Ribbit and retch
The Chinese name is tian ji, which contains the word “chicken”. My mum told me it was chicken, too, but when I went to the wet market and discovered what tian ji actually is, it was like a bomb went off. How could I have been eating this for more than 10 years without knowing that it was really ... frogs.
Ben Pang, reporter
No stomaching sheep entrails
Probably haggis. It’s made of sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs, minced with onion, oatmeal, spices and salt. Traditionally, it is encased in the sheep’s stomach, although nowadays people often use artificial casings. It might sound like a strange dish, but when it’s served with the classic combination of “neeps and tatties” (turnip and potatoes), it is delicious – and tastes a bit like the stuffing that Americans enjoy at Thanksgiving.
Lucy Christie, sub-editor
What the duck!
Duck’s tongue at my auntie’s flat in Tseung Kwan O, 10 years ago. I didn’t enjoy it. Looking back, I’m not sure why I agreed to try it in the first place!
Ginny Wong, sub-editor
That big packet of orange powder that comes in a box of macaroni and cheese? I used to spoon that stuff onto everything – when I wasn’t eating it straight out of the packet. I once even tried to quench my craving for it by sucking it up through a straw, only to end up coughing a bright orange cloud over the dinner table. I lost interest after I read the ingredients. There were so many chemicals with so many syllables, I’m surprised I don’t glow in the dark!
Sam Gusway, sub-editor
Strange subterraneans and secret sauces
Sea Worm Jelly from Amoy may sound weird and disgusting but it was actually one of the best foods I have ever had. Fat white worms in transparent jelly served with a special “secret sauce”. Yum yum!
Tiffany Choi, reporter
A trip to remember
Way back when I was a wee boy in school, I went on a trip to Beijing. There was some pretty amazing food on Wangfujing Street, including fried roaches and crickets. I tried one and left it at that. Another one off the bucket list.
Wong Tsui-kai, reporter
No love for this fishy substance
Steamed fish semen from a Japanese restaurant in TST. The chef didn’t tell us what it was until after we’d all had a bite. It was white, looked a little like brains but squishier, and didn’t taste much. I hope the fish was happy when it died.
Heidi Yeung, web sub-editor
It’s just not cricket
A protein bar made with “cricket flour”. Eating insects to curb global warming and poverty has been big news lately. I’m vegetarian, but thought it would be interesting to try when I got a free sample after my workout. Tiny, crispy, brittle insect-y chunks in a stodgy bar with a fake chocolate, weird chemical aftertaste. Nahh.
Lauren James, reporter
Can’t tell ripe from wrong
Probably a kiwano, or “horned melon”. It actually tastes perfectly normal – a bit cucumber-y, a bit melon-y – but it looks SO FREAKISHLY WEIRD, you’ve got to wonder why on earth anyone ever thought it would be a good idea to eat one.
Karly Cox, deputy editor
More food that ‘looks’ funny
The weirdest-sounding would be rabbit-ear fungus – but only if you don’t hyphenate it properly. The crickets we got fed in the office a few days ago were pretty strange, but the strangest was probably when I was in school, and we tasted an antelope’s eyeball.
Susan Ramsay, editor