Weird Foods: Other
- Salted Plum Suckers (Japan): These are little hard candies that come in a package featuring a geisha girl holding one to her lips. There are two sizes, small and large. The small balls are plum-flavored candies coated in a layer of brine salt that melts in your mouth. The larger ones do not have this salty outer coating, but once you reach the center, are filled with a shriveled dried plum piece and a gooey, salty liquid substance.
- Loempia speciaal (Netherlands): Large egg roll topped with a slice of ham, a fried egg and peanut sauce. Actually quite good once you get past the idea of breakfast sitting on top of an egg roll.
- Rose Ice Cream (California): In Venice, California at the Rose Cafe they serve a pretty pink ice cream flavored with real rose petals. Locals love it, I think it tastes like grandma's perfume. (This is actually a Persian ice cream. It's wonderful.)
- Green Tea Iced Cream (Japan): As one of my friends described it "It is like drinking a glass of green tea, smoking a fine cigar, and eating ice cream al at once". Rather Wonderful You MUST try.
- Pie Floater (Australia): Pie Floater - eaten regularly from the Pie Cart in Adelaide, South Australia. Take one meat pie, serve upside down in a bowl of thick mushy pea soup, and top with tomato sauce (ketchup). Popularized in the Depression as a cheap, filling food and it never left. An experience.
- Hagelslag (Netherlands): Candy sprinkles (like those used on top of ice cream cones), usually chocolate, but eaten on a piece of buttered white bread. Not bad, but definitely strange.
- Krentebollen (Netherlands): Very much like raisin bread, only shaped into a bun. Not so weird, until you watch one of your colleagues create a krentebol sandwich consisting of margarine, cheese and - yes - mustard! To be fair, this might not be too common. Perhaps I just have some weird co-workers.
- Biscuit with Little Mice (Netherlands): Beschuit met muisjes (biscuit with little mice) - whenever a baby is born it is tradition to serve this odd treat. Little anise-flavored sprinkles (pink for girl, blue for boy) are glued to a thick dry cracker with a layer of margarine. Impossible to eat without the biscuit exploding into a bajillion pieces and raining greasy little "muisjes" all over your clothes.
- Marshmallows (USA): Roasted marshmallows are common in the US. These are basically pure sugar.
- Beer-Jelly(Denmark): We make a beer-jelly used as a "gross" contribution to student gatherings. Just beer and gelatine, possibly with embedded cheese pops. Urgh!
- Jell-O(Midwest USA): WATCH ME WIGGLE (Food Arts magazine): Charles Shamoon, a businessman with an entrepreneurial eye, has challenged the old notion of jiggly, cafeteria Jell-O with an upbeat dessert shop call HELLO... I'M GELLATIN in the Market Square Mall, just outside Atlanta in Decatur. That Kraft General Foods legally nixed the idea of his original name, HELLO... I'M JELL-O, has failed to dampen Shamoon's outlook or success. Serving such fare as Jell-O pizza (a sugar cookie crust topped with a layer of Jell-O, fresh strawberries, and bananas,) raspberry trifle, and mandarin orange parfait from his file of 400 recipes, the shop has pleased thousands of customers since its opening six months ago. Modestly, Shamoon credits the product itself for all his success. "Everyone loves Jell-O, " he says. "It's part of the American culture."
- Jell-O Salad(Midwest USA): Jell-O filled with tiny marshmallows and canned fruit.
- Chewing Gum (USA): Originally made from chicle, the sap of a Central American tree. Now made with PVA polyvinyl acetate plastic, sugar or artificial sweetener, flavors and colors. Some Europeans characterize Americans as dim-witted ruminants because of this habit, which nonetheless spreads worldwide. Should this even be in rec.food or should it, like betel- chewing, be discussed elsewhere?
- Fried Mars Bars (Scotland): Several years ago, this trend started in fish and chip shops in the Aberdeen area, but has since spread to other centers like Glasgow. It is now a firm favorite, a Scottish urban legend made true. Scottish chip shops serve various foods all coated in batter - except the chips (fries). I don't know if they have Mars Bars in the US, but they're a heavy chocolate-coated candy bar, the insides being a caramel/toffee top layer on a thick fudgey 'Milky Way' type filling, the whole candy has a milk chocolate coating.
In Scotland's chip shops, the Mars Bar is chilled (but not frozen), then coated in the same-style flour/milk batter as used for fish, sausages, hamburgers, haggis, black pudding etc etc (flour/corn flour/baking soda/milk). The batter-coated candy bar is then lowered into hot oil and deep fried for ten minutes. Then it's ready to eat. Nowadays, Milky Way and Snicker bars are deep-fried in the same manner. Maybe that helps explain Scotland's league-topping position for heart-disease fatalities!
- Durian flavored ice-cream lollipops and popsicles (Indonesia): When I lived in Sumatera, I used to belong to a Hash Club. After one Saturday run through the rainforest, we concluded with a cold-box full of durian ice-lollies instead of the usual beers. Now, durian fruit has a taste all its own; the pods have a creamy texture like mascarpone cheese and taste very aromatic. An acquired taste, much revered by the SE Asian palate. Made into ice-popsicles though, the taste resembles an onion. Most odd, but I finished off two such lollies!
- Sweet-Corn Ice Cream (Philippines): Unusual concept, but highly popular and very nice actually.
- Fruitcake(USA Midwest and Northeast): A block with embedded bright green and scarlet transparent substances. Peter writes: "Fruitcake is not bizarre!" Fruitcake may be a borderline item. The "bad" version is legendary in American culture, and mocking it is a Christmas tradition.
- Shaved Ice (China): The dish is served in a bowl/plate. They ask if you want some milk on it. Sounds strange, and it is, but it adds to the texture. And then you get to pick a couple toppings. toppings range from strawberry to the bizarre. Usually topped with red beans. Pretty good, but definitely weird.
Here in Singapore and Malaysia, it's known as "ice kachang". I've got virtually no knowledge of the Malay language, but I believe that means ice with nuts and little bitsy things. It's delicious--sweet and cool--wonderful for our tropical climate. Commonly, the shaved ice is topped with various colored sugar syrups a dash of evaporated milk and some corn kernels on top. Under the mound of ice, it's common to find red beans, small pieces of jelly and sometimes fruit cocktail and "attapchee", a crunchy fruit which looks like a peeled longan.
- Sour Candies (Asia): As featured in the short film "Sour Balls, " these are unbelievably sour. Cath calls them "those marvelous Asian lollies "super-lemon", "hot grape", "mega warheads" and so on, --a boiled sweet coated in a very sour or very hot powder."
- Snail (Nigeria): When I was in Nigeria, I ate a variety of land large land snail. It was not offensive, but suffered from a consistency of stubborn rubber. The meat was light colored and very dense. (Snails are in this section because they don't fit in any other. -- andreas)