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megimoo
04-18-2009, 03:13 PM
Ray's List of Weird and Disgusting Foods

I HAVE A THEORY that many (all?) cultures invent a food that is weird or disgusting to non-initiates as a sort of a "marker." The kids start out hating it, but at some point they cross over and perpetuate it (perpetrate it) on the next generation. Then they nudge each other when foreigners gasp.

Many cultures pride themselves on their alcoholic drinks, as in "white lightning," mai-tai, tequila, pulque, chong, vodka, schnapps, and so on. You are accepted if you can match their prowess. There are too many similar local drinks to warrant listing them here.

Sometimes one group disparages another for their eating habits, as in the word "Eskimo" (eater of raw meat) resented by the people whose name for themselves is "Inuit." I believe the food laws of Middle Eastern cultures have more to do with distinguishing your group from the neighboring groups than with health concerns or sacred scriptures, which adapted to the cultural norms.

Foods don't make it onto this list just because they are generally unpopular. President Bush hated broccoli. So what? Foods on this list have some status as a cultural marker. Sometimes it's a tough call. For example, "donuts" (doughnuts, originally "oly cakes") are distinctly American, and I've met many French people who despise them. Chacun a son gout (They gave my son gout) as they say. Do they qualify as "weird-disgusting" or not? Peanut butter was invented in America, widely reviled in Europe. What do you think? I think it stands as a bit of Americana. Cary Grant once ordered a peanut butter sandwich in New York's 21 club.

Thomas Hamilton comments that USers are actually unusual in eating so *few* parts of an animal, so the fact that, say, the French eat brains isn't really a cultural marker. The marker is that USers don't. From: tth@astro.caltech.edu (Thomas Hamilton)

Don't bother to respond "But lots of people like X"... that's exactly the point. That's why "X" is ON the list, not off it. See also the entry below for FRUITCAKE.

Don't bother to respond "But this food is also located in..." Yes, important food immigrates even faster than language. Cool. Chile peppers and potatoes are are nearly ubiquitous now.

Here's my list so far. What can you add? (It's arranged roughly geographically, going east from longitude 0.)

England: Warm Beer, Blood Pudding, Jellied Eels, Spotted Dick, Liver and Lights, Kidney Pie, Brawn, Bubble and Squeak, Fried Bread, Crisps with Flavors
Scotland: Haggis, Irn Bru, Blood (Black) Pudding, Herring Roe, Potted Hough, Sheep's Head, Ox Tongue, Oxtail, White Puddings, Powsowdie
Wales: Laver Bread, Rook Pie, Lardy Cake
Sweden: Sylta (Head Cheese)
Norway: Lutefisk, Gravlax
Denmark: Oellebroed, Skipsol, Beer-Jelly, Sild, Gamle Ole, Gammel Dansk, Nordsoe Olie, Rullepoelse, Flaeskesvaer, Skaerpekoed, Rastefisk, Grind, Spaek
Netherlands: Salted Horsemeat Sandwiches, Raw Salted Herring, Peanut Butter Sauce on French Fries, Hete Bliksem
France: Escargot, Tripe, Frog's Legs, Bleu Cheese, Roquefort, Steak Tartare, Brains, Truffles, Camel's Feet, Boudin
Spain: Criadillas, Morcillas
European Jews: Schmaltz, Gefilte Fish, Kishke
Germany: Limburger, Bierkase, Blutwurst, Kuddeln, Ochsenmaul-Salat, Schweinsmagen, Curry Wurst
Italy: Cynar and Campari liqueurs, Carpaccio, Cibreo, Song Birds, Gorgonzola
Greece: Retsina
Sicily: Ricci di Mare
Sardinia: Maggot-Cheese
Mediterranean: Sheep's head. The whole thing, cooked and skinned. Includes the eyeballs. Cheese (what a concept!) Octopus, Cicada, Octopus and Squid in Ink
Russia: Borscht, Kvass, Caviar, Vesiga
Africa: Blood fresh from living livestock, Grasshoppers, Okra, Fufu, Gari, Urine, Ugali, Clay, Goat's Head, Chitoum
Central Asia: Kumiss (Fermented Mare's Milk), Yogurt, Sheep Fat
China: Bird's Nest Soup, Sea Cucumber, Jellyfish, Rat, Snake, Drunken Shrimp, Jelled Blood, Bear Paws, Cho Do Fu, Tiger Testicles, Owl Soup, Thousand-Year Eggs, Sa Kuo Yu Toe, Fish Flotation Bladder, Bao Bing (Shaved Ice), Pork Uterus, Camel (and Cow) Tendons, Oyster Sauce, Snake Wine
Tibet: Yak Milk (Rancid), Tea with Yak Butter
India: Cow Urine, Human Urine
Southern India: Blazing Curry
Burma: a MAE oo, Ngapi-jaw
Hong Kong: Monkey Brains
Southeast Asia: Durian, Fermented Fish-Paste, Dog Meat, Snakes, Ngapi-Jaw, Bull Penis, Sour Candies, Fish Eyes
Thailand: Kapi, Grasshoppers, Snake Blood, Water Bugs

Indonesia: Blachan, Dog-Meat Restaurants, Bats
Malaysia: Ice Kachang (Shaved Ice) Belachan
Philippines: Baalut, Bagong (fish paste), Diniguan
Australia: Vegemite, Marmite, Kangaroo, Witchety Grub, Beetroot, Honey Ants
Papua-New Guinea: Sago Worms
Borneo: Monitor Lizard
Korea: Kim Chee, Silk Worm Grubs, Tiger Penis Soup
Japan: Fugu, Natto, Sashimi, Shiokara, Tofu, Miso, Uni, Mountain Potato, Seaweed, Takosu, Takoyaki, Tempeh, Crickets, Unagi, Gingko Seeds, Okra (Raw!)
Hawaii: Poi, Spam Musubi
Arctic Alaska: Blubber, Stinkheads
U.S. in general: Spam, Chewing Gum, Iceberg Lettuce, Bread, Beer, Peanut Butter
U.S. Northwest: Geoduck Clams
U.S. West: Prairie Oysters, Fried Pork Rinds, Blood-Rare Steak, Rattlesnake
U.S. Midwest: White Castle Sliders, Jell-O Salad, Fruitcake, American Cheese Food Product, such as Velveeta, in Fried Cheese Balls, Cincinnati Greek Chili
U.S. South: Grits, Crawfish, Hog Maws And Snouts, Etc Dropped Fowl, Chicken Feet, Chitterlings, Iced Tea, Ramps, Turkey Deep-Fried Whole (Fried Everything) Chicken-Fried Steak, Dill Pickles Fried
U.S. East: Souse, Pork Loaf
U.S. Northeast: Scrapple, Cod Liver Oil, Pumpkin Pie, Raw Oysters, Lobster, Fiddlehead Ferns
Canada: Sugar Pie, Poutine, Oreilles De Christ, Cod Tongues, Cod Cheeks, Pemmican, Cracklings, Seal Flipper Pie, Spruce Beer
Mexico: Tequila Worms, Menudo, Habanero & Jalapeno Peppers, Mole, Chichirrones (Chitterlings), Ceviche, Grasshoppers
Brazil: Gari
Agentina: Morcillas
Iceland: Hakarl


The following glossary of explanations is alphabetically arranged.
http://www.geocities.com/adams_dhanjal/recipes/archive/Rays_List_of_Weird_and_Disgusting_Foods.htm

Gingersnap
04-20-2009, 10:03 AM
We don't really eat Rocky Mountain oysters out here; it's just a trick you play on your out-of-town friends.

Europeans don't like peanut butter? :confused:

megimoo
04-21-2009, 07:40 PM
We don't really eat Rocky Mountain oysters out here; it's just a trick you play on your out-of-town friends.

Europeans don't like peanut butter? :confused:Asians do .Some/most Europeans don't like anything American .

AHeneen
04-21-2009, 08:32 PM
Grits!!! Iced tea!!! Is this person crazy? What's so disgusting about those?

Grits are only disgusting when stupid northerners think they're the same as cream of wheat (it's ground CORN, not ground wheat) and put milk on them (try them with salt & pepper...or gop fancy with ginger, garlic, cheese, or bacon). I had grits with ginger and some herb not long ago, and I could have ate the entire pot of it!

Iced tea is only disgusting plain, but tastes great with a packet or two of Equal or all-out sweet tea.


US in general: Spam, Chewing Gum, Iceberg Lettuce, Bread, Beer, Peanut Butter

I'll agree with the spam (and Iceberg lettuce to a small extent)...but I have no idea how to respond to listing of the others? Gum, Bread, & Beer are found in almost every country on earth!

And what's wrong with some of the meats listed? What's the difference between kangaroo and a cow or pig? If anything, kangaroo is very low in fat and they live quite clean...compare that to fat pigs that live in the mud. What makes it worse? Kangaroo, which I tried a few years ago, is very tasty...rather similar to beef. Same logic can be applied to horse meat, frog legs, etc.

patriot45
04-21-2009, 11:05 PM
I can handle / try almost all foods but the asians can gag you! I saw a show where they were eating live baby octopi on a stick!:eek:
If you were able to chew - swallow before it killed you, you had a tasty meal! :D

I never had haggis either!

Molon Labe
04-22-2009, 09:43 AM
Good Grief!!

People in the South do not eat Chicken feet. :rolleyes:
My grandma was about as country as they come and this is not something that was on the menu. This is much more common in Asia and Africa.

expat-pattaya
04-22-2009, 10:44 AM
Asians do eat weird stuff.

I see the "melange" carts go by all the time. They have a little wok for frying and an assortment of bugs for your selection. Crickets, cockroaches (maybe some other kind of beattle but I swear they look like 'em), grubs, black scorpions, flying ants, etc.

The girls crowd around and point at what they want and he fries em up on the spot. I always wondered, if a live insect flew into the wok while he is cooking up your insects, does that mean you get them free or is the fresh insect an added charge? :rolleyes:

Nothing worse than having your fish and chips delivered to your table and you look up as your friends thai girlfriend has just bitten a 4 inch fried cockroach in half and its guts are oozing out. Can be off-putting.

And then you think about it. And have to ask - Do you kiss that mouth? :eek:

Gingersnap
04-22-2009, 11:52 AM
Good Grief!!

People in the South do not eat Chicken feet. :rolleyes:
My grandma was about as country as they come and this is not something that was on the menu. This is much more common in Asia and Africa.

Chicken feet go into the broth to make soup but they come out with all other now-useless stuff once the broth is actually made.

Iceberg lettuce has it's uses. It holds up a lot better than looseleaf lettuce if you use it in sandwiches that are going to travel a lot. You can also dice it very finely for Tex-Mex foods like tacos or burritos. You can't do that with your more upscale lettuces.

megimoo
04-22-2009, 12:04 PM
I can handle / try almost all foods but the asians can gag you! I saw a show where they were eating live baby octopi on a stick!:eek:
If you were able to chew - swallow before it killed you, you had a tasty meal! :D

I never had haggis either!Haggis isn't bad .It's like a large fat boiled sausage.A sheeps stomach stuffed with mutton and meat from the lungs, heart, and liver of a sheep, chopped with onions, seasonings, suet, and oatmeal, and then broiled in a bag made from the sheep's stomach. It's usually served on New Years evening in Scotland !

Water Closet
04-22-2009, 12:08 PM
Anyone who thinks "Bleu Cheese, Roquefort, Steak Tartare, and Truffles" are weird and/or disgusting is a peasant, who clearly has not, for example, tasted Paul Bocuse's heavenly soupe aux truffes in Lyon. :mad:

megimoo
04-22-2009, 12:09 PM
Good Grief!!

People in the South do not eat Chicken feet. :rolleyes:
My grandma was about as country as they come and this is not something that was on the menu. This is much more common in Asia and Africa.There is a lot of glutin in the chicken feet .The Chinese use them as a sort of gelatin like thickener for soup and Dim Sum !

Molon Labe
04-22-2009, 04:00 PM
There is a lot of glutin in the chicken feet .The Chinese use them as a sort of gelatin like thickener for soup and Dim Sum !

Maybe I was wrong....:(


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRROayJdCW4

AlmostThere
05-20-2009, 12:16 AM
Grits!!! Iced tea!!! Is this person crazy? What's so disgusting about those?


I'd have to add those and Crayfish to my WTF list.

patriot45
05-20-2009, 10:00 AM
I'd have to add those and Crayfish to my WTF list.

You don't like mud bugs! :D We had a guy at this years wild game fest from La. come in and do a mess of them. They were Smack yo mamma,delicious! Don't forget to suck the head! :eek:

AlmostThere
05-20-2009, 05:26 PM
You don't like mud bugs! :D We had a guy at this years wild game fest from La. come in and do a mess of them. They were Smack yo mamma,delicious! Don't forget to suck the head! :eek:

Au contraire! I don't understand how grits, ice tea or crayfish made this list. I was raised on all three and find them anything but disgusting. Sometimes I have a little trouble with Boudin but it depends on the type and who's making it.

noonwitch
05-21-2009, 01:34 PM
Au contraire! I don't understand how grits, ice tea or crayfish made this list. I was raised on all three and find them anything but disgusting. Sometimes I have a little trouble with Boudin but it depends on the type and who's making it.


Grits are not a yankee thing, so I've never eaten them, but aren't they basically the corn-based version of oatmeal? That's not disgusting. I like crayfish, too.