3 More Weird Foods For You To Try (That You Could Totally Make Yourself)

So, I just realized it’s been a while since I talked about food here. And that’s a shame because I REALLY do enjoy preparing, cooking, and trying new meals.

For this installment, I wanted to focus on delicacies that we common folk could prepare ourselves. So let’s dive into gastronomic adventure with…

A-Ping

You’ve heard of fried green tomatoes, but have you ever seen fried hairy spiders?
Source: The Telegraph

We Americans may balk at the idea of eating anything that resembles a bug (though many of us are totally cool with crabs and lobsters for some reason), but in Cambodia, fried tarantulas or A-Ping are the dish that saved the people.

During the reign of Pol Pot, many people were forced into hard labor and starved to death. These hairy buggers then quickly became a primary food source as they were plentiful, easy to harvest (just jam a stick into their nest and pull them out when they bite onto it), and super healthy; having more protein than a 6oz steak. Frying them with sugar, salt and garlic also give them the flavor of marinated fried chicken.

What’s more, they’re cheap. At only a few cents a spider, A-Ping is a major part of the Cambodian economy that almost anyone can grab at a street vendor and families often make a good business selling it.

Rocky Mountain Oysters

Don’t be fooled, friend; that ain’t fried chicken.
Source: The Telegraph

The wise reader will note that The Rocky Mountains are nowhere near the ocean and, therefore, cannot produce oysters. So, what are Rocky Mountain Oysters if not oysters? Well, their alternative name – Montana Tendergroin – may give it away.

That’s right; they’re fried bull testicles.

Like most non-traditional cuts of meat, Rocky Mountain Oysters came out of necessity. After castrating a bull to prevent unauthorized breeding that can lead to injured cattle, what are you supposed to do with his berries? Throwing them away would be wasteful, so why not eat them?

If you’ve ever had a chicken fried steak, these are very similar. Really, they’re no different from any other cut of beef. Once you get over where the meat came from, you may find you enjoy having balls in your mouth (enjoy that one, folks – I don’t get a chance to make raunchy jokes like this often).

Mamajuana

And now, a selection of liquor to complement our strange meal.
Source: Sunrise Villa

And to close out our buffet of the bizarre, let’s booze it up with some tree bark brew (that alliteration was more work than you think, by the way).

Mamajuana is a traditional tincture (that’s fancy-talk for herb-infused alcohol) from the Dominican Republic that contains rum, red wine, honey and a variety of herbs. What’s great is that you can steep this fine drink yourself and can buy the herbs pre-assembled so that they meet all FDA regulations. After that, it’s just a matter of choosing your favorite rum, red wine, and honey in your preferred amounts and let steep for a few days. Best of all, it’s common practice to reuse the herbs for months or even years. So you don’t need to keep buying a new starter kit when you’ve killed the batch. Hooray for exotic eating on a budget!

In addition to being touted as a powerful aphrodisiac, Mamajuana is also often used for fever, body aches, and fatigue. In fact, former Boston Red Sox pitcher and Dominican native Pedro Martinez attributes his teams 2004 World Series Championship victory to taking team building shots of the stuff. So, who knows? Maybe this little brew is just what you need to step up your game.

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3 Bizarre But Interesting Music Genres

Those of you who follow my #MusicMonday posts on Facebook and Twitter will know that I’m always on the lookout for new music while rediscovering old favorites.

Recently, with the help of Sam Sutherland of the entertaining and informative This Exists, I’ve found several genres that, while I’m still somewhat unfamiliar with, I’m eager to learn more about and find more of. What’s more, I’d like to share them with you.

Vaporwave

Taking it’s name from the term Vaporware, Vaporwave is an oddly soothing genre of music born from other odd genres like Seapunk and Plunderphonics in that it is mostly constructed from samples of other audio clips to create an almost unrecognizable and unique audio track.

Most music videos attached to Vaporwave tend to be collages of clips of commercials and T.V. shows from the 80’s and 90’s. This is appropriate given the genres ideology.

These images combined with it’s similarity to New Age, Smooth Jazz, and Muzak in tone cause the songs to become a parody of hyper-consumerist society as they are non-commercial music that draws inspiration from some of the most commercially driven imagery and sound.

In short, Vaporwave is the witter, more subtle, New Age version of Anarcho-Punk.

I’m always excited to learn more about politically charged art and I hope to find more examples of great Vaporwave.

SoundClown

Users of SoundCloud might have accidentally stumbled across these while looking for that new experimental Trap beat they heard so much about.

While not music in the traditional sense, SoundClown or Weird SoundCloud are short audio tracks usually under a minute long made purely for comedic purposes; usually highlighting how silly certain aspects of pop culture are in a unique way.

In addition to being simple, humorous, and not taking up to much valuable head space after listening, SoundClown also acts as a sort of internet comedy time capsule – blending together various examples of silliness into something short and easy to digest. This makes it perfect for cataloging pop culture in a humorous way, as well as providing a quick emotional pick-me-up during times when you may feel blue.

I’m not sure that it’s art, but I do know that I like it. And that’s good enough for me.

Black MIDI

No, that’s not Black Metal’s digital cousin.

For the uninitiated, MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is popular format that makes most forms of electronic music possible. It allows multiple instruments to be played from a single controller and is the preferred format for samplers, synthesizers, and drum machines.

Now imagine if a MIDI chip tune didn’t just play a few notes, but played ALL THE NOTES.

Black MIDI’s get their name from the fact that, when translated to sheet music, the sheet seems to turn black with notes. If you ever wondered if someone ever wrote a song to be intentionally impossible to play with human hands just to drive perfectionist musicians insane, know you know.

The hard part isn’t finding samples of these bewilderingly complex songs so much as finding a computer that can handle them. Many of the files for these song are huge and contain note counts in the several billions.

If you dare to challenge your computer with these songs, keep a fire extinguisher on hand. Your processor may burst into flame as it barfs concentrated sound at you.