There is a show on the travel channel in which the host goes to different countries and eats the weirdest food that he can find. So, last week he went to Spain. Here is a list of what he ate:
* Angulas (baby eels)
* Whole roast suckling pig - - tail, ear, tongue, eye, brains
* Baby squid in their own ink
* Crunchy pig ears
* Grilled octopus
* Rabo de toro (bull’s tail)
* Callos (casserole made of blood sausage and tripe)
* Maruca eggs (dried fish eggs)
* Criadillas (bull’s testicles)
* Deep-fried pork fat
* Jamón Ibérico (air-dried ham made from black-footed Iberian pigs)
* Percebes (gooseneck barnacles)
* Langostinos (large prawns)
* Red shrimp
* Rodaballo (Spanish turbot)
* Spiny lobster
* Buey "mustard" (giant Mediterranean stone-clam innards)
* Razor clams
* Deep-fried worms
* Horchata (beverage made with almond milk and tiger nuts)
* Calf’s brains
* Arros de pages amb crestes de gall (rice with rooster combs)
* Nitrogen-cooled sake sorbet with lychee nuts
* Pine-nut meringue
From this list I have eaten (or drunk) snails, grilled octopus, rabo de toro, callos, jamon ibérico, clams, langostinos, and horchata. I don't like snails or clams or callos that much, but the rest of the ones that I have tried are really good.
Actually, Spaniards do eat a lot of strange seafoods. It is a peninsula, after all. If you go to the fish market, you don't just see fish, you see all of these weird kinds of marine animals too, many of which are still alive. It's like going to a macabre aquarium. Jose used to chastize me for going up and touching them all the time.
My friend saw the show and she said that the host didn't like horchata. I couldn't believe it! It's not the same kind of horchata, made of rice, that you get here. Like it says in the list, it's made of tiger nuts (chufa). Let me tell you, it is sooooo goooood!
Since I have a little experience in this field of study, I want to add a few other foods to the list that the host didn't try. He didn't go down to Andalucía after all! One thing that he didn't have on his list, which is something that my in-laws eat, on occasion, in there own home, is something called "sangre frita." That is, "fried blood." It's coagulated chicken (or pig) blood fried and mixed with a sauce of tomatoes, onion and peppers. At least that is how my mother-in-law makes it. I tried it once and didn't like it.
Another dish that comes directly from Granada is called "tortilla de sacromonte" or "Sacromonte omelette". This omelette has brains and testicles of lamb in it. I never tried it, nor do I desire to. That's mad cow disease just waiting to happen.
The other "bizarre food" that Americans find gross is morcilla. However, I love it. Yum! When Jose and I go back to Spain to visit, all we want to eat is jamón, morcilla, and cheese. And me, I also want to drink wine.
Well anyway, the host has been to places where the food is a lot weirder...do any of you know what a balut is? It's a delicacy in the Philipines...check it.