Three foods to avoid in your world travels:
Relleno – rice soaked in pigs blood and deep fried to a burnt crisp inside cow intestine.
Acrid taste, but went down reasonably well. It’s the aftertaste you have to watch out for -- it was truly awful and didn’t go away for a full 24 hours.
Mystery Soup. Since I don’t know the “official” name for this dish, let’s just call it Mystery Soup à la boiled cubed cow hoof. It’s the texture coupled with a vivid imagination that gets you on this one. You see, the cubes are rather large and boiled to a rubbery jelly consistency. The combined result is nothing less than a culinary atrocity. The rubbery quality of the cube makes it impossible to bite, chew, or squish into smaller more manageable pieces (think of trying to chew a large chunk of latex). Meanwhile, the jelly-like property allows it to ooze around inside your mouth, coating all interior surfaces with a layer of foul tasting slime. To me, the experience was similar to trying to eat a very large slug with supernatural powers that allowed it to resist all attempts at dental masticating, all the while squishing from one corner of the mouth to the other, laughing at your vain effort and leaving behind its signature “snail trails.” Surprisingly I have not yet reached the worst part. Swallowing. At some point, you will reach the inevitable conclusion that there is no way (short of being lucky enough to have had green kryptonite fillings put in your teeth instead of the standard silver or white) to whittle down the slimy hoof chunk. Unfortunately, it is just large enough to trigger your gag reflex on the way down (like you needed more incentive to puke – you’re eating a deceased cow’s foot for goodness sake – do you even know where that thing has been?!) as you forcefully swallow it… again and again and again… until it finally clears your throat. Ugh. I was in a cold sweat by the time I finished my bowl of Mystery Soup.
Fried cutting of pigskin. Not to be confused with pork rinds, this delicacy (that’s what we call something most people find repulsive, right?) is a two-faced monstrosity like something Homer might have written about in the lliad…
“The monster, spawned in the very depths of Hades, rose from the festering lake of oil and reared its legendary two-faced head. One side beguiled the unwary adventurer with its gooey soft texture of boiled fat, dripping as though wounded from battle – an easy mark for the kill. Yet, the opposite face, separated by a layer of skin tough like the leather of a well cured shield, showed no such weakness. Coarse hairs, stiffened from the creatures time spent in the boiling cauldron that had helped transform it to this hideous state, protruded at disgusting angles, threatening to tear apart the throat of anyone who dared to do it battle.”
Nasty smell, hideous to look at, terrible to taste, and worse to swallow. Ouch. Yuck. Enough said.