I’m usually bold enough to try anything in the food world at least once. I guess the “you never know until you try it” adage was permanently seared into my soul.
This outlook on food almost killed my psychological well-being and digestive track when I was dating my husband, who is Filipino. I initially approached the exotic food with great caution, similar to what I imagine walking through a mine field would be like. I strategically placed meager amounts of the unknown substance(s) on my plate with the utmost uncertainty…Closed my eyes, opened my mouth (maybe chewed a little) and swallowed. However, after my taste buds danced and exploded with delight, I began to inhale multiple servings of delish rice, chicken, noodles and other veggies. I eventually quite asking what things were and simply heaped mounds of steaming hot [presumed] goodness on my plate.
It was during this time of hog slopping that I discovered an important fact. Not everything in the food repertoire was, by my standards, edible. Here is a brief example.
Take this little gem. Upon my first encounter with these guys I assumed that they were hard-boiled eggs. Given the fact that I LOVE hard-boiled eggs, I skipped with delight at the sight of these babies. HOWEVER because I am talking about my frightening exposure to the dark side of Filipino food, I think you can deduce that something evil lurked beneath the shell.
Meet the contents of the egg.
They call this lovely Balut (Ba-loot). Balut are duck eggs that have been incubated until the fetus is all feathery and beaky, and then boiled alive. The bones give the eggs a uniquely crunchy texture. They are enjoyed in the Philippines and the fifth and seventh levels of hell.
I hit you with the worst first because I’m cruel like that and you guys are tough. Now that you have regained control of your stomach and digestion organs, here are some other fun times at the table that I enjoyed – totally unaware until something deep inside my innards began to question things.
My friend, Diniguan which is also called “Blood Pudding or Chocolate Meat.” This dish is simmered in blood until it creates a thick gravy-like substance. But, baby it ain’t no gravy!! If you like the taste of liver…I do not and this taste is what produced the rapid expulsion of the material from my mouth and caused the Filipinos to giggle at the white chick spewing chunks of blood meat all over her plate, you may enjoy Diniguan but here is what you should know. The ‘meat’ is often stomach, intestines, ears, heart and snout. YUMMY!
But what the queen should know is that she is eating Mr. Ox tongue. I know we have this dish in America too but this girl never met Ox Tongue before. The texture of this little fellow let me know immediately that I had been tongued!!
Blissfully unaware and food tripping in the Philippines, we loaded up our plates and gorged on the hot, steamy stuff. However, if you look closely at my son’s face (he was much younger at the time) you will notice that he, or his intact tongue, discovered something was not quite legit about his food.
Last in the line up of disgusting is the baboy, or pig. I know many enjoy this particular delight world-wide and often involves bon-fires with kegs of beer and drunk, hooting humans. This cuisine was an easy one to maneuver around and did not produce the cardiac standstill that the Balut did. However, I did manage to try a piece. It was, ah, different tasting than the store-bought pig that we consume. It has a wild taste, like deer.
Alas we arrive at the reason for this post. Forget about the fully formed baby duck and other tormenting entrees. We will now discuss Pizza. Nice, safe Pizza.
My daughter ordered a Big Mac Pizza and asked me to try a piece. I had never heard of such a thing. A pizza made like a Big Mac? But after exposure to the above mentioned how could I really argue with her safe request????? Big Mac Pizza prepare to meet my Gastric contents………
It was GREAT!!! It tastes just like a Big Mac minus McDonalds nasty, processed, life sucking beef patties.
I even packed some in my lunch today –
– and enjoyed every.single.messy.bite! Now that’s the stuff I’d try any day!!