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The most exotic food you have eaten traveling?


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I'm a vegetarians.. and so.. well, I guess durian's the worst I've had. I didn't like it. I guess it's an aquired taste.

Bentung_D24_Durian_REDUCED.jpg

It is both interesting and instructional to see that Durian is listed by several people in this topic as the “worst food” that they have ever tasted. At the same in other threads it is proclaimed as a wonderful culinary experience. If you do a search for “Durian” in e-gullet and you will come up with more than 200 hits. The thread “Frightfully freaky fruit, scary looking but delicious” in the forum “Adventures in Eating” is has good examples of what I am talking about.

It seems enjoyment of many (all ?) great foods requires some experience, and perhaps a “dulling” of some part of ones taste senses to allow other sensations to come to the surface.

I remember that while working on farms in SE Asia many years ago, I was often asked to sample Durians, typically presented to me by the proud growers as an example of their horticultural skills. Not wanting to offend any, I usually ate the fruit and then quietly snuck away to a corner to regurgitate for a while. At that time, one Durian Fruit kept in the trunk of my car for only a hour, would leave an odor which I (and other foreign friends) could detect with disgust for at least two weeks.

Now, many years latter, I eat durians regularly, and find it difficult to detect any smell at all. I can see now that the attraction of the fruit comes from its rich creamy texture, combined with a bitter-sweet taste, a bit like a rich chocolate custard, but with underlying tastes of fresh vegetables (maybe onions ?).

I wonder now what other great experiences I am missing, simply because I haven’t “acquired the taste” yet. I guess sometimes to really enjoy food we need to hold our noses and shut our eyes tight!.

Bruce Milligan,

Tropical Fruit Specialist, www.paradasia.com

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I'm a vegetarians.. and so.. well, I guess durian's the worst I've had. I didn't like it. I guess it's an aquired taste.

Bentung_D24_Durian_REDUCED.jpg

I wonder now what other great experiences I am missing, simply because I haven’t “acquired the taste” yet. I guess sometimes to really enjoy food we need to hold our noses and shut our eyes tight!.

like blue cheese, marmite, foie gras, or any fermented fish, etc.

Every culture seems to have multiple examples....

milagai

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  • 3 weeks later...

Exotic to Asians or even just to Filipinos, Vegemite and Marmite and dragonfruit in Israel.

Exotic to Westerners: our everyday food perhaps. Snails, frogs, fermented rice and shrimps/fish, balut, unborn chicken eggs in congee and some insects.

One is the camaru or mole crickets (Gryllotalpa orientalis Burmeister) which are quite common after the harvest season. There are two well-known recipes for the camaru and both require that they are parboiled and dressed. In preparing to cook the camaru, the antennae, wings and legs are broken off after lightly simmering in vinegar, salt and spices adobo-style. Then one can proceed to either stir-fry (sanglé) in very little oil until they are toasted and crispy or saute some garlic, onions and tomatoes to cook them in.

I once saw a website with almost the same-looking insects. They seem to be a delicacy in South Africa too. I think they're Gryllotalpa africanus.

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have had the usual suspects - horse-meat sashimi, deep-fried shrimp heads, fugu - but the weirdest one I've tried was a whole fish eye, served intact from the fish head.

I'd eaten all the meat off the fish head, and my hosts gasped when they saw I'd left the eye. At their encouragement I tried it and it turned out rather nice - like a delicious fatty globule of marrow. They had injected it before baking with a mixture of soy sauce and sugar. Fortunately I had missed out on that part of the preparation otherwise I might never have got it past my teeth.

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bird wings boiled in oil.

i believe its one of the most popular snacks in

north america

:biggrin:

Beauteous! :laugh:

Alligator tail, alligator ribs. Bland.

Beef heart soup in Austria. Nice flavor. Very chewy.

Sweetbreads "ala king" in California. Yum.

Lingcod cheeks in Oregon. Yum

Sea cucumber salad in China. Tasted fine. Not too keen on that texture.

Boiled peanuts in Florida. Yuck. Maybe because they were canned?

Whiting in England. They were fried, what's not to like?

Marmite is not exotic. Its a staple of life :wink:.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Have eaten all manner of weird things wherever I've roamed. The Japanese giggled to see me eat eel - they believe it to be the thing Americans are most squeamish about consuming. I didn't know that uni was supposed to be gross - I thought it was superb. Ate some seafood and vegetables so local that they don't even have English translations for what they are.

Have eaten Marmite in England (sorry, Brits - you have to have been brought up on it to appreciate it), blood pudding and haggis (shock of all shocks, delicious!).

Due to a French friend (with whom I've learned I should eat first and ask what it was later), I've consumed sausage made of donkey meat (yum), beef tongue (texture issues), and pig's head (didn't care for it, just as well I didn't know what it was).

But it was in Venice, at a very elegant restaurant, that I ate the one thing which I found truly disgusting - squid cooked in its own ink. Don't know how I've managed to find squid prepared every other way delectable and this revolting, but there you go.

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Testicles (bull, lamb/sheep, calf or even turkey testicles)

Also known as Rocky Mountain Oysters

They are soooooooo good BBQ-ed, splashed with fresh garlic sauce... and washed down with a good red wine.

I have about 8 in my freezer right now, can't wait for good weather to start a BBQ.

Edited by MamaC (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Chicken feet in a Dim Sum restaurant in Boston. Sea cucumber and dog in China. I didn't know it was dog until later, but I remember eating it and thinking it quite good. Rich, and a lot like pork, but the meat's darker. I would eat it again.

Probably the weirdest was dried rice paddy eels in a Muslim restaurant in Bali. The heads looked kind of like tiny versions of the alien in Alien. My dad had monkey's brains at the same meal.

I would really like to try donkey sausage.

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No disrespect intended, but my reaction is that you did not have monkey brains at a Muslim restaurant! Monkey is haram! :raz:

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I didn't find donkey sausage all that exciting actually...

I've had dog, several kinds of snake, stir-fried crickets, etc. but for me the most exotic food was stir-fried grass (the kind cows eat, not the other kind :hmmm: ).

When I was studying in Shanghai in the late 80s many of the small food stalls out behind the university switched their menu items to reflect the change in seasons when spring arrived, and this was one of the items on offer.

It tasted like... just how you'd expect grass to taste when it's been stir fried with soy sauce and a little sugar. Rather unpleasant, and not something I'd want to order a second time.

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My father would cook almost any kind of wild game be it bird or animal or fish or even snakes and turtles but his favorite was muskrate and he would leave the heads on the body. When we served them he would give each person a head on their plate and show them how it should be eaten. First you sucked out the eyes then seperated the jaws and ate that meat followed by cracking open the head and picking out the brains, boy did this gross out many a guest at our diners. o

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Most all the prerequisite stuff people said here: dog, crickets, beondaeggi (silkworm larvae), live octopus/squid/cuttlefish, fugu, rattlesnake, hangover soup made with coagulated cow blood -- and yogurt soju.

<a href='http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal' target='_blank'>ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal</a> - The longest running Korean food blog

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Now yogurt soju, that's intriguing. Soju with a yogurt overtaste?

Soju mixed with drinkable yogurt with a splash of Chilsung Cider (Sprite in the U.S.). Surprisingly refreshing. It's part of the flavored soju and soju cocktail trend going on in Korea. Peach soju is my favorite.

<a href='http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal' target='_blank'>ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal</a> - The longest running Korean food blog

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