Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Strange Eats

I was discussing food with friends the other day, and in particular the adventurous foods we'd tried. I realized I have some photos I've never shared on this blog that are relevant to that topic, so today is a recap of an old story.

While I was in Iceland, I did some sightseeing. I saw a volcano, the Blue Lagoon, and the President. I also had some excellent food. We asked the locals what the regional specialties were, so we could be on the lookout - and at first we found it fairly comical. "Oh," they cried, "You must try the seafood and the hot dogs!" Since we are all from New England, home of excellent lobster and Boston Red Sox hot dog stands, we were a bit amused...

But turns out, we were not dissapointed. The lobster was excellent, and the "hot dog" turned out to be an excellent sausage-like affair, which really shouldn't have been translated into an English word for a cheap food.

We couldn't leave without trying something at least a little more exotic, though. So one night we went to a tapas bar, where you order lots of little dishes - an excellent venue for trying many types of food. We tried lots of seafood (fish, crustaceans, a couple types of mollusks), a couple vegetarian dishes (roasted stuffed peppers for the win), and one or two chicken/beef options. But then - there was debate. Also listed on the menu were various options containing shark, horse, and puffin. PUFFIN.

The debate was short. How could we not get the puffin?

Figure: Behold, the puffin.

Figure: And, horse. Which looks a lot like puffin.

The puffin was delicious - and purple colored, although it's hard to see in the photo. A little salty, but good I thought. The horse, though, I didn't care for - chewy and a strong flavor.

When we excitedly told our hosts this story the next day ("We ate, like, a WHOLE puffin, and MOST of a horse, so aren't we adventurous and cool like real locals?") they looked at us, and kind of snickered. Snickering is almost never good.

Suspicious, we inquired - why, why the sidelong glances at each other? Well, turns out puffin is seasonal. The reason they hadn't recommended puffin to us is because it wasn't in season. In order to keep it, they either freeze or preserve it (ah, the saltiness...)

So, not only have I eaten puffin, I've eaten LAST YEAR'S puffin.

Good times, good times... :) What adventurous foods have you tried?

1 comment:

  1. hummm..yummy...
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