This is a by-product of my lengthy gastronomical discussions with the soon-to-be aussie chairman about the thing we’re similar fond of...food. Weird as these are, having a serving of each makes me want more.
Surstomming is fermented Baltic herring and can be found on supermarket shelves all over Sweden. The herring is caught in spring when it is just about to spawn and is fermented in barrels for one to two months before it is tinned where the fermentation continues for several months. The cans often bulge during shipping and storage because of the continued fermentation process. It has a strong odor likened to a fermented fish enough reason for having it banned on some airlines. It’s usually eaten with a type of flat crispy bread and boiled potatoes. Sometimes people drink milk with it, but beer and water are often used to guzzle it down.
This was featured in the Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman film, ‘’Bucket List’’. Kopi Luwak is the rarest, most expensive gourmet coffee in the world. It’s actually made from the excrements of an Indonesian cat-like creature called the Luwak.
The Luwak eats only the ripest coffee cherries but its stomach can’t digest beans inside them, so they come out whole. The coffee that results from this process is said to be like no other, and the stomach acids and enzymes that perform the fermentation of the beans give the coffee a special aroma.
This process takes place on the islands of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago. With an expensive price tag of anywhere between US$120 – $300 per pound, you might want to start saving now if you want to try this gourmet coffee.
Snake wine is a bottle of rice wine with a venomous snake inside and has ‘medicinal purposes’, but is probably more useful for display purposes than to drink.
The snake is left to steep in the rice wine for many months to let the poison dissolve in the wine. The ethanol makes the venom inactive so it is not dangerous, and snake wine supposedly has many health benefits. It has a slightly pink colour like a nice rose because of the snake blood in there.
It originated in Vietnam, where snakes are thought to possess medicinal qualities, but it has spread to other parts of South East Asia and Southern China. Snake blood wine on the other hand is made by slicing the belly of the snake to let the blood drain into the wine and this is served immediately.
|Fried Brain sandwiches|
Fried Brain sandwiches
Long before the era of Mad-Cow Disease, a sandwich made from fried calves' brain, thinly sliced on white bread was a common item on the menus in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The sandwich is still available in the Ohio River Valley, where the brains are now heavily battered and served on hamburger buns. In El Salvador and Mexico beef brains, lovingly called sesos in Spanish, are used in tacos and burritos. The brains have a mushy texture and very little flavor on their own so the addition of copious amounts of hot sauce definitely helps.
The practice of eating insects for food is called entomophagy and is fairly common in many parts of the world, with the exceptions of Europe and North America (though bugs are apparently a favorite with the television show "Fear Factor"). It is not uncommon to find vendors selling fried grasshoppers, crickets, scorpions, spiders and worms on the streets of Bangkok, Thailand. Insects are high in protein and apparently consist of important fatty acids and vitamins. In fact flour from drying and grinding up mealworm can be and is often used to make chocolate chip cookies.
Found in the city of Sardinia in Italy, casu marzu is a cheese that is home to live insect larvae. These larvae are deliberately added to the cheese to promote a level of fermentation that is close to decomposition, at which point the cheese’s fats are broken down. The tiny, translucent worms can jump up to half a foot if disturbed, which explains why some people prefer to brush off the insects before enjoying a spoonful of the pungent cheese.
With sashimi and sushi readily available the world over, eating raw seafood is no longer considered a dining adventure. The Korean delicacy sannakji however, is something quite different, as the seafood isn't quite dead. Live baby octopus are sliced up and seasoned with sesame oil. The tentacles are still squirming when this dish is served and, if not chewed carefully, the tiny suction cups can stick to the mouth and throat. This is not a dish for the fainthearted.
Balut seems to be on every "strange food" list, usually at the top, and for good reason. Though no longer wriggling on the plate like the live octopus in Korea, the fertilized duck or chicken egg with a nearly-developed embryo that is boiled and eaten in the shell is easily one of the strangest foods in the world. Balut is very common in the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam and usually sold by street vendors. It is said balut tastes like egg and duck (or chicken), which is essentially what it is. It is surprising to many that a food that appears so bizarre—In the end, apparently everything does indeed, just taste like chicken.
So guys, another round?