Sitting outside a restaurant to dine is a welcome change from eating in. We adapt our lifestyle to fit the new norm and welcome the myriad menu choices.

If you thought frog’s legs were a gourmet treat, I’ve got news! Spray cheese! Kidding of course, but besides water and air the one thing we need for survival is food. We all enjoy our favorites. Here are some we may not partake of even marooned on a desert isle.

Haggis, a Scottish dish made from sheep’s liver, heart and lungs. Chitlins are fried pig intestines and when salted heavily, are served with hot sauce and a side of Pepto-Bismol. Jell-O salad is, of course, the epitome of taste for those with no taste buds, or eyes. Have you ever eaten any of these dishes?

Eating habits are different all around the world. Comfort foods evoke pleasant memories of our youth. On the other hand, if you were made to eat something you didn’t like as a child, odds are you don’t like it today. I’m sure when you were growing up there were some foods you liked and some you didn’t. Grilled cheese, Pizza and peanut butter and jelly on white with a glass of cold milk. Speaking of drinks can we agree on beer and can you tell me the best-selling beer in the world? Answer below.

We eat very safe food. It’s homogenized, packaged and flash frozen with a beautiful picture on the box. Food we can look at and not get the feeling that when it was alive it could crawl into our tent, make us jump up and scream at 95 decibels. I say this because I received an email entitled ‘Beijing Fast Food’ and came across such dis-comfort foods as goat lungs with red peppers, dung beetles, silk worms and turkey vulture schnitzel. Turkey vulture schnitzel! If this is fast food, I’m coming in for a screeching halt on the runway of bad taste.

As much as I love it, this will kill the dish of schnitzel for me, even if it’s served by a tall Germanic blonde with the voice of Marlene Dietrich singing “Falling in Love Again’ as it’s being served after my 3rd stein of beer.

How hungry do you have to be, and to whom would this food appeal? Actually, billions around the world. Bizarre Foods cable show host Andrew Zimmern, is a man with a stomach of iron. He’s got the taste-buds of a person marooned on a mountain pass with leftovers of cornmeal mush from a wagon train with a prairie dirt encrusted Gabby Hayes as the cook!

Zimmern travels far and wide to not only eat those things but prove he’s still alive after his past gastronomic episodes. What a job! He got out of the rat race only to wind up eating them. They couldn’t pay me enough to pop a cricket in my mouth. To be fair, when cooked, they sure look like Kung Pao chicken bits, but I saw a picture of what looked like huge bbq’d rodents with an overbite that would make the late Freddy Mercury envious. (Was that an obscure social reference?)

With that kind of an overbite you could eat an apple through a picket fence! I haven’t seen jaws like that since the raptors from Jurassic park tried to eat Wayne Knight, the fat mailman from ‘Seinfeld’ although he would have merely been an appetizer. Sounds like another reality show format to me. I’m sure there’s a friends of animals dental practice somewhere in the Far East hinterlands with a perennially empty waiting room. If there’s an ASPCA in China it’s got to be the loneliest job in the country.

It certainly didn’t make me want to travel there for the gastronomic ecstasy of munching beetle parts. Based on what I saw, the great wall should have been constructed to keep eating habits contained. At least we grind our beef into a cute little patty instead of looking it in the eye and hoping it’s done well enough to not wink.

Snow Beer, only sold in China, holds down the top spot. It sold an astounding 101.2 million hectoliters of beer, which, by my estimation could fill Lake Michigan beating out runner-up Bud by more than double the volume. Maybe that’s what they do to get the taste out of their mouth.

And speaking of Moo Goo Gai Cicada; I’m happy that the famous General Tso liked chicken and not sea urchins. I’ll have a number 6 please, and hold the crickets.








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