Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Weird Food

I read an article over the weekend from the PBS website. The article lists the following strange types of food:

A West African dish made of pounded yam formed into slimy balls, fufu is served with meat stew or any dish with sauce or gravy.

An acquired taste—and smell—durian is a large, spiny green fruit from South East Asia with a dense skin that protects a creamy center that some swoon over and some find putrid. Durian has such a distinctive odor (sewer-like is the most common description) that it has been banned on public transportation in some countries.

Dozens of people in Japan die each year from eating this blowfish, which has an organ containing a toxin so deadly that only specially licensed chefs are allowed to prepare it.

Do you have to be drunk on whisky to eat haggis? A Scottish favorite made from the chopped heart, lungs, and liver of lamb or beef and mixed with suet, oats, onions, herbs, and spices, then stuffed into a sheep’s stomach, haggis is not for the faint of heart nor the weak of stomach.

An Icelandic dish that consists of putrefied shark meat that has been buried for months, then dried for a few more months, Hakarl is typically accompanied by a shot of Brenivinn, a caraway-flavored schnapps.

Hu-Hu Grubs
A New Zealand native, the larvae of the huhu beetle can be found in rotting logs and eaten raw or cooked. Connoisseurs describe the grubs as tasting nutty or like chicken.

File this one under “If you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em.” The nutria is a large semi-aquatic rodent that is indigenous to South America and was imported into Louisiana for the fur industry. Over decades the critters extensively damaged the state’s coastal wetlands, so officials decided to promote nutria as a cheap and readily available food source.

Named for the scrap odds and ends of pig it comprises (lips, snout, organs, etc.), scrapple is an old Pennsylvania-Dutch dish that was typically eaten at breakfast. Scrapple is comprised of a cornmeal mush made with the meat and broth, seasoned with onions, spices and herbs and shaped into loaves for slicing and frying.

So-after you read all of the above food descriptions the article takes a poll: If you had to choose to eat one food listed above-which one would it be? Please let us know! Fer will tell after I hear back from a couple of you!

If there are any of you out there that has actually eaten one of these food items-please let us know all about it!

Food descriptions above taken from the PBS article “Gonna Eat That?" By Marina Gordon and Brad Smith.


Anonymous Steven said...

Well, I'd have to say I'd probably go safe and grab the Fufu. "Grab the Fufu..." doesn't that just sound wrong? Anyway, the yam doesn't taste bad and it didn't get stuffed into something gross before eating.

The others seemed alright if you were put up against starvation, but the blowfish would have to be out as it threatens my very existence.

Grub worms seem to be pretty common across the world and history, so I guess once you got over the worm idea, it'd be okay.

10:38 PM  
Blogger Erika Carney Haub said...

I'm with Steven on this one. I have a friend who lived in Cameroon and ate the stuff all the time. Sounds fairly benign!

I have relatives who spent time in Scotland and did the haggis thing. They lived, but said it was very very gross.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous douglas said...

I think I would like to try the Fugu - though with a wife and kids maybe I should stay away! After that I would have to go with the Hakarl as the Schnapps would be a nice way to clean the palate.


8:21 PM  

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