Let me preface this with the fact that I am a 23 year old Chinese guy who has lived in Sydney his entire life. My mother has cooked me some weird things over the years so I’m pretty desensitised when it comes to the world of culinary horrors. This doesn’t mean I’m all knowing but I’m pretty open minded and willing to try new things.
In saying all that, here’s me contradicting myself (Warning: Some images are graphic and might be inappropriate for lunch. NSFL):
1. Blood Pudding
I often wonder about the origins of many foods. What cavalier realised that cow milk was fit for human consumption? What was that guy doing with the cow in the first place?
Anyway, an Irish/British gentleman figured out that combining mixing animal blood along with some fillers like potato and grains would make an interesting sausage. It is a common addition to Irish big breakfasts and the vampire population is extremely grateful for this culinary innovation.
2. Frog Sashimi
Yeah, your date probably won’t enjoy this unique dining experience if she has to pinch her nose at eating cooked tuna rolls. Frog sashimi is a popular dish in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
I still feel guilty biting the head off of Freddo so I’ll have to give this one a pass.
Balut is a developing duck embryo that is boiled and served in the shell. I’m going light on the details because I just had a huge sandwich for lunch and would prefer for it to continue digesting. For all the reality show fans reading this; it comes up every third season of Survivor during the eating challenge.
4. Rocky Mountain Oysters (Bull testicles)
Origins: Colorado, USA
I think they sell to a lot more unsuspecting customers with this name choice. Sources say that focus groups responded poorly to it when it was named Rocky Mountain bull testicles.
5. Escamoles (Ant larvae)
Have you ever eaten at a slightly dodgy restaurant and felt as if your food was crawling as you went through it.
I imagine that’s the feeling you get when you dig into some escamol. In some circles, escamole is considered ‘insect caviar.’ I don’t even like plain caviar so this next level variation is definitely not on my food bucket list.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t write about something from my own country. I was born in Australia and this is a taste I still haven’t grown to appreciate. This is probably due to a horrific childhood experience (I thought it was Nutella) but still.
It’s predominantly used as a spread on toast and is made out of brewer’s yeast It’s definitely not something you’ll like straight away but it apparently grows on you. This is also what they said about two of my ex-girlfriends and I assure this was not the case.
7. Fried Spiders
Considered a delicacy in Cambodia, spiders are deep fried until it’s crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. In fairness, that’s not too different from soft shell crab you find in a lot of Asian restaurants.
Seriously though? I’m going to have difficulty sleeping tonight.
8. Sannakji (Raw Octopus)
Possibly apocryphal tales state that there have been instances in which the suckers have attached themselves to the throat of people trying to swallow them leading to serious choking hazards.
Korea, you make the finest fried chicken in the world. Stop the experimentation! Its not worth the risk.
9. Casu Marzu
Origins: Sardinia, Italy
Casu marzu is a traditional Sardinian cheese made from sheep’s milk.
Oh and insect larvae. Did I forget to mention the insect larvae?
The larvae is introduced to the cheese which speeds up the fermentation process and a breakdown of the fats within the cheese. The texture of the cheese becomes incredibly soft in most parts along with certain sections being reduced to a liquid state. The cheese has an incredibly pungent smell and has been known to leave an after taste that lingers for hours after you torture your tongue.
This is not something you put in your sandwich on the day of a date.
Kiviak is a traditional wintertime food of the indigenous population of Greenland. It involves hollowing out a seal and stuffing it with up to 50 Auks (a type of bird that looks like an evil penguin). Apparently its eaten to cope with vitamin deficiencies in their diets.
Can’t we just send Ricky Ponting over their with a few cases of Swisse?