Boo! In honor of Halloween, we’ve put together a list of seven of the world’s most daring, scary, and bizarre foods. Enjoy!
Fried Brain Sandwich
What is it? This is exactly what you think it is: heavily fried, sliced cow brain on bread. The Fried Brain Sandwich was popular in St. Louis, MO in the late 1880s and is still served today, primarily in the Ohio River Valley. Incidence of mad cow disease has significantly reduced the appeal of this dish, and some restaurants have begun to serve pig brains instead.
Where to get it in NYC? Barbone in the East Village offered lamb brains as an entrée a few years ago.
Rocky Mountain Oysters
What is it? Yeah, so these are not actually oysters, or at least the not the oysters we know and love. Also known as “prairie oysters” by the Canadians, Rocky Mountain Oysters are bull calf testicles. In Oklahoma and Texas they are known as “calf fries” if they are from really young animals. They are typically deep-fried (sometimes pounded flat) after being coated in flour, pepper and salt and are served as appetizers with a cocktail dipping sauce.
Where to get it in NYC? Treehaus in Midtown East has previously offered fried Rocky Mountain Oysters (and Lamb testicles!) in their lunch buffet.
What is it? Probably one of the most difficult foods to eat, Hakarl has even bested the likes of Andrew Zimmern who described the smell as “horrific” and Chef Anthony Bourdain who said it is “the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing” he’s ever had. Harkal is fermented, putrefied Greenland shark from Iceland and is ubiquitous there all year round.
Where to get it in NYC? From our research, we could not locate a place in NYC that sells or prepares Hakarl so we suggest trying it (if you dare to) if you make a trip to Iceland!
What is it? Despite its name, Century Egg (pidan in Chinese) is NOT egg that has been preserved for 100 years. They are made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs for several weeks to several months. The dark green/gray yolk is creamy and has a strong sulfur and ammonia odor, while the egg “black” has practically no flavor. It is eaten as a side dish, or added to rice porridge.
Where to get it in NYC? If you’re looking to try some, you can buy them at any Asian supermarket or try some at Congee Village in the Lower East Side.
Pacha / Goat Head
What is it? If you are confused by the picture above, let me clarify. It is a: BOILED. GOAT. HEAD. Now you might be mortified right now, but in the Middle East, BOILED.GOAT.HEAD = DELICACY. Just imagine sitting down and enjoying the BOILED.GOAT.HEAD while it is served with stuffed sheep stomach and the bread was soaked in the broth that had built up during the boiling of the sheep head.
Where to get it in NYC? Sorry folks, we couldn’t find a NYC restaurant that serves up BOILED. GOAT. HEAD.
From: Phillipines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand
What is it? A fertilized egg. They eat it in many parts of Southeast Asia as a lightly seasoned street food. In Cambodia, they are simply seasoned with just salt and lime! Due to its peculiarity, it’s being introduced to the West and East and is becoming haute cuisine at some of the more prestigious fine dining establishments.
Where to get it in NYC? Jeepeney’s Filipino gastropub in the East Village. Check out hardcore Kamayan Wednesdays and Thursdays nights where no utensils are allowed – only hands people!
The “Why Not” Insect Cocktail
What is it? Your favorite cocktails with fried maggot, scorpion, worms or toasted bees! Our personal favorite would have to be the why not – tequila, Cointreau, lime juice, avocado, red pepper, sugar and Mexican Worms. It’s simply the perfect way to end a perfect date night!
Where to get it in NYC? White and Church serves many other wonderful cocktails, but if you’re up for a challenge and are thirsty, all these delicate monstrosities are just around $14 a drink. Drink up!
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