Cable television channels have several shows where celebrity hosts travel the globe in an effort to educate the viewers on the culture and lifestyles of people who live in other countries (it’s obvious this is targeted for American viewers). I think one thing that makes these shows so appealing is the “weird” and “gross out” factor some of the foods of other cultures can have on the average viewer. However, we must think a little more open minded and realize that what may be “bizarre foods” to us, may be part of an ordinary and common menu to another group of people. Whenever I watch these shows I actually end up having the desire to travel and try new foods that I have never been exposed to.
So why is it that we are so nervous when it comes to trying new things? Most of us have no problem frequently eating conventional meats such as beef, pork, chicken, and fish. Most of us do it without hesitation or thought about what it is and where it came from. So what is the difference between eating the meat from a cow and the meat from a bovine and the meat of an amphibian? Not much. Even when it comes to some of the more common unconventional meats (rabbit, ostrich, bison), I am surprised at how many people have never tried them. I challenge everyone to try something new and let others know what your reaction is to it and encourage them to do the same if your experience was good.
The picture at the top of this post was taken several months ago from when I tried frog legs for the first time. I simply seasoned them and pan fried them in olive oil and garlic. They actually sat in my freezer for a couple months before I was brave enough to try them one night, so I’m guilty of the nervousness to try new things as well. My point? I should’ve had nothing to be afraid of, they were delicious! Try something new and be brave about it because you never know, you may discover a new favorite food.
My father recently gave me some escargot that I am eager to try, so that is next on my list. Other animals on my “primal BBQ wish list” are kangaroo, alligator, rattlesnake, cuy, mealworms and other various insects.
What unconventional meats do you like or dislike? What would you like to try, and what have you tried?
-Roger De Rok