The kind of stuff that makes you say "whoa; who would eat that?" Some of them I have enjoyed, but I try not to think about them when I'm eating. Here is my list (I haven't tried all these, btw).

haggis, potted meat, vegemite, head cheese, vienna sausages, hot dogs (cheap ones, in particular), chitterlings (commonly called chitlins in the American South), possum, escargot, arachnids, insects . . .

Upon review, it seems as though all the disgusting foods are from animals except the vegemite, which is specifically disgusting because it tastes horrible. The others just give me the willies. Almost makes a guy want to go vegetarian.


OK, MissCreant, you do have a point. I actually ate some okra when last I went home to visit my parents in Mississippi. My mom cut it up in some blackeyed peas, which is really the worst way to have it. I toughed it out, though. It is a bit gross. I don't understand what sort of idiot first decided it would be good to eat.
But wait robwicks! Before you commit to a big lifestyle change...

What about okra?

Okra is a vegetable, but it's as disgusting as some of the things you've listed there! People here in the American South love this stuff, but as you pointed out, these folks eat chitterlings too. Okra is green and vaguely pod shaped. It has a remarkably mucous-like texture AND hair. People deep-fry it, they pickle it (which is espeically vile!) and they cut it up to use in soup and gumbo and that kind of thing. They love it, in all its hairy and slimy splendor. Bleah.

There's several reasons why someone would want to eat disgusting food.

Poor people will eat whatever they can afford.

No, really. Ever notice that most of the disgusting foods you've named are part of the regular diet of people in depressed areas? If you can't afford much, you won't waste any vaguely edible animal part you can get. If all you have is a sheep, and you have to feed a family of sixteen, then you're gonna damn well going to eat every single last bit of that sheep.

Hence, haggis. Or pig's feet. Back home, we don't make gravy from chicken or turkey innards - we make new dishes. I particularly like balun-balunan - chicken gizzard. We used to buy this by the kilo...

Also, if a locust swarm flies in and destroys your crop, what do you do? You have fried locust for dinner. You might at least get a little revenge.

I've eaten rat, taken straight from the rice fields. Country rats are pretty clean, as opposed to city rats, which carry sewer stench (you can smell it on the meat). Of course, rice farmers only eat rat when the harvest is lean, and you can't afford chicken.

Maggots, termites, and other insects are good protein sources. There's nothing quite like the taste of a fat, juicy grub, roasting on the end of a stick. (I generally spit out the head and the hard mouthparts, but some like crunching it).

Bet you can't eat that.

Never underestimate the power of the dare. Especially when you and your friends are really, really drunk.

Anything can become fair game. Dogs. The aforementioned rats. Live goldfish. A Filipino delicacy is bayawak, or monitor lizard. Think Komodo dragon, but smaller, about a couple of feet long. Of course it tastes like chicken - that's what the lizards mostly eat.

I've even watched an uncle pick up a pink, newborn baby mouse, dip it, still wriggling, in vinegar, and pop it in his mouth.

It's like herbal Viagra y'know?

And of course, last but not least, people who eat animal parts because they believe it'll make 'em stronger/smarter/better in bed. Tiger claws, powdered rhino horn. Shark fin soup. Most of these stem from ancient Chinese practices, and are consequently more popular around the Asian side of the Pacific Rim. This seems to be waning, especially with the ready availability of Pfizer's wonder drug.

Filipino equivalents are many - including balut. You could also try what is discreetly labeled in roadside kitchens as "Soup No. 5". This consists of stew made from bull genitalia - although most times, this qualifies as "dare" food, it is also believed to enhance sexual prowess. Betcha can't eat just one. :-)

So remember, every time you shy away from eating something disgusting - there are kids on the other side of the planet who are probably sick and tired of eating it every day.

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