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Freaky Local Cuisine: Fiddleheads

By clover_kicker in Culture
Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 09:50:43 PM EST
Tags: Food (all tags)

Since K5 readers are a diverse bunch, many of us are familiar with local foods that the rest of the world has not heard of.

Most of you will never eat fiddleheads, the immature leaves of the ostrich fern. They are harvested in the early spring before the leaf starts to uncoil, and so have a curled shape reminiscent of the end of a fiddle or violin.

Fiddleheads are a traditional food along the Canadian East Coast, and New England, USA. Originally a favorite of the local native tribes, the white settlers quickly developed a taste for this peculiar green delicacy.

Wild ferns favour damp, shady ground. The banks of streams and rivers in local forests are ideal for picking fiddleheads.

The harvesting season for fiddleheads is short. The ideal fiddlehead is still tightly curled, and snapped off to leave an inch or so of stem. Once the fiddlehead starts to uncurl and look like a fern leaf, it also starts to taste like a fern leaf.

Freshly picked fiddleheads often have a coating of flakey brown "skin", similar to onion skin. Vigorous washing is required to remove this chaff, usually with a garden hose.

Fiddleheads are usually boiled or steamed, and served with vinegar and/or butter. They have a delicate flavour which some compare to a cross between spinach and asparagus.

Although some recipes call for raw fiddleheads, i.e. in a salad, a small rash of food poisoning has prompted warnings from Health Canada and the CDC to always thoroughly wash and fully cook/steam your fiddleheads.

Fiddleheads do not keep well, and taste best when consumed within 3-4 days of picking. They keep indefinitely when frozen but lose their crisp texture, and therefore much of their appeal.

The combination of unusual growing conditions, short harvest time and poor shelf life may explain why fiddleheads have not become a popular commercial crop. Some limited commercial harvesting is done, and you can purchase canned fiddleheads from Maine, or frozen fiddleheads from McCain Foods, the frozen food giant based in New Brunswick.

At this point, I will confess that I'm not a huge fiddlehead fan, and generally drown them in vinegar. However, donning gum rubbers and tramping up and down the local crick was an enjoyable rite of spring in my youth, and I still look forward to the year's first meal with fresh fiddleheads.

Fiddleheads have limited discussion value, unless you folks have some recipes.

This article is intended less as a fiddlehead tutorial and more of a conversation starter. What's your favorite freaky local cuisine?


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favorite oddball food
o fiddleheads 5%
o chokecherries 12%
o haggis 15%
o hasenfeffer 5%
o baluut 2%
o civet cat 5%
o lutefisk 32%
o other (plz write in) 22%

Votes: 40
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o fiddlehead s
o curled shape
o Health Canada
o canned fiddleheads
o McCain Foods
o recipes
o Also by clover_kicker

Display: Sort:
Freaky Local Cuisine: Fiddleheads | 141 comments (101 topical, 40 editorial, 0 hidden)
links to add (4.50 / 4) (#13)
by circletimessquare on Fri Aug 29, 2003 at 05:33:05 PM EST

that nigerian goat head article a few months back, ask anyone here, they know about it

haggis from scotland

blood sausage from the caribbean

baluut (fermented duck embryo... the philippines)

durian (malaysian fruit that smells like shit and tastes like custard)

guangdong, where they say "we proudly eat anything with four legs except the table" (including the civet cat that gave us all sars)

korean food has some stellar examples

african bug eaters

and my personal favorite (least):
lutvisk (spelling?)... basically salted fish cooked with lye... think fish soap EEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWW (from norway)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

one more (5.00 / 1) (#14)
by circletimessquare on Fri Aug 29, 2003 at 05:35:39 PM EST

birds nest soup

somewhere in indonesia these swallows build nests on cliffs out of their coughed-up mucous

these guys climb up the cliffs, take the nests and sell them throughout asia as a delicacy

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

And they taste good. (5.00 / 2) (#71)
by Alannon on Sun Aug 31, 2003 at 06:08:58 PM EST

Really good. Very mild, savory flavor. They're also tremendously expensive, not surprisingly. They have an extremely light spongy consistancy after they're cooked in the hot soup.

[ Parent ]
that stuff is all cool. (5.00 / 1) (#22)
by clover_kicker on Fri Aug 29, 2003 at 09:04:27 PM EST

Actually, that stuff is probably much more interesting then fiddleheads, but I've never actually seen it, or tried it. I personally know fiddleheads, so that's what I tried to write about.

I'd love to provoke another goat-head style article from someone who has done a traditional haggis or lutefisk, though.
I am the very model of a K5 personality.
I intersperse obscenity with tedious banality.

[ Parent ]

Hmmmm!!!! Haggis and blood sausage... (5.00 / 2) (#26)
by the on Fri Aug 29, 2003 at 09:48:43 PM EST

...my favorites! Blood sausage is popular all over the world. Places that come to mind include the UK (esp. Scotland and Ireland (see .sig)) and Spain.

An English friend of mine recently smuggled a haggis through customs on returning from the UK. I shit you not! She froze it and wrapped it in newspaper and stored it in her suitcase with black pudding (ie. blood sausage). I don't know what they train those dogs to sniff but it ain't haggis! Never got to try any myself though :-(

Talking of eating blood products. You know the Masai 'milk' cows for blood? They stick an arrow into its neck and squeeze out the scarlet nectar to mix it with milk.

The Definite Article
[ Parent ]

Yep. (4.50 / 2) (#27)
by clover_kicker on Fri Aug 29, 2003 at 09:58:36 PM EST

Here's a recipe for Acadian blood pudding. I only mention it because the Acadians also live in fiddlehead country.
I am the very model of a K5 personality.
I intersperse obscenity with tedious banality.

[ Parent ]
Oops (5.00 / 2) (#28)
by the on Fri Aug 29, 2003 at 10:03:24 PM EST

Apologies for treating Ireland as part of Britain. It's very confusing with all this Northern Ireland stuff. Anyway - I had the stuff in Dublin, not in Northern Ireland.

The Definite Article
[ Parent ]
Masai and stuff (5.00 / 2) (#33)
by epepke on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 03:17:54 AM EST

It's also curdled with the urine from cattle.

Haggis--interesting concept. My father and I were in London once and decided that we would try some Haggis. So we went to the food courts in Harrod's and bought a couple of small haggises. We didn't know how to cook them, so we boiled them. They were delicious.

Later on, an English friend had an exchange student from Scotland who brought a haggis down and cooked it in the approved Scottish manner. It was vile. Even the wild birds didn't want it the next day.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
I'd love to know... (5.00 / 1) (#48)
by gordonjcp on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 03:33:14 PM EST

... what you think the "approved Scottish manner" is. We generally just boil them, skin on so the bits don't turn into a rather unpleasant soup. Then you slit the skin open and serve it up when it's done.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.

[ Parent ]
I don't know (5.00 / 1) (#55)
by epepke on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 05:10:38 PM EST

I just assumed that he was telling the truth when he said that he was cooking it traditionally.

I did notice some fast-food places with miniature haggises that they deep fried. They were pretty good, too. However, I generally preferred the black pudding on those occasions.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
"Traditionally" you do just boil it (5.00 / 1) (#78)
by gordonjcp on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 04:37:38 AM EST

Although you do get, as you say, the phenomenon of the "Haggis Supper" - a fat sausage-shaped haggis about 6-7" long and 1.5" in diameter, covered in batter and deep-fried, and served with chips. Put salt and vinegar on if you're in Glasgow, salt and sauce (brown sauce thinned down with vinegar, nasty stuff) if you're in Edinburgh.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.

[ Parent ]
Not much squeezing really... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
by Matt Oneiros on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 04:13:05 PM EST

they hit the big old artery in the neck and it literally squirts like any artery injury in a person would, the hole is then covered.

Not that bad, better than those goddamned fermented philipino duck eggs.

Lobstery is not real
signed the cow
when stating that life is merely an illusion
and that what you love is all that's real
[ Parent ]

Jesus Christ, is this a troll? (3.00 / 3) (#36)
by tkatchev on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 08:43:02 AM EST

Go back to MTV or whatever other culturally-sensitive ghetto facility you crawled out of.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

yes, i am a troll (none / 0) (#86)
by circletimessquare on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 05:20:37 PM EST

now fuck off

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Cool. (none / 0) (#89)
by tkatchev on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 08:12:36 PM EST

Anything else you want to me do?

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

yeah (5.00 / 1) (#90)
by circletimessquare on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 08:52:05 PM EST

respond to this in an endless demonstration of replies to me, essentially proving to yourself in horror what i already know about you...

you are no different than me in all the ways you dislike me




take a look in the mirror, fuckface lol

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Noo! (none / 0) (#95)
by tkatchev on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 06:46:45 AM EST

Shut up damn it I am not a troll!!1

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

you seem to be answerting my posts (none / 0) (#102)
by circletimessquare on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 03:49:56 PM EST

in a personal, negative, backbiting manner

sounds like trolling to me, no?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

It's my little secret. (none / 0) (#108)
by tkatchev on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 07:38:23 PM EST

I am a horrible, horrible dirty filthy troll.

Please spank me, I've been bad.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

by the way you talk (none / 0) (#109)
by circletimessquare on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 07:41:41 PM EST

you are in desperate need of a girlfriend

try socializing in the real world some time, it will do wonders for your social skills

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You're right. (none / 0) (#110)
by tkatchev on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 07:48:44 PM EST

I'm a sad, fat lonely bastard who reads AD&D 2nd ed. every night to himself while fervently masturbating to keep himself from snapping and killing himself and quite possibly also unconnected strangers since, after all, I am a computer programmer with no friends whose only girlfriend is of the japanese tentacle-rape variety which is not surprising since I am probably a sad, repressed homosexual fighting an inner battle against the autistic fear of actually connecting with other people outside of a computer-related context.

Glad I got that out of my system. Now back to browing goatsex.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

there's a lot of material in there (none / 0) (#111)
by circletimessquare on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 12:08:59 AM EST

in response to my 2 line missive

time to breakout my copy of "psychoanalysis for trolls, 2nd edition"

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Oh sorry. (3.00 / 2) (#113)
by tkatchev on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 11:47:26 AM EST

I don't know what came over me. I guess your horrible flame just cut too close to the heart of my inadequacy.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

lol loser (none / 0) (#112)
by Battle Troll on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 10:40:23 AM EST

everyone playes 3erd edition now dumbass lol lol 2end edition is for luzers
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Good idea (5.00 / 2) (#38)
by anothertom on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 10:55:48 AM EST

Linking these stories together would give some kind of unofficial "food" section. The number of links on each recipe would reflect the recipe's "ranking".

[ Parent ]
cool stuff in manila (5.00 / 2) (#40)
by durkie on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 12:50:45 PM EST

i was reading colors magazine 54 the other day, and it's about food. at one point in the magazine it mentions some of the local delicacies that can be found on the streets of manila, such as Adidas, barbecued chicken feet; Walkman, pig's ears on a stick; and Sony, coagulated pig's blood in the shape of a cassette tape.

[ Parent ]
Lutefisk (5.00 / 1) (#59)
by Spatula on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 06:28:01 PM EST

And, I shit you not, it is the most disgusting edible thing one can put on a table, and that includes haggis, Taco Bell and overfermented sauerkraut.
someday I'll find something to put here.
[ Parent ]
I will second that (none / 0) (#120)
by Subtillus on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 09:57:14 PM EST

Lutefisk is the single most disgusting thing that people put on tables for one reason or another. Don't ever eat it if you can help it.

[ Parent ]
A couple of weird Florida things to eat (5.00 / 2) (#18)
by epepke on Fri Aug 29, 2003 at 06:26:26 PM EST

Cabbage Palm. No, I'm not talking about the little hearts of palms you buy in jars. But if you open up a full-grown palm, there's an edible core about the size of one of those old 5-gallon pressurized soda containers. These plants are normally illegal to cut down, but I was on a Youth Conservation Team at a state park that had a permit to cut down a couple of them. We had them raw with vinegar.

Orangeade. There are some wild varieties of orange that are as sour as lemons, so they are generally squeezed into sugar water like making lemonade.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

5 gallon soda containers? (none / 0) (#101)
by bwcbwc on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 02:13:41 PM EST

I don't recall ever seeing any containers that large. Do you mean 1/2 gallon, like in a seltzer bottle?

[ Parent ]
my guess (none / 0) (#103)
by clover_kicker on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 04:05:49 PM EST

I think he means the ones that feed restaurant soda machines, they're big pressurized keg thingies.
I am the very model of a K5 personality.
I intersperse obscenity with tedious banality.

[ Parent ]
Used to be used for restaurant service (none / 0) (#119)
by epepke on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:01:23 PM EST

They're like beer kegs, only long and skinny. They've mostly been replaced by syrup in bags, though.

Think five 1-gallon paint cans stacked, and that's about right.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
"corny kegs" (none / 0) (#132)
by bandy on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 07:55:52 PM EST

They're properly known as "Cornelius kegs". Homebrewers like to use them as stainless steel can be easily sterlized.
Marlboro: War ich Rindveh bin.
[ Parent ]
dude (4.00 / 2) (#20)
by Dirty Sanchez on Fri Aug 29, 2003 at 08:15:48 PM EST

that stuff does in no way compare to the Icelandic speciality of Sour Shark.

I prefer the wind-dried shark (none / 0) (#46)
by Battle Troll on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 02:54:43 PM EST

Why the hell do I live in Rochester, I must be nuts.
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
In Grand Rapids they have the ... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
by pyramid termite on Fri Aug 29, 2003 at 08:28:43 PM EST

... wet burrito. I see from a web search that it's made it to other sections of the country, but it started in G.R. and is very well known in S.W. Michigan. They're burritos that are covered in sauce, sour cream and cheese and then cooked.

Up north in the U.P, there are pasties, which are hand held pies with meat, onions and other fillings. They were brought to the U.P. by Cornish miners.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
But but (5.00 / 3) (#23)
by andamac on Fri Aug 29, 2003 at 09:04:28 PM EST

Didn't anyone tell Grand Rapids about enchiladas?

[ Parent ]
It is quite different. (5.00 / 2) (#39)
by Haelo on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 11:48:53 AM EST

I have since moved out to the west coast, and wet burritos are the one thing I miss from Michigan. An enchilada is cooked with the sauce, and usually pretty small. This burrito on the other hand is large, a full meal in itself, and the sauce is added later during the cooking process, so the burrito itself is not as gooey as an enchilada. My favorite was the one with red potatoes and black bean sauce. I suppose it could best be thought of as a cross between the two.
[ Parent ]
I will burrito YOU mister (none / 1) (#53)
by andamac on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 04:38:20 PM EST

Ahhhh. That does sound sufficiently different then. (And quite tasty as well.)

What part of the west coast? I'm in southern california and have never been unsatisfied with the quantity and caliber of mexican food here.

Is the burrito actually baked? Or is the sauce just added after it is put together and rolled up? If it's the latter it shouldn't be too hard to find a place that will try to approximate it for you.

[ Parent ]

Ashley's Pub in Gainesville, Florida (none / 1) (#77)
by epepke on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 12:36:43 AM EST

They have what they call a Big Bellied Burrito. Essentially, it's a wet burrito the size of the plate, made with a flour tortilla. But in the center there's a deep-fried little burrito made with a corn tortilla. Guaranteed to cause a myocardial infarction at 20 paces. Which is probably why it's pretty close to the medical center.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
O_o (none / 0) (#93)
by andamac on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 12:41:56 AM EST

That sounds beautiful.

[ Parent ]
Never heard of a "smothered burrito"? (5.00 / 3) (#32)
by Psycho Dave on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 03:06:02 AM EST

Or an enchilada?

Cooking the burrito with the sour cream sounds nasty. Sour cream is used as a contrast to the heat (spiciness) of the green chile.

I do have to say, every Mexican I talk to tell me burritos are mostly an American phenomenon, kinda like pizza. Mexicans are much more partial to tacos, tortas and quesadillas.

It might just be my Western predjudice, but I have a sneaking suspicion that all Mexican food east of the Mississippi is crap and all Italian food west of the Mississippi is crap too.

[ Parent ]

Fiddleheads are best served (5.00 / 5) (#34)
by debacle on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 07:48:41 AM EST

Dipped and fried in a pan, I prefer to go all-out and get some fresh dandelion buds to fritter too, and then make a nice "weed" salad and have a good old (nearly free) meal.

You can also make fiddlehead quishe, though I don't recommend it because the taste isn't quite the same, and it can cause certain very bad things to happen to your bowels if you're not careful. (Eating the entire thing is considered "not careful")

Fun fact: dandelion leaves are a powerful bowel-cleanser that'll churn you out like the most powerful diarrhea, but the nice thing is that if you already have diarrhea it'll replenish your minerals and vitamans like potassium and A and C, and after a while the "weed" will slow down the diarrhea to a point where you can stop crying.

And don't say you don't cry, because we all do.

It tastes sweet.

Re: Fiddleheads are best served (none / 0) (#84)
by Nursie on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 01:14:11 PM EST

And don't say you don't cry, because we all do.

Actually, most often I laugh at how ridiculous it is. Especially when you've had to go into a bar when out on a shopping trip, instruct friends to buy drinks and then run for the bathroom.

Dammit that was funny. Teach me to drink an entire bottle of cough syrup in one day......

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
O.B. Local cuisine... (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by tkatchev on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 08:36:59 AM EST

Dandelions (both the green leaves and the yellow flower) and nettle. (Though it looks a little different where I come from.)

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.

+1FP fiddle faddle (2.33 / 3) (#37)
by rliegh on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 09:45:49 AM EST

een tee
This will get attached to your comments. Sigs are typically used for quotations or links.
Surströmming (5.00 / 4) (#41)
by johanges on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 12:52:14 PM EST

Swedish. Rough translation: Sour Herring. Probably best described as rotten fish. Reeks of hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs). Prepared by not adding enough salt to salted herring, and the storing it in a sealed can for at least a year. The can takes on a buldging shape from the pressure of the fermentation. It is very good.

(I guess I should write a longer description some day...)

[Oh yeah... prepare and eat outdoors, far away from where you or others live.]

weirdly enough (5.00 / 2) (#45)
by Battle Troll on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 02:52:50 PM EST

Laotians seem to do something similar with fermented pork. It's pretty good.
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
I was just joking the last time. (none / 0) (#57)
by it certainly is on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 06:04:50 PM EST

But now I really do think you're nathan. Fermented Laotian pork? Is this something your edjermicated gyppo wife has been feeding you while you recant Proust and Milton? Would you like some fucking hummus with that?

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Proust? (none / 0) (#81)
by Battle Troll on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 11:42:39 AM EST

Don't you think that's a little gay?
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Well... (none / 0) (#82)
by gzt on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 11:44:02 AM EST

...there always was a little confusion about nathan, remember?

[ Parent ]
my favorite part of en recherche (none / 0) (#83)
by Battle Troll on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 12:11:00 PM EST

When Albertine forcibly sodomised the Narrator. It deliciously anticipates the magnum opus of Will Self.
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
Others have mentioned lutefisk (5.00 / 1) (#67)
by amarodeeps on Sun Aug 31, 2003 at 01:45:52 PM EST

Is this essentially the same thing?

[ Parent ]
Opposite, actually (5.00 / 3) (#68)
by zenit on Sun Aug 31, 2003 at 02:19:23 PM EST

Lutefisk is the chemical opposite to surströmming. While surströmming is made with acids, lutefisk is made with bases ("lut" = "lye").

The purpose in either case is conservation, and the effect on the fish is somewhat similar (feels like jelly).

[ Parent ]

No, Surströmming is not the same as Lutfisk (5.00 / 3) (#126)
by johanges on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 06:26:01 PM EST

First of all, Lutfisk (to use the Swedish spelling) is Cod, not Herring, and the process is entirely different. The only similarity is that salt is not used to preserve the fish. (Well, small amounts are sometimes used in Surströmming, but obviously not enough to preserve it.)

To make Lutfisk, you first dry cod until it is hard enough to kill somebody with. (Shoe-leather has nothing on this stuff.) At this point you can store it for a looong time.

To eat it, "all you have to do" is to soak it in water for about a week, then soak it in potash lye for another two days or so, and finally soak it in repeated baths of fresh water (so as to remove most of the lye) for another few days.

At this point you have what could best be described as "fish jello with bones" -- a pale shivering mass of fish protein and water, with lots of sharp little bones hidden inside. Has a faint but distinct aroma of hydrogen sulfide, but is otherwise tasteless. Yum!

Serve with a mustard based sauce. Again, large quantities of Renat (vodka) or Aquavit (spiced vodka) is a traditional if not strictly required accoutrement.

Personally I actually like Surströmming, but Lutfisk leaves me co[l]d.

[ Parent ]

No, it is not very good. (5.00 / 2) (#69)
by bafungu on Sun Aug 31, 2003 at 05:18:41 PM EST

Not for me anyway. I've tried to learn to like it, I swear I have. When I finally got enough nerve to taste it at a Christmas dinner, I heaved the moment it touched my tongue. I spat it out and fortunately managed to keep down my otherwise-fantastic Swedish dinner. After that I decided, to hell with it, I love all forms of Swedish food, but I refuse to touch surströmming again.

I honestly don't understand how people can manage to eat that stuff. The true afficionadoes even have it with milk, for God's sakes: rotten fish with milk. It may have to do with my being in the supertaster category, but as an experiment I've always wanted to leave some out on a plate and see if the raccoons and skunks, who will normally eat any maggot-infested garbage, will eat it.

By the way, has surströmming been banned in the EU as a biological weapon yet?

[ Parent ]

There is absolutely no need for this... (4.00 / 2) (#107)
by pugfantus on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 06:13:53 PM EST

So says a co-worker who is of Swedish descent. All this invented as a way to preserve food, and we are living in the great era of the refrigerator. Why (besides keeping tradition alive,) do people still subject themselves to this?

[ Parent ]
Why... (5.00 / 2) (#128)
by johanges on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 06:47:42 PM EST

Why (besides keeping tradition alive,) do people still subject themselves to this?
Two reasons instantly comes to mind.

First, it is actually quite good. Yes, not everybody agrees, but there is people for everything, even Surströmming.

Second, (and this is the generic Swedish reason for most if not quite all social activities) it is an excuse for drinking large amounts of distilled alcohol.

Personally I understand the first reason, but even though I believe the second reason explains much of Swedish customs, I don't subscribe to it myself. Maybe that's why I don't live in Sweden any more. (Ever been to a party where you are the only person even remotely sober? Not much fun.)

[ Parent ]

Nonsuch critters available... (5.00 / 1) (#127)
by johanges on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 06:36:26 PM EST

[...]and see if the raccoons and skunks, who will normally eat any maggot-infested garbage, will eat it.
Neither raccoons, nor skunks are available in Sweden, and as far as I know, Surströmming isn't exported. Rumor has it it is not allowed by the FDA -- I guess you could smuggle it, but I wouldn't want a pressurized can of Surströmming detonating inside my suitcase during a flight. I have heard stories about it happening to people, and it invariably leads to tossing all clothing and most other objects involved. The aroma can be quite persistent.

[ Parent ]

Living dangerously (5.00 / 1) (#133)
by bafungu on Wed Sep 10, 2003 at 10:11:18 AM EST

I live in Canada, where we have plenty of racoons and skunks, so I could try the experiment if I had any surströmming. I am actually curious, because although those critters are used to half-rotten meat, I'm sure they've never come across anything as bizarre as fermented sour fish.

Perhaps they'd eat it if I left it out with a few shots of aquavit...

As far as smuggling goes, my crazy parents did actually sneak some in once, believe it or not. Apparently those cans are awfully robust, because it did not detonate in flight.

Unfortunately, they sat on this treasure so long that when they finally did open it the fish had dissolved completely, leaving nothing but a more smelly than usual brown soup and a few mysterious looking bits that looked suspiciously like eyeballs. Injustice of injustice, they sent me out to bury the wretched mess.

No, I'd prefer Lutfisk any day. It tastes like Ammonia-flavoured Fish Jello, but with the white sauce I have to admit that it somehow becomes, uh, interesting.

[ Parent ]

I don't know... (5.00 / 2) (#52)
by Akshay on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 04:19:13 PM EST

... needs more meat?

Fiddleheads! +1 FP ! (4.50 / 2) (#61)
by SaintPort on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 08:43:27 PM EST

Ever since I read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King, I have wondered about this plant.

Thanks for the info!

Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

Anyone for Vietnamese Pizza? (4.50 / 2) (#62)
by Bill Melater on Sat Aug 30, 2003 at 11:33:32 PM EST

"Tiet canh". Gelid, congealed duck blood on a plate (red and round like a pizza), with lemon, herbs, and a sort of rice cracker.

Chicken Hearts! (5.00 / 2) (#63)
by lonesmurf on Sun Aug 31, 2003 at 09:20:41 AM EST

Here in Israel, it's pretty popular. The meat is dark meat and is fairly sweet and supple. I really like them on a shishkebab, covered in lemon, salt and pepper skewered alongside onions and red peppers. Yum. :)


I am not a jolly man. Remove the mirth from my email to send.

A buddy of mine used to eat chicken hearts (none / 1) (#74)
by clover_kicker on Sun Aug 31, 2003 at 08:12:01 PM EST

... because he was stingy. He made a great chicken fricot (basically an acadian chicken stew) with chicken hearts, and called it "chicken freak-out".

They're tasty, but a little too chewy IMHO.
I am the very model of a K5 personality.
I intersperse obscenity with tedious banality.

[ Parent ]

Chicken hearts (none / 1) (#76)
by epepke on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 12:32:00 AM EST

According to Bill Cosby, one ate New York.

Anyway, the chicken heart used to be a treat given to kids when I was growing up. Basic problem is that you only get one per chicken. It's not like a beef heart, which can feed several people. A chicken heart is, basically, pop it in your mouth, and then it's gone.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
Chitlins (5.00 / 2) (#64)
by Bios_Hakr on Sun Aug 31, 2003 at 09:22:44 AM EST

In Central-Eastern Alabama, pork chitterlings are considered a delicasy.

Basicly, you boil pig intestines and then clean them.  After that, you can boil them agian and eat them, or deep-fry them.  I have tried the boiled ones...once.  Those were vile.  The deep-fried ones were slightly better.  Kinda stringy, but they have a unique flavor that can be enjoyable.

Most Alabama convenience stores also carry pickled pigs feet, hog knuckles, and pickled hard-boiled eggs.

There were also some slaughter-house specialties like scrambled eggs and pig brains.

Porrons i Calçots (5.00 / 3) (#65)
by gilgul on Sun Aug 31, 2003 at 11:27:44 AM EST

Spanish food is odd, too. I am half Catalan, and recently became a vegetarian. I was mostly starving, as Catalanes love meat, especially dried pig bits, disgusting. One day, however, made up for all the rest, when we went to Calonge in the country and had porrons i calçots. Calçots are barbequed giant leeks. You peel the outside, blackened layers off and eat the center. The flavor is sweet and oniony, and made better by the traditional sauce, called Romanesco. Then you drink wine (porrons) out of a glass bottle that looks like a distilling apparatus; the wine comes shooting out. Here's a pic.

Man, that sounds great! (none / 1) (#75)
by epepke on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 12:28:54 AM EST

Let me make sure of the Romanesco sauce: almonds, bread crumbs, grilled tomatoes, garlic, some other stuff?

Leeks, like turnips, are highly underused in cooking, IMO.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
Fried Pickles (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by amarodeeps on Sun Aug 31, 2003 at 01:22:29 PM EST

Katz's Deli in Austin Texas:


Serves 'em with ranch dressing if I remember correctly. I think they were pretty good.

Also, it's not that weird but Rochester, NY has Zweigles hots...they are big bratwurst-y things that come in 'red' and 'white' varieties. I can't seem to find them in NYC (anybody know where you would? Everything here is the Gray's Papaya or Nathan's style) or anywhere else I've been in the country for that matter.

http://nystyledeli.com/acb/showprod.cfm?&DID=10&CATID=1&ObjectGroup_ ID=5

Pickle dog! (5.00 / 2) (#72)
by epepke on Sun Aug 31, 2003 at 07:12:46 PM EST

Southern convenience store staple: big, flagrantly artificial red sausages, pickled in vinegar, with a shelf life that favorably compares to U-235. These possibly contain meat products, depending on how you define "meat."

Also, English pub sausages, also known as "bangers," presumably for their influence on an innocent small intestine. British sausage law only requres 20% lean, so these tend to be 20% lean, 75% fat, and 5% rusk (like breadcrumbs, sort of) to keep all of the fat from running out when they are cooked.

Also in England, hamburger patties that come in a can. Execrable. Faggots and peas: pork liver dumplings in gravy with peas, really quite good. Mushy peas: peas cooked to the point where every molecule of cellulose has long since become plasma.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
Blood Soup... (5.00 / 1) (#70)
by Wain on Sun Aug 31, 2003 at 05:39:35 PM EST

Anyone know anything about Blood Soup??

The mother of my Phillipino friend makes it for family gatherings and I was just curious to learn more about it.  Apparently there's some kind of wafer thing that they dip in it.

Czarnina (none / 0) (#122)
by bryanzera on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 03:04:57 PM EST

My grandmother still makes this every now and again.  Polish Duck Blood Soup.  Yum Yummy.

[ Parent ]
New York food (5.00 / 2) (#73)
by epepke on Sun Aug 31, 2003 at 07:20:27 PM EST

All nominally Jewish or Italian, but terribly hard to find outside of New York in satisfactory quality.

Potato knishes: There are endless varieties on the humble knish. The one I'm referring to is like a lump of mashed potato, coated in breading, and deep-fat-fried. The comfort food to end all comfort foods.

Cannoli: A confection made with Ricotta cheese and sugar pressed into a tubular pastry.

Half-done pickles: Kosher pickles are made naturally. You can't add vinegar; you have to wait until microorganisms produce satisfactory amounts of acid. The half-done is a cucumber that is only partly made into a pickle. Ba-Tampte half-sour picles in jars are merely a shadow of the real thing.

Egg cream. Contains no egg and little cream. Seltzer water and milk with a little chocolate syrup.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

Bats and Dogs (5.00 / 2) (#79)
by rhymerrigby on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 10:40:33 AM EST

My favourite place for extreme cuisine is a little town called Tomohon on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi - up in the Christian north there is nothing they will not eat. Dog is absolutely disgusting. Whereas bats are notably tasty. Even the wing leather is good, resembling the black fungus served in Chinese restaurants.

the chamorro in guam (5.00 / 2) (#87)
by circletimessquare on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 05:36:09 PM EST

eat something called flying fox, which has recently been discovered gives the chamorro a rare degenerative brain disorder due to a kind of plant toxin that the flying foxes store and concentrate in their tissue

i'll pass


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

french delicacies (5.00 / 2) (#80)
by loudici on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 11:33:17 AM EST

those fiddleheads sound mighty tasty. i wonder what the problem is with eating them raw...

but to play on that theme, i thought i'd mention a few french dishes that are not as well known as the freedom fries and the french onion soup.

-andouille, which is a word cajuns use for a spicy pork sausage, is a normandy and brittany specialty. it is a sausage made of pork guts ( aka tripes. chitterlings for the lucky southerners). the casing is beef intestine.

-tete de veau vinaigrette: a veal's head, de-boned and boiled. it is the fattest piece of meat you can imagine, and as such constitutes the meal of choice for anarchists on good friday.
http://b-simon.ifrance.com/b-simon/tete.htm has pictures of the preparation process.

-boudin, aka blood sausage has already been mentionned. you can pretty easily find the west indian or haitian version in the US, which is very spicy. the french version is very sweet and usually comes with apple sauce.

-venison, specially boar, ia a feast of a meal. in order to soften the gamy taste, a boar should be 'faisande', which basically means you leave the piece of meat out of the fridge for 2 days to let it ferment a bit. it is highly advised not to eat it rare.

-i once had a 'baby goat tongue salad' in a corsican restaurant in paris.

gnothi seauton

food poisoning (none / 1) (#85)
by clover_kicker on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 01:48:51 PM EST

I don't think they ever really isolated what was causing people to get sick. The best guess is something related to the unusually hot/dry  weather, which may have exacerbated a natural toxin or bacteria growth or something.

That's an awesome website about the veal head, I love the comment about Jar-Jar.

I once read that French cuisine became so sophisticated because of the poor quality/availability of ingredients during the middle ages - chefs had to work hard to make the food taste good. The same article said that English cuisine was so boring because of high quality/availability of ingredients- it took very little effort to make an appealing meal, so no-one bothered to get fancy. (No, I don't remember the source). I'm guessing you're from France, does that theory sound sensible, or is it simply more French-bashing?

BTW, avez-vous esseyez une poutine? (cuisine traditionelle Quebecois).
I am the very model of a K5 personality.
I intersperse obscenity with tedious banality.

[ Parent ]

middle age cooking (5.00 / 2) (#88)
by loudici on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 05:39:10 PM EST

sophisticated french cooking is pretty much a 19th century invention, so i am pretty suspicious about any theory that comes back to the middle age. as far as i know the reason for sophisticated french cooking is the emergence of a bourgeois class showing off its wealth, along with a decadent nobility, while at the same time in england the dominant class was still very much the old landed aristocracy, at that time in the height of the victorian era, which was not a good time for open displays of hedonism.

i also wonder what is supporting the idea that there would have been better ingredients in britain than on the continent.
gnothi seauton
[ Parent ]

by mooserific22 on Mon Sep 01, 2003 at 09:28:40 PM EST

I am originally from Millinocket, Maine. The FIDDLEHEAD CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. Well, thats what I think. Growing up, every spring my grandather would take me and the rest of my family out in the deep dark woods of millinocket maine, to go to his favorite spot to pick fiddleheads. During this time, the other favorite food amoungst us Mainers were smelts. Both of which I would enjoy so much they usually became a great breakfast item for me. Fiddleheads cooked in boiling water, with salted pork, and then drained with butter and salt, and then battered and fried smelts. YUMMMMMMY!!! When I grew up and moved to Boston for college, I missed my spring time treat. That summer, I took my boyfriend (now my husband) up to Maine to try this fantastic treat that I loved so much. I figured his portiguese background wound have him eating tons of this. This is a guy who ate octopus willingly so why not Fiddleheads and Smelts. In the end, he didn't really care for it. I guess its definately a required taste. But non the less, I love the stuff, and could eat it all the time. I even have some stored in my freezer because I don't go home as often as I like. ENJOY THIS TREAT ITS FREE AND A GREAT CONVERSATION FOOD!!

I'd bet they'd be (4.00 / 2) (#92)
by auraslip on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 12:36:40 AM EST

better fried
everything's better when fried (5.00 / 1) (#130)
by bandy on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 07:41:28 PM EST

It's a basic Americanism!
Marlboro: War ich Rindveh bin.
[ Parent ]
Lancashire Delicacies (5.00 / 2) (#94)
by rmb303 on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 05:49:24 AM EST

How about some of these from the North West of England :-

Black Pudding :- Congealed pigs blood, lots of salt and some spices, boiled in a sausage shaped plastic bag.

Tripe :- Cows stomach lining boiled or fried, and served with vinegar.

John Bull :- Very spicy mince between two slices of potato and butter, covered in batter, and deep fried.

I could go on, but I won't.


Fucking gorgeous (none / 0) (#116)
by nebbish on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 10:58:09 AM EST

Every last one of them. And Im a Yorkshireman ;-)

Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Balut (5.00 / 2) (#96)
by Cackmobile on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 08:54:47 AM EST

I had this in the phillipines and almost vomited everywhere. Its pickled(i think or rancid or something) duck egg. But the duck inside is almost fully formed. It was all crunchy and feathery.

Mountain Oysters (5.00 / 2) (#97)
by TresOkies on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:22:19 AM EST

In the Western and Southern US, mountain oysters (aka Rocky Mountain Oysters) are a staple. Despite the name, they do not come from the sea or exclusively from the Rocky Mountains. Also called "calf fries", "family jewels" or just plain old "nuts".

If you haven't figured it out yet, mountain oysters are the testicles of young bulls. Cattle ranchers only need one or two bulls for a herd of cows, so the extra bulls are castrated at an early age. Most of the beef that comes to your table is from these steers.

I've eaten them on occasion, but I admit that I don't have a fondness for them. Most folks fix them by battering and deep-frying them. I find the taste and texture similar to calamari when fixed this way. Others boil or pan-fry them. Google "mountain oysters" and you'll find plenty of recipes.

Folks also eat the testicle meat from buffalo, lamb, turkey, etc.

Personally, I'd rather have a spicy tuna roll.

Skata (5.00 / 2) (#98)
by signal15 on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 11:39:44 AM EST

Putrified fish. You can smell it a mile away, smells like dead people. Not sure entirely how it's made, but I know they let the fish rot for awhile, and then they cook it up in big pots and have a party. I was in iceland and this is one thing I did not partake in.

Garbage Plates (5.00 / 2) (#99)
by Spoonman on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 12:17:01 PM EST

In my town of Rochester, NY, there's a certain delicacy known as the "Garbage Plate". Take two cheeseburgers or hot dogs(sans buns) place them atop a pile of macaroni salad, baked beans and hash browns or french fries. Smother with mustard, onions and hot sauce (a NY variant using spicy meat). Eat until you puke. Yes, it sounds nasty, but think of it just like a plate of food you might get at a barbeque. Fortunately, the restaurant they origionated at (Nick Tahou's) is open 24/7, so after a drinking binge, the perfect food is readily available in two convenient locations!

Another local item we have around here is "Salt Potatos". Take a five pound bag of potatos and throw them in a pot of boiling water. Add a one pound bag of salt and boil until just tender. They don't come out anywhere near as salty as you would think they would, but they have a nice hint.

Being origionally from Philadelphia, I must mention the Cheesesteak as well. The reason I must mention it is the poor variations that one finds outside that city. You cannot have a "Genuine Philly Cheesesteak" if you don't make it with rolls from the Amoroso deli. They are some of the finest rolls in the world and are used by EVERY place that serves steaks. If it ain't on an Amoroso, it's just meat and cheese on bread!

Answering the age-old question: Which is more painful, going to work or gouging your eye out with a spoon?
Garbage Plates? How about Scungilli? (5.00 / 2) (#134)
by absquatulate on Wed Sep 10, 2003 at 01:41:14 PM EST

AHA Spoonman you beat me too it. I was going to suggest garbage plates too (I live in Rachacha as well.)

My weird food: Scungilli. Huge conchs, cooked and usually eaten cold in a vinagrette type fish salad, which also includes squid/octopus, clams or mussles, shrimp, scallops, &tc. Lots of lemon juice, celery, onion, black pepper, and a dash of olive oil. mmmm! And compared to some of the other suggestions (roasted pigeon brains!?) quite tame.

[ Parent ]

Let us not forget...Scrapple (5.00 / 1) (#100)
by bwcbwc on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 02:06:30 PM EST

Pennsylvania Dutch/German meatloaf made from cornmeal and pig's (or other farm animal) innards. Served with maple syrup (or at least that's what it took to get me to eat it when I was a kid).

Scrapple (5.00 / 1) (#115)
by sparkchaser on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 07:58:35 AM EST

I LOVE scrapple. Never covered mine in syrup though. I was very happy to see that it is sold here in Virginia.

[ Parent ]
Stinky Tofu (5.00 / 2) (#104)
by mattsouthworth on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 05:08:28 PM EST

What about Taiwanese 'Chow Tofu'? Not sure how to spell it. It's tofu that's combined with shrimp or fish brine, and then allowed to ferment for 6 or 12 months. When it was served to me, it was covered with kim chee TO KEEP THE SMELL DOWN.

Springfield, IL (5.00 / 1) (#105)
by mcgrew on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 05:37:48 PM EST

There is a dish here that I have seen nowhere else, and just about every non-franchise restaraunt here has it- horseshoes, and pony shoes. The only difference is the portion size.

There are minor differences between restaraunts, but basically it is a slice of bread (white, wheat, rye, wonder, "home" baked", depending on the restaraunt) topped with meat (usually the menu gives you a choice of meator meats), covered with melted cheese and french fries.

I jhad one for lunch at the Track Shack this afternoon.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie

And a Thai "delecacy" I'll never eat (5.00 / 2) (#106)
by mcgrew on Tue Sep 02, 2003 at 05:45:25 PM EST

There are insects in Thailand the GIs called "rice bugs". I believe the Thai name translates to "bug that eats rice". They are huge insects, four to six inches long and look like giant white cockroaches. They fly around lamps outdoors like moths.

They are called "rice bugs because they eat rice. The Thais would pay a bhat of a single one, which when I was there was a good chunk of change for a Thai- you could buy "cowpot" (fried rice) for four, including beer, for a dollar (20 bhat in 1974) and get get change back.

They don't eat the insects, but rather pop the heads off and suck the rice out. Disgusting!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie

Poutine, Pyrogys and Petahay (5.00 / 2) (#114)
by Dr Caleb on Wed Sep 03, 2003 at 04:26:00 PM EST

No one really knows what this traditional Canadian food is. While most know we eat it, they don't know what it is. It's really quite simple.

Take French Fries. Add cheese curds. NOT cheese, cheese curds after being seperated from the whey. These are sort of rubbery, and not as tasty as Cheese, but they have a unique texture and don't melt like cheese. Add thick beef gravy. Poutine.

Pyrogy: (pe roh gee). Although traditionally Ukranian, much of the population of my Province emigrated from the Ukraine, Germany and Poland in the early to mid 1900's. Thin dough that is stuffed with boiled potato, cheese, sauerkraut, cooked bacon, or any combination thereof and boiled. Served with caramelized onions, heavy fried beef and/or pork (25% bear, 25% pork and 50% beef sausage is also to die for) sausage, and sour cream. One can also fry the pyrogy in butter after boiling.

Another variant is called 'Petahey'. Basically a sweet dough, stuffed with fruit, plumbs or berries and boiled in cream until the cream reduces. Served warm as a desert. Positively heaven. I'm serious! I would rather eat these till I puke than any other food on earth!

(Half decomposed fish and petrified duck abortions? WTF were they thinking???)

Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.

traditional canadian food (5.00 / 1) (#129)
by bandy on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 07:36:00 PM EST

Now now, you could add split pea soup, donuts and beer and of course this restaurant:
Restaurant aux Anciens Canadiens
(418) 692-1627
34 Saint-Louis Rue
QuéBec, QC G1R3Z1
Which happens to serve that lovely Quebecker meat pie whose name is escaping me. Ah yes, "tourtierre" which I'm sure I've mis-spelled or at least mis-accented.

Anyhoo I'm salivating thinking of that restaurant on a brisk fall evening, cider in one hand, a fork with yum-yums on it in the other...
Marlboro: War ich Rindveh bin.
[ Parent ]

smoked meat! (none / 0) (#131)
by bandy on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 07:47:17 PM EST

And how could I possibly forget that Montreal speciality of all specialities: smoked meat!
Marlboro: War ich Rindveh bin.
[ Parent ]
2 words!! (5.00 / 1) (#117)
by el_guapo on Thu Sep 04, 2003 at 04:23:29 PM EST

mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
"weird" foods (5.00 / 1) (#121)
by sly on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 03:08:32 AM EST

Personally I'm not a big fan of decrying so-called "weird" foods because people have funny ideas about what's weird. I think bubble/pearl tea and bao bing (a sweet Taiwanese shaved ice dessert) are delicious and not that out of the ordinary but some people think they're craaazy.

I did a Google search on "bao bing" before and found this entertaining page: Strange foods from around the world. I like some of the U.S. entries: beer, bread, chewing gum, iceberg lettuce, iced tea.
I've got some cereal in my pocket.

I've had pickled fiddleheads (none / 0) (#123)
by Xenophon on Fri Sep 05, 2003 at 06:52:40 PM EST

Apparently the fiddlehead played an important role in a book chosen for my Mom's book club. When the group got together to discuss the book, someone brought pickled fiddleheads. I happened to be there for a few minutes and tried a few. They seemed alright to me, but I didn't really think they were anything special. Maybe they are more interesting fresh, but I guess they don't grow in Houston.
So many choices, so little space ... (5.00 / 1) (#125)
by RicD on Mon Sep 08, 2003 at 05:33:05 PM EST

In China I always enjoyed roast pigeon brains (the skull is crunchy and you suck the brains out); Taiwan has easily the best snake soup; bats in parts of Indonesia; roast cockroaches in Kenya; durian (fruit that smells like a barnyard, tastes like vanilla) in Thailand and Malaysia ... sheesh, I'm getting hungry.

Freaky Local Cuisine: Fiddleheads | 141 comments (101 topical, 40 editorial, 0 hidden)
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