I found this list floating around that was just too…unique to pass up. Recommended foods to eat “just once before you die”, or in my words, to serve to your loved on as a once-in-a-lifetime gift. “Just once,” probably because they are unavailable in your local Winn Dixie, America’s supermarket every day, or whatever the slogan is these days. That, and these foods you can only find in places that don’t exactly attract much tourism or interest other than college students who want to go to whacked-out places and help out the destitute brutalized under an endless slew of dictators that keep launching coups every other week.
“Before you die,” maybe because these places aren’t so safe. Well, maybe I exaggerate. But the food’s great!
The first is fried spider. You can find these in a wonderful place called Cambodia, usually in the news for bad things, but spider season is out and you better go try some. The spiders are eaten in a town called Skuon, and they are as big as your hand. They’re bred in spider farms that consist of holes in the ground. Once they’re no longer alive, they are breaded with monosodium glutamate (MSG – you can find bags of this stuff in Chinatown, flavor enhancer that gives you headaches), sugar and salt. They’re then fried with garlic until the legs get crispy. Eat the head and the legs. Stay away from the abdomen. At least that’s what the locals say.
The next one is Fugu, which you can find in Japan. Granted, ever since World War II ended, Japan has been a pretty upstanding country. No dictators there. Just poisonous fish. The Fugu fish, what we know as a blow fish, is so poisonous it can kill 30 men with its liver and ovaries, where the poison, tetrodotoxin, is produced. I can’t kill anyone with my liver and ovaries, which makes me feel kind of left out. But anyway.
Eating fugu is only advisable in the absolute best restaurants of Tokyo, because it can only legally be prepared by a licensed chef, who we may remind you basically has your life in his hands as he cuts away blow fish livers and ovaries and DOES NOT EAT THEM. The best part of the experience of this daredevil delicacy is the sensation on the tongue given by small amounts of tetrodotoxin and won’t kill you.
Third, we have a Chinese Century Egg. China, not so good on the human rights or environment or democratic freedoms, but good on the Century Egg, which is basically an egg wrapped in clay, salt, and lime juice. It’s then wrapped in straw and aged for a few months. The yolk turns green and the white turns brown, which is similar to when you stick an egg in a crockpot for a day. Sam I Am would be proud of you for trying it.
Finally, El Salvadorian Iguana meat. Don’t know much about El Salvador, other than that its class gap is enormous and it gets hit by hurricanes every 20 minutes. They say iguana tastes like chicken but tougher. I wouldn’t know, but if I ever wanted to find out I can just pick one up from my backyard. That is if I can catch it.