Sunday, June 07, 2009

Pointy Food

Today's theme is pointy food. 

Let's take the goya or as it is more widely known, the bitter melon. It looks like nothing anyone would voluntarily eat. All warty and all.

And the taste! It's so bitter that I still can't fathom the bravery of the first humans who tried it and then instead of declaring it poisonous continued to eat it. 

In Okinawa they stir fry it with pork, tofu, and eggs and it's pretty darn good. Lot's of vitamin C. Bitter.



What's for dessert? Why durian, of course!

Looks thorny, smells like dishrag! Tastes like sweet butter and almonds.

Oh, this was great from travel and food writer Richard Sterling:

"...it's odor is best described as pig-shit, turpentine and onions garnished with gym sock. It can be smelled from yards away."

He knew what he was talking about. Look it's made the boy go crazy about the eyes.


But really. It tastes quite good!

So the moral of this story is pointy foods at first seem dangerous, something nature never intended anyone to actually consume, maybe some sort of cosmic joke. However, if you get past the awful bitterness/stink/warty-ness they are not only edible but often delicious. 


20 comments:

Benjamin Solah said...

I've seen the durian but never dared to try it. Still not that tempted.

I noticed you changed the theme. Nice.

Anonymous said...

Very funny and entertaining. With your talent for describing foods, you should get your own food critic site. The description of durian smell, comparing it to pig shit and gym socks, made me hungry. I wonder where I can get some in Arkansas?

Hilary said...

You're far more determined than I'd be.. but that kidlet sure is cute!

Pat said...

Yeah, Terrie, I've often wondered similar things - such as what caused someone to try popping corn, or stir a bunch of flour, water, yeast, and eggs together to bake into bread. I would've starved - especially if durian and goya were all I could find to eat!

I like the new template too. It's kinda, well, dark...

Ello said...

Looks good!

And um I can't eat things that smell that bad. It's hard for me to muscle past the gag reflex.

Kappa no He said...

Ben, they are super expensive here. The only reason I was able to try a durian is because my in-laws had been given one. Strangely enough they received it at a funeral and stuck it in the trunk. It still smelled up the entire car. At first we were afraid to ask what it was.

Anon, those are definitely not items you'd find on a Irish pub's menu!

Hilary, it was one of those you-gotta-try-it-once kinda things. Well, the bitter melon we do occasionally.

Pat, exactly! And let's not get into all the strange animal parts that get eaten. Hmmm, this pig's foot, looks tasty! I think I'd be sucking on grass and leaves.

Ello, I try to drink kale juice, talk about smelly (put not pointy!), I do the old hold my nose trick.

Mary Witzl said...

And then we have perfectly innocuous looking things like daikon that smell awful but taste great -- and parsnips, that look fine and don't smell, but I personally cannot stand...

Did you know that some hotels in Singapore won't allow you to transport durian in elevators, they stink so badly? It's amazing how good they taste considering their awful smell.

Kappa no He said...

Mary, exactly!

I saw some sign online that had "no smoking, no littering, no durian." Funny. I guess my husband's rich aunt spends hundreds and hundreds of dollars on those things. She keeps them on her veranda. Her neighbors aren't happy.

Joe said...

How dare you denigrate the odour of the dishrag by comparing it to a durian. The durian smells like roadkill on a highway in August.

But it does taste pretty good.

Kappa no He said...

Joe, yes, yes, corpse does come into mind. *shiver*

laughingwolf said...

terrie, have yet to try either :O lol

Kappa no He said...

I could send you some durian, but it might get confiscated before it arrives.

Woman in a Window said...

um, how bout chocolate?

(Nice new look...it's been a while.)

Girl Japan said...

How did I miss this fabulous post? I love Okinawan food.. JUST LOVE it, I am totally digging the Vita C boost too.... have you ever tried to eat it raw?

Tigermama said...

I actually miss goya...it really grew on me after living in Okinawa. If you soak it for at least an hour in salt water, it takes the edge off the bitterness.

P.S. Thank you so much for sending me your autograph. ;-) :-) It is waiting for me at my sister's house in Victoria! Can't wait to read the book!

Kappa no He said...

I haven't been here in days. Yikes.

Woman, chocolate wins all competitions, hands down.

Girl, raw, actually there was a big chunk that wasn't properly cooked. I gagged.

Tiger, oh man, I wish I'd known that like, three years ago. Will try it next time. And, yay! glad it made it! Hope you like the book. (waku waku doki doki)

plaidearthworm said...

I took bitter melon capsules for a while, to help with my blood sugar levels until I lost some weight. Since I have to chew all pills, I realize now that bitter melon is not a food I would pick up for snackies,LOL. But they do have them at a regional Asian market here in the South.

Kappa no He said...

That is fascinating. I didn't realize they regulated blood sugar. I've got a long family history of diabetes. I may need to add this bumpy veggie into my diet a little more often. Thanks for the information. Here they mostly talk about its vitamin C content.

terrie

Gabriel Novo said...

Your post reminded me about this (http://www.who-sucks.com/food/101-frightening-ice-cream-flavors-from-around-the-world). In this case, I don't think there are any redeeming factors to the ice cream.

As much as I like lobster, I too find myself wondering who the hell was the first person that thought it looked good to eat.

BTW, read your excerpt on Shambahala and loved it =)

Kappa no He said...

Gabriel, ha ha, I actually blogged some of those awhile back. I don't know what it is with Japanese and funky ice cream. We have a huge fish market here where you can get squid ink flavored ice cream. Turns your teeth black. Yum.

And thanks so much for reading the story. It means a lot to me.