With all of that spooky Halloween spirit happening, I found my mind drifting off to a places where freaky foods live. A number of foods we may perceive as bizarre or a little scary are considered delicacies in different parts of the world. I'm a big believer that you should never yuck someone's yum, but some of these treats may be my breaking point. When you travel off to a foreign land, would you be down to try whatever regional cuisine is handed your way, or would you pass on these freaky foods? Prepare your palate: it's time to tell us when you click through these photos.
In honor of Freaky Friday (today's Friday the 13th!), I thought I'd pull together a list of 13 freaky foods. Even if you don't have triskaidekaphobia (the fear of the number 13), you may be afraid of some of the things on this list. I know there are a bunch of other freaky things out there (how about almost anything Andrew Zimmern eats on his show?), so if you think something's missing, we want to hear it.
#13: Bubble Tea
I personally love this stuff; however, I've known quite a few folks who are freaked out by the tapioca inside of the tea. Come to think of it, I know a lot of people freaked out by tapioca in general . . .
#12: Squid ink pasta
I don't have a problem with this lovely pasta dyed with squid ink, but some find eating black pasta to be just a bit too freaky.
Keep reading to see more freaky foods perfect for Friday the 13th.
It's simply a fact that I love spicy food more than most: from Sriracha to Sambal Oelek and Tabasco to Tapatío, I've got every hot sauce around, and I pour it on everything. But last weekend, I ordered a dish at San Francisco's Old Mandarin Islamic restaurant titled "Extremely Hot Peppers." Its Chinese name is la si ni, which literally translates to "so hot it could kill you." This dish — about 95 percent chiles, and 5 percent chopped chicken — was so hot that two bites in, I had to stop and call out for more water. I've got a stomach of steel, but my intestinal lining was still reeling two days later. To date, the leftovers are still in my fridge, where they remain untouched. Tell me: would you give this dish a go?
Don't care for a hangover to go with that cocktail of yours? You're in luck: from vodka alternatives to vermouths and liqueurs, cocktails that are heavy on the flavor but light on the booze are big amongst today's bartenders. Although some imbibers only see the need for ordering a stiff drink, other cocktail enthusiasts take enjoyment in knowing they can savor their sips without worry of a strong buzz. Which side are you on?
In January, a San Francisco place called Sushirrito opened, and there's been a line around the corner ever since. The concept is remarkably straightforward: wrap raw fish, vegetables, and other accoutrements in a giant sheet of rice-covered seaweed, and eat it like you would a burrito. The idea is so simple you'd think someone would've thought of it long ago.
Of course, the backlash has rolled in, too. "How is it different from an uncut sushi roll?" a friend asked. "I don't know . . . it seems too weird," another picky eater told me. What do you think of the idea? Is it brilliant, or totally ridiculous?
The Four Loko hype may have died out, but don't expect the novelty alcoholic beverage trend to disappear just yet. Pabst Brewing Co., which also produces Colt 45, is adding another beverage to its lineup: Blast, a "premium malt beverage with natural fruit flavors." The drink will come in innocent-sounding flavors like strawberry lemonade and blueberry pomegranate, but at 12 percent alcohol (twice the amount found in PBR or Colt 45), it's definitely not for kids.
Pabst Brewing Co. — along with Blast's spokesman, Snoop Dogg — is hoping to target women in their late 20s with the fruity drink. Would you drink it?
I'm crazy about all things Spanish, so when I come across a restaurant that offers a specialty item from the Iberian peninsula, I have to order it. Such was the case at a recent happy hour at Epic Roasthouse, where I enjoyed a tasty platter of boquerones. Boquerones are fresh white anchovies that are typically marinated in a mixture of salt, water, and vinegar. They are incredibly delicious (especially paired with a cold beer) and when done correctly, don't taste overly fishy. Do you eat them?
Let's face it: every restaurant has tables that are better than others, and certain seating truly does leave something to be desired. (Not convinced? Check out the worst tables in New York.)
One San Francisco restaurant has decided to put a humorous spin on their seating snafu; for the diners willing to subject themselves to the mishap table in between two bathrooms, Alexander's Steakhouse will dock 50 percent off their total bill, including beverages.
Reactions have been mixed ("you can move the table inside one of the bathrooms and the meal is complimentary," retorted one commenter), but Inside Scoop did point out that it's a great way to taste that $1,000 Bordeaux at half price. Let's hear it: would you or wouldn't you?
Like the rest of the fast food world, Arby's is stepping up its game. Earlier this week, it introduced its new Angus Three Cheese & Bacon, the first menu item in a new line of premium beef sandwiches that are made with medium-rare Angus beef.
After the accusation that Taco Bell is falsely labeling its "seasoned beef," you'd think there'd be more than a little caution exercised over serving a burger, burrito, or anything else bovine less than 100 percent genuine and cooked well-done completely throughout.
Bret Thorn, a food writer for Nation's Restaurant News who actually sampled the item, maintains that "big fast food chains have serious safeguards in place." Certainly, Arby's wants no part of the meat saga that Taco Bell's been through. If you do order meat at fast food restaurants: are you against the idea of eating beef that's anything less than well-done?