What’s for dinner, hun? Stuffed pancreas? Mmmmmm

Cat's ploy to sicken her husband with foul-smelling fish (kidding, Cat) got me thinking about Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, on the Discovery Channel.

He travels the world over from street stalls in teeny-tiny rural communities in Asia and Africa to Beijing and Paris and places between sampling the local cuisine and lending weight to the theory that some stomachs truly are made of cast-iron steel.
No matter how repulsive the appearance, how foul the odor or challenging to our concept as this as food, he plunges onward with gusto, guts, good spirit.

Never witnessed him not eat something. Seen him not enjoy it. Seen him have trouble, almost vomit but still he gets it down. Some find his high energy and self-aggrandizing "look at me eating this bizarre food!" annoying; I could see that. Yet anyone with such adventure of spirit gets high marks from me.

As she plans her weekly menus, Cat might draw inspiration from some of the goodies on Andrew's list:

  • roasted liquid-filled barnacles
  • callos — blood sausage and tripe casserole
  • beating heart of frog
  • beating heart of cobra
  • wasp larvae
  • cow's urine tonic
  • fish stomach sauce
  • raw camel kidneys
  • donkey skin
  • cow vein stew
  • penis soup
  • bull's testicles
  • lutefisk — dried cod rehydrated in lye
  • chunos — freeze-dried rotten potatoes
  • civet-cat coffee — coffee made from beans that have been eaten by a civet cat, pooped out, gathered, dried and roasted
  • hakari (8-week-old putrefied shark) in slatur (blood pudding)
  • stuffed pancreas
  • roasted lamb eyeball
  • mangrove worm — resembles a giant nightcrawler
  • balut – fertilized duck embryo steamed and served in the shell

Forget hubby's funky fish. There are other products also from the ocean, for instance sea squire, or piure.

Piure's a creature that uses siphon-like action to ingest food and expel waste. May not look like much, sure. But paired with the right seasonings and a chilled Chianti, it could be exquisite.

Or not. "If there was such a thing as a fish's rear end, that's kind of what it tastes like," Andrew reports. "There's something kind of broken down and putrefied-tasting about it. The inside, the brown part, tastes like a sea urchin. The orange part on the outside tastes like a fishy oyster."

In the unfortunate but likely event that piure's not available in the markets of Australia, possibly sold out, hope remains for the Cat family that likes its fish:

Pickled mackerel. It's from Goa so check the import aisles. "It smells like a lime that you cut open that had been soaked in ammonia … for about two years. Smelling it first is not a good idea. That is sour and fishy, and those are the only two words to describe it."

Bet hubby's dicey fish is lookin' pretty damn gourmet 'bout now.

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