When I look at a menu in a restaurant, I always search for something I never have eaten before. As a result, I've tasted many strange foods. The list shown below gives just a few examples. WARNING: Squeamish people should not read beyond this point.
  • kangaroo sashimi (Tokyo) - Thinly-sliced raw kangaroo meat served in African restaurant in Shinjuku section of Tokyo. Biggest mismatch of restaurant type and food type I have ever seen.
  • cabeza de cabrito (goat's head) (Monterrey, Mexico) - Head cut down the middle where you eat the cooked brains directly out of the brain cavities. The tongue, sticking out of the mouth, is cut out with a knife and also eaten. Actually had this culinary delight twice. Machine with blade saw at the side of the restaurant makes you think twice how the cook prepares this dish.
  • ika sashimi (Hakodate, Japan) - Thinly-sliced raw squid. You know the squid is fresh when it's still moving on the plate and as you put it into your mouth. One restaurant has the squid swimming in a tank underneath the counter where you sit. Hakodate natives love to do the ika odori (squid dance) since they enjoy squid so much.
  • reindeer steak (Calgary, Canada) - Couldn't help thinking of Rudolf and Santa's other reindeer. Quite tasty.
  • inago (grasshoppers) (Matsumoto, Japan) - Thought some type of pickled vegetable was being ordered. Quite surprised when I looked in the bowl.
  • pig knuckles (Montreal) - Never realized a pig has knuckles until I saw this item on the menu. Restaurant serves typical French Canadian fare. Definitely would not recommend this dish (or restaurant), but Montreal has great ethnic restaurants of all types.
  • tree fungus (East Hartford, Connecticut) - Item in one of the dishes at Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant. Obviously translated from Vietnamese by someone who did not realize tree fungus does not sound very appetizing to most Americans. I was in mourning for several months after this restaurant closed in the fall of 1999. Its dishes with "five spicy sauce" were absolutely the #1 best tasting dish I've ever had in a restaurant anywhere. Tasted even better with three or four teaspoons of spicy red pepper sauce. Could eat there every day for lunch. Last bite always tasted as good as the first.
  • hachi no ko (baby bees or bee larvae) (Matsumoto, Japan) - With memories of being stung a few times by bees as a child, had to think twice before putting them in my mouth. Small in size, but could definitely see bees in the bowl. Decided to wait until a Matsumoto native put a few in her mouth before I tried any.
  • mollejas (sweetbreads) (Buenos Aires, Argentina) - Thymus gland of calf. Argentina has the highest per capita meat consumption in the world. The churrasquerías (Argentinean barbeque restaurants) of Buenos Aires serve almost every part of the bull or cow. Wasn't brave enough to eat certain private parts, but maybe I'll try next time. Have to be in the right frame of mind.
  • wasabi beer (Hakodate, Japan) - Does not technically qualify for this list of strange foods since it is a drink. Wasabi is a very spicy green Japanese horseradish served with sushi and sashimi. After a couple of swigs, decided to stop. Definitely not a good combination, but one woman at the table downed the entire glass, saying she liked the taste. Come to think of it, she said this about all alcoholic drinks.
  • chicken's feet (Boston) - Extremely spicy dish served at Malaysian restaurant. Not much to eat on a chicken's feet. My daughter was also brave and ate some.
  • fugu (blowfish) (Tokyo) - Always have been a little bit scared to eat fugu, but the poisonous organs are removed by a chef who must have an official license from the government. Although many times served as sashimi (thin slices of raw fish), this fried fugu was very bony, so difficult to eat. Japanese consider fugu to be a delicacy.
  • nopales (prickly pear cactus) (Mexico City) - Not really that strange of a food, but my first thought was the spines all over a prickly pear cactus. Quite delicious. Ate some every morning.
  • basashi (horse sashimi) (Matsumoto, Japan) - After eating grasshoppers and baby bees in Matsumoto, thinly-sliced raw horse meat didn't present any problem. Matsumoto wins the prize for the place with the most "strange foods" (three on my list). City has beautiful black castle.