What is the craziest thing that you have ever eaten?
For me it would have to be tarantula. To be fair, it was only a leg, but I might add that it was while I was watching live tarantulas crawling around. It did feel a little bit weird going down, as I could feel the hair from the leg on the back of my throat. It wasn’t a bad experience though. I definitely wouldn’t choose to eat it every day, but I am glad that I got the experience.
I wouldn’t consider myself a picky eater, but there are definitely foods that are part of people’s everyday diet that I don’t enjoy…seriously, how can people eat olives without gagging?? (controversial opinion, I know) But I do like to try new things when the opportunity presents itself. Over the years I have tried a variety of unique meats such as crocodile and kangaroo (yes, we Australians do eat our national animal!)
A few years ago I was able to go on a school trip to Cambodia. It was on this trip that I tried the tarantula, as well as a variety of other new and exciting things such as silkworm, crickets and frog. The one thing that I couldn’t bring myself to try was the raw eggs that have a half-grown chicken in them. That is just gross!
Some of these things that I have tried I have quite enjoyed (in my experience, it is true what they say, that many other meats taste like chicken!) and others I wouldn’t choose to eat again. But I am still glad that I tried them.
Particularly when travelling in different cultures I find that in order to truly immerse yourself in the experience and learn all there is to learn about the culture it is important to sample their cuisine. I love sitting down to a meal from another culture, particularly if I have been able to observe the process of preparing the food, or even at times be involved myself.
I have been able to sit down on many occasions to a Papua New Guinean mumu (pronounced ‘moo moo’). This is a meal that is cooked in the ground with a pit being lined with hot coals that are then covered with leaves. The food goes on top of these leaves and is then covered over the top with more leaves and left to cook (often all day!) They would usually include meat of some kind (often pig or chicken) and a large variety of vegetables. Mumus would often be prepared for a celebration of some sort (many of the ones I attended were in celebration of a milestone that had been reached in a Bible Translation. This process takes many years and is a great cause of celebration when a book of the Bible is completely translated or when the local people are finally able to have the New Testament in their own language!) It is true that the meat cooked in the mumu style can be a bit iffy and I would highly recommend checking that it is cooked before diving in, but the food is delicious, and it is such an honour to be able to celebrate with the local people.
Although we are unable to travel as much currently, I am very much looking forward to when I am able to enjoy tasting foods from other cultures again.