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Jesse's Eating Disorder
Updated 2813 days ago

My eating disorder is not bulemia nor anorexia, but it is the desire to eat some of the more strange things out there. I have eaten more stuff than you see here; most of the "usual" odd Japanese fare I eat fairly regularly, especially tarako, ikura, and umeboshi:

  • raw squid
  • raw octopus
  • tarako (cod roe)
  • ikura (salmon roe)
  • umeboshi (salty and sour pickled green plums)
  • chicken cartilage
  • natto (essentially rotten soybeans)
  • lots of different raw fishes

When I was looking for a link to tarako, I found a really strange game in which you have to kill the attacking tarako sacs. Give it a try! The stuff below is stuff that some Japanese people won't even eat.


Insects & Spider
Updated 2635 days ago

I have considered one of the most challenging things to eat and possibly enjoy are insects. I knew I would have to give them a try sooner or later, but I never saw them for sale even in the sketchiest markets. That is, until I got to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. There I found several carts entirely full of 'em. As I had no real problem eating most everything so far, I decided it was time to take the opportunity and buy the "sampler", or one or two of each of what the lady was selling.

I asked her for a variety and she gave me:

  • A large (5" long) spider, grilled
  • Black Beetles, stir fried
  • Large (2" long) locusts, stir fried
  • Some kind of grub, somehow flavored with sauce

I ate the spider first because it was pretty damn big. I tried asking the locals how I was supposed to eat it, but they couldn't understand me, so I just began to chomp away. It must have been barbecued because I'm sure it would have had hairs all over it. It was crunchy and I couldn't really taste much besides the barbecue sauce, that is until I got to the abdomen. It was a good 3/4" in diameter and there was a lotta flesh in there.

Next, I tried the beetle. Earlier, I saw a man come up and try one. First, he broke off the shell covering the wings, and then he popped it in his mouth. I did the same and found myself chewing and chewing and chewing until I had a ball of broken shell in my mouth. It didn't seem like a good think to pass through the bowels, so I spit it out. I ate at least two more afterwards.

The grub things were definitely the best. They were soft, had a decent flavor, and were the easiest to eat. I actually would eat these again. I had a half-dozen or so.

Lastly, I tried the locust/grasshopper thing. I tore off the wings, and I ate the rest. Because it was stir-fried, it had a nice coating of sauce, so it just tasted like a crunchy ball of sauce. I ate two of these and then I threw away the rest.

For one dollar, she hooked me up with a bag-full.

The variety-pack of insects.

Peeling the shell off of the beetle.

The abdomen of the giant spider.


Horseshoe Crab Roe & Nast Sac
Updated 2022 days ago

We went out to dinner last night to a seafood restaurant. There were several aquariums full of a variety of seafood, and while we were waiting for our order, we noticed that they had horseshoe crabs. That's right, those creepy critters that one finds at the Jersey shore. I had never heard of anyone eating the little buggers, so I enquired about why they were there. I was told that they bake them and eat the eggs. I decided to give it a try even though it seemed ecologically reckless. After poking around today, it doesn't seem that human consumption is a leading cause of population decline (it isn't even listed), so I don't feel too bad. After all, I've eaten whale a few times already.

It came on a plate with all of the legs taken out. The stinky sac of eggs were located on the inside of the shell encased in a proteiny, scrambled egg looking material. I grabbed a spoon and went at it, and I have to admit that it tasted pretty awful. It was very salty, but there was still a strong flavor that I can only say was similar to the smell of a fried LED (light-emitting diode) mixed with fish. The sac was the texture of fried eggs and the eggs were actually hard. They didn't pop like raw fish eggs do, so I was a little disappointed. I finished everything except for a few stray eggs. I wouldn't eat it again, and I wouldn't recommend it, even for people who like eating wierd stuff.

It really looks delicious, doesn't it?

Yum.

What was left.


Whale Bacon and Sea Urchin
Updated 2811 days ago

I just went to Shirokiya, the same place I ate the whale and horse before. I didn't really want to get whale again since I generally agree with the rest of the world about the whole shady Japanese whaling "research" program. Despite this, however, I got whale bacon and a little friend I call sea urchin.

It was after work so I still had my work clothes and a rather shiny forehead. Jesse ready to eat

The whale bacon is the reddish fat in the center. You grab some negi, rub it in some mustard, dip it in the soy sauce, and down the hatch. I regret to say it, but it actually tastes really good. Dipping the whale bacon in soy sauce

Here the sea urchin is the yellow mass in the spiny shell. It was surprisingly sweet, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes eating food, which means you. Uni and Whale Bacon


Tuna Eyeball
Updated 2884 days ago

I was at the grocery store and I got the urge to eat something new. I looked around and I didn't really see much until I found a food that could look back. It was only a hundred yen, which is less than a buck, so I figured I'd give it a whirl. It had a sticker on it that said that it should be cooked, but I didn't really know how to cook it. I tried to find stuff online, but there aren't a lot of English webpages devoted to eating fish eyes, so I just decided to boil it.

They are actually pretty big.

I didn't use any flavoring so it just ended up smelling horribly fishy.

There was a translucent, jelly-like ball inside that turned into a hard, white ball. It tasted a little like a hard-boiled egg does, so I'm guessing that it was mostly protein. It actually didn't taste too bad.

The eyeball was surrounded by a bunch of fat and a few severed eye muscles. I didn't really want a mouthfull of fat, so I didn't eat it. I suspect that it would be good in a soup or stew. I instead picked out the dark brown muscle, which actually tasted okay.


Raw Horsemeat & Whale
Updated 2813 days ago

I had raw horsemeat a few weeks before these photos were taken, and it was actually pretty good. It was lean, and I didn't get the trots (no pun intended), so I figured that I'd get it again. The second time I ordered it was in the downstairs section of the same restaurant that I previously ordered it, but it was slightly different this time. It was very marbled, so it had a real waxy texture. I wanted to eat whale meat, so I did. Deal with it. It was seared, and much to my surprise was actually pretty good. Take that, Greenpeace. Of course, Dina was not really supportive of the idea. Her exact words were "It looks like murder".

The whale meat is on the right, and the horsey meat is on the left. Dina wasn't too into it.
Horse and Whale Meat

Down ya go, lil' fella. Me downing a piece of whale


Shirako a.k.a. Cod Milt a.k.a Cod Sperm
Updated 2813 days ago

Once I heard that people actually eat this stuff here, I set out to find it. Apparently the season for cod goo is February and March, so I knew I had to act quickly to get some. Dina picked some up for me under the condition that she didn't have to touch it or cook it. Luckily, she made some wicked clam chowder the night before, and we had enough for leftovers. I cut it up, tossed it into some boiling chowder, and ate it all. It didn't taste like much in the chowder, and the texture wasn't all that bad, either.

There is a funky vein running down the cluster of sacs, so I trimmed the goo sacs off. Cod Sperm on a Cutting Board

When I tried to wash my hands, the soap turned the residue on my hands into a really stringy slime.
Slimy Hands


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