No, It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken
Written By: Tom House
Some of the most unusual creatures that crawl, swim and fly on and over the Earth are made into meals around the world. As a food critic I’ve tried many foods I probably would have passed on otherwise, but here are a few I found to
be quite revolting. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t taste some of these global gastronomical gems, but I would not go out of my way to do so. Most of the “foods” pictured here have never be a meal for me. How about you? Have you tried any of these lovely appetizers in your life? Let us know!
Let’s start with something fairly common in Sushi restaurants across the world. One of my favorite sushi treats is Ikura (Salmon Roe) with Raw Quail Egg. To me this is as good as any dessert. It seems to bother lots of people who watch me eat it, but just wait until you see some of the other food on this Menu from Hell. Speaking of Japan, how about Fugu (河豚 or 鰒; フグ?, literally “river pig”) is the Japanese word for pufferfish and the dish prepared from it. Fugu can be lethally poisonous due to its tetrodotoxin, therefore has to be carefully prepared to remove toxic parts and to avoid contaminating the meat. Tetrodotoxin is a potent neurotoxin with no known antidote. The restaurant preparation of fugu is strictly controlled by the law in Japan and several other countries, and only chefs who have qualified through rigorous training are allowed to deal with the fish. (I will try this on my upcoming trip to Japan, and hope to be able to write about it later…if I am still alive)!
Different foods and culinary customs are one of the things that make the world turn…but some of these delicacies will make your stomach turn. These foods remind me of an episode of Fear Factor gone wrong, when the host offers up disgusting food-related items for contestants to eat in order to win the $25,000. You know the host would never even sniff some of the horrible things contestants were asked to eat all for the love of money and fame. The things we’ll do to win money on American television must be looked at around the world with horror and ridicule.
What is the strangest foods you have ever been coaxed into eating? In what country did you experience your most unusual food folly?
When in Cambodia, perhaps a crunchy snack of Fried Tarantulas is something you might enjoy? I would be scared to taste even one. Another specialty I would never eat Pig’s Blood Cake made in Taiwan. It sounds like it would be rife with disease and germs in general. These foods are not for the squeamish or the germaphobe. Howie Mandel need not apply!
But wait! Here in the United States we have some beauties too for the adventurous palate and fearless gourmand! I have tried Rocky Mountain Oysters, less commonly known as Bull’s Balls (we will spare you from looking at a picture of this western treat)…and to be honest with you I liked them. They were made into a stew by a friend of mine who was a real cowboy and had grown up eating them (that sounds weird). As you might imagine, the meat was very white with an interesting texture almost like a big soft dumpling (ewww)!
Rattlesnake meat is a southwestern US delicacy. If you haven’t ever eaten rattlesnake, you are in for a real treat. I have tasted it, and No, It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken!
It has a much gamier flavor, more reminiscent of pheasant, frog legs, alligator, or even elk. Catching one can pose a life-threatening problem though so make sure you turn to an expert. I don’t think you’ll get this “meat” at your local grocery store.
So enjoy some of these foods if you dare! If you are happy with chicken, steak and regular old fish, I can completely understand. As for me I still have a couple foods on my bucket list that I have not got to yet, including the spiny fruit called Durian that is said to smell like decomposed flesh, and Cambodian Fermented Fish too.
See you on the other side!