I consider myself a citizen of the world, and I do my best to fit in with others diplomatically wherever I am. Towards that end, I have eaten some foods that Joe Sixpack from Anytown, USA, might consider weird, like:
5. Rat. It’s not like it was a Brooklyn sewer rat. This rat was raised on berries and grain in the West African plain. It tasted like beef, so I was almost finished with it before they told me what it was. No point getting turned off at that point.
4. A teabag. I was 12 years old at a summer camp in Minnesota. Someone asked me to eat a teabag, so I did. I did take the staple out, first.
3. Chitlins. No child with a nose and a choice would ever voluntarily eat chitlins, and that should tell the rest of us something. After a slave master slaughtered the pig, roasted the shoulders and loins, fried the chops, cured the bacon and ham, pickled the pigs’ feet, and gave the ears to the dog, the chitterlings (intestines) were what was left for the slaves. Under the circumstances, they made them taste pretty good. Growing up in Detroit, I learned to eat them against the wisdom of my five senses. Unless I am forced to pick cotton for no money and my muscles begin to atrophy for want of protein, I probably won’t eat them again.
2. Llama. About 4 years ago, I found myself at a restaurant somewhere in the Andes mountains. That day, they had two choices: fried chicken or llama, both served with fries and a Coke. Since you can get fried chicken anywhere, I went for the llama. It tasted kind of like liver. I hate liver. The texture was like eating a steak wrapped in paper towel. Glad I had the experience. Even more glad I had the fries and Coke to fill me up.
1. Goat Head. There was a dinner in my honor to celebrate the end of the 2 years I’d spent in Haiti with the Peace Corps. “Giving you the goat’s head” is a Haitian expression that means people are going all out to celebrate an occasion. I didn’t know they meant it literally until until I saw my very own boiled goat skull staring back at me. “Eat the eyes, it’ll make you strong,” Pastor Carl admonished. So I did. They were soft–you could spread `em on a cracker. I must admit, after stabbing that eye with a fork and popping it in my mouth, I did feel stronger. Still, I saved the other eye for Pastor Carl. No need to be greedy, after all.
How about you? What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten?