The Foodie Blog

Widgety Grubs – Giant Australian Tree Maggots

widgety grubs

Widgety grubs – giant tree maggots here in Australia, about the size of a human thumb. Eat raw and wiggling. I’ve tried them, they are kind of gooey and eggy, but they can bite your tongue if you forget to bite their heads off.

Submitted by Bernice, Photo by Richard Giles

Posted by Brad | in Disgusting Delicasies | 6 Comments »

Caldo de Cardan – Bolivian Bull Penis

Photo of a brown young bull running at matador in Sevilla, Spain.
Photo of a brown young bull running at matador in Sevilla, Spain.

In Boliva the world famous Caldo de Cardan soup is a dish based around the bull penis and testicles as the key ingredients. The penis is sliced thinly and takes the cardan name from local slang, based on how it looks like a car’s drive shaft.

Caldo de Cardán Preparation

The following video is in Spanish, but it shows the preparation process for the dish.

Caldo de Cardán Soupa Ingredients

Bull testicles are optional with some preferring to eat the dish without them. The soup contains many other ingredients like:

  • a lamb rib
  • chicken breast
  • a hard boiled egg
  • potatoes
  • rice
  • Bolivian beef jerky

The heavy bull penis is chopped into small pieces which sink to the bottom of the dish and the eater works their way through the other ingredients.

Why do People Eat Caldo de Cardán?

The soup is both affordable and delicious due to the extended cooking time and flavorful ingredients. The broth is typically cooked the night before the dish is served and cooked on low heat throughout the night.

The energy boosting soup is believed to help with sexual impotency, anemia and hangovers.

It costs around $2 per serving (in 2020 USD) and is frequently sold in close proximity to Bolivian bull slaughterhouses.

Bolivian Caldo de Cardan Soup.
Bolivian Caldo de Cardan Soup.

More information is available online in Spanish at MDZ Online [link to Wayback Machine version of article hosted on Archive.org]. A reader named John helped up by providing a translation of the above referenced 2009 article in the comments section. Here is his translation:

In Bolivia they do not need Viagra, there is a common broth.

To fight fatigue, but not with an energizing drink of “Red Bull”, they say this increases sexual potency. But it is not Viagra. It is a common broth, a curiosity of the Bolivian cuisine that seems to be gaining more and more support among those in need an extra push or clear mind after a long celebration.

Weekends, and always after dawn, many Bolivians fill the restaurants in the city of El Alto and the slums of La Paz in search of the intense flavor of the broth, whose main ingredient is the virile member of the bull.

Consumed by people of all ages, including women, convinced that it is an effective cure for a hangover. Some attribute aphrodisiac properties and some will recommend it for back pain and joints.

“It’s like my breakfast. The first thing I eat when I get up,” confessed Bráñez Benito, a resident of El Alto for 59 years, who has eaten the broth for the last decade.

The popular soup takes its name from the similarity between the member of a bull, and the mechanical tube located at the base of a car which carries the force of the engine to the rear wheels.

The secret of the mint broth’s effectiveness lies in preparedness. “As a concentrate, we cook it from 10 pm until the next morning,” Luque said in July, owner of a restaurant whose specialty is the popular soup.

The liquid acquires in this way, according to connoisseurs, the strength of the bull, contained in the testes.

“The long, slow cooking in huge pots heated with wood fire stoves or liquefied petroleum gas, makes taurine (a substance present in many energy drinks) which is mixed with the broth” explained Luque, who has prepared the porridge for the last 17 years with a recipe he learned in the central region of Cochabamba, where he worked as a kitchen helper.

“Almost 10 hours of cooking so that the broth is concentrated, this is one of the secrets, the other is taking it tomorrow,” said Cristina Poma, wife of Luque and cook in the restaurant that they handle.

After cooking, the broth takes on a creamy consistency and only then are small pieces of the bulls member mixed in the dish with lots of legs of beef, chicken and lamb, boiled egg, some rice and potato. The potato is ubiquitous in Andean Bolivian cuisine.

“I like it because it is rich,” said Bráñez sipping the broth, which, by the variety of ingredients has a pleasant and intense flavor.

For her part, Surco Lucio said: “I have nine children thanks to the broth” while lifting her chest and shoulders to lift up her younger son, Marco, who she said will, from time to time, taste the succulent dish.

“The broth is a universal tradition,” added the young man carrying a piece in a plastic bag. A single dose of just 12 bolivianos, will cost you a little over a dollar and a half.

Submitted by Miguel

Posted by Brad | in Disgusting Delicasies | 2 Comments »

South American Telmatobius Frog Smoothie

Telmatobius aquatic frog.
Isolated photo of a telmatobius aquatic frog on white background.

In some South American countries like Peru people may take endangered Telmatobius frogs, skin and cut them, then throw them into a blender to make a frog smoothie.

titicaca waterfrog
Photo of the underside of a titicaca water frog isolated on black background.

To complete the dish a few other ingredients are added to the blender:

  • three ladles of hot white bean broth
  • two generous spoonfuls of honey
  • raw aloe vera plant
  • several tablespoons of maca
  • 1 dead, skinned, endangered Telmatobius frog
Woman blending a frog smoothie.
Woman blending a frog smoothie.

The above recipe makes about 200ml of smoothie.

Frog Smoothie.
Man Drinking a Frog Smoothie.

Here is a video showcasing of the process of making a frog smoothie.

Some believe this helps with fatigue, anemia, bronchitis, or stress. These uses have not been approved by the FDA.

Submitted by Adam

Posted by Brad | in Disgusting Delicasies | 2 Comments »

Kutti Pi – Fresh Goat Fetus

Kutti Pi Screenshot.
Screenshot from National Geographic short video about the preparation of kutti pi.

Kutti pi, which is an Anglo-Indian dish consisting of an animal fetus (of any sort- usually goat or cow). National Geographic published a video of a woman preparing the dish on YouTube.

Merchants at spare parts markets sell kutti pi though doing so is taboo, so they deliver the dish to her home rather than selling it on camera.

Supply of kutti pi is hit or miss with availability determined by if a pregnant mother goat (or other animal) was recently slaughtered. The lady preparing the dish suggests a medium sized kutti pi is ideal as it yields plenty of flesh to eat, yet the goat fetus still remains free of hair.

The ideal stage of the fetus is beyond embryo state but of course not yet live. If you split the difference on the following two images it would be almost perfect.

Goat Embryo.
Goat Embryo.

An embryo is the early stage of the animal development where critical body structure and organs are formed. In humans an embryo switches over into the fetus stage 9 weeks after the egg is fertilized or in the 11th week of a pregnancy. Humans have a 40 week or 280 day gestation period. Goats, by contrast, have a 5 month or 150 day gestational period.

Young baby goats grazing on grass on a farm.
Baby goats grazing on grass on a farm.

A female goat is called a doe or nanny and can reach puberty between 4 to 12 months.

Not sure what makes me more quesy; all the organs for sale in the market or the fact shes’s holding her modern car keys while bargaining for a fetal goat.

Submitted by Alli.

Posted by Brad | in Disgusting Delicasies | 2 Comments »

Cooked Dog Meat :(

Cooked Dog Heads

This is all I could find about this certain “delicacy”.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_meat

Dog meat is eaten in some countries and certain breeds of dogs are raised on farms and slaughtered for their meat. Dog meat may be consumed as an alternative source of meat or for specific medicinal benefits attributed to various parts of a dog. In parts of the world where dogs are kept as pets, people generally consider the use of dogs for food to be a social taboo.

Cultural attitudes, legalities, and history regarding eating dog meat varies from country to country. Very little statistical information is available on attitudes to the consumption of dog meat. Though the consumption of dog meat is generally viewed as taboo in Western culture, some Westerners support the right to eat dog meat and accuse other Westerners who protest against dog eating in other countries of cultural imperialism and intolerance

Submitted by Jianu Lucian

Vietnam Dog Meat Merchant

As of 2014 it is estimated 25 million dogs are eaten globally each year.

Added: a comment linked to the following news article: China’s pork crisis piques interest in dog and cat meat, as animal activists raise the alarm over illegal slaughter

Pork vendors are complaining about losing market share to dog meat sellers

“They have taken away a lot of our business this year because now dog meat, as well as cat meat, is cheaper than pork and beef,” said the vendor, while pointing at a dog meat stand doing a roaring trade at the city’s bustling Ximen fresh market in December.

And people are suggesting dog meat is a great gift as it becomes more mainstream.

“Dog meat tastes better than pork. Why not choose dog meat to treat guests, because it’s no longer affordable to order pork?” – Luo Liu, Jiangxi resident

Cooked Dog Heads

Here is a disturbing video on Twitter of a Chinese man cooking a live dog. 🙁

Posted by Brad | in Disgusting Delicasies | 41 Comments »

Deer Placenta Soup

Beautiful deer in a park.
Beautiful Deer in a Park.

The placenta is a temporary organ which provides oxygen and nutrients to growing spawn while removing waste products from the spawn’s blood. It attaches to the wall of the uterus and the umbilical cord is attached to it.

In Traditional China Medicine there is a belief that some postpartum women are cool due to losing Qi (life force) and drinking tea with placenta broth can help aid her recovery.

Placenta.
Placenta.

Stem cell therapies may be able to treat many diseases and conditions, but the hype has run ahead of reality and many treatments are not FDA approved.

The placenta is a flexible organ, yielding a rather chewy texture. Deer placenta soup can be served with mushrooms, flowers, black chicken, and deer tendon in the broth. It is believed to be good for skin, kidneys, vitality and sexual vitality.

Deer placenta extract is sold online at many alternative health websites, though it is often sold using scientifically unproven claims via pyramid schemes claiming it as a cure for cancer. Countries ranging from Singapore to the Philippines have warned against extreme marketing promises like reversing the aging process.

Submitted by Michael Hughes

Posted by Brad | in Disgusting Delicasies | 2 Comments »

Baby Mice Wine Health Tonic

Baby Mice.
Baby Mice.

What is baby mice wine?

What better to wash down your gelatinous lumps of lye fish than a nice chilled cup of dead mice?

What better indeed.

Baby mice wine is a traditional Chinese “health tonic,” which apparently tastes like raw gasoline.

Little mice, eyes still closed, are plucked from the embrace of their loving mothers and stuffed (while still alive) into a bottle of rice wine. They are left to ferment while their parents wring their tiny mouse paws in despair, tears drooping sadly from the tips of their whiskers.

Baby Mice Wine.
Chinese Baby Mice Rice Wine.

Wait, it gets worse …

Do you wince at the thought of swallowing a tequila worm? Imagine how you’d feel during a session on this bastard. Whoops, I swallowed a dead mouse! Whoops, there goes another one! Whoops, I just puked my entire body out of my nose!

Submitted by Kristina

Posted by Brad | in Disgusting Delicasies | 12 Comments »

Hákarl – Icelandic Fermented Shark!

Hakarl hanging in a shed fermenting.
Hákarl hanging in a shed fermenting.

What is Hákarl?

Hákarl or kæstur hákarl (Icelandic for “fermented shark”) is a national dish from Iceland. It consists of a Greenland or basking shark which is rotten, has been cured with a fermentation process, and is hung to dry in an open air shed.

National Geographic covers the shark decomposition and preparation in the following video.

How is Hákarl Prepared?

Historically in Viking times the shark was fermented underground, though it is typically done above ground today, with an expert deciding based on scent when the food is ready to be hung to complete the breakdown process. It can be served after 6 months.

Icelandic fermented shark hanging in an open air shed.
Icelandic fermented shark hanging in an open air shed.

The Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum produces most of the country’s supply of Hákarl.

What Does Fermented SharkTaste Like?

Hákarl has a very particular ammonia-rich smell and taste, similar to very strong cheese. It is an acquired taste and many Icelanders never eat it.

When is the Dish Available?

Hákarl is served as part of a Þorramatur, a selection of traditional Icelandic food served at the Þorrablót festival in midwinter, a celebration with pagan origins.

The dish is readily available in Icelandic stores all year round and is eaten in all seasons. Many enjoy eating it as a snack with vodka.

Fermented shark with vodka.
Fermented shark with vodka.

Anthony Bourdain Hated It

The late celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain tasted this dish in a 2014 visit to Iceland as part of his No Reservations series. In a Bon Appétit interview with friend Eric Ripert he described fermented shark as one of the foods he would never eat again along with Nambia warthog anus and airplane food.

Submitted by A. Joshi

Posted by Brad | in Disgusting Delicasies | 2 Comments »

Kopi Luwak – Cat Crap Coffee!

I can’t believe you didn’t list Kopi Luwak already! It’s basically coffee that has first been “processed” by being swallowed, then excreted whole by a civet cat.

Civet Eating Coffee Cherries

Coffee cherries going in…

Civet cat eating coffee cherries to create fermented gourmet coffee.
Civet cat eating coffee cherries to create fermented gourmet coffee.

Digestion

Product coming out…

Asian palm civet producing kopi luwak coffee beans.
Asian palm civet producing kopi luwak coffee beans.

The enzymes and acids in the civet’s digestive system impart special qualities to the coffee that make it a special delicacy, making the coffee smother tasting. The cherries are fermented as they pass through the animal’s intestines.

Cool Beans

and yer payday…

Excreted kopi luwak.
Excreted kopi luwak.

You can then process the coffee like you would any other coffee.

kopi luwak coffee beans collage
Collage consisting of kopi luwak coffee beans and finished coffee.

Some stores even sell kopi luwak in bulk, though it does not come cheap, running $170 per pound.

Bulk Kopi Luwak Coffee for sale.
Bulk Kopi Luwak Coffee for sale.

There is also a sister product named black ivory coffee which is found in elephant dung.

If you serve it and your guests complain that “the coffee tastes like shit”, you can reply with “yes, yes it does!”

Kopi Luwak.
Kopi Luwak.

Problems With Kopi Luwak Coffee

This luxury coffee is typically made in Indonesia and can cost up to $80 per cup in the United States. Unfortunately there are other drawbacks beyond the price.

  • Ethical Issues: Living conditions for the captive civets that make it in Bali are often grim with the animals living too close together and being used as tourist props throughout the day when they would normally have a nocturnal, solitary life.
  • Quality: Civets creating coffee using commercial farming do not create the best product as they are often stressed by the environment and wild civets can pick superior coffee cherries.
  • Fakes: Opportunists have taken advantage of influencer culture and the buzz around this exclusive product by offering fake product. It is believed over 80% of Kopi Luwak sold today is fake.

Submitted by Tony Emond

PS: more background information is available on Wikipedia.

Posted by Brad | in Disgusting Delicasies | 2 Comments »

Kiviak, Greenland Inuit Fermented Seal dish

5 little auk.
5 Little Auk.

Kiviak (also called kiviaq) is the name of a Greenlandic Inuit dish which consists of up to 500 small seagull/auk birds fermented whole within a suture-closed freshly disemboweled seal. Oils are applied to the skin to prevent infestation by maggots.

White Cub Greenland Seal. Also known as a Harp seal or saddleback seal.
White Cub Greenland Seal. It is also known as a Harp seal or saddleback seal.

The pelt (containing the whole seagulls/auks) is buried underneath a large, flat stone, seam-side up to prevent rupturing by the gases that evolve and contamination. The pelt is dug up about a half year later when fermentation is complete.

Kiviak.
Kiviak.

The sutures are then cut to reveal the fermented seagull or little auks. The fermented intestinal fluids are sucked out from the whole birds, or used as a sauce for other foods. It is said to taste similar to natto paste, or very mature cheeses.

References/images:
http://kiviak.com/
http://foodlorists.blogspot.com/2008/12/kiviak.html

Submitted by Lee Tantral

Take it easy eating this dish, as it killed explorer Knud Rasmussen.

Elephant Seals Laying on a Beach.
Elephant Seals Resting on the Beach.
Posted by Brad | in Disgusting Delicasies | 7 Comments »