Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Weird Food

▲ Singapore Zoo, May 2007

We all eat weird food sometime, don't we?  I was talking to Ayie recently and she asked me what sort of unusual food I ate.  After looking at some photos taken by my friends who went to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan or even Thailand.  I don't think I eat weird stuff.  I don't eat scorpions, any kind of worms, or any kind of insects.

The dishes that were placed on the dinner table were monitor lizards (or biawak in Malay).  They were not as huge as those monitor lizards you could find in Indonesia.  Other dishes that my family cooked were turtles, frogs, and squirrels.  We usually had them once a week.  They were sold at the weekly market not supermarkets.
Not that they were cheap or anything, they costed like RM30 per kilo back 15-20 years ago.  Can anyone update me on the current prices?  They were more expensive than the normal beef, chicken or pork.  You would have to be at the market as early as possible.  Sometime they were sold out just before noon.  They were absolutely popular.  I'm sure they are still in high demand.  I'm just not there to witness it anymore.

These exotic meat are considered delicacies in Sarawak and are very potent.  I think restaurants serve some of these dishes.  Not sure about the prices though.

I have also tasted kangaroo, crocodile and quails.  I would like to try rabbit some day. I think some people eat guinea pigs.  Is it in South America?  That poor little thing.  The first thing that came to my mind was that it's not meaty enough! *LOL.

Some think that 1000-year old eggs, chicken feet and spare parts are yucky.  I love them all!  What do you reckon?  What kind of extraordinary food did you eat or would give it a try?  Can you find exotic meat in your local market?

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Willie said...

GEee...bizarre food.

I ate biawak before and i got allergic. Didn't it biawak since then. To tell you the truth, I don't really like insects or reptiles as food. Hehehe

Anonymous said...

So you're into bizarre cuisine! :)

For me, century eggs aren't exactly bizarre. I don't eat any kind of exotic meat though. I don't even eat pork..not for any reasons but I just don't like the smell of the meat (like how some people don't eat mutton due becoz it's gamey). One dish I do love though is escargots (snails).

I can't stomach monitor lizards, rabbits etc.

Bengbeng said...

i caught biawak with snares. it tastes great cooked with curry or other stuff to hide the scent/smell. the young biawak tastes omos like chicken but the old biawak wasnt nice..tough n old :)

Bogey said...

I suppose it is all a matter of what is put in front of you at an early age. It's like putting a piece of liver in front of a child here in North America. They just put there nose in the air in disgust. That being said, I'm not really that adventurous when it comes to food. If I travel, I may try somthing exotic just to say I did. Very interesting post.

Ayie said...

Nothing too extreme for me too, can't stomach those bizarre foods. Tried a bite on snake as in very tiny just for the sake of our grade during college. That's all I can think of. Snails is quite common in the Phil.,I ate that too.

Yey, I'm a spcial mention for this post! lol

Ai Shiang said...

You are absolutely right. That's what I was thinking. Whatever you put in front of a child he/she will just eat them. If I had not tasted those when I was young, probably won't like anything other than the usual meat at the supermarket.

I've tried escargot as well. The restaurant put too much herbs. Could only taste the texture and quite crunchy. No funny smell at all. Yes, thanks to you for this post. I'm running out of things to write already *LOL.

Ayie said...

Last time I had snails was on our send-off family dinner. The way they cooked it was really delicious.

Who would've thought you can make a post out of our conversation? Have anything in mind for the next post series?

Ai Shiang said...

Maybe you were not used to it huh?

Mei Teng,
I did hear people complaining about the smell of pork. But those being sold in Msia to me smell fine. Those I had in NZ did have a type of strong smell. I was told it was because the pigs were fed with cheeses. Escargot is nice. I tasted them as well. I think they put too much herbs to cover up the smell though. I could only taste the texture.

Glad to hear that you eat biawak too. Do you always catch them at your place? I only saw a biawak once or twice at home. That sure gave me a shock!

Ai Shiang said...

well, doesn't everyone write out of life experiences? I find anything fictional hard to write, will normally take longer to think/write. Most of my posts are "freshly baked" *LOL. I don't have them sitting in draft. I wish I could draft a bit more, just doesn't work. Maybe just me.

I'm making some soaps this weekend so maybe post a couple of my soaps photos.

chubskulit said...

Hi Ai, visiting again.. I added you in my bloglist (hope you can add me back (grin).

I grew up in a farm and my father and grandfather used to catch those biawak (we call it bayawak in the Philippines) and eat it. It's actually pretty good!

Thanks for your additional input on my recent post!

Ai Shiang said...

I'm surprised that bayawak and biawak do sound quite similar. No one in my family dare to catch this 4 legged snake. Normally buy them at the wet market. Mom cooked it in stew with lots of ginger.

I'm happy to add you on.

J.C. said...

Dear Ai Shiang,

I have tried deep fried snake (very yummy, tasted like chicken), turtle soup and steamed egg with worm in China. In Malaysia, I have taken a small bite of monkey when we went to a camp with the army in jungle. Quite an experience.

Thanks for your comment on my blog today.

As to your question about my camera, I am using a Fuji Finepix S6500 prosumer camera. Not a DSLR. My community photographers are trying to poison me to get a DSLR. Hee...hee..that gotta wait till my skills improve further.


Uncle Lee said...

Hello Ai Shiang, by the way, I love your name. Sounds nice when pronouncing it.
Wow! You are very adventurous where food is concerned.
Not me...even though I eat to live, not live to eat, ha ha.
Only wild animal I will eat is wild pig meat, preferably done in curry.

Hmmm, can see you not geli of snakes too.
Have a nice day, best regards, Lee.

Ayie said...

Yes Ai, we call it bayawak in the Philippines. My dad caught one before but not the big. He also eats that.

I'll wait for your freshly baked posts to come ok. hehe

Ai Shiang said...

Nice of you to drop by. Monkey!? The only time I saw people eating that was in "Indiana Jones" the movie.

Uncle Lee,
Not adventurous at all, maybe just got use to eating these sort of things since young. Now I recall, I did eat wild boar too. Seems like curry is the best way to cook anything huh?

Nabeel said...

From experience, I can say, what is delicacy to one culture might be something horrible to another one. In our culture and religion, we can only eat animals that have a divided hoof. And of course the ones that are properly slaughtered, not shot or killed.

Bengbeng said...

i only had lots of biawak in my previous place. now i am living in a town environment. there is a biawak or si kah chua resident in a discharge pipe from my present garden but i do not disturb it

Superman said...

I tired biawak before. The meat taste like chicken. Not bad. Exotic food? It was easy to find it last time compare to now. Now can hardly find any over here. I love chicken feet and spare parts. I will always try extraordinary food when I come across one. I used to have barbecue kangaroo meat back in Adelaide. Nice. Never try insects before but tried bats, dog, rabbit and monkey meat when I am still a kids. Have not come across those for ages. But now many people start to take rabbit meat over here and they rare it to sell.

fufu said...

lol scorpion is nice!!! i tried it in Xi'an, China!! nice!! and the cricket in thailand =p wow great!! rabbit in vietnam... yummy!! DOG in.... lol anyway you just need the nerve to try all those exotic food that our forefather had long long long time ago =p

Keats The Sunshine Girl said...

Am afraid I'm not adveturous in such 'delicacies'!! Have aten frogs legs. That's about all. Quite ordinary in my diet.