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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Eating crazy stuff!

I've now consumed about 80% of the terrifying dishes that korea has to offer. Those include:

- Skiwered fish cake (nasty)
- Pig intestine (not so bad, but not particularly pleasnt)
- De-boned chicken feet (terrible texture)
- Something called "chicken poop house." Nobody can tell me exactly what it is. I've heard it might be either an anus or a placenta, though. It's really strong, so my guess is it's an anus. (You can guess how it tastses)
- Raw fish, either as sushi or sashimi. (By far the most palatable of the list, but still not quite up my alley.)
- Dog soup. (Tastes ok, but the meat was super-boiled so the texture was unbearable)
- Fried squid (not that special, but a little whacky for me)
- Baby octopi in my fried rice (so-so)

What did I conquer last night, you ask? Maybe the most terrifying-looking of all korean foods. LIVE OCTOPUS. Actually that depends how you define "live." If you just use it to mean all squirmy and resistant to being eaten, then they're certainly alive. But if you mean connected to some sort of system, well...the head was chopped off 2 minutes before it was on your plate and the poor little thing has been diced up into 1~5 inch shreds.

Anyhow, it's horrible to look at. The octopus is just an ugly beast as it is, with lots of lumps and contours and sliminess. When you pick it up on the chopsticks, it wiggles around and tries to fall out. It doesn't particularly like being dipped in deliciously salty sesame oil, either. And then when you put it in your mouth....the muscles are incredibly strong and tough to chew, so you just have to go at it for a few minutes. In the meantime, though, the little suckers keep attaching to your teeth. Few sensations are ickier. Plus, if you wanted to chew it long enough to actually destroy all the suckers, you'd run out of sesame oil and be stuck with just the little critter in your mouth, so you've got a lot of incentive to just suck it down - which can be quite dangerous, apparently.

Nonetheless, I survived.

Next up: blood sausage or steamed silkworms. Maybe....