Traveling opens the door to so many new experiences. Meeting new people, getting to know new cultures and seeing amazing new places are among the wonders of traveling. One of my favorites, however, is tasting new foods. I love trying strange foods and will hardly ever shy away from new dishes. Ricky, too, is beginning to be a more adventurous eater. Here is a list of 10 of the strangest things we’ve eaten so far. Now just to clarify, we list 10 different creatures, not parts of them. We’ve had cow stomach and duck intestines, but duck and cow aren’t that strange. The following list contains 10 animals that the majority of you probably haven’t tried.
|Yes, they taste the way they look.|
I’ll start with the creepy-crawlies, because, well, they're the worst.. First is silkworm, a popular dish in China. I tried them twice. The first time was disgusting and I couldn’t actually swallow it. The outside of the worm was a sort of chewy/crunchy texture, and when I bit down on it, the goo from the inside flooded my mouth. It was absolutely vile. The flavor was rancid, the texture even worse. I spit it up into a napkin.
The second time was much better. The inside was cooked better, so it had the texture of a firm tofu. The outside was
chewable, so I could actually swallow it. The flavor was much better than the first time as well. Still, though, silkworm is not a great food, at least for my tastes.
|Who decided eating this thing was a good idea?|
The scorpions I had were tiny little things, with not much to them. They were cooked on skewers that were almost as big around as they were. And that’s pretty much it. There wasn’t much flavor, or actual edible stuff. Just a crunchy little tid-bit.
All I remember thinking as I was about to pop this crunchy morsel into my mouth was this: “It’s looking at me. It can see into my soul.”
|I will devour your first born child, with all your hopes and dreams on the side.|
And then I ate it, and it popped a little.
By far the worst insect I’ve eaten. First, they were huge. Second, they still had legs. It took me about 5 minutes to eat one because everything kept getting stuck everywhere. There were legs in my teeth and exoskeleton bits stuck to the back of my throat. It was probably one of the most disgusting eating experiences ever.
|10 months later and I'm still finding bits in my teeth.|
***Just to sum up my bug-eating: never again. I thought before I started traveling that I would be an insect-eater. The thought didn’t really gross me out, so I figured I’d be ok with it. But it’s one of those things that is cool once for the novelty, but after that it’s just gross. Bugs are definitely not something I could make a meal out of. But maybe I just haven’t met the right one…***
|So tall and regal...and tasty.|
This is one of my favorites on this list. We were given it raw, and then we cooked it ourselves on a barbecue. Raw, it was red and looked a lot like beef. Cooked, it still retained that beef-like appearance.
The flavor and texture were delicious. It was tender, and the taste was rich. The Japanese must have eaten this when they discovered umami.
So, this may not be way out there, because it’s pretty much just a cow dressed as Tina Turner, but we're still guessing that not many of you have had the pleasure—nay! The privilege!—of eating yak. It is the most divine meat I have ever eaten.
|Wear it, eat it. It's multipurpose!|
I had a yak steak and a yak burger in China and I could almost hear a choir of angels singing aloud as I chewed each bite. It was oh-so tender, full of flavor, and seemed to melt in my mouth. Each mouthful was a taste of heaven, and I was close to tears when it was all gone.
|Shame on me for using this picture.|
Not one of my favorite meats, but Ricky will eat it any time he gets a chance, mostly because it means that we’re in a North Korean restaurant, and he has a fascination with North Korea.
We’ve had dog twice, and the second time was my favorite. The first time, it was sliced up, and looked like roast beef. It came with a tasty brown sauce and was served cold. The meat was tender and flavorful, but for me there was a strange sort of after-taste…a very doggy sort of after-taste.
The second time we had dog it was in a sort of stew with onions and peppers, served over rice. I really liked it this time. It was so tender and flavorful, with less of the wet-dog after taste.
|Fresh puppy stew.|
Ever since I saw Crocodile Dundee, I have wanted to try snake. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom changed my mind for a while, but I decided if the snake was dead, I’d have no qualms.
So when Ricky and I went to a barbecue joint, we decided to get a little snake to throw on there. Honestly, it was quite good. I think it was pretty fatty, because it shrunk up a lot on the barbecue, and it was fairly chewy. But with a dip in the right sauce it was quite enjoyable.
2. Frog Legs
Now, I’m from Texas, so I had tried frogs legs before, nice deep fried ones. This was Ricky’s first time though, and enjoyed it well enough. The meat was a bit bland, but the texture was nice. It was sort of a mix between fish and chicken. I liked it very much and could definitely make a meal out of it.
Tasty tasty meat. Really. The flavor of the meat was delicious. It was a little chewy for my taste, but the flavor was just right. Ricky and I ate this right up. As a bonus, the day before, we had visited the local crocodile farm, so we got to take a look at this succulent creature before it ended up on our plate.
|The many inhabitants of the local croc farm.|
|To the right of the bowl, frog legs. At the 11 o'clock, crocodile.|