Bucketlists, like New Years resolutions, are things I have never been very good at sticking with. I forget about them, get over them, or realise that they make no significant difference to my life and decide to focus on something else that interests me more. Until now. Now I have a mission. It’s a mission with focus. Why is it so focused you may ask? Well, its something I care very deeply about.
So here is the start of my food bucketlist. I am going to find things online, in recipe books and in my brain so over the new few months we’ll have a grand total of 100 items that I want to eat before I die. Here are the weird ones.
I started with something I’ve had before so that I can already tick off number 1. I’m not talking cobra, lion or camel heart – just a good old cow. Beefy and chewy, but if cooked well heart isn’t tough at all. I had an amazing beef heart kebab, called Anticucho, at local restaurant Keenwa. The gamey’ness of the beef works perfectly with the smokiness it gets from the fire it is grilled on.
2. Frog legs.
It’s a bit of a cliché but I’ve never had them and this is my Bucketlist so I choose. This extremely healthy delicacy is served not only in France but around the world in places such as Slovenia, Croatia, Greece and Indonesia to name a few. It’s often served crumbed and deep-fried (allegedly resembling fried chicken wings) and I would give them a try. However, I do think the crumbing/deep-frying process is a bit of a cop out and therefore I would also like to try a frog leg stew or hot-pot.
Probably another cliché, but hey. Bugs. All bugs. Let’s list these bad boys and what they supposedly taste like:
Silk worms: Decomposing leaves. Sounds awful, but I would have a nibble.
Centipedes: Crunchy on outside, soft on inside and sandy. Sounds average.
Locusts: Crunchy white part of a fried egg. Sounds great.
Mopane worms: Honey-glazed chicken. Sounds like I would like a plate of them.
Ants: Peanut texture. Roasted flavour. Sounds like I could handle these fellows.
Dangerous little creatures these guys – I’m a Scorpio, I know these things. Although referred to as a “dessert lobster”, whether these villains of the beach taste anything like their main-meal counterpart, I can’t be sure. Flash-fried in oil, they are meant to taste like salted peanuts but when lightly boiled or steamed, they have a prawny/shrimpy flavour. I suppose I will just have to try them to find out.
I don’t eat pork in any way, shape or form. However, I was once a few glasses of wine down at Mario’s in Green Point and tasted a rather large mouthful of my friend’s pasta with tripe, white wine, garlic and tomato. Only when I woke up the next day did I realise it may have been pork. Oops. Chewy, stringy, slightly gelatinous and rough, it wasn’t my favourite but worth a try.
Seems like all the cool kids taste like chicken these days. Crocodile is meant to taste like dryish, gamey chicken. It is high in protein and low in fat and should also therefore be cooked like chicken but doesn’t need to be cooked through and is most succulent when medium rare.
7. Puffer Fish
Known as Fugu in Japan, where they are a delicacy, these fish are lethal if touched or if killed incorrectly and eaten. The flesh is eaten as sashimi dipped in ponzu sauce while the fins are traditionally salted, fried or grilled.
While snake blood and bile is considered in Asia to be an aphrodisiac, I think I will stick to trying the meat. Whether in a hot-pot (like a soup fondue for lack of a shorter explanation), fried or stewed, snake can be cooked in as many ways as any other meat. Apparently it tastes a bit like rabbit-chicken. If cooked well, it is delicious, if not, it is smiley, smells putrid and goes a lovely shade of grey. How nice.
9. Cholent Eggs
In Jewish cuisine you can’t actively cook over the Sabbath, from Friday night to Saturday night. Many Jews make a dish called a Cholent (chaw-lent) which is a normal stew made in a slow cooker from Friday evening till Saturday lunch. An addition to the stew is a little odd. On top of the stew, some people add whole eggs which slowly “boil” over night. On Saturday after cooking for about 15 hours the eggs are now brown. They’re chopped finely, mixed with olive oil, salt and pepper and equally finely chopped onion. It smell is quite pungent (think egg in a lunch box) but the flavour is amazing.
As much as this is my Bucketlist. Get involved. Comment on the blog. Tell us the strangest foods you have eaten or WOULD eat. Tell us things you have heard about. Comment on Facebook. Tweet us using #FoodBucketList. Looking forward to finding a number 10.
PS. If you want some inspiration, check outhttp://stuffucanuse.com/strange_food.htm
PPS: Not so sure why number 8 made it to this list: http://www.nerdygaga.com/1390/weird-grouse-foods/