very short time. I am a picky eater, though better than I was as a kid. I may be open to trying some of the fruits but other than that my selections would be pretty limited.

I have eaten ostrich, seems like it would take on the flavor of whatever you seasoned it with, doesn't seem to be much flavor on it's own. Had crocodile tail, I think, calamari was such a strange texture that I didn't like that much. I have seen, actually helped my grandparents make blood sausage but that's as involved as I was ever going to get...I sewed the pouches they cooked it in. BLAH!

I am pretty boring to go to dinner with, I am happy with a good cheeseburger and fries or onion rings.

See here they are, the bruises, some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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