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(The Kitchn)   Fark Food Thread: What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten or made? Any durian fans in here? Balut? Lutefisk? Chilled monkey brains? Share a rarity and open our eyes   ( divider line
    More: Interesting, monkey brains, street food, king of fruits, sashimi, ducks, kopi luwak, chickens, casu marzu  
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1895 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Mar 2014 at 11:27 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

Voting Results (Smartest)
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2014-03-06 05:33:08 PM  
4 votes:
Probably several other people have tried durian, but I have one hell of a story to go with it.

I live in a city with sizable southeast-asian immigration, so durians are available in several Asian food super markets. I even saw one in a "normal" super market once, but it was covered in freezer-burnand the outside had a spongy texture, so I stayed away from it.

One time, while still in college, my roommates and I thought it would be amusing to try a durian. We took the durian home to our apartment and cut into it almost immediately. It had a strange subtle taste, a strong pungent smell. The best way to describe the taste was as a cross between apple, onion, and whatever else you were thinking about at the time. Seriously, you could imagine it tasting like anything if you put your mind to it. Probably because it tasted like nothing of us had ever tried. The most unpleasant part of the fruit was the texture, it was extremely ripe and custard like, probably because it had been frozen for quite a long time in transit to the US.

The hilarity did not occur until a while later. While we were in the same room as the durian, we could not perceive the smell, we had become acclimated to it. After we finished eating what we could and we threw the rest in the public dumpster we went downtown to get some breakfast at our favorite late night diner. We had a pleasant meal giving our noses plenty of time to realize what it's like to NOT breath durian flavored air again. Once we returned to our neighborhood, about a block away from our apartment building, we started to smell durian. It was at that point we realized we'd made a mistake.

Our entire block smelled like durian immediately afterwards, inside the apartment building even more so. The smell around the block dissapated after the dumpster got emptied, but the unholy smell lingered in the apartment building for almost a month. Apparently enough people complained about the sudden strange smell that the building installed air fresheners all over the place within the week. I can only take solace in knowing that nobody else that lived there knew the reason it smelled for a month. If they had, I assume there would have been a mob outside our door.

Lesson being: There is a reason they are banned in airports in their native locales. They don't smell bad per se, but they smell STRONG!
2014-03-06 05:20:57 PM  
4 votes: Full Size

So a nice bulgy can spells certain death, right? Not to the Swedes. It's fish fermented in the can or surstromming. They seal it in the can and then don't autoclave it so all the bacteria have free range. It sprays on opening so they open it under water or outside to avoid months of coming home to a stinky house.  Truly awful but not as bad as Tahitian fafaru which is fillets of some white fish put in a bottle of seawater with crushed live shrimp. The thing is then buried in sunny sand and left for weeks.  It smells like a gas attack on a diarrhea ward for skunks.  The Tahitians swear they can tell if any one has opened a bottle for up to a mile up wind and I believe them.  After the fish are extracted and eaten the brine is sold in Tahitian stores as a health drink so if you want to know how bad it is you can buy a bottle, take a wiff, seal it back up and pitch it overboard  preferably outside the barrier reef.
2014-03-06 03:32:52 PM  
3 votes:
I've had durian.  The taste is much nicer than the smell.
2014-03-06 04:10:51 PM  
2 votes:
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Tripas (tripe) tacos. Delicious.
2014-03-08 03:16:37 AM  
1 vote:
My dad brought home chocolate-covered ants when I was a kid. We thought they were something like rice krispies. They weren't bad.

I also had weird hippie neighbors in the '70s who made some kind of high-protein flour out of earthworms. At Halloween one year, they gave out chocolate chip cookies made with worms. We thought it was cool (because kids are disgusting), but a bunch of parents complained.
2014-03-07 10:35:54 PM  
1 vote:

MooseUpNorth: praxcelis: I'm not accusing hubiestubert of pushing knockoff snails. :)

Sorry, no, neither was I. I meant that if there's a difference that matters, what I tried isn't what you've identified as the one true snail, just that the ones I tried were smaller, that I enjoyed the experience, and survived quite unscathed. :)

/  I'd be interested in what actual expert foodies have to say about it.

Escargot doesn't refer to one particular species--and in fairness, not all land snails are edible. Some are larger and some are smaller. The important part of escargot is that the snails have been purged--that is, their digestive systems have been emptied, often by fasting, and then feeding them grains that then pack their wee systems with something less like forest litter--and they are removed from their shells, and then packed back in. Species varies with region, and availability. The best thing to do, is talk to your seafood purveyor, and run down their prices, and compare a bit. The bigger varieties are satisfying, but a lot of the smaller ones, are darned tasty as well, and while they may be a bit more work for food, you can certainly do MOAR, and be happy.

You can use similar methods for escargot--butter, garlic, wine, parsley traditionally--with periwinkles, aka 'wrinkles if you're up in Maine--and 'wrinkles, for consumption, need the same sort of purging, given their diet. Which, oddly enough, when you buy them from most domestic sales, will have been done already, so you can just wash the shells a bit, and then plop them into your pan, be that an acidic vinegar based mess, or to go with a more savory, butter and garlic approach. Or you can just do them in pan with seawater, and go to town. Collecting them yourself, keep them in seawater, and starve the wee bastiches, for a day or two, then sprinkle some cornmeal into the water, and let them do their thing for a few hours, and THEN you can rinse them off, clean them up, and then use your favorite method. Periwinkles are fair common, and easy to get all over the world. Cheaper than the French snails--and in fairness, Periwinkles, while gastropods, AREN'T true snails. But they is good eatin' albeit with a fair amount of work.
2014-03-07 05:54:39 PM  
1 vote:
I got to try the Fark featured Everglades pizza a couple of weeks ago. It was lovely. The gator/wild pig chunks were really pretty tasty, and the python pieces were inoffensive, albeit chewy; even the frog legs tasted alright but seeing the little toes still attached was kind of disconcerting. I'd recommend trying it if you (god help you) find yourself in Ft Myers.
2014-03-07 01:17:41 PM  
1 vote:

PolloDiablo: Huitlacoche, also known as "Corn Smut, is pretty much just corn infected with a particular kind of fungus. It's actually really delicious when prepared properly, kind of like mushrooms.

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They look like engorged ticks. How disgusting.
2014-03-07 12:03:50 PM  
1 vote:
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2014-03-07 12:03:03 PM  
1 vote:
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2014-03-07 11:53:17 AM  
1 vote:
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2014-03-06 10:57:47 PM  
1 vote:

Otherwise, crawfish boil?  Been there, sucked the head.  I saw a huge Jackfruit in Hawaii for sale.  Bigger than a basketball!  About the shape of a Rugby ball, but bigger.  WTF is that???

Remember Juicy Fruit gum? That is what a jackfruit tastes like.
2014-03-06 06:36:42 PM  
1 vote:
I'm of Polish descent, so:
Czernina - Duck blood soup   Good!
Kishka - Sausage made of pig's blood and buckwheat groats  Good!
Tripe soup - the tripe is like chewy noodles  Meh
Curried goat - OK

I would stop in Chicago's Chinatown for lunch whenever I was in the area and was in the habit of just winging it when ordering.  One day I ordered "Seafood Medley", which the menu, helpfully, described as "a medley of seafood".  The waitress brought the Seafood Medley and it arrived in a large bowl, she  placed in before me and said, "Enjoy" (I think).  I looked at the bowl and noticed a shrimp or two. There were some little tentacles sticking up that looked like little squid.  The rest of it, who knows what it was.  I started to eat my food, and the waitress came up to the table and asked, "How you like?".  I said it was fine, but, what was in it?  She said, "Shrimp, squid, sea cucumber,....", at that point the language barrier kicked in.  So, I know I've had sea cucumber, but, I may have had a bunch of other stuff that is weird, I just don't know it.

And if you're ever in a Chinese restaurant and you see something called "Twenty Clove Chicken", they're talking about garlic and all twenty cloves will be there.  It came in an earthen ware pot, with a tight lid.  I put rice on my plate and readied the serving spoon to scoop my "Twenty Clove Chicken" on to my plate.  I lifted the lid, and wham, got hit with a garlic blast. I instinctively looked around the room and all eyes were on me, with a sort of awed expression (maybe it wasn't awe). It was very good, but, I don't think I was fit for human company for three days.
2014-03-06 06:11:46 PM  
1 vote:
Oh! Also - if This American Life is to believe - you, me, and everyone we know who has had fried calimari in a middling-quality restaurant has probably eaten pig sphincter.
2014-03-06 06:07:33 PM  
1 vote:

SuperNinjaToad: I've eaten Durian, dried cuttlefish and coagulated pork blood.

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Oh yeah, those are the blood cubes I was talking about. Ah...Memories.

Also, I just remembered the "Dancing Squid" I tried with my wife and mother-in-law in Saga, Japan.

They take a live squid, slice it up and put it on ice so that you can eat it while it's still alive. You can play with the tentacles and it will react. Its eyes will swivel around too. It's very, very upsetting. Add to that watching your mother-in-law devour it happily...Oh look...shiny thing!
2014-03-06 06:00:07 PM  
1 vote:

CapeFearCadaver: [ image 349x386]

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Cannot believe no one's posted this.
2014-03-06 05:56:44 PM  
1 vote:

I've also had durian, but didn't care for it. Tasted like a combo of rotting onions and sweet peaches. Jackfruit (The gateway durian as a friend called it) was nicer, vaguely fruity with some artichoke flavors.

I was on a bus from Penang to KL, and I started to smell durian. I thought someone had sneaked a durian onboard. Nope, it was a pickup truck in the lane next to the bus. And the bus didn't have windows that open. Now that is some strong fruit.

You know how in the US they have "no smoking" signs posted on the doors of buildings?

It cracked me up that they have "No Durian" signs literally etched into the glass doors of the better hotels in SE Asia. Evidently it's that much of a problem.

I've had both tarantula and waterbug fried in peanut oil with Knorr chicken seasoning. Once each was enough. I also had a bite of Sea Cucumber when a friend ordered it in Phnom Penh when a client ordered it just because. Nope! Not having any more of that, thank you!

That was one bite too many.
2014-03-06 05:55:20 PM  
1 vote:
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\Sanibel Island, '88 or '89
2014-03-06 05:51:32 PM  
1 vote:
Cuttlefish taste pretty damn good
2014-03-06 05:47:52 PM  
1 vote:
Not sure if strange food or not. Had meat on a stick that I bought from a vendor in a park in Singapore. Tasted good, but to this day I have no idea what it actually was.
2014-03-06 05:46:19 PM  
1 vote:
I have also eaten cherimoya, it is delicious, and I DESPERATELY WANT MOAR.

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I think I can get it by mail order but I need to go hunting through ALL the grocery shops here in Bako again, as it WAS available here for a short time.

My gods I miss the unholy hell out of Young's Grocery.

Absolutely the BEST veggie and fruit section in the entire Kern County.
2014-03-06 05:40:05 PM  
1 vote:
Not exactly in the weird category, but offbeat enough:

Pickled herring in sour cream.

I absolutely love that stuff and would eat a quart jar of it every single day if I could afford it.
2014-03-06 05:32:23 PM  
1 vote:
The fried fetus of a Baji dolphin.

Tasted like liberalism and conservatism all wrapped up in bacon.
2014-03-06 05:31:36 PM  
1 vote:
I've eaten Durian, dried cuttlefish and coagulated pork blood.

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2014-03-06 05:28:03 PM  
1 vote:
At a Co-worker's wedding I tried Abalone, which was served in a subtly flavored sauce and was tender and delicious. I also had shark fin soup, which was just kind of meh, like a semi-textured bowl of salt broth. I didn't know what either thing was until after I tried it and I felt bad, especially about the shark fin soup. I also felt that, for how much that likely cost, it really wasn't all that good.

Also had pigeon at the same wedding, which I loved. Like eating a tiny chicken with the ultra-lean beef on its bones. My wife was having none of it because a) she likes pigeons and b) because they left the heads on.
2014-03-06 05:10:32 PM  
1 vote:
I've had Durian, it was horrific. For a few hours, I was NOT OKAY. Even Jager wouldn't get the taste out of my mouth. Had tar black diarrhea later and the next day.
2014-03-06 05:08:11 PM  
1 vote:
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It's going to cost you 300% of base price;  and you aren't getting more than 10% for your grandmother's heirloom soup.
2014-03-06 05:04:11 PM  
1 vote:
Not really that wierd

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2014-03-06 04:35:36 PM  
1 vote:

Solid State Vittles: The difficulty that I've encountered is that the actual duck can come out very greasy.  I've only cooked with wild duck (friend's husband is a hunter), so maybe it's different with commercially raised duck.  Who knows, maybe it's me... it's probably me.

No, I'll totally admit that I could easily have gotten lucky. I was using a fairly decent duck breast (I think? D'artagnan brand), so that might have contributed to it. My sample size is one, so I agree that it's probably too early to say it's always easy to do.

casey.lurvs.bacon: How bout you just do it and then invite me over?


I actually love throwing dinner parties and cooking for people \o/

Fubini: Fried cheese is amazing. I'm not sure why you'd compare it to calamari- that stuff is disgusting.

If you had fried calamari at a good restaurant you'd probably change your mind. Badly-cooked calamari is rubbery and nasty. Properly-cooked calamari isn't the slightest bit rubbery; it has a bit of a give, like al-dente pasta, and is delicious.
2014-03-06 04:21:06 PM  
1 vote:
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A Chinese coworker of mine insisted that I had to eat these, because he had to eat disgusting things like cheese and American Chinese food.

They were disgusting, and slightly crunchy.
2014-03-06 04:20:10 PM  
1 vote:
Share a rarity and open our eyes


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Raw horse sushi is pretty good. But the downright weirdest thing I ever had was this:

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Viper wine. Crazy stuff.
2014-03-06 04:16:57 PM  
1 vote:

make me some tea: duck fat

Unrelated to escargot, last week I made duck for the first time ever. It was shockingly easy to do, and the results were amazing. The recipe I used also involved making a delicious savory blackberry/bourbon pan sauce. I had some homemade blackberry jam still leftover from the summer, and the resulting sauce was so good I used it in two other meals until it finally ran out. The day after, we made chicken thighs and got them nice and crispy using the leftover duck fat from the night before.

I need to make duck more often!
2014-03-06 04:03:12 PM  
1 vote:

PolloDiablo: My Mexican in-laws smoked a whole cow's head - including the brain, eyes and tongue - for about 24 hours. When it was finished they carried it inside to the kitchen where the women of the family descended on it with knives, removed all of the aforementioned organs and cut them up for eating, and then picked every single bit of meat there was from the skull and chopped and seasoned it. The meat is just absolutely unbelievable, by far the best (and most authentic) barbacoa you'll ever get your hands on.

Good barbacoa is hard to find, but when you do, oh man.
2014-03-06 04:00:47 PM  
1 vote:

SandmanEsq: casey.lurvs.bacon: DAMN I WANT SUSHI NOW

Sashimi! don't waste calories on rice, fill the space with more tasty tasty fish.

Yeah, but the delightful sushi vinegar flavor is missing with sashimi. It's good, but that extra acid kick is what makes a good piece of sushi so awesome.
2014-03-06 04:00:41 PM  
1 vote:

Solid State Vittles: vincent_blackshadow: rattlesnake & rocky mountain oysters come to mind .. both of em were pretty good, but i was hammered when i ate em .... octopus sushi counts too i guess; very chewy ...

High five to my fellow tako lover.  Let the texture nazis biatch about the chewiness, more for us.

i love it .. i get it all the time at our favorite sushi place - the FishWife (in spite of her handle) just looks away ...

casey.lurvs.bacon: DAMN I WANT SUSHI NOW

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... you knew that one was coming i bet; seriously, if yopu guys ever get to our neck we're going to ra on me
2014-03-06 03:49:03 PM  
1 vote:
Is anyone else more bothered by bad texture than bad taste?
2014-03-06 03:44:01 PM  
1 vote:
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Only slightly less fresh.
2014-03-06 03:38:43 PM  
1 vote:
I had lutefisk once and actually liked it.

I think I've had every organ meat you can eat. The only one that was really inedible to me was chitterlings. The smell alone is enough to turn your stomach and they taste worse.
2014-03-06 03:36:29 PM  
1 vote:
I've eaten shards of glass, but I don't suppose that's technically food.
DGS [TotalFark]
2014-03-06 03:33:58 PM  
1 vote:

Timanous: DGS: Timanous: The only really weird thing I've ever eaten/drank is cow's blood fresh from the source by seconds.

I heard of hunters doing that with deer and such, but cow blood? What prompted that?

Didn't feel like offending the Maasai Warrior with the giant spear standing in front of me.

We've all been there.
2014-03-06 03:33:07 PM  
1 vote:

DGS: Timanous: The only really weird thing I've ever eaten/drank is cow's blood fresh from the source by seconds.

I heard of hunters doing that with deer and such, but cow blood? What prompted that?

Didn't feel like offending the Maasai Warrior with the giant spear standing in front of me.
2014-03-06 03:32:26 PM  
1 vote:

CapeFearCadaver: [ image 349x386]

I don't know what it says about me that it was the "milk gravy" part that made me grimace.
2014-03-06 03:30:06 PM  
1 vote:
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2014-03-06 03:28:02 PM  
1 vote:
Nothing particularly weird. A peanut butter and American cheese sandwich on white bread is the only thing that comes to mind. It's good. Like those crackers you can get from vending machines.
DGS [TotalFark]
2014-03-06 03:26:36 PM  
1 vote:

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