People around the world eat some some funky junk; such as:
In addition to being obscenely expensive, it gets its name from the fact that the Civet Cat eats the raw coffee beans, and then alimentarily expels them on the jungle floor. People then pick through the “tootsie rolls” to find the beans–which–I hope–are sufficiently cleaned before being ground into coffee, and served to you!
(That extra “something-something” in your cup? Well, never mind that–pick it out, and drink up).
I fear if I had to pitch this brew to the world, I would fail epically:
“Civet Cat Coffee–because feline rectums aren’t just for making tootsie rolls anymore. They’re also for drinking!”
Now we move on from a murky brew to an animal that traverses the murky deep:
The shark–and specifically the shark as it’s eaten in Iceland.
Like Apple Computer, those fine, hardy, Nordic people “think different,” possess interesting tastes–and apparently cast iron stomachs.
What do I mean?
Well, those savvy Icelanders have a culinary delight known as Hákarl. What is Hákarl? Fermented shark. Yes, you read that right: fermented shark.
The sharks are caught, prepared, buried, and (literally) hung out to dry–for four to five months!
It is only after all this time that the “meat” is eaten. I’m told it has the consistency of a nice ripe cheese and all the flavor of ammonia!
Dear Icelanders: if something smells, and, tastes like ammonia, you don’t eat it!
Can you imagine the ad campaign for this one in the States?
“Hákarl! Not only is it what’s for dinner, it’s also the other, other, other, other, other, other, other white meat. And it not only cleans out your insides, but your bathrooms as well. Win-win!”
(I’m not even going to get into Súrsaðir hrútspungar–pickled ram’s testicles–well, just because).
So far, we’ve travelled–culinarily–from Indonesia to Iceland, covering coffee, and sharks. Time and space don’t permit me to go over:
Menudo–not just a former boy band featuring Ricky Martin, but also a “hearty” breakfast food made of stomach lining. Since cows have seven, which stomach is this stuff made from?
Liver “mush.” Often served with grape jelly. Nuff said. (You don’t want to know what’s in it).
Chitlins. A funny-sounding word for intestines. The secret to good chitlins? Boil the poo out of them.
That’s my list. What “culinary treasures” have you encountered? What noxious foods have you actually eaten? What’s on your verboten list?