I am no Anthony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmern. I’ve never eaten, yet alone enjoyed, Rocky Mountain oysters, and I know not the joys of feasting on fried scorpion skewered on a stick or mopane worms fresh from the ground. And for good reason – my stomach turns at the thought.
How then did I find myself willing to attend a dinner where all of the courses I’d be served featured animal blood? Your guess is as good as mine. And as I stood in front of my bathroom mirror day of practicing my "No really, I love it!" face, the butterflies in my stomach feel more like giant moths begging to get out.
As a researcher, after I volunteered for this task, I wanted some information to help ease my mind (and stomach). Primarily, I needed to know, is this normal? Is it normal to consume the blood of other animals? And if so, why did it seem so foreign to me?
If you make your way to St. Louis, Missouri, any time soon, ask a local to show you one of their barbecue specialties: snoots. In both editions of the classic guidebook Real Barbecue (1988 and 2007), authors Greg Johnson and Vince Staten put it this way: "First we'd better deal with 'snoots.' Snoots are part of the soul-food barbecue scene in St. Louis that will stare at you at the C & K, as well as any number of other places in town and across the river in East St. Louis. Snoots are deep-fried pig noses."
At Smoki O's, another St. Louis barbecue joint, they smoke their snoots for a couple of hours instead of frying them. Whether boiled, fried, or smoked, snoots get doused with barbecue sauce and are meant to be eaten right away.
"Balls, bumholes, penises. I haven't eaten all those things, but I've eaten most," says Chef Jamie Oliver.
Dunno about you, but this tongue we're biting over here is DELICIOUS. More offal recipes here.
Previously - Eating testicles in the Denver airport
Chris Cosentino is the chef-owner of Incanto and Boccalone in San Francisco, a competitor of the upcoming season of Top Chef Masters, and author of the new book "Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal". He's also a massive fan of offal and says, "If you are willing to kill an animal, you should be willing to eat all of it."
5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
When Andrew Zimmern tells us we ought to try a particular food, we screw up our courage and do it. His travels as host of "Bizarre Foods" take him to some far-out places and sometimes challenging cuisine, which he always tackles with an open mind, and a wide-open mouth.
Zimmern has seen it all, eaten most of it, and believes that with slight adaptation of the American palate, we can change the world. As he says, "You can change the world one plate at a time. If we can take better advantage of the global pantry and eat from a wider variety of choices we would do more to combat food poverty, our damaged food production system, obesity and other systemic health and wellness issues than any one single act I can imagine. Here are some suggestions, but be creative. It works."
Five Foods That Can Change the World: Andrew Zimmern
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
Now that we’re a week into the New Year, it’s time to stop talking about a 2012 diet. That moment is gone. Instead of giving up foods, wouldn’t it be great to bring some new things into your life: squirrel, fish bones, black water. Here’s a few things you should start eating immediately to be on the cutting edge of the food world.
The celebration of the Islamic holiday of Eid-ul-Adha is a reminder of whole-animal food preparation, an essential process throughout the developing world that is enjoying a renaissance in modern American dining.
Eid-ul-Adha – or Bakra Eid (Eid of the goat) as we called it – is a day on which Muslims around the world sacrifice cows and goats in remembrance of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son for God. Growing up in Karachi, I remember trucks stopping door-to-door picking up animal skins, excited chatter about the treats we would soon enjoy, and visiting friends and family to share carefully packaged cuts of meat.
My appreciation and understanding for this tradition took on a new perspective two years ago when my grandmother visited me in Atlanta. My sister and I were discussing this crazy new food movement in the American south that used buzzwords like farm-to-table, organic, and whole-animal cuisine.
Do owl curry, fallow deer and rat stir-fry whet your palate? Meet Jonathan McGowan, the taxidermist and naturalist who's made roadkill an essential part of his diet.