William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Vegetarian Swallow Balls

I went shopping in Chinatown and found these delicacies, which match well with the vegetarian intestines I found last year.

Enjoy these—hand slaughtered!—treats on one of the last weekends of the summer.

Vegetarian Swallow Balls

Hand slaughtered quail!

For discussion: the strangest thing you have ever ate. How about bundagee. Silk worm pupae in soy sauce and brown sugar—a common Korean street-food.

12 Comments

  1. Duck feet, complete with webbing. In a Chinese restaurant. I would have to be both very desperate and very drunk to knowingly eat bugs, though, with or without soy sauce.

  2. I live in Koreatown, Los Angeles. I’ve seen the insect stuff at the local Korean grocery store. I wouldn’t do it. I’d have to be dirt poor or on a bet. It would have to be the latter, actually, because I can get a burrito for half a dollar each at another place nearby ;o) (Or, I could develop my palate, but I don’t care.) Anyway… What is the strangest thing I’ve ate? Scorpion? I had it at a restaurant on the island of Okinawa, Japan. It tasted like dirt. Blegh.

  3. I basically see lobsters as big sea bugs anyway, so the leap to eating terrestrial bugs doesn’t sound that awful. I enjoy escargot a great deal, and I’ve had grubs. Kind of nutty, and actually pretty good.

    The STRANGEST thing I’ve eaten, however, is horse sashimi. I mean, not only is it raw red meat… it’s horse meat. Just weird. Only in Japan…

  4. horse sashimi…mybe the solution to the wild horse problem we seem to have acquired here in nothern Nevada. Actually I enjoyed jerked horse while in Kazakhstan a while ago, tasted like beef jerky. It was helped down by lots of rocket fuel.

    Tom B

  5. At festival times or on a Buddha’s birthday, Grandma would sacrifice one or two chickens that she raised in the backyard. Occasionally, a rooster was victimized. Perhaps, some Buddha called for a rooster. When such occasions arose, Grandma would let my brothers or me have the boiled chicken testicles. They were tasty (don’t laugh!). She assured us that we wouldn’t become pigs in our next life for eating them. I haven’t had them since I left home for high school.

  6. I almost choked when I saw the “Vegetarian Swallow Balls”.
    Casu Marzu is the strangest food I have tried, it is a tasty seasonal Sardinian cheese which houses the larvae of the cheese fly.

  7. Witchetty Grubs in Australia – something that every tourist needs to try out! They weren’t great but the honey ants they were served with were quite special (you pick them up and pop their abdomens above your tongue to let the delicious honey-like nectar drip down).

  8. Oh wait, I might have a stranger one than horse sashimi: freshly caught and ripped apart sea urchin.

    Oddly enough, I generally dislike sea urchin (uni) sushi when I get it at sushi restaurants, but I absolutely loved it when I was the one ripping the animal apart and sucking out its innards on the spot.

    Perhaps it was the act that made the flesh sweeter.

  9. Briggs

    August 31, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    JJD,

    Duck feet might not be great, but duck tongue is. Don’t pass up if offered.

  10. Briggs

    August 31, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    harold,

    What more fascinating is that people are eating non vegetarian versions of the same. Right, JH?

  11. Right, Mr. Briggs.

    The translation is not the best. The word “round” is used instead of “ball” in my dialect. Think of them as “meat balls” made from soy bean or some kind of rice, you might just like them.

  12. Mine are relatively tame. I traveled as an itinerant preacher for two years, and spent a great deal of time with the Mexican-Americans along the border.

    They like pigs, and I grew to like them too. Their stomachs especially are delicious, although their skin boiled is quite repulsive. But pig’s feet?

    Fantastic. Especially in soups, like Menudo, which also contains a healthy amount of cow’s stomach lining. Wonderful stuff.

    And cow’s tongue? Done right, this is the best beef you’ll ever eat-

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