General Question

ibstubro's avatar

What's the most unusual thing you've cooked and eaten?

Asked by ibstubro (12490 points ) May 12th, 2014

I want to think dandelions might top my list.

Eel. Alligator.

If someone would bring me a rattlesnake, I’d love to try it.

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42 Answers

boffin's avatar

Rattlesnake

Mimishu1995's avatar

Ant. Mosquitoes.

zenvelo's avatar

Sea Urchin.

I had a roommate who went scuba diving and came back with urchins. This was before sushi became popular in the United States. He had some weird recipe for a sea urchin fondue.

It was gawd-awful.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Sushi Umi (raw sea urchin) is out of this world.

Chicken livers. And I made a white gravy from scratch to pour over them. Plus a garden salad and veggies with a side of mash potatoes.

Coloma's avatar

@marinelife Nice. I think I need some chocolate now. haha

I have had Elk Raviole, made by a neighbor from a an Elk he killed, Otherwise, I have never cooked and eaten anything unusual on my own. That’s okay, I am not into weird meats.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I’ve eaten a ton of bizarre things. The weirdest one that I cooked myself however would have to be cicadas. One of the 17 year broods came up while I was in culinary school, so a few of us went out and harvested the cicadas and then fried them up in a pan with some butter and minced garlic. Delicious.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Chickweed, crawdads, morels, poke sallet, sassafras tea, squirrel. I have had alligator also.

thorninmud's avatar

Back in my meat-eating days, when I was living in France, I would sometimes cook foie gras (the fattened livers of force-fed geese or ducks) for holiday meals. The raw livers are ungodly expensive, require fastidious preparation more akin to surgery than cooking, and if they’re not very carefully cooked they simply melt into a puddle of super-expensive fat.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Nothing exotic, just seaweed soup.

Coloma's avatar

@thorninmud Aaaah…running away with hands over ears…no, no, haha
The foie gras industry is one of the cruelest ever, horribly cruel.

cazzie's avatar

Yeah, Kina (New Zealand Sea Urchin)... a client’s wife loved the stuff and after a boat ride in the harbour, we had gotten quite a haul of kina and scallops. I tried the kina (they don’t cook it, they eat it raw, right out of the shell).... it came back up. No way.

I remember camping and being allowed to stay up really late to go bullhead fishing. This was back in Wisconsin. We kids sat there on the dock with our worms sitting on the bottom and we pulled them up one after another. Yummm.

Kardamom's avatar

I’ve eaten most of these Asian Fake Meat Products at restaurants, mostly in Asian restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County. I thought they were fantastic!

At other non-Asian vegetarian restaurants (and at home) I’ve eaten Seitan and Baked Tofu and Tempeh

I’ve eaten seaweed as a Salad at multiple Asian restaurants, and in a raw vegan soup at a Vegan/Raw restaurant called Au Lac, and dried Seaweed Snacks

Kimchi

Lots and lots and lots of Indian food! Mostly at buffets all over Southern California.

Hard boiled quail eggs. They were in a Brazilian salad bar and I thought they were green olives, until I bit into it and realized it was an egg. They taste just like regular hen eggs.

Gochujang

Mushrooms including Maitake and Bunashimeji and Enoki and giant King Trumpets

Young Green Coconut. They lop the top off the coconut, then you drink the water with a straw and then you spoon out the tender sweet flesh. One of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

I ate poi in Hawaii, which I hated.

28lorelei's avatar

Possibly one of the “weirder” foods (though it’s not weird in Northern Finland) that I’ve had on a somewhat regular basis of a few times a year is sauteed reindeer. It’s quite tasty when combined with lingonberries and mashed potatoes.

Some other odd things I’ve eaten include dried jellyfish, seaweed, snails, mealworms and a lot of others…

LostInParadise's avatar

I am guessing that kimchi and preserved lemons are not going to seem exotic.

Has anyone here ever had sea cucumber? I have seen it on the menu in Korean restaurants and have never had the courage to order it.

Coloma's avatar

Oh wait…I forgot about the pickled green sea snails I sucked out their shell on a dare in an asian night market in 2010. I had plenty of Taiwan beer as a chaser. lol
I did not eat the highly suspect yellow sausage served on the Air China flight. Maybe id I was drinking copious amounts of asian ale. haha

ibstubro's avatar

I’d love to cook rattlesnake, @boffin. As a kid I had it from a tin, but don’t remember it.

I’ve not intentionally eaten bugs that I remember, @Mimishu1995. Well chocolate covered something when I was a kid.

I’d try urchin, @zenvelo, @Dan_Lyons, & @cazzie.

I don’t consider chicken livers exotic, @Dan_Lyons?

No. Just NO, @marinelife. No oysters that didn’t come from the sea, for me!

You are getting old, @Coloma…no more strange meat.

Cicadas win the prize, @El_Cadejo. Wish I’d been there…I don’t know that I have the balls to try it on my own.

I love crawdads and morels, @ARE_you_kidding_me. I think most of the rest I’ve tried, mixed results.

Can’t support the foie gras, @thorninmud, way shape or form.

Seaweed soup sounds good, @Hypocrisy_Central, and I don’t know that I’ve had it.

My sister had hard boiled quail eggs at her wedding, @Kardamom, 35 years ago. Dyed blue and pickled. I love oyster mushrooms!!

Lingonberries almost sound more exotic than reindeer, @28lorelei. I imagine the meat is meat, but what do the berries taste like?

Do us (and yourself) a favor, and order the Sea Cucumber next time, @LostInParadise. Report back.

HOW can your forget eating pickled green sea snails? @Coloma

Mimishu1995's avatar

@ibstubro I only said I cooked and ate them. I didn’t say I intentionally ate it. And yes. ants and mosquitoes sometimes just jumped into my pot without reason, and I sometimes ate them without knowing they were there. Ants’ taste was horrible :(

Luckily there were no flies :P

Coloma's avatar

@ibstubro * no more strange meat* LMAO!!!!*

El_Cadejo's avatar

@ibstubro As with a lot of arthropods, if you didn’t actually know what you were eating, you would assume it was seafood. While I haven’t cooked them myself, I can tell you scorpions taste exactly like crab and tarantulas like lobster.

I don’t think it’s that unusual but I suppose a lot of people do since it’s not a common American fruit, recently I got my hands on a jackfruit. IMO it tastes like a mix between banana, pineapple, and the creamy flavor of coconut. Quite good. Unfortunately I turned out to be allergic to it. Still I had 40lbs of fruit so I made jackfruit ice cream(which was evidently quite delicious) and I am also soaking a good bit of it in everclear currently. I plan on following my lemoncello recipe except replacing the lemons with jackfruit. Should turn out quite good. Shame I can’t drink any :(

Coloma's avatar

Has anybody tried Jackalope?

kritiper's avatar

@Coloma Never tried Jackalope but I had a can of Jack rabbit milk once. Higher in vitamin J and P than beer or watermelon.

Coloma's avatar

@kritiper Vitamins J & P? What?
Horse…really…ewwww.
Jackalope is a fictitious animal. haha

Unbroken's avatar

well cooked and eaten does narrow it down. Guess that would be goat neck the local butcher was raving about it and so I was game. Another one would be cooked spam rolls… I had a friend who was Thai sort of well second generation…. she refuses to eat raw fish and enjoyed cooking that was one of the recipes she taught me. I think it was the first and last time i ever ate spam.

Just eaten includes blubber, Eskimo ice cream (Crisco and berries) cow brains, stinky head fish and roe… none of which I will eat again.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@Unbroken I am proud to be able to say I’ve never eaten spam :P
What type of roe did you eat? Flying fish roe IMO is almost more of a garnish without much taste, more texture. Salmon roe, to me, is if ice breakers made a salmon flavor lol.

thorninmud's avatar

@Coloma and @ibstubro

Yes, the whole foie gras thing is unsupportable. It’s an interesting case study, though, in how unsupportable stuff becomes accepted. Americans find it easy to take a moral position on foie gras because they have no cultural connection to it, no habituation to the practice, and have no idea how incredibly good it tastes.

To the French, foie gras has all kinds of positive cultural associations: it’s the indulgence that only shows up at very special occasions (think Thanksgiving turkey, if turkey tasted 50 times better). Under those circumstance, people form a deep emotional attachment to food that makes them not want to look very closely at the downside. The foie gras farmers put out the message that the ducks and geese enjoy the force feeding process and actually come eagerly to be fed; it’s easy to believe that if it means that you don’t have to question the process that gets this yummy stuff to your table. And, of course, the fact that everybody around you is drooling over this stuff and seemingly has no problem with it makes you less likely to question it.

The fact is that almost everybody is subject to some version of these same influences. As a long-time vegetarian, I find plenty to be upset about in the process that brings bacon to the table. The fact that I don’t eat it frees me from the need to justify that process (and the whole meat-producing enterprise). But I still eat eggs and dairy products. It would be really hard for me to give those up because I love them and they make my life easier. There’s no cultural pressure on me to give them up, and I can easily feel that by not eating meat I’ve already made enough sacrifice on behalf of animals. Still, if I’m perfectly honest, I could certainly make the case to myself that even eggs and dairy are insupportable.

Coloma's avatar

@thorninmud Eggs are really not an issue as long as the hens are not caged and de-beaked. I am lucky to have kept happy hens for years and enjoyed their delicious fresh eggs. Goose eggs too. I also live in an area where I can get free range, country chicken eggs all over the place.
Maybe you should get a trio of hens and grow your own, and, bonus, you can play chicken games with them, like chicken touch bread ball.

Throw a piece of bread down the field and watch the chicken huddle run and bump each other out of the way to score the bread. lol

cazzie's avatar

Lingon berries are like cranberries if I’m not mistaken.

28lorelei's avatar

@ibstubro, lingonberries are quite tart. As @cazzie has said, they are kinda like cranberries, but they’re not the same. These are smaller and more tart, in a different way- I venture to say they’re more tart, but the flavour is different. They are small, hardy plants that grow in northern Scandinavia. The berries are bright red and maybe half a centimetre in diameter. I think you might be able to find either dried or frozen lingonberries at IKEA.
Since you seemed interested in arctic berries, I shall digress and talk about other arctic berries as well. Crowberries are around the same size as lingonberries but black, and the plant is the same size but looks quite different. It’s hardier than a lingonberry, and the leaves are reminiscent of needles. Here are some photos: lingonberryรค+2012+040.JPG and crowberry
Same goes for another arctic berry, the cloudberry. This berry is yellowish and is kinda like a raspberry in shape except that the sections are bigger. Unlike the other two, it grows almost exclusively in bogs and while it is also a tiny plant, it has larger leaves. Here is a photo. You can probably find this berry in jam form somewhere (although it will probably be fairly expensive).

Unbroken's avatar

@El_Cadejo I am quite sure spam isn’t food. But actually the combo didn’t taste as terrible as I anticipated. Salmon roe. Put me in the not a fan list. It was a valiant effort not to gag.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Goat. It is really very good. I don’t know why Americans don’t eat goat. It is more popular in Europe. In the old days, in the alps, a family could keep a herd of goats and they would provide milk, cheese and meat. What a deal. And they are easy to keep.

Kardamom's avatar

@28lorelei Thanks for all the info about the arctic berries : )

Coloma's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I knew a Nubian goat named Chevis Regal. He was a kick.
‘Isn’t goat meat called Chevis?

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I have no idea what it’s called, but it is really good. The other white meat. :) Goat liver is really good, too. Very mild.

28lorelei's avatar

My pleasure, @Kardamom :) I thought I would talk about them since I was asked about lingonberries and there are many other kinds. Of course, they also have more “standard” berries such as gooseberries, currants, strawberries (and forest strawberries), raspberries and blueberries. Berries tend to like arctic conditions because they get 24 or near 24 hour sunlight and they don’t need a long growing season.

ibstubro's avatar

I have a hard time finding free range eggs, @thorninmud, and I feel guilty eating store-bought.

I heard that the CDC was blaming Salmonella outbreaks in something like twenty-three states on people kissing chickens @Coloma. It was on NPR today.

Thanks for the berry lore, @28lorelei!

I used to love cold Spam with ketchup on it, BTW, before I quit eating animals.

Wish I’d tried goat before I gave up meat, @Skaggfacemutt. I’ve never heard that about goat liver, either. Would never have guessed it…Ii liked beef and chicken liver but pig liver was hideous.

Another thing I heard on NPR today, @Coloma: I Iowa farm is trying to raise whiskey flavored pork. Guessing that they’re feeding the hogs used corn mash, and not whiskey.

Kardamom's avatar

@ibstubro Do you know whether anyone makes vegetarian Spam? I remember way back when, when I was a little kid, trying Spam and thinking that it tasted pretty good. Kinda salty, kinda sweet, not as bad as everyone makes it out to be (except for the ingredients list). The flavor was OK.

ibstubro's avatar

I shudder at the thought, @Kardamom. The chemics involved in such a product boggle the mind!!

Coloma's avatar

@ibstubro I have kissed chickens, geese, cats. dogs, horses, asses, rats, bunnies, parrots, mice, hamsters, goats pn the beaks and lips for 50 something years and here I still am. I must have a great immune system. A few human asses and rats too. haha

ibstubro's avatar

Here, @Coloma.

“Contact with live poultry can be a source of human Salmonella infections. Many ill persons in this outbreak reported bringing the live poultry into their homes, and others reported kissing or cuddling with the live poultry.”

Looks like kissing and cuddling chickens is popular around the Great Lakes?

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