From the Western point of view, Asians choices of food can be outrageous. The chicken feet soup that I blogged about must have made some who flicked through my page click the exit button as fast as a chicken (still with feets intact) can dash. From the giblets to the wing tips, nothing goes to waste and if there was a Chinese cookbook all about chicken, I am sure the feet is only a minor edible part that can be elaborated about!
I wouldn't say I am with Andrew Zimmern in his bizarre food palete but he is one brave Western soul. But I beat him on one thing that he absolutely found horrendous to swallow while I will happily eat.... the Durian. And I still don't understand how he can easily swallow a frog's beating heart in Japan or live worms in Philippines and lived to elaborate and described their tastes while his encounter with the Durian was so aghast that he was all wrinkled up in expression and swears that he had found his nemesis in life. Compared to the former 2, the Durian is only a creamy fruit with no slimy feeling lingering down the throat nor grimy substances that fill the gum and gaps between teeth and the pungent smell is infact more perfumery scented rather than obnoxiously stinky. Infact I find the smell of celery and cilantro more intoxicating.
We were at an Asian market today and I took some time to really look into things. Near the entrance were trays of eggs, chicken and duck ones and thank goodness no others! These eggs contained embryos of the respective fowl and is widely known as Balut in the Phillipines and I braved myself to take a peek into a cracked one. Although not wholly formed, a black dot eye with developing feathered wings were scary enough for me to take a run with the shopping cart to the fish section at the end of the shop.
At least fish is ok as I suck their eyeballs and love the cheek part. Next was the meat section, where the whole anatomy of a cow and pig that can be managed by the butcher were on display. From huge tongue to honey combed patterned stomach, the sight of raw meat has never been so bloody and before my next bowl of Vietnamese Pho with beef in future, I shall hypnotize myself to forget about today. They don't look so disgusting in their cooked color of brown.
I cannot say I am a brave eater of every kind but there are something that I love. Fish Sashimi appeals to me as epicurean and having a bite of at least 15 assorted pieces with a cup of cold Sake evokes the idea of paradise in my head. Blocks of coagulated pig's blood and black thousand year old egg complement my plain congee. In Japan, I gobbled up raw cow's liver with sesame oil and picked a live small fish in the aquarium at my neighborhood restaurant of which the owner skillfully sliced and presented on my table in 5 minutes and my mom had to turn away for fear of retribution from the fish while I relish the freshness of its flesh.
And to qualify as bizarre in Andrew Zimmern's vocabulary, I surely have a weird taste too since I can eat the Durian and he couldn't. And the thing called Balut that he can chow down easily but not me, will surely top my list of the weirdest and most Bizarre food a human can devour!