5.31.2009

Eww...

Prior to my 2006 trip to China, I thought I was open-minded to different types of food. I had dined on alligator, turtle, and snails. That’s kinda crazy, right??? I thought so until the fall of '06.

I spent eight days at an orphanage in Jinjiang China in the Southern Province of Fijian. Who would have know 8 days, would change my life in more ways than one? :)

The people of Southern China were amazing, generous, and hospitable. I was exposed to many unique (and scary) foods. Let me start by saying, I’ve NEVER been a picky eater. My parents didn’t allow it. At the age of 11, I had my first bite of escargot (snail). I LOVED escargot; as did my younger sister and younger brother. My parents are both from Louisiana; some of my very first bites of “table food” were Cajun, seafood dishes.

Side Note… Picky eaters kinda drive me crazy. Okay, I don’t really love Chinese food but if I’m in China or with friends and everyone wants Chinese; I can find something on the menu I’ll eat. Don’t most menus have the basics~ chicken, salad, burgers, or soup? Put your big girl panties on and pick something from the menu you’ll eat. Sorry but seriously...

Our first night in Jinjiang we were served dishes like… lotus root from the lotus flower, fish belly soup, and sea worms. Did I want to eat it? Not really but the Chinese were so proud of their dishes and so excited to serve us. It would’ve been rude not to eat what had been prepared.

Lotus Root tastes exactly how you would think a plant or flower would taste... strange, bitter, and plant-ish. In high school, someone dared me to eat a rose petal. Unfortunately, I was stupid and did it. It was terrible. The lotus root reminded me of the rose petal. Anyone know what I’m talking about? I really hope not.




The Fish Belly Soup was slimy and salty. I LOVE me some salt... so the Fish Belly Soup was tolerable. A large pot was brought to the table. It looked similar to chicken broth. A large slimy blob was floating in the middle. Somehow they managed to break fish belly apart and we were each served. The broth had a good flavor. It was okay.

The Sea Worms were awful, possibly the worst thing I’ve ever put into my mouth. In Southern China, Sea Worms are a delicacy. The worms were PUT on my plate by a lady serving us! I remember cutting it in half with my knife. I bit into the worm, chewed it, swallowed, and chased it down with Coca-Cola Classic. The Chinese think Americans love Coca-Cola Classic and at times it was brought to our table, even though we did not order it. I do NOT like Coca-Cola Classic but I had no choice. I remember looking across the table at my friend, Carrie. She was gagging and had to run to the restroom. Sorry Carrie. After Carrie, I ran to the restroom with a terrible nose bleed. The evening was priceless and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.



When I returned home my brother asked me about the food in China. I told him about our first night in Jinjiang. He said it sounded like an episode of Fear Factor. Ha!

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten???

18 comments:

Preppy 101 said...

Sorry to say that I have nothing for you today. I have never eaten anything strange, unusual, etc. Of course, I have never traveled abroad either ;-) You are a brave, awesome girl!!

Danielle said...

Well, you know I'm a picky eater. Sorry.

I DID try snails. Can you believe it?! Definitely the craziest thing I have tried so far.

I'm sorry, but I wouldn't be able to stomach eating a worm. If there were an award, you'd win. ;)

Woman Interrupted said...

I agree about picky eaters. Since I'm in the SAHM set, I come across moms who allow their kids to eat only hot dogs and chicken nuggets...or worse! (It makes me proud when my kiddo dives in to a plate of calamari or a ceasar salad.)

The worse thing I ever tried was at keepin-it-real-Vietnamese place in Mid-town (before it was called Mid-town.) This was ten years ago and I was into Pho, but I got a little ahead of myself and ordered IDK what. I asked what kind of organ was floating in my soup. They had to ask three people before they found someone who could tell me in English that it "didn't translate."

I thought that was bad until I read your post!!

TM said...

Loved this post :D
I was only in China 16 days but that place stole my heart. We are still trying to move there actually.

I did not try the things you did but did eat pretty much everything I saw or was offered.
I am sad that I can't find real Chinese food in the states. Even Chinatown does not replicate the yummy foods I had there.

Hey did you eat the stinky tofu that was at all those stands all over town?
It was so strong that the smell took our breathe as we walked past it. I heard it was great and I regret not getting it :D

Shoshanah said...

I went to Japan last year and wound up eating all types of weird things. The one that sticks out the most were little fish the sides of a fingernail with eyes.

Lauren said...

I've eaten escargot, squid, and sushi. That's about it but I'm going on a missions trip this summer so Im sure there will be some different foods there! I don't think I could ever eat a worm though...I agree with you on the picky eater thing!!

midnight macaroons said...

Ewww! The fish belly soup and sea worms would have made me sick. But I would have managed to get it down and thank them.

My husband flew me back to New Orleans from California to meet his family (before we got married). We drove into REAL Cajun country (back woods). Some people his family knew served us dinner. I thought I was eating meatloaf. I said,"this meatloaf is delicious. Thank you for dinner." The woman laughed and replied,"Aw, isn't she cute. Y'all, she thinks she's eating meatloaf. Baby, that's Possom." I could feel my face turning green. But I told her it was a lovely Possom and excused myself for the restroom. They finally broke down and told me they were kidding and it really was meatloaf.

BLC :o said...

Oh barf! And I thought pickeled eggs were ick. Xoxo-BLC

My name is Megan... said...

i can do plants but those worms FREAK me out!

Casey (@ Ever-Changing Life) said...

Ewwwww! I can't believe you could swallow that! You are so brave!

I've never eaten anything too strange. Although the mystery meat in a Doner Kebab is questionable at best.

AmyT said...

You are one brave chicky!!! I'm a picky eater :-( My hubs isn't he'll try anything!!

Jules said...

LOL I was brought up to try new things too and picky eaters are a little hard for me to be patient with. But WOW I give you a lot of credit for eating sea worms. I don't think I could do that.

The craziest thing I've ever eaten? I'm not sure. Nothing too crazy. I like escargot, I tried venison once (didn't know it was deer until later and honestly it was very good but I don't think I'd do it again), um....I love stuff that a lot of people don't. Like broccoli rabe, artichokes, all veggies, but as I said, I can't think of anything completely over the top that I've tried.

Kari said...

My husband's uncle is Taiwanese. And when we were visiting them in Michigan, he took us out to eat. I was very nervous of the food. I LOVE chinese food. But, the AMERICAN chinese food! haha. I am NOT a picky eater, but there are things that I won't eat. But, that night, I ate squid and cow stomach. I belive they said it was the 2nd of the 5 stomachs. Yum. hahaha. The squid was fried, so it wasn't bad. But the cow stomach was chewy and pretty tasteless. And, it looked like Venetian blinds {I don't think I spelled that right...just sound it out!!} Very interesting food! I believe that is the strangest thing I have ever eaten.
You are a very good guest!! I don't think I could have eaten the worms....Especially if they were still in WORM form!

Prissy Southern Prep said...

Wow, you have definitely tried a lot of interesting foods. I am a true southern girl, so the most different food I've ever eaten is alligator! (fried of course) haha!!

Angela said...

Worms are my BIGGEST fear. I literally will start crying if I see one. I know I could never eat one. Ever.

I'm not a picky eater, but really I just couldn't eat the things you were describing!!

Jules said...

I have to give you credit. I thought I was pretty daring when it came to food until I read this post. I might have been able to eat the root and soup, but I don't think I could have handled the worms. It does sound like an episode of Fear Factor.

I guess squid and caviar are the 2 most daring things I've ever eaten. I do like trying new things though. If it weren't for trying new things, I never would have liked Thai or Indian.

Chloe said...

oh my gosh- I'm terrified of worms! just seeing that picture made my skin crawl, but good for you for giving everything a shot!

Wearing Mascara said...

O.M.G.

Just the picture of the worms grossed me out. YUCK!

Okay so I'm not a picky eater (unless it's worms... sorry). However, I am picky when I REALLY want something. For example if everyone is contemplating where to eat and I REALLY want Indian food, I will stress how badly I want it.