Tuesday, December 21, 2010

i continue to impress people...

With my willingness to eat foods outside of my Western comfort zone.

Tonight, at school dinner, I ate two things from the list of the ten deadliest foods in the world.  One of them, I didn't even know was dangerous.

Yes, that's right, that means I knowingly ate ONE deadly food.

But, it's a Korean delicacy: live octopus.

Why is it deadly?

It's still squirming around on the plate after they cut it up.  You're supposed to chew it really well before swallowing, or it could potentially sucker itself to your throat and kill you.  Really, though, it's just incredibly tough and chewy, and has a weird texture.

Just like the live sea cucumber I also ingested tonight--which is like chewing on leather--and the raw mystery animal--which was also chewy.  Both were still alive and still squirming.

The hardest part about eating these foods?  The fact that they're really hard to pick up with chopsticks.  You try using two metal sticks to pick up a slimy piece of food that is wriggling around... also, resisting the urge to just take the whole plate and poke at the wiggly bits all night.

The "deadly" food that I was not aware was deadly was the blood clam I ate tonight:

Follow this link for a picture of the blood clams (There is also a little blurb about the live octopus)

That link also has a description of why the blood clams are so dangerous.  Apparently, despite my co-teacher's inability to translate what we were eating, and my insistently asking her over and over again if it was blood that was all over the plate, and her insistence that it wasn't... it was.


And, I ate it.

No one thought I would, and I was actually one of the few who did...

Probably because I was unaware that the food we were eating was blamed for a hepatitis outbreak in Shanghai, and resultantly made illegal.

That's enough to make me not want to eat it.  Oh, and the fact that that wasn't sauce... IT WAS BLOOD.

It was slimy, and chewy... slightly crunchy in a chewing on cartilage kind of way, and it tasted like blood and salt.  Why is this a delicacy?

So much blood...

We also had sashimi for dinner, which was not alive, just raw.

After dinner, the vice principal came around and talked to each table, when she got to our table, she looked at me sadly and said something about "Tara" and "raw fishee."  My co-teacher retorted by saying something about the blood clams, to which the VP looked incredibly shocked, and went to fetch the principal.

My co-teacher explained to me that the VP thought I hadn't eaten anything because I can't eat raw fish, which my co-teacher refuted by telling her that I did eat dinner and that I even ate a blood clam.

The VP had gone to find the principal so that she could tell him that I ate one of the blood clams.

They both returned and praised me and even applauded.

It's weird when people are impressed with your willingness to eat things that you have no idea what they are.  It's also weird when someone assumes you won't eat sashimi, because you're a foreigner, and, OBVIOUSLY, foreigners can't eat sashimi, because it's raw fish.

Anyways, here's hoping I live to blog again.

If not... typhoid or dysentery is not a fun disease, learn from my mistakes, don't eat the blood clams... it was nice getting to know you all.

Toodles <3


  1. Wow, I've always wanted to try the octopus. Was it difficult to swallow? I'm afraid it will try to choke me!

  2. That sounds fun! The way the VP and principal reacted made funny pictures in my mind, haha. =)

  3. i... okay... it.... that.... you.... OMG.

    :) what i'm trying to say is: i have no idea what to say. you are a super brave and adventurous food trier! my husband has to bribe me to eat soup :D

  4. I like to think that I'll try anything once, but props to you. It sounds like the texture alone would be a turn off for most people... let alone the taste of blood.

  5. That was awesome. I've eaten octopus, but never live! I don't think i'd ever have the guts to eat something deadly.

  6. Basically, imagine chewing on a piece of raw chicken breast, that's the best way I can describe the texture of almost EVERYTHING I ate last night... I imagine that that's what it must be like.

    To be honest, if I had known it was blood in the clams, I probably would not have tried them, my co-teacher told me it was sauce, and insisted it wasn't blood. It definitely was, though... it tasted like blood and salt when I ate it. that, coupled with the texture, did actually make me gag twice while chewing it.

    The live things were weird to eat, because you know they're still alive. They cling to your chopsticks and curl around them, they're hard to pick up, and, you know, THEY'RE ALIVE. They have that weird texture, again, and mostly no flavour. They're just strange to eat.

    I will usually try anything once, provided it's not too spicy. I will admit, though, if I had known different, I would have probably not eaten the clam.

    I didn't eat a lot of everything, I pretty much just tried a piece of each and that was enough.

    The clam has made me all hypochondriac, though... and I may have thrown up this morning. I think I've convinced myself I have typhoid or dysentery... I don't even know what the symptoms are, but I'm not going to look them up.

  7. Oh, and you have to chew the live things REALLY WELL before you can swallow them, otherwise they wiggle in your throat, and, I guess, the octopus can kill you.

  8. Very entertaining blog. You're a talented writer =]

  9. Wow...I am impressed...no way could I do it...no way at all.


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