Eating strange foods while traveling the world is part of the experience. I've learned not to ask too many questions when dining in foreign places, especially when on business! I've eaten in small villages in China as well as exotique restaurants in Korea, and have eaten just about everything my hosts have put in front of me (as long as it is not moving- I draw the line there!)
The strangest "food" I've consumed is the blood of a Mexican sea turtle as part of a ritual. The turtlewas caught (this is no longer allowed) and then killed, the blood drained, and everyonewas encouraged to drink the blood. It is supposed to make the men more viril and the women more sexy. This was truly disgusting! The turtle meat was then cooked in the shell with limes and tequila over an open fire and served in fresh tortillas. This part was excellent!
As for weird dining experiences in the USA, I've eaten rattlesnake and alligator - both taste like chicken if you drink tequila first and follow the food with abeer chaser! Then you won't notice the taste of either.I'll settle for afabulous rack of lamb and lobster bisque any day.
I've also had alligator and rattlesnake in the US, and that was one of the experiences that made me decide that I'm not a big fan of eating reptiles other than fish -- it did sort of taste like chcken but there was a weird oiliness to the meat that I didn't really care for. I tried crocodile and a couple of other snakes and had the same experience.
One of the least pleasant things I've eaten was chicken-foot soup -- the feet are covered with this fatty yellow skin which is not very nice. Lest anyone think I have an (anti)-foot fetish, pigs' feet are fine.
On the subject of hunting and gathering (Marolyn) I recently found out that my friend's husband collects snails from their garden to make escargot, and is apparently fond of making use of other natural food sources (which certainly makes me see the meals I've had at their house in a new light). He is a true gourmand and has eaten everything from pigeon (as in city pigeon, not farm-raised pigeon) to cat (my cat is giving me a worried look) Well, I suppose the snails are definitely free-range...
Glad to see that someone else found "chicken foot soup" completely disagreeable. I think that it really was the worst culinary moment I have had,and I have consumed a full range of things thatwould never appear in Delia Smith's pantry .... I still cannot believe that I chewed and swallowed.I would sooner drink camel's milk again... and eventhat was more than alittle odd.
I am adventurous when it comes to food, look for organic/free-range everywhere I go, and enjoy escargot. However, the idea of just plucking one of those slimy little suckers from a rose bush and throwing it into my oven absolutely disgusts me! Maybe I prefer to be a few steps removed from my meat sources. Wow, your friend's husband sounds like a gourmand in the highest sense of the word. What an interesting story!