Strange Food & Odd Ideas

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I like odd food. So long as the smell is good, I can usually master my eyes/mind and down most things. Occasionally I’ll find a texture that’s over the top, but the smell is the real decider for me.  This pension for the bizarre and my love of cooking has gotten me in trouble a few times. The most famous of which involved sliced banana in a conventional roast stew (the meat was still good, but my god the banana tasted like nasty bloody slush).

Last night I got into one of my moods.  I was hankering for something new and odd.  Not just slightly odd, but the type of thing I hadn’t had before.  The type of thing that would expand my horizons. I tried to satiate it by trying a new Indian place but that didn’t even come close.  As the minutes ticked by I found myself browsing the food channel, before eventually giving in. It was 9:35 and I couldn’t resist the urge any longer.  I had to experiment. I tossed my shirt back on, recruited Jenny my roommate and we set off for the local Sprouts super market.

By 9:50 I was prowling the supermarket isles looking for something that might satiate my impulsive quest. Eventually I found two objects that seemed as though they might work.  Giblets and pigs feet. I didn’t have any idea on how to cook the pigs feet and had a hunch they required a lot of time so I decided to go with the Giblets.  For those of you unfamiliar; the Giblets are the heart, liver, gizzard etc. from turkeys & chickens.   While a bit unusual and outside the realm of the average American’s diet, it was still far from odd enough.  So instead of following conventional wisdom I decided I was going to have my own go at it..ala impulse.

Giblets in my cart I wandered through the supermarket pondering what to do.  Before long I had a pineapple, lemon, apple, clove of garlic, and bushel of red radishes in my cart.  By this point Jenny had sighed in disbelief and written it off to another of my usual antics.  After some playful gaffing by the grocery attendant we made our way back to the apartment and I began the adventure.

My ingredients were as follows:

  1. Set of Giblets (Chunked into smaller pieces)
  2. One pineapple
  3. One apple
  4. One clove of garlic
  5. Half of a lemon and lemon peel
  6. Brown sugar
  7. Butter
  8. Shiraz wine

The following is the video record of the process:

I really was shocked that it turned out edible.

All in all it’s not something I’d go out of my way to cook again, but it was decent enough that I saved the remaining half portion for a later snack.   The heart was the best of the batch with a full, more mild flavor.  The liver was strong, but still good so long as you like the taste of liver.  The gizzard’s texture was a bit much, but also tasted decent. The Shiraz added an oak undertone to the whole thing which did not compliment the other tastes very well.

A fun adventure!  On that note, I’d love to hear your suggestions for odd foods and your own personal experiences.  Cooked something equally bizarre?  Have a fun story?  I’d love to hear it in the comments below!

Thanks for reading.

Tips & Tricks: Save Money on Food

Gas prices are skyrocketing and though it’s just starting food prices are probably going to follow suit. Last night after doing a bit of reading on the widespread impact current increases in gas prices will have on the cost of every day goods I wandered into the kitchen for a midnight snack. As I stood there staring staring blankly at the odd assortment of foodstuffs my room mate and I have accumulated I had a college flashback.

Sometimes life’s little lessons come at you in the most entertaining of ways – four boys, 1 apartment, 1 fridge. Three Americans and one Taiwanese exchange student. We not only went through a lot of food we went through a lot of a weird food, and a lot of beer. Unfortunately, we also forgot about our fair share of food. Stuff that got pushed to the back, or placed in the drawer at the bottom of the fridge and then sat forgotten for months. When time came to clean the fridge we made all sorts of interesting discoveries. I’ll leave out most of the details (yes, we had a molded stew) and skip to the important part – the fruit.

At the beginning of Spring semester one of us had decided to eat healthy, picked up some pears and apples, then proceeded to forget about them in the produce drawers at the bottom of the fridge. Four months later we re-discovered them, and to our surprise they were still good. Not only were they still good, they seemed fresh. Which brings me to today’s tip.

We all forget about food, and most of us could be significantly better about eating the stuff we put in our fridge. Unfortunately we all goof and usually end up throwing out a pretty notable amount of spoiled food each year.

TIP: Lower the temperature in your fridge to just above freezing. While it will spike your electrical costs slightly, the amount you’ll probably save on spoiled food will more than make up for it. It will be especially useful in preserving fruit and vegetables. A lower fridge temperature will result in firmer, longer lasting, fresher tasting fruit and vegetables. This is the same technique used by florists and produce packing/transport plants. It’s just an odd quirk that it’s never really made its way into consumer behavior.

When adjusting your fridge’s temperature make sure not to lower it too low. The two best indicators I’ve found are pre-packaged roughage (Spinach/Lettuce etc.) and Milk. If you’re over cooling the roughage will develop ice crystals and wilt a bit. Milk will separate (nasty).

Happy shopping!