Yes, But Would You Eat It? “O” is for Okra


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

photo from publicdomainpictures.net

I first tried okra in my mother’s Brunswick stew. She’d make it a few times a year, and it was full of chicken, corn, lima beans, and a new vegetable, okra. I can’t say I loved it, but I ate it.

Most people believe okra originated in West Africa or Ethiopia. It grows in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions around the world. The products of the okra pods are mucilaginous, which gives them their characteristic “goo” or slime when the seed pods are cooked. Okra can be cooked, pickled, or eaten raw.

Here’s a recipe for Brunswick stew with okra. If you haven’t tried it, this is a gentle way in.

So, would you eat okra?

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Yes, But Would You Eat It? “N” is for Nori


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

photo from flickr.com

A name familiar to crossword puzzle aficionados and Words with Friends players, nori is the Japanese name for edible seaweed. It is used mainly in Japanese cuisine as an ingredient to wrap sushi rolls. For this use, the nori must be made into sheets.

The finished dried sheets are made by shredding and rack-drying the seaweed, and is similar to papermaking. Here’s a guy attempting to make his own nori sheets at home:

While seaweed is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate, it also contains toxic metals (arsenic and cadmium), whose levels vary among different nori products. Enjoy it in moderation, but don’t eat it every day.

So, would you eat nori?

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Yes, But Would You Eat It? “M” is for Muktuk


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

photo from commons.wikimedia.org

What does it look like? Whale skin and blubber? Yes, that’s what it is!

Traditionally eaten raw or frozen, it can also be cooked (chopped, breaded, and deep-fried). Muktuk is a good source of vitamin C, but, as whales grow, mercury accumulates in the liver, kidney, muscle, and blubber, and cadmium settles in the blubber. Lord knows what else is in there these days, but there are undoubtedly carcinogens.

In the Inuit culture, it’s a sign of respect to use the entire whale, and that includes consuming its blubber and skin. If you’re invited to dinner at an Inuit’s home, you might be served muktuk. And that means I have to ask…

Would you eat muktuk?

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Yes, But Would You Eat It? “L” is for Loquat


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

photo from flickr.com

No animal parts today! L is for loquat. As you can see from the photo above, the loquat grows in clusters. They’re yellow or orange, sometimes with a little reddish hue,and are sweetest when they’re orange. The flavor of the loquat is a mixture of peach, citrus, and mango.

The loquat is native to China, but is now found in many parts of the world, including Japan, Afghanistan, Australia, Bermuda, Kenya, India, and South Africa. You’ll also likely find loquats in the warmer parts of the United States.

You can eat them fresh, in fruit salad, or as a jam or jelly. It’s low in sodium and high in vitamin A, B6, fiber, potassium, and manganese. Looking for some loquat recipes? Click HERE.

So, would you eat a loquat? And if you have, what did you think?

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Yes, But Would You Eat It? “K” is for Khash


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

photo from flickr.com

Well-known in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Persia, and Albania, khash is a dish of boiled cow or sheep parts, which might include the head, feet, and stomach. Called “khashi” in Georgia, it’s served with onions, milk, and salt, and is typically eaten in the morning, or to help get rid of a hangover. In Iran, the dish is seasoned with lemon and cinnamon. In Albania, it’s stewed with onion, garlic, black pepper, and vinegar.

Here’s a short video showing how to eat khash:

So, knowing what goes into it, would you like a bowl of khash?

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Yes, But Would You Eat It? “J” is for Jing Leed


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

photo from flickr.com

We all like snacks, right? If you head over to Thailand, you’ll find one of the country’s most popular snack foods – jing leed. Or…crickets. Fry them briefly in a wok, add some Golden Mountain sauce (it comes in a bottle, and it’s a little like Maggi seasoning), toss in some Thai pepper powder, and voila! Jing leed!

Now we here in the US tend not to snack on insects, but the Asians do. They know they’re cheap, full of protein, fiber, minerals. And crunchy! We like crunchy. Just swap out your Cheetos for crickets.

So, tell me – would you eat jing leed?

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Yes, But Would You Eat It? “I” is for Irish Moss


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

photo from eBay

Irish Moss is actually seaweed from the North Atlantic Ocean. Irish Moss got its name during the potato famine in Ireland in the 1840s. People were starving and desperate for food, and they began eating the red algae that washed up on the rocks along the coast.

Irish Moss is a mucilaginous food, much like okra, aloe, and chia seeds. Its gelatinous texture can be beneficial to the respiratory and digestive systems (it’s good for the mucus membranes!). It might also help to get rid of the bad bacteria in your gut, and wouldn’t that be great? It’s got B vitamins for energy, iodine compounds for thyroid health, and magnesium and potassium, both mood boosters. Yay!

Here’s a drink recipe using Irish (sea) moss from iamhealthyfit.com

The Best Green Smoothie Recipe In The World

Ingredients
  • 1 cup of homemade ginger tea
  • 1 cup of kale
  • 1/2 of a green apple
  • 1/2 of a ripe banana
  • 1 tsp of chia seeds
  • 1 tsp of irish sea moss
  • 1 serving of your favorite plant base protein powder

Instructions

  1. Make your ginger tea (boil ginger root with water for 45 – 1 hour). A nice size is about the size of your hand in length, and 1 – 2 inches thick.

  2. Cut your apple into chunks

  3. Cut your bananas

  4. Wash your kale and remove the stems

  5. Place all your ingredients in a blender (I use the ninja) and Enjoy!

  6.  

So, would you give Irish Moss a whirl?

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Yes, But Would You Eat It? “H” is for Haggis


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

photo commons.wikimedia.org

I know some of you have eaten haggis. What did you think? It’s a Scottish dish, made of sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs, minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock and cooked, traditionally, in the sheep’s stomach. served with “neeps” (turnips) and “tatties” (potatoes), it appears on the plate like a crumbly sausage. It’s traditionally made with the sheep’s organs, but can be cooked with lamb, beef, pork, or rabbit.

Historically, the hunters would return with their game kill, and the organs that would go bad the earliest had to be cooked. The animal’s stomach was used to hold all the ingredients. You simmer it in a pot for hours, but you don’t want the stomach lining to burst, now do you? No, you don’t.

So, would you eat a hot steaming plate of haggis? And if you have, how was it?

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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.

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.

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.

photo from en.m.wikipedia.org

So, would you eat the fugu?

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