Yes, But Would You Eat It? “G” is for Gaebul


Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge! Each day in April (except Sundays) I’ll be posting about unusual and exotic foods.

gaebul
photo from commons.wikimedia.org

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Yep, it’s actually called the ‘penis fish.’ It’s not really a fish but a marine spoon worm native to Korea, Japan, China, and Russia. The gaebul creates tunnels in the mud, where it traps whatever plankton and little creatures it can suck up.

In Korea, they’re often eaten raw with salt and sesame oil. In China, they’re usually stir-fried with vegetables.

SPOILER ALERT: Don’t watch this video if you have a delicate stomach. I’m serious. This is prepping the gaebul:

Ahem. So, would you eat the gaebul?

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Yes, But Would You Eat It? “F” is for Fugu


Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge! Each day in April (except Sundays) I’ll be posting about unusual and exotic foods.

fugu
photo courtesy of It’s commons.wikimedia.org

It’s called fugu in Japanese, but you might know it as a pufferfish. Fugu can be poisonous unless it’s prepared correctly. The toxic parts of the fish must be carefully removed. There are strict controls over the restaurant preparation of fugu, and only chefs who have undergone three or more years of difficult training are allowed to prepare the fugu.

The liver of the fugu contains tetrodotoxin, which is 1,200 times more lethal than cyanide. But it’s the liver that everyone wants! Qualified chefs prepare paper-thin slices of fugu sashimi.

fugu sashimi
photo from en.m.wikipedia.org

So, would you eat the fugu?

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Yes, But Would You Eat It? “E” is for Escamol(es)


Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge! Each day in April (except Sundays) I’ll be posting about unusual and exotic foods.

escamoles
photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Oh look! More pupae! Yes, escamoles are the edible larvae and pupae of ants. Native to Mexico, particularly Central Mexico, escamoles were a delicacy to the ancient Aztecs. The little eggs look like kernels of corn, or the Italian pignole. They can be fried for crunch, usually in butter with onion and chile, and served in omelets or tacos. How about escamoles salsa? Just mix up some ant larvae with serrano peppers, onion, roasted garlic, salt, epazote sprigs. Your tortilla chips will be surprised!

Escamoles can cost between $35 and $100 for a kilogram (about 2.2 pounds). so apparently they’re still considered a delicacy.

Tell me, would you eat escamoles?

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Yes, But Would You Eat It? “D” is for Durian


Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge! Each day in April (except Sundays) I’ll be posting about unusual and exotic foods.

durian
photo courtesy of pixabay.com

It looks pretty, doesn’t it? This Asian fruit is known more for its stench than anything else. Food writer Richard Sterling has described the smell of durian as “turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away.” Enticing!

So smelly they’re actually banned on Singapore’s mass transit system, durians are nonetheless considered a “superfruit.” The durian is rich in iron, vitmain C, and potassium. A small durian contains 23 grams of dietary fiber (pretty much what you need in a day). But don’t rush out to gorge on durians. In 2010, a Malaysian politician was rushed to the hospital after he complained of breathlessness and dizziness. Seems he’d gone overboard on durians.

So, would you eat a durian?

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Yes, But Would You Eat It? “C” is for Chicken Feet


Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge! Each day in April (except Sundays) I’ll be posting about unusual and exotic foods.

chickenfeet
photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Chicken feet are popular in many countries, even here in certain regions of the United States. Served as a beer snack, a cold dish, or in soup. Actually, with bone broth rising in popularity, chicken feet make an excellent bone broth.

The Chinese use bone broth to strengthen the kidneys and help support digestion. You know the benefits of chicken soup, right?

Okay, broth made from chicken bones and tendons is one thing. In Hong Kong, the chicken feet are typically deep-fried, then simmered in a black bean sauce. In Eastern Europe, the feet are boiled then cooled, and the gelatin from the feet help to make an aspic. In Jamaica, the feet go into the aptly-named chicken foot soup.

So tell me, would you eat chicken feet?

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Yes, But Would You Eat It? “B” is for Beondegi


Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge! Each day in April (except Sundays) I’ll be posting about unusual and exotic foods.

Beondegi
photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Street food is usually a great way to sample local specialties. In this case, head to South Korea and walk around the many food stalls. Now, inhale deeply. Ooh, what’s that enticing aroma? Tangy, a little fishy. Now you stop in front of a food stall offering beondegi. Take a look inside – hey, what is that?

Beondegi isn’t fish, or nuts, or vegetable. It’s steamed or boiled silkworm pupae, and very popular in South Korea! The outer shell gives you that desired crunch, while the inside is juicy. While the usual beondegi is savory, there are some that are candied and sugary. Yum!

Beondegi first became popular during the Korean War, although it’s admittedly an acquired taste. Your street vendor will offer you beondegi in a little cup with a toothpick. loaded with protein, you can also purchase beondegi at a corner market.

So…would you eat beondegi?

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Yes, But Would You Eat It? “A” is for Airag


Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge! Each day in April (except Sundays) I’ll be posting about unusual and exotic foods. 

airag
photo courtesy commons.wikimedia.org

How about some AIRAG? Sometimes spelled ‘ayrag,’ this is the Mongolian word for fermented horse milk. The Russian word for it is ‘kumys,’ but this is letter A, so airag it is!

The milk is filtered through a cloth, then it’s poured into a leather sack. These days, a plastic vat may be used. Lactic acid bacteria plus yeast produces the fermentation, and the airag is stirred often, to make sure all of the milk is fermented equally. When the fermentation process is completed, it has about 2% alcohol. The beverage is a good source of vitamins and minerals.

If you visit Mongolia and are offered a bowl of airag, you should at least take a sip before passing the bowl back to your host. To refuse it outright would be very impolite.

Here’s a guy trying airag:

So…..WOULD YOU DRINK THE AIRAG?