If I were to settle down and choose a single topic for The Archive to cover, I think I’d want to be a Food Blogger. The only problem is that, without a larger corporation to back me financially, food shopping would become prohibitively expensive.
But I do love food. My parents taught me how to grill and bake at an early age, I enjoy trying new recipes, and eating out with a small group is one of the few social situations that feel comfortable in.
But my fondest food memories come from my college Cultural Anthropology class where our professor brought in foods from all around world for us to try. It was here that I learned that Fried Scorpion isn’t too bad, Vegemite is to be feared, and that Durian Candy is the best thing ever.
That class gave me an itch to find other foreign food stuffs to try that I’ve never been able to scratch due to lack of funds and/or means to produce them myself. So until then, I’ll just have to dream of the day when I can sample…
Originating from Aztec-era Mexico, Chapulines are actually a common breed of Grasshopper that have been baked on a clay cooking slab. You may turn up your nose at the idea, but entomophagy (the human consumption of insects) is widely practiced around the world as the insect bio-mass dwarfs our own. That kinda makes us in the north-western part of the globe the weird ones.
The appeal of Chapulines comes from their ease of harvesting; anyone with a nearby alfalfa field and a net can catch them by the pound late in the day after they’ve exhausted themselves eating. What’s more, most insects are comparable to beef in terms of nutrition.
As stated above, I was surprised that Fried Scorpion was passable. With many people saying that Chapulines are savory and are a good complement to guacamole on tacos, I suspect that these little guys could be better.
Buzz Buttons or Szechuan Buttons are a fascinating little flower (they’d have to be to trick me into eating my veggies) whose appeal lies in it’s unique taste. When eaten, they cause a tingling, effervescent sensation in the mouth.
An addition to a strange sensation for adventurous foodies, Buzz Buttons also aid digestion by increasing saliva production. It’s also believed that they have anti-septic qualities that are great for cleansing the palate between courses.
Much more of a garnish than an actual food item, Buzz Buttons are still a curious challenge for the culinary thrill seeker.
And speaking of culinary thrill seeking…
Out of all of the foods listed here, this is the one I absolutely must try once before my demise.
Miracle Berries are the fruit of the plant native to western Africa. There, the berries are used to make sour Palm Wine more palatable, but not by adding them to the liquor.
You see, Miracle Berries contain a unique glycoprotein called Miraculin that can temporarily alter taste by binding to receptors on the tongue and mouth. Long story short, it makes sour things taste sweet.
Imagine it; Grapefruit that doesn’t make you wince. Vinegar that tastes like white wine. You could finally stomach those good foods that are just too sour to handle.
One day, I’m going to get a ton of Miracle Berries and just have a tasting party just to mess with people.