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LearningMan
08 Aug 2015, 20:07
What is the most unusual food item/recipe you have seen or tried? If you have tried the unusual item, what was it like? Did you like or dislike it?

kalynraye
08 Aug 2015, 20:26
I had to think on this a little bit because I don't know what to consider unusual food any more. So I am going with sweatbreads. If you don't know what sweatbreads are its basically the thymus or the pancreas of an animal mainly calf and lamb. You have to eat them hot!!! Cold is gross, and I didn't dislike them but they are by no means my favorite.

Tylluan Penry
08 Aug 2015, 23:19
Tripe.

Don't ask.

Bleh.

Medusa
08 Aug 2015, 23:32
Tripe.

Don't ask.

Bleh.

I pretend I don't know. When I was a kid I could eat it in menudo just fine. But I would first wrap it in a piece of tortilla. I didn't like the hard jelly consistency. Like you KNOW what you are eating. As I got older I just ate the hominy and the broth. Soo good. And I would always skip the pata. Ewe. No.

B. de Corbin
09 Aug 2015, 02:51
What is the most unusual food item/recipe you have seen or tried? If you have tried the unusual item, what was it like? Did you like or dislike it?

Either snails (escargot) which are really, really good if cooked right, or giant puffball fungus, which is OK fried. The little puffballs are OK, too.

I would like to try brain sometime...

Hawkfeathers
09 Aug 2015, 05:29
Squirrel. It makes a great pot pie!

anunitu
09 Aug 2015, 05:31
Now Hawk,you have caught my interest...Squirrel you say...hmmmm

Hawkfeathers
09 Aug 2015, 05:42
In NY/NJ I never heard of anyone eating squirrel, but it's pretty common in the Ozarks. Makes a good pot pie or pulled/shredded with some kind of sauce like pork BBQ. They also just fry it but I'm not crazy about that myself.

anunitu
09 Aug 2015, 05:43
Seems you haz gone Native there Jersey Girl...

Hawkfeathers
09 Aug 2015, 05:56
I'm NY born, Jersey bred, Appalachian educated, and Ozarks pasteurized.

"Real" pizza & bagels will always top my list, but I can get down with some fried catfish & hush puppies, too. Hush puppies are southern Zeppole, I guess....

anunitu
09 Aug 2015, 05:58
I have had "Blackened catfish" so,YEH

B. de Corbin
09 Aug 2015, 08:14
In NY/NJ I never heard of anyone eating squirrel, but it's pretty common in the Ozarks. Makes a good pot pie or pulled/shredded with some kind of sauce like pork BBQ. They also just fry it but I'm not crazy about that myself.

Squirrel is common food in most rural places. I've never had it myself (I don't hunt), but I wouldn't mind giving it a try.

Hawkfeathers
09 Aug 2015, 08:26
Squirrel is common food in most rural places. I've never had it myself (I don't hunt), but I wouldn't mind giving it a try.

I first had it at a local festival where someone does cooking demonstrations of old-time stuff. I was a little apprehensive, but I liked it. It's a lot like dark meat chicken. It has to be cooked down a lot, to where it's falling off the bones, thenyou use the pieces for pot pie etc. If you don't do all that pre-cooking it's gamier, but not too bad.

Someday I'd like to try alligator. Have any of you?

anunitu
09 Aug 2015, 08:35
Someday I'd like to try alligator. Have any of you?

Haven't had that but would like to try it maybe..

B. de Corbin
09 Aug 2015, 10:03
Someday I'd like to try alligator. Have any of you?

Haven't had that but would like to try it maybe..

My sister (who likes to cook) took a cooking class from some famous chef while she was in New Orleans. After the class he took her to the back refrig to show her "something special" - a big gator...

Up here we have a lot of roadside smoked fish/jerky stands. I've seen gator jerky, but never tried it (I always go for the bear - it is crazy good!). Next time I pop into one, I'll get some gator jerky and send you some.

With the exception of turtle (tastes like chicken) I've not eaten reptiles...

Hawkfeathers
09 Aug 2015, 10:04
^^^ Me too!!! Me too!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeze???? LOL

B. de Corbin
09 Aug 2015, 10:06
^^^ Me too!!! Me too!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeeeeze???? LOL

Oh... OK.

:D

Hawkfeathers
09 Aug 2015, 10:07
Yay!!!! :)

B. de Corbin
09 Aug 2015, 10:16
Jerk dynasty... (http://www.jerkydynasty.com/products/alligator-meat-jerky-pack?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=googlepla&variant=385978744&gclid=Cj0KEQjw9JuuBRC2xPG59dbzkpIBEiQAzv4-G-jPMN8B1ziAkMjLis5_rXJhiWohkpkkOSUBnQ_33QIaAuN48P8H AQ)

See ya later alligator!

Hawkfeathers
09 Aug 2015, 10:24
That looks neat!

B. de Corbin
09 Aug 2015, 10:28
The internet is a lot like Alice's Restaurant... You can get anything you want.

Hawkfeathers
09 Aug 2015, 10:36
Not quite everything, unfortunately.

Anyway.... I've had escargot, which I liked, and octopus, which I didn't.

B. de Corbin
09 Aug 2015, 10:49
Octopus is hard to cook right - it tends to get chewy. I've never had good luck cooking it (at certain times of the year you can get it cheap in Detroit. There is a strange custom of throwing octopuses on the ice during Redwing games), but I've had it in Greek restaurants (in Detroit's Greektown) where it was good.

We used to eat a lot of squid, but we can't get it up here. I have a picture of my daughter when she was five standing on a chair at the sink with me cleaning squid (pull the head with tentacles out of the bodysack, save the tentacles, pull the "feather" out of the body, rinse, and you're ready to go. The bodies look like condoms, and are good stuffed with rice, tomatoes, and spices, then baked).

Jembru
09 Aug 2015, 13:37
Oh I've eaten all kinds of weird stuff. I've drank the modified sweat of a mammal, that had evolved as a food source for their young, I've eaten the mould that forms if you leave that sweat for too long. I've eaten the left over fermented goo after the brewing of beer. I've eaten eggs.. essentially chicken periods, that come out of the same orifice as their poop.. yum.. I've eaten that green slippery stuff you see growing on rocks by the sea.. I've eaten exploded corn... leaves... plant roots...

The weirdest thing I've eaten is probably natto though. Natto is alien nose-spawn. It's really good for you and tastes fantastic! It's just a shame they keep those aliens in such small cages. It's cruel, but you can't be too careful with aliens.. it's us or them.

Hawkfeathers
09 Aug 2015, 18:32
LOL Just saw this and was reminded of this thread. http://food.dose.com/lists/22331/19-Meals-That-Are-Not-Really-Meals-At-All-ab630-2?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=pages&utm_campaign=1060_guiBhn_6613&ljr=pN8nxbs7-wg60OxlZhItQwafCoj2tHN_5BPTwUVGE7I%3D

kalynraye
09 Aug 2015, 22:18
Someday I'd like to try alligator. Have any of you?

Haven't had that but would like to try it maybe..

Its pretty tasty, what I am not a fan of is Frog legs.. I don't like the texture its chewy. KP loves them as does my Dad. Dad also really likes squirrel. Its not something he has very often because my Grandmother has to cook it cause my Step-mom wont.

anunitu
10 Aug 2015, 03:33
Yeh frog legs...
http://g-ecx.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/c8/6c/bb9981b0c8a057de01ed8110.L.jpg

How completely un PC

Hawkfeathers
10 Aug 2015, 05:19
I've had frog legs - forgot about that - liked them! It was at a buffet somewhere in Arkansas. That's how I like to try something like that - Im not going to pay a lot for something I'm not sure of, when all I want is a taste the first time.

Mickel
10 Aug 2015, 12:42
I have had python before. It tastes like squid and chicken had a baby. And I have had wolf, which is just all kinds of gross. A few kinds of bugs, not always voluntarily. And probably a few more things, that I can't remember.

Medusa
10 Aug 2015, 13:16
cactus. Word to your madre'

thalassa
10 Aug 2015, 13:32
cactus. Word to your madre'

PRICKLY PEARS!!

I'm growing a prickly pear in a pot, so I can transplant it when we have our own house, just for this purpose.

Munin-Hugin
10 Aug 2015, 13:44
It's probably not super unusual, but this weekend I'm going to try deep friend soft shell crab. I had it once about 30 years ago, but c'mon, an 8 year old trying something different isn't a good judge of whether it's good or not.

LearningMan
10 Aug 2015, 18:10
cactus. Word to your madre'
I think I've heard of that as a food. It's called nopales, right? Or are you talking about a different cactus?

habbalah
11 Aug 2015, 18:36
Octopus, I suppose? It's good when it's fried.

Näre
14 Aug 2015, 09:15
I've had octopus once. It tastes like chicken.
In my previous hometown there was/is a nice Thai shop that had pork flavoured porridge or something like that. I wonder how that tastes...

Rae'ya
11 Sep 2015, 22:09
I have to resurrect this thread, because Torey took me to Restaurant Orana (https://www.facebook.com/restaurantoranaadelaide) for dinner last night for my 30th birthday and we had all sorts of weird and wonderful things. They are a fine dining restaurant with a set degustation menu which is made almost exclusively with Australian native and local ingredients (including some which are foraged and wild harvested here in Adelaide). It was OMG AMAZING. There were 24 different dishes (15 canape style 'snacks', 4 main courses, 4 dessert 'snacks' and 1 dessert course), matched with different wines and one beer. Some things I've eaten before, some things I've been wanting to try for a while and some things I didn't even know were edible! I ate...

- Emu
- Kangaroo (which I've eaten before plenty of times, but I guess it counts as 'unusual' for you non-Aussies lol)
- Kangaroo tendon, puffed up like a prawn cracker.
- Gubinge (a type of wild 'plum')
- Davidson plum
- Sea blite (a type of tidal succulent plant)
- Moreton Bay Fig shoots (as in, little baby shoots, not the fruit)
- Pandanus
- Saltbush
- Quandong
- logan berry
- Brush Cherry
- Green ants. Yes, ANTS!
- Pipi (which is like a cockle)
- yam bean
- Neptune's pearls (aka sea grapes)
- Sea purslane
- Riberry
- Sunrise lime
- Min min
- Water lilly
- Mangrove seed
- Bush tomato
- Itty bitty tiny little wild garlic bulbs
- Ice plant
- Bunya nut

Plus a lot of non-weird things, like spelt, mulloway, beef, scallops, prawns, mussels, macadamias, wattleseed, native thyme, mountain pepper, damper, mullet, lentils, green currants, leek and the most awesome sourdough and butter (hand churned with extra buttermilk) I've ever had.

kalynraye
11 Sep 2015, 22:24
I have to resurrect this thread, because Torey took me to Restaurant Orana (https://www.facebook.com/restaurantoranaadelaide) for dinner last night for my 30th birthday and we had all sorts of weird and wonderful things. They are a fine dining restaurant with a set degustation menu which is made almost exclusively with Australian native and local ingredients (including some which are foraged and wild harvested here in Adelaide). It was OMG AMAZING. There were 24 different dishes (15 canape style 'snacks', 4 main courses, 4 dessert 'snacks' and 1 dessert course), matched with different wines and one beer. Some things I've eaten before, some things I've been wanting to try for a while and some things I didn't even know were edible! I ate...

- Emu
- Kangaroo (which I've eaten before plenty of times, but I guess it counts as 'unusual' for you non-Aussies lol)
- Kangaroo tendon, puffed up like a prawn cracker.
- Gubinge (a type of wild 'plum')
- Davidson plum
- Sea blite (a type of tidal succulent plant)
- Moreton Bay Fig shoots (as in, little baby shoots, not the fruit)
- Pandanus
- Saltbush
- Quandong
- logan berry
- Brush Cherry
- Green ants. Yes, ANTS!
- Pipi (which is like a cockle)
- yam bean
- Neptune's pearls (aka sea grapes)
- Sea purslane
- Riberry
- Sunrise lime
- Min min
- Water lilly
- Mangrove seed
- Bush tomato
- Itty bitty tiny little wild garlic bulbs
- Ice plant
- Bunya nut

Plus a lot of non-weird things, like spelt, mulloway, beef, scallops, prawns, mussels, macadamias, wattleseed, native thyme, mountain pepper, damper, mullet, lentils, green currants, leek and the most awesome sourdough and butter (hand churned with extra buttermilk) I've ever had.


This is amazing!! It is soo great you were able to experience something like this and I'm not going to lie I am a little jealous. I know Adelaide is 4 hours from Melbourne but if you make it that way and you have the money and the notion you should go to Attica Restaurant. Ben Shewry is the Chef that pioneered using only Australian ingredients. This is his love and passion, AND Tuesday nights is test night. Its cheaper then normal because you don't know what your getting. Because they don't even know what they are making. They test new recipes and you the guest are the test bunnies.

Azvanna
12 Sep 2015, 03:47
I really wish Masterchef would do a segment on Australian native ingredients only. Or a season. :D

Rae'ya
12 Sep 2015, 04:17
This is amazing!! It is soo great you were able to experience something like this and I'm not going to lie I am a little jealous. I know Adelaide is 4 hours from Melbourne but if you make it that way and you have the money and the notion you should go to Attica Restaurant. Ben Shewry is the Chef that pioneered using only Australian ingredients. This is his love and passion, AND Tuesday nights is test night. Its cheaper then normal because you don't know what your getting. Because they don't even know what they are making. They test new recipes and you the guest are the test bunnies.

That is an awesome tip and I'll remember that name! Torey and I are foodies of a sort... hence why he took me to Orana in the first place! It definitely pushed some boundaries for us (the emu was only lightly seared, about as cooked as you'd cook a fresh tuna fillet) but we both ate everything and enjoyed everything (though I discovered I don't like pipi/cockles, which makes sense 'cos I don't like oysters either and the flavour is quite similar). But some of the flavours were just amazing. I'm also a big fan of citrus type acidity (I love sour lol) and desserts that are almost savoury... so many of the Australian ingredients (including the ants) really suited my palate. It's really inspired me to get back into using Aussie herbs and spices, and to look more seriously at foraging and wild harvesting.

ETA: Melbourne is about a 40min plane flight and you can get quite cheap flights through the budget airlines with carry on luggage only. So it's actually a really do-able weekend trip. lol


I really wish Masterchef would do a segment on Australian native ingredients only. Or a season. :D

Last season they did a Mystery Box challenge that was ALL Aussie ingredients... including emu, wallaby and sugar ants! You should check to see if there's a copy of the episode out somewhere... it was really interesting and inspiring.

Hawkfeathers
12 Sep 2015, 04:20
I have to resurrect this thread, because Torey took me to Restaurant Orana (https://www.facebook.com/restaurantoranaadelaide) for dinner last night for my 30th birthday and we had all sorts of weird and wonderful things.
-
First of all, Happy Birthday! Second, I don't know what half of those things are, and I know when someone from Australia says something's weird, I'm in for a ride LOL
What are Pandanus, Saltbush, and Bunya nut?

kalynraye
12 Sep 2015, 10:16
But some of the flavours were just amazing. I'm also a big fan of citrus type acidity (I love sour lol) and desserts that are almost savoury... so many of the Australian ingredients (including the ants) really suited my palate. It's really inspired me to get back into using Aussie herbs and spices, and to look more seriously at foraging and wild harvesting.

ETA: Melbourne is about a 40min plane flight and you can get quite cheap flights through the budget airlines with carry on luggage only. So it's actually a really do-able weekend trip. lol

I think thats something that most of us have lost. We don't like to use the ingredients close to home. We like exotic and things out of season. I love it when even I am reminded that we have seasons and we have great local vegetables and fruits. I am also a huge fan of savory and sweet desserts, thats my greatest challenge is finding ways to bring them together in perfect harmony. So its not to sweet or to savory but still a dessert.

Heck yes to the 40 min plane ride!! If you do go let me know how it is please, and because I didn't say it earlier Happy Birthday and I'm so glad you had a great time.

Medusa
12 Sep 2015, 16:28
I love loganberry. I'm sure you all can guess why :p

Rae'ya
13 Sep 2015, 03:15
First of all, Happy Birthday! Second, I don't know what half of those things are, and I know when someone from Australia says something's weird, I'm in for a ride LOL
What are Pandanus, Saltbush, and Bunya nut?

Thank you :o

Pandanus is a type of palm tree that's leaves are edible. It's used a lot in Asian cooking and desserts, but grows Iin Queensland here in Aus.

Saltbush is a native Australian scrubby bush That grows in soil thats very saline. It's got a really subtly herby salt flavour, and Iis something that grew wild around where I grew up. They use it to reduce the salinity of an area in preparation for other crops too.

Bunya nut is like a monkey puzzle nut, which is kind of like a pine nut only a bit sweeter than a traditional pine nut (and bigger).


I think thats something that most of us have lost. We don't like to use the ingredients close to home. We like exotic and things out of season. I love it when even I am reminded that we have seasons and we have great local vegetables and fruits. I am also a huge fan of savory and sweet desserts, thats my greatest challenge is finding ways to bring them together in perfect harmony. So its not to sweet or to savory but still a dessert.

Heck yes to the 40 min plane ride!! If you do go let me know how it is please, and because I didn't say it earlier Happy Birthday and I'm so glad you had a great time.

Thank you, too :o

One of the desserts was a 'set buttermilk', which was like a panna cotta only not as sweet. I don't normally like panna cotta but this was really creamy and silky and not at all sugary... plus served with a very tart and acidic dressing (not quite a sauce or a coulis, but more like a broth). They also did a really nice davidson plum and feral guava salad with a carbonated riberry vinegar froth... tart and fruity and deliciously not your typical fruit salad! All sorts of really inspiring flavour combinations!

thalassa
13 Sep 2015, 05:57
Rae'ya, that sounds awesome!! And happy B-day!




...on the subject of local foods...

I use sassafras in soups, stews, etc. If you've ever had real gumbo, you've had something seasoned with filé powder (powdered sassafras leaves). You can also make tea with the leaves (also the roots, though they have a higher percentage of saffrole, which may be carcinogenic in enough dose over time) and you can crush the fresh leaves and rub them on you to keep skeeters down, or chew up a leaf and put it on a skeeter bite to make it stop itching, or just chew on the young leaves and buds because they are yummy (great addition to a salad).


If you are from the US (and even if you aren't, though the practical information will likely be less helpful, I recommend (if you can find them) the books of Euell Gibbons...probably the best foraging/local food books to read (they aren't a field guide or recipe book (though they include both) so much as a commentary on the experience of foraging and eating.

B. de Corbin
13 Sep 2015, 07:02
We have multitudes of wild grape vines in every vacant lot and forest edge here in Michigan, and I know they are common throughout most of the eastern states. Plus, we have cultivated grapes...

Grape leaves are a much under utilized food. Wrap anything in blanched grape leaves for an interesting taste. They are also easy to preserve - wash, blanch, can.

DanieMarie
14 Sep 2015, 11:25
Nothing that would be considered unusual here, but I've eating loads of things that make my friends back in Canada cringe. Blood sausage, black pudding (which is also essentially blood sausage), haggis, rabbit, liverwurst, chicken hearts, horse meat (intentionally, not because of that time they discovered that a bunch of beef sold in Germany was actually horse meat), raw meat, etc.

Jembru
14 Sep 2015, 12:59
Pandanus is a type of palm tree that's leaves are edible. It's used a lot in Asian cooking and desserts, but grows Iin Queensland here in Aus.


I think quite a lot of tree leaves are edible if prepared right. Like, have you ever heard of sakuramochi? It's rice cakes eaten around the cherry viewing season in Japan, and they're usually wrapped in the pickled (I think they're pickled.. they've done something to them anyway) leaves of the cherry tree. Kinda bitter, but not unpleasant.

They make other sweets wrapped in leaves, but this is the only one I've personally tried.

Azvanna
20 Sep 2015, 12:33
Has anyone heard of The experimental good society? I came across it while trying to find the name of the OBOD historian Roland Rutherham. I'm not too clear on what they do, but it sounds like they offer food in a variety of environmental settings to see how it changes the taste??