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Weird food

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Jul. 3rd, 2013 | 02:24 pm

United Noshes (unitednoshes on LJ) continues to be highly interesting, and a bit from their recently posted 62nd meal (Gabon) made me grin:

This fun-to-say dish, which features gently simmered okra with smoked fish and seasonings, is considered a progenitor of the Louisiana classic. Despite okra’s reputation for making sauces so goopy that many Peace Corps volunteers call food made from it “snot sauce,” this preparation was really quite delicate and pleasant.

Not just because the "fun-to-say dish" is called "Dongo-Dongo" (which sounds alarmingly like one of smug mug's sex parties), but because of the evocative description of okra sauce.

This already appeared in earlier nosh's post-mortem, BTW, Benin:

The Peace Corps Volunteer Cookbook nicknames this “snot sauce,” and it’s pretty clear why. Slow stewing of okra makes for a gooey mess, and this one was pretty tasty with tomatoes, garlic, chilies, and more of that bouillon.

I should try that some time, assuming I can find okra for sale locally.

Searching the web for "snot sauce" also revealed other exotic dishes that I wouldn't touch, BTW. My attitude to food, by and large, is based around two principles:

  1. You don't have to eat anything you don't like.
  2. Don't say you don't like it until you've tried it.

These are based on two principles for dinner time with children, BTW (then usually rendered as "nobody has to eat something they don't like", and "nobody can say they don't like something until they've tried it"); a more succinct version of my own approach is "I'll eat most things once (but not necessarily more than once)".

But that's most things, not all things. I've previously drawn the line at Cambodian fried spider (don't click that link, it does have a picture; here's a first-person account, also with pics, but more palatable), and I'm definitely drawing it at roasted tarantula (post #20), too:

In Venezuela I ate...
Tarantula, you know the big hairy spider. Here's the recipe: We went upstream the autana river, a sidearm of the Orinoco. We went "hunting" for them with our guide, armed with a twig. You just move it around the entrance of their little cave & they think its some insect and bite it. Then you drag them out of their hole and rip off their back part. Horrible death, that's true. Roast 'em over a fire for 5 min until the hairs are gone & white juice starts oozing out and their ready! It's real good, tastes like crab meat. It's more of a snack than a serious meal, you'd probably need 10 each to satisfy your hunger.

No. Just no. Give me a singed sheep's head with eyes and gums and everything, and smother it with snot sauce if you want to, but this? No.

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