From alligator to octopus, even bugs and monkfish liver, these foodies tell us about their bizarre eating adventures
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Describe the food in one word: Chickeny/fishy.
How did it taste: When I tried it in pie form, the taste was a bit overwhelmed by the buttery pastry, but when I tasted it in the gumbo, I really got to see how tender and flavorful alligator could be. Combined with hot peppers, crawfish, and veggies, the alligator made for a mouthwatering gumbo.
Would you eat it again: Absolutely! I love eating strange and unconventional foods, especially when they have a great flavor. It's really the issue of whether or not I'd be able to find 'gator in the Chicago suburbs.
—Kathryn Steed of Omnivore100Project.com
Pictured: Alligator gumbo from West Virginia Roadkill Cook-Off in Marlinton, WV
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Describe the food in one word: Pork.
How did it taste: It tasted like pork—more like pork belly than bacon. I loved it (shockingly). Who doesn't love perfectly cooked pork? I think I would have been more hesitant about it if it really looked like a pig was staring at me!
Would you eat it again: I would definitely eat it again. In fact, if I ever saw it on a menu somewhere else, I would be inclined to order it. That's how good it was!
—Betsy Haley of BetsyLife.com
Pictured: Pork face dish at GirlandtheGoat.com in Chicago, IL, courtesy of Girl and the Goat
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Describe the food in one word: Protein.
How did it taste: The larvae tasted like wet moss. The scorpions and crickets didn't really have much of a flavor. I hated the larvae because the mouth-feel was crumbly and mushy at the same time, and that musty flavor penetrated my nose so it smelled as musty as it tasted.
Would you eat it again: The crickets I would probably eat again (they were really crispy/crunchy like bacon, minus the great bacon flavor) but the larvae were a once in a lifetime meal.
—Pamela Braun of MyMansBelly.com
Pictured: Crickets from Getty Images
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Describe the food in one word: Putrid.
How did it taste: I found it intriguing, in that I'd never tasted anything quite like it. So, it broadened my taste horizons. It was forbidden at my hotel (which I later learned is very common throughout Asia) because the smell is so strong, it truly lingers.
Would you eat it again: I'd rather not eat it again. But if I was going to do so, I'd want the durian to be mixed with other ingredients so the putrid flavor would be diluted.
—Dina Cheney of DinaCheney.com
Pictured: Durian from Getty Images
Foie Gras Lollipop Coated with Watermelon Pop Rocks
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Describe the food in one word: Rich.
How did it taste: I loved it, especially since I've never had foie gras and was a bit scared to try it for the first time. The Pop Rocks made it so that I couldn't not try it. And I wound up loving it—the contrast of super-creamy and elegant to go along with the popping of watermelon candy was like nothing I've ever tasted.
Would you eat it again: Absolutely, and I hope to do so.
—Mike Farley of MikeysKitchen.com
Smoked Sturgeon Saboyon with Chives
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Describe the food in one word: Creamy.
How did it taste: I loved it. It was smooth, creamy, smokey, similar to baby food but for grown-ups. Coming out from an eggshell, it was also fun!
Would you eat it again: Yes, I will. Any time!
—Thei Zervaki of FullyBooked.biz
Pictured: Smoked sturgeon saboyon with chives at the Best of the Best event during the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, served by Eleven Madison Park Restaurant
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Describe the food in one word: Offal-y.
How did it taste: It's basically a simmered mushy sausage-like food containing minced sheep organ meat, oats, onion, fat, salt, and spices in casing. First of all, I eat a mainly vegetarian diet. Secondly, there was just a little too much 'mystery" going on with it. Finally, the texture was frankly a little like something that was already chewed. But, I still adore Scotland!
Would you eat it again: I will never try it again!
—Jackie Newgent of JackieNewgent.com
Pictured: Haggis from Getty Images
Octopus and Fish Scales
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Describe the food in one word: Gooey.
How did it taste: It tasted like a very savory cinnamon roll. Not the flavor, but the gooey consistency. It had these "bonito" flakes on the top, which is a popular Japanese flavoring. I guess they are fish scales that move around with the heat of the entree. Very strange, but yummy!
Would you eat it again: Totally.
—Pat Sandora of iPhotoMyFood.tumblr.com
Pictured: Tako Yaki at Izakaya Ten in New York, NY
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Describe the food in one word: Wiggly.
How did it taste: Pig's blood tastes like liver-flavored Jello. At first it tastes like bacon, then it leaves your mouth feeling like you just chewed a mouthful of vitamins, chalky and kind of like a vampire.
Would you eat it again: I'll try anything twice.
—Lauren Jones of DisgustingorDelicious.blogspot.com
Pictured: Pho with pig's blood from My Canh in San Francisco, CA
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Describe the food in one word: Dense.
How did it taste: I love blood pudding because it reminds me of my childhood—for a lot of people it's bizarre, but for me, it's comfort food.
Would you eat it again: Of course I would eat it again! It's the first thing I buy every time I go to Sweden.
—Anna Brones of EcoSalon.com
Pictured: Blood pudding with homemade lingonberry jam from Brones' grandmother's house in Sweden
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Describe the food in one word: Gamey.
How did it taste: I didn't love it, but I definitely didn't hate it. I don't eat much red meat, so eating anything like this is different for me. It was slightly gamey, but had a rich flavor and was tender (and had a great sauce on it) so I enjoyed trying it.
Would you eat it again: I'm not sure if I could end up eating it again—when I visited the Iceland Zoo the next day, I saw reindeer there and felt a little guilty for tasting it the day before! And I love Christmas, so I can't help but feeling bad for the chomping on Rudolph.
—Chrissy Carroll of InspiredWellnessSolutions.com
Pictured: Reindeer from Iceland
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Describe the food in one word: Skunky.
How did it taste: I was 12 at the time. Possum tastes like it looks... and smells. The smell is a bit like a wet dog with a pervasive hint of sewer gas. The same effluent gamy "aromatic" flavors the greasy meat like herbs on a roast chicken, only, it's not roast chicken or herbs. Possum is also as greasy as alligator, if you've had that, but a red meat instead of white.
Would you eat it again: Pretty sure there is no "right" way to cook that for me to try it again! I'm willing to try almost any food just in case it is good. I can promise there will never be a possum recipe in any of my cookbooks. Ever.
—Beth Bader of TheExpatriatesKitchen.blogspot.com
Pictured: A possum from Getty Images
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Describe the food in one word: Delectable.
How did it taste: Not only is it one of the strangest dishes I've ever eaten, but it's also one of the most delicious delicacies that has passed my lips. I first had beef heart at Prado at the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ. The chef prepared it with pickled radish, arugula, and a 20-year-old balsamic. I remember my skepticism the very first time I tried the heart, but the staff assured me that it was tender, delicate, and 'better than beef tenderloin.'"
Would you eat it again: I would absolutely eat it again.
—Amy Martin of PhoenixBites.com
Pictured: Beef heart from Prado at the Montelucia Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ
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Describe the food in one word: Mouthwatering.
How did it taste: As I interviewed food bloggers about this feature, I realized something—I've eaten some strange things, too. One that sticks out in my memory is monkfish liver, which is now one of my favorite delicacies of all time. It's buttery, delectable, and rich. It tastes delicious with a balsamic glaze or in a vinegar juice concoction of some sort.
Would I eat it again: Absolutely! I just wish it wasn't so expensive at restaurants.
—Ysolt Usigan of FoodWeConsumed.tumblr.com
Pictured: Monkfish liver from Asuka in New York, NY