The Gastronauts: A Club for People Who Eat Really Weird Things

I love to try unusual types of meat -- alligators, frogs, ostriches and more -- so this is totally the club for me. The Gastronauts is an organization in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C. that brings people together to eat weird items:

At their last gathering in New York they ate balut, which is a Philippine snack of boiled fertilised duck egg.

''There's a reason why people eat this stuff,'' Calleo said. ''In many cases, cultures have had hundreds of years to make the food palatable or even exquisite.''

While no one is forced to eat anything, he said the goal is to ''try to try'', which reflects the group's spirit of culinary adventure. [...]

At the October Gastronauts dinner at a Yemeni restaurant Bab Al Yemen in New York, Nicole Murray, an assistant editor at an education company, extracted a piece of eyeball from a cooked lamb skull and brought it toward her mouth as those seated around her cheered.

''It's kind of jelly-like,'' she said, during her first Gastronauts dinner.


What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?

Link | Official Website | Photo: Gastronauts

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Between working in China and the traditional wild game of Canada, I've eaten a LOT of weird stuff.

Off the top of my head: horse, cicadas, mealworms, sea cucumber, turtle, moose, seal flipper, yak, calf testicles, grasshoppers, reindeer, scorpions, jellyfish, fish eyes, chicken feet/hearts.

Plus there's all the not-really-weird things like ox tongue, frogs, snails, elk, and bison.

I almost got to try camel at a Xinjiang-style restaurant in Shanghai, but it was about $200CAD for the dish.

I've also eaten some of the strongest and most foul-smelling foods: chou doufu (stinky tofu), durian, and surströmming.
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I've had kittens, dogs, small monkeys in Brazil and dolphins. I normally like to kill the animals I eat but unfortunately I didn't get to kill the dolphin. Hopefully I'll go to Japan next year and kill one. :-)

Oh, also had live fish and turtles.
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I've had alligator, crawfish, and frog legs, but those aren't considered weird at all. And since I don't like seafood, I don't get all that adventurous. I used to think goat meat was weird, but I've eaten it enough to think otherwise now. One man's "weird" is another man's dinner.
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@mikerbaker - They also do a battered/deep fried chicken cartilage when I was in Japan, not sure if it's a common thing though

I found raw nature of horse difficult after a few - I love salmon sashimi and such, but even those my body doesn't handle a big amount of it
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Love frog legs.

@juls - only had ostrich (like lean beef) - would love to try those others. I've heard horse meat is quite good - was it flavor or the thought of horse that made it difficult?

@JustJD - Yes, I've had BBQ ox tongue in Japanese restaurants, quite good. And cartilage in pho is my usual order - tender and wonderful. I have yet to have an opportunity to eat insects.
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