Weird and Strange Food Around the World |


Weird Foods: Drinks

This is one of the most contentious areas for Everyone thinks their local potion is normal. Yes, but only in your neighborhood.

  • Pearl Drinks (Asia): Tapioca pearl drinks. (will someone write more about these?) And those Vietnamese drinks with sweet red bean paste in them?
  • Glögg! (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark): Glogg.html
  • Baby Mouse Wine (China): I had this either in Hong Kong or China - I forget which. (maybe you drank too much Baby Mice Wine? :-) Basically a rice wine bottle full of baby mice (and I swear they were smiling!) Tasted like gasoline...
  • Boba Ice Milk Tea (Taiwan): This has become one of my favorite drinks over time and is now a definite comfort food. Boba or tapioca tea is large sweet potato tapioca that is the size of a marble and dark brown that you suck through a huge straw of ice milk tea and then chew. At tea stations you can get many different flavored boba drinks. My favorites are Coconut milk tea and watermelon boba. In some areas it is called bubble tea. very common around universities and in cities with large Asian populations. Boba is a Taiwanese drink.
  • Lizard Wine (S. China):
  • Seagull Wine (Eskimo): Put a seagull in a bottle. Fill with water. Let it ferment in the sun.
  • Fermented Mare's Milk (Mongolia):
  • Ammonia Coke (US South): Coca-cola with a little of ammonia. It was popular in West Virginia to cure various ailments. It can still be found in older pharmacies with soda fountains.
  • Slurpies (USA): They're a convenience-store delicacy of ice and the purest, most evil food colorings and artificial flavors available to mere mortals.
  • Shaved Ice (Panama): Very similar to the Shaved Ice found in China. It's shaved ice with condensed milk and your choice of flavored syrup. It was simply delicious! My mom's friends made a home version of it. They made ice cubes with water and condensed milk. Sometimes for a kick they'd had fresh pineapple juice. Yummmmm!
  • Shaved Ice (Indonesia): I want to add shaved ice, ice kachang. It's "kacang", It includes beans and nuts. Peanut is "kacang tanah" or ground nut, while soybean is "kacang kedelai". I loved shaved ice of any kind. They even put nata de cocho and seaweed on it as a topping. Yummy! Now I live in USA, I miss all of those weird food.
  • Tequila Jello (USA): Tequila Jello shots: much like beer Jello but in shot form
  • Kvass (Russian Jewish): Actually it should rather be called "kvas". Make no mistake, the wonderfully tasting, thirst quenching kvas sold from tanks on the streets has nothing in common with the horror known as "kvass" at SCA gatherings.
  • Kvass (Russia): Beer-like beverage made by fermenting old bread in water. It's sold from tank-trailers on the street during the summer.
  • Skipsol (Denmark): In Denmark, there's a popular low-alcohol beer called "skipsol," or "ship's beer, " which is flavored with resin-flavor, originally imparted the same way as the retsina got its flavor.
  • Tea with Yak Butter (Tibet, northern India): Don't ever try to use butter as a substitute for milk in your coffee. It will just create a greasy film.
  • Spruce Beer (Canada): This is made from the boiled boughs of black spruce. The beer is made with yeast, molasses and raisins and takes less than three days to brew.
  • Oellebroed (Denmark): Beer-bread. Oellebroed is a thick soup, almost a porridge, made from soaking stale Rugbroed Danish-style rye bread in water and boiling it in beer with some sugar. This is served hot with whipped or heavy cream. My mother once forced me to finish my oellebroed after I had told her I didn't like it. Big mistake! All over the table, the chairs and the floor, too. Served her right. I didn't like it at all. I can eat it now, but only homemade. It's available as a powder you stir into hot water, a la powdered mashed potatoes, and I suspect this was what my mother tried to get into me. I don't think it is disgusting at all, but you have to like the taste of beer and it's rich from the cream, warm and sweet, and this combination tends to make me nauseous. However, the dish was perfect for the fishermen in Babette's Feast because it was cheap, nutritious and very easy to make. But filmmakers are what filmmakers always were: it was the presentation and the sloppy way it was eaten that provided such a yucky appearance of oellebroed, especially when juxtaposed with Babette's haute cuisine.
  • Retsina (Greece): White wine with pine resin added. Legend has it that this was started by religious authorities trying to discourage drinking. Taxes were levied on wine that wasn't altered. Then people developed a taste for the cheap stuff with the resin in it.
    The original retsina had less than 1/10th the amount of pine resin as do the retsina today. A politically influential, and doubtless slightly insane wine maker in northern Greece got the legislature to mandate his high level of resin in order for a wine to call itself retsina for export, and that is why we are stuck with resin plus a few fermented grapes instead of a wine with a very delicate hint of pine. In fact, it's because barrels sealed with pine tar, which imparted the flavor, regardless of the kind of wood, were used to store wines.
  • Cynar(Italy): Bitter liqueur made from artichokes. Have you ever left artichokes steaming so long that they go dry and burn the pan, then you soak it desperately to clean it, creating a vile-smelling brown liquid? Tastes, smells, and looks just like that.
  • Campari(Italy): Bitter liqueur.
  • Beer(USA): The ultimate degradation of one of the oldest prepared foods in human history. The USA brewing industry uses the term "lawnmower beer" for the largest segment of its market, with obvious disdain for any texture or flavor properties.
  • Iced Tea(USA South): This is the most common summer beverage. A travel handbook for New Zealand reassures Americans: "Don't feel self conscious about ordering iced tea. We don't find it any stranger than you would if we ordered hot bubbling Coca Cola."
  • Irn Bru(Scotland): Mustn't forget Irn Bru. Scotland's answer to the rest of the world's disgusting soft drinks. It's flourescent orange, tastes vaguely of bubble gum, and has the best non-beer adverts on the TV. From: Richard Caley.
  • Urine (Kenya, Tanzania): Bovine Urine is reputedly used by the Masai. In India bovine urine is used as a sedative and human urine is drunk by yogi such as Gandhi, who drank his urine every morning.
  • Yak Milk, Rancid (Tibet): Where would one get yak milk outside of Tibet?
  • Pruno (USA): Pruno is alcohol that's made illegally in prisons. Very bad stuff. Here's the recipe. How to make pruno.
  • Halo-Halo (Philippines): A dessert served in a tall glass, like an Asian knickerbockers glory. The glass is filled with a mix of shaved ice, a lump or two of ice cream, carnation or liberty evaporated milk, and a mix of bottled chopped fruits in syrup, with mango, papaya, langka etc, and pulses in syrup, jellified coconut flesh [macapuno] or coco-jelly [nata de coco], sweet-corn [mais], various types of beans [navy beans etc], a blob of purple sweet-potato paste [ube]. The beans and nata de coco is often colored bright red, green etc. Really nice on a hot day! A fave of mine!

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