Would You Like Some Octopus With That?

Like Virginia Slims says, I’ve come a long way baby. Growing up I was a really picky eater. Really picky. And I wasn’t willing to try anything new. I was insanely naive when I went to study abroad and picked Asia. Somehow I thought it would be like ordering a little takeout. Um….not so much.

Might I mention that I don’t eat fish. Which is a bit of a problem in Japan. As I found out when I told my host family that fact and they said, “Not even OCTOPUS??” And then I fainted. And starved my way through Japan. Next came China. Apparently besides fish I also don’t like cat, duck and unidentified balls of God knows what. So I spent that month hailing rickshaw to the nearest McDonalds. Sad but true.

I married a man who will try anything. Anything. And he loves to go to new places. Foreign food places and order from people who don’t speak english. And say things like, “Give me whatever you like”. And they bring him things like tripe and kimchee and he eats them. Which means we eat out separately. A lot. But being married to him has helped me be a more adventurous eater. I am nowhere near his level of eating, but I try a new thing here and there.

Last week we went to an event put on by the local chef school where they had some unusual dishes. Now you might not think salmon, trout and venison are weird, but to me, they are out of my comfort zone. And rabbit, goat, and duck are way out of my comfort zone? Chicken gizzards, chicken liver and ox tongue. There ain’t enough alcohol in the world. But the rest I gave the old college try. And lived to tell about it. The verdict: thumbs down on salmon, goat and duck. But the trout, venison and rabbit were delicious and I was really proud of myself for trying it.

And this year in our effort to consume more whole foods (is it just me or is every blogger on the planet talking about this?) we joined a CSA. Which I am super excited about, but also really nervous about eating weird things like kale and turnips. But I am up for the challenge and hoping I find some new foods to love.

How about you? Adventurous eater? What is the weirdest thing you have tried?


  1. Heather of the EO says:

    I’d say I’m semi-adventurous. But not enough so that I jumped at the chance of eating bird soup cow tongue when I was offered it in Ecuador. The bird soup had bird feet and beaks in it.

    I wanted a Big Mac and went hungry :)

    I love it that you were moving to Asia thinking you’d be eating a lot of Leann Chin cuisine. Hilarious.

    • Ok super ewww. And the Asia thing. Yeah, I was an idiot ;)

      • Heather of the EO says:

        No. Not an idiot. Unless I’m an idiot too, which is entirely possible. Because when I went to Ecuador I thought I would just eat beans and rice. Not beaks. :)
        .-= Heather of the EO´s last blog ..The stone =-.

        • Linda Altamirano says:

          This is my favorite post ever DD! I am from Ecuador but I’ve never seen beaks in chicken soup. (gizzards, feet, liver and hearts? Yes!) growing up in Ecuador we had no chance to be picky, you either ate or went to bed without dinner. My 18mos old knows better and eats everything we eat, she knows the menu won’t change. I pretty much eat everything that appeals my palate unless is liver pâté, hot peppers or sweet like BBQ sauce. And I’ll pick cow tongue and pigs feet anyday over a big mac. My husband says I am picky because I don’t like BBQ sauce or polynesian sauce… after reading this post I know I won’t starve in China or Ecuador – Other weird things I’ve heard they eat in other regions of Ecuador are: bull testicles, monkey brain and guinea pigs Can we say YUM? Lol (FYI: I’ve never had these)

  2. I just found out what a CSA is…I am not sure it’s worth it for me b/c I am just learning to eat Veggies..and it’s VERY expensive here. But I too am a VERY picky eater. I’ve gotten better…but I really used to be the worst!
    .-= Jen-After the Alter´s last blog ..Blogaversary Week Begins!! =-.

  3. When I went to Japan for my little brother’s wedding, he asked me if I would be willing to try some “new” things. I told him not to tell me what it was and if the food looked edible I would try it. I think I was the Fear Factor champion by the time we left.

    Weirdest thing I ate……HORSE sashimi. It tasted like salami.

  4. I am the adventureous one in my marriage – I’ve brought my husband a long way too. The best weird thing I’ve eaten was shark – it was awesome. The worst weird thing I’ve eaten was squid – the little suction cups stuck to my cheeks and I couldn’t chew it, so I just swallowed the stuff whole.

  5. Ostrich tacos and haggis are probably the weirdest things I have eaten. I like calmari and I even like escargot. I also like sea eel sushi :)
    .-= frelle´s last blog ..To Write Love On Her Arms =-.

  6. I’m a pretty adventurous eating and am willing to try something at least once. I’ve had some pretty strange things (like small little fish in a Korean restaurant), but for me the weirdest has been pig’s brain. You read that right. I ate pig’s brain. Oddly enough, it looked like scrambled eggs that were greyish. Not sure I’d ever do it again.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Healthy fried chicken =-.

  7. I think I’ve eaten all the things you’ve mentioned. We are really, really adventurous eaters, in fact I feature a lot of these things on my blog.

    Maybe the oddest was fermented raw squid in squid ink…it was….slimy and tart. Maybe lamb pancreas? Fish eyeballs? I will try anything once. I’ve never had bugs though. I’m not sure if I can eat the bugs.

    Good for you for trying those things!
    .-= Dandy´s last blog ..The view from Seal Beach pier =-.

  8. Like you, I was SUPER-picky as a child, but I have also come along way. I will now try just about anything. Probably the strangest thing I ate was in Costa Rica (where I chose to study abroad in college). My host family ordered this take-out, which I believe was supposed to be Chinese food, but it was rice cooked up with all kinds of little seafood items in it, I think including mini squid or octopus. It was sooooo weird and really not my favorite!
    .-= Esther (WellnessMom)´s last blog ..Monday Motivation: Goals and Actions =-.

  9. I am so very not-adventurous. I passed up on the opportunity for muskrat at a wild game dinner and went with pheasant!

    • People eat muskrat????

      • Apparently so! They were gross looking. Baked them up exactly like they were caught – whole! They were crispy little critters. I guess they were to then “crack” into them like lobsters or something. EW!
        .-= Mrs. H´s last blog ..Sunday =-.

  10. Asia does serve some crazy stuff! I would never survive in Japan as I am allergic to seafood.

    When in China I had donkey and fresh goats milk. Goats milk isn’t too out there- but when it was fresh and warm, that just made it nasty. Donkey was ok, like tough beef.
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Selling our house =-.

  11. I’ll try almost anything. My dad and I used to get (and enjoy!) pineapple and anchovy pizza. Yes, really. It’s been a loooong time since I’ve had any since my husband is not up for that.

    And yes, all bloggers ARE talking about eating more whole foods! lol. We are hoping to join a CSA this year too!
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Wooden Toys…GIVEAWAY! =-.

  12. I’m the same way. I’ve always been a picky eater, but my husband has expanded my comfort zone, especially in terms of spicy and ethnic food.

    As for the weird stuff, I went to France in college. Rabbit tasted okay but it was weird to eat what we consider a pet, and duck turned out to be one of my favorite meals while there (though I haven’t eaten it since). My host mom would pack me these (what I considered) gross lunches of tuna and beans–I’d give away my lunch and buy a baguette.

    Oh the memories! That was 16 years ago already. Feels like yesterday….
    .-= Eos Mom´s last blog ..TILT– Haagen Dazs "Caramel Cone" =-.

  13. Beef tongue tacos are on the menu for dinner tonight. Don’t tell my husband. We had oxtail stew last week. I’ll try anything (and have!), but my husband is picky even with “normal” stuff.
    .-= joanna´s last blog ..Thankful #4 =-.

    • hahahaha that’s awesome! I love that you trick your husband! I have a friend who told her husband that his water chestnuts were mini potatoes. Too funny.
      .-= Erin G´s last blog ..Were Space Bags Made for This? =-.

    • I agree, that is funny. I am praying my hubby doesn’t do that with me. Now I am a little freaked out.

  14. Wow!! Um… I cannot top any of these! (And am a little grossed out by reading them all! Lol) We love Asian foods here, but stick to recipes where I can add chicken, beef, or turkey. As for the venison, we LIVE on deer meat since hubs, dad, and son are all hunters. It’s really not that bad when you know how to cook it! :)
    .-= Mandy´s last blog ..Not Me! Monday =-.

  15. I’m a relatively adventurous eater- I’ll generally try anything once. but I do draw the line somewhere- I’m not going to eat live monkey brain. (My FIL travels to Asia a lot for work and they literally walk the monkey to the table, crack open his skull and you eat it. My FIL has not partaken in this and I don’t blame him one bit. ewwwwwwwwwww)
    I can’t recall all the weird things I’ve tried, probably because I don’t always know what it is I’m trying. But I have had alligator pie and that was yummy!

  16. I’m with your husband, I don’t mind trying pretty much anything once. When I was in China (pregnant with Nathan), I ate from food stalls and such, even though I had no idea what it was. I was like, ooooh deep-fried! yummy! I mean everyone else was eating it, it probably wasn’t going to kill me, right? And it was COOKED. (I still have issues with learning to love sushi.)

    I think the weirdest thing I have eaten was some homemade beer in the home of a complete stranger in one of the townships outside cape town south africa. it seemed rude to refuse, and even though the “house” was made of cardboard and had a garbage-bag roof and therefore was probably COMPLETELY UNSANITARY, I told myself, hey it’s alcohol, it’s self-cleansing, right? And it was fine. Not tasty, but fine. I was there to learn and experience (and lay out on some fabulous beaches, but that’s neither here nor there), and I did.

    Keep up the good work on trying new things! What’s the worst that can happen, after all? You won’t like it and don’t have to finish. But at least you’ll have tried. :)

    I am jealous of your CSA. How do I find out if they have that kind of thing in my area?
    .-= Erin G´s last blog ..Were Space Bags Made for This? =-.

  17. I’ve eaten some pretty crazy things..at least in my book: snails (screw “escargot”), fish eyes, dehydrated fish, etc. But nothing sent me over the edge more than when I thought I was eating mutton (goat) and it was really a German Shepherd. %-P
    .-= Jenny 867-5309´s last blog ..What is a booger? =-.

  18. Have you thought about having a garden to grow you own veggies?
    .-= Heather Erbe´s last blog ..Repairman, we don’t need no repairman =-.

  19. jennybek says:

    A friend killed a snake & cooked it up. I tried one bite. Ugh. Tough & rubbery. But the sauce he made with it was great. Not great enough for me to go for more though.
    .-= jennybek´s last blog ..A little video enjoyment for you =-.

  20. Just so you know, we do also get some choices in what we take, so if there’s something you’re not yet ready to try, it’s totally ok! But I think you’ll do great. One thing I have learned is that you can make anything taste great if you slather it in cheese…
    .-= anne´s last blog ..Reusing =-.

  21. Best line EVER … “there ain’t enough alcohol in the world!” :)

  22. I was super super picky growing up and now I’m not as picky, but not as adventurous as I’d like to be. I also married a man that will eat anything so I feel your pain. I’m also on the whole food bandwagon and it’s been a bit of a chore- especially with my six year old who’s as picky as I was when I was his age!

  23. Good for you!! I’m more like your husband (although I don’t think I’d touch tripe with a 10 foot pole!). There are definitely things I like better, but I’ll usually at least try it. Are your kids picky eaters?
    .-= Staci Brown´s last blog ..Top Ten Questions I Have About Cake Decorating =-.

  24. I just love this blog so much! There is always such interesting stuff on here to read. It’s one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing! Feel free to visit me back :)

  25. kelly says:

    a few years ago we did a vegetable share through Trillium Farm. there were a lot of veggies that either i wasn’t familiar with or not too fond of. One trick is that I would shred or puree some of the veggies so they were in the dish but i couldn’t tell. A book I really enjoyed reading was animal, vegetable, miracle by barbara klingslover. it documents a year of her family trying to eat only locally. they make their own bread and also tried making their own cheese (which mozzarella cheese is really easy to make and fun project to do with kids)

  26. Wow, and I thought I was picky! ;) I grew up on salmon though so I guess I can’t fault you too much… especially as it probably wasn’t fresh. Fresh salmon prepared right is amazing!
    I eat more things as I get older… but somehow my mom still can’t seem to remember that I don’t like red peppers and she puts them in everything!
    I’m not sure we have a CSA around here living in a smallish town, but we do have an awesome farmers market in the summer! And that way I don’t get veggies that I won’t eat either… ;)

  27. We had a Japanese exchange student when I was in HS. Just say no to octopus jerky. Trust me.

    That said, I am pretty adventurous when it comes to eating and it makes me sad you didn’t eat real Chinese food! It took a while, but once we figured out what to order…it still makes my mouth water 8 years later.

    I firmly believe that if you think you don’t like duck, maybe they didn’t prepare it well. Because duck = heaven.
    .-= Vanderbilt Wife´s last blog ..Losing It: Week 2 =-.

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