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Bizarre Foods In India?

Discussion in 'Food & Drinks' started by Faye1232212, Sep 22, 2015.

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  1. Faye1232212

    Faye1232212 New Member

    Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman is a show I love to watch often. Recently an episode came on and their travel destination was India. If you know anything about the show, he basically eats foods that are considered bizarre to American standards. On this particular episode Andrew was walking through a market with every kind of food you can and can't imagine. It was amazing to see the variety of food they offered. Is this commonplace in India to have such markets? I'm planning my trip, I want to make sure that I can experience this. Where can I do that in India? Feedback much appreciated!
     
  2. travelguide

    travelguide Active Member

    Even though I never tried any bizarre food, I can point out a few of them below :

    - I heard that people of Goa and Sikkim eat frog legs. They believe that it is has some medicinal quality to cure stomach diseases.
    - Chapra is a very unique chutney being used by people of Chattisgarh. What makes it so special is that it is made of red ants and their eggs.
    - In Kohima, Nagaland you can find snail stew, steamed hornet larvae and silkworm curry on the street food stalls.
    - In Meghalaya you can find a dish called Doh Kheh. It is nothing but steamed pig's brain.
     
  3. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Here are some exotic/bizarre dishes from India:

    1. Jadoh - Rice dish cooked with either pig or chicken blood. It is popular among the Jaintia tribes of the North East India,
    2. Nahkham - Very stinky dish made of fish, vegetables and distilled ashes.
    3. Dogs, spiders, pork, beef, crabs, cats, chicken and even elephants are considered a delicacy in Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur’s tribal communities.
    4. Eri polu - Silk worm!
     
  4. greybird29

    greybird29 New Member

    I have never seen or heard of the show bizarre foods with Andrew Zimmerman. Wow and whew to me most of the dishes y’all have described do not sound appetizing or appealing in any way. I do not like frog legs or snail; I don’t think I would like ants no matter what they were mixed with. Pig’s brain, cats, dogs, spiders, and steamed hornet are just absolutely out of the question as far as a food I would enjoy swallowing.
    I love to try new and different foods yet those are not something I would desire. I do not eat wild game and just do not think I would enjoy elephant either. I do believe y’all have convinced me I am more of a “casual spicy” rice and vegetable with a few other surprise more natural ingredients opposed to the bizarre foods suggested. Thanks for sharing but no thanks I will pass on eating these bizarre foods.
     
  5. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    You are a MUCH more brave person than I, @Faye1232212 ! I have to say I am pretty timid when it comes to trying new dishes when I travel. Don't get me wrong - I love food, I love cooking, and I love trying new things - but I try to stick to things that are still close to the walls of my comfort zone, rather than trying anything too out there!
     
  6. travelguide

    travelguide Active Member

    I can't even imagine eating those bizarre foods in my wildest dreams. I can't even eat non-veg food as I am a pure vegan. But we are living in a world where good and bad coexists and that is a reality. But in the case of a survival mode I may eat these foods if there are no other options available.

    After all why we should punish ourselves eating those nasty foods when a lot of beautiful dishes are available around all of us.
     
  7. Tanmaya

    Tanmaya Member

    I watched a program on Lok sabha TV channel about tribal people and they showed how this chutney is prepared. The tribal lady just crushed ants and their eggs and made a paste out of it.

    I know Naga people have some very out of the ordinary dishes but I didint know they eat Elephant meat too. I was under the impression that Elephants are a protected species in India and also beef is probably banned too.
     
  8. travelguide

    travelguide Active Member

    My grandmother once told me about the benefits of these tiny ants. It is said that they are good for a clear vision. I don't know why. As per them ants have some medicinal properties.

    Elephants are protected animals in India. It is illegal to kill elephants for anything. In fact nowadays rules are very strict. Government of Kerala is even planning to put a ban on use of elephants during festivals. It is on hold due to religious sentiments. I think these animals need to be protected at any cost at least for the survival of humans because both are interconnected.
     
  9. arthnel

    arthnel Member

    I love the show Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. 90 percent of what he tries I would easily pass on. I've had frogs legs from Goa and they are a real nice treat. I've had them before from other travels but what made these different were the deep fried and spicy roast styles of cooking. I was told they may be a bit harder to find because of a ban trying to protect the frog population, so you may need to link up with some people with connections like that. I wouldn't eat elephant, no matter how adventurous I became. Peace-loving animals like elephants just makes the heart grow fonder.
     
  10. MichelleVL

    MichelleVL New Member

    I absolutely love Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmerman! Zimmerman has done several India specials and he always hits the markets. I really enjoy watching how he is not stuck up and just hangs out with everyday people. I personally don't enjoy bizarre foods, but do love Indian food and I'm always open to trying new things as long as they smell good. Indian food is just so vibrant, spicy, and simply different. In regards to markets I know of one in the city of Kolkata. It's called New Market and has been around for a very long time. I wish you a safe trip and hope you enjoy your travels throughout India.
     
  11. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    I'm also not really into eating the weird and wonderful creatures so in that respect, I think I'll leave that to you more adventurous people!

    As long as I know what I'm eating and can be sure that the meat is what it's supposed to be and nothing strange, I'll be quite happy!
     
  12. innaf93

    innaf93 Member

    Yeah, but the question is: what we call bizarre food? There are certain cultures where they eat crickets, or raw meat and skin. It's more like "bizarre food for western people".
     
  13. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    It's certainly true that what one person calls bizarre would be classed as normal to somebody else depending on were they're from.

    I think most countries will have food that won't appeal to everybody, and even here in the UK there are meals that a lot of people won't eat unless they're from that particular part of the country.
     
    Bayleaf likes this.
  14. innaf93

    innaf93 Member

    Yeah I always like to hear that someone mentions: eww weird food. But food types and product types can change even in small distances. For example I just move to one European country to other. And the amount of diary product changes I experienced is mad. I think that people really should step out of their comfort zones.
     
  15. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    I agree that people should experience different foods and cultures but at the same time trying something for the first time can be a bit daunting.

    It's alright trying something and if you don't like it then you obviously don't have it again, but when it comes to food and you order a meal you've never had, it comes and you don't like it, it can appear rude to order something else, especially in a foreign country so that's the main reason I stick to what I know I'll enjoy.
     
  16. SirJoe

    SirJoe New Member

    I have seen Bizarre Foods and really enjoyed it. Andrew Zimmerman focuses his attention on the unconventional dishes of a country, not the most popular. Hence the stranger the better. Seeing as India has great variety of cultures, it's comes as no surprise to me that he would find some dishes that I would consider bizarre.
     
  17. xeylonfm

    xeylonfm New Member

    Indeed there are bizarre foods around the world. However it all depends on culture and in my personal opinion, the term “bizarre” is rather preposterous. You may like a particular food where you come from while in some other distant land it is considered bizarre. So how about we term the foods “strange” rather than bizarre? [Just a thought of my own]. Zimmerman’s show is fantastic for sure and we all love it. However if there is something I can term strange was snake-bile drinking in china. Woo! I was taken aback when I saw that stop in Amazing Race. They puncture a snake’s bile as you watch by some specialists and you are to drink the bile mixed in some soup! I literally shivered when it happened. Indian cuisine however is the epitome of pepper. Almost every other food i tasted had pepper in it. Now I am used to mild paper and not too much of it. I love bizarre Indian foods and I would love to try them someday. Did someone just say spiders? [Lol]
     
  18. artyarson

    artyarson New Member

    I'm willing to try some bizzare food but on one condition: I wouldn't be told what it is until I swallow anything. Because it could ruin the whole experience. And, of course, the food itself gotta be safe. The most important thing ever.
     
  19. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    That's a good point! A lot of the time, I think I'm scared to try new things because I know what they are, and it's a mental hurdle to get over when it comes to trying them.

    I am sure there's a lot of things out there that taste good but are "unusual" to foreigners who haven't tried them before, so not knowing before trying is probably a good thing!!
     
  20. vegito12

    vegito12 Member

    The show is very interesting as the presenter Andrew is down to earth and not afraid of trying new foods and also interacts with people who make these dishes and is friendly with them and seems like at home as if he lives there and understands what goes behind the making of these dishes. I remember watching the Delhi episode and he had milk froth with sugar and looks creamy and has silver foil under it and some people believe it is good for the body which was amazing, some dishes can be nice and some made from things we would not think of eating. It is important to read the dish and also know what's in it so you don't feel unwell or have a sore stomach and need to check where it is made and check is it safe and if I was surviving would eat some things only if I needed to.
     
  21. copicgo

    copicgo New Member


    I'm ALL about trying new foods, but the last one is going to give me NIGHTMARES!

    How exactly do they cook spiders? That's a dish I never imagined would be something to eat in any country. I don't think it'd be very nutritious. Does this mean they might also eat other insects and bug-like creatures?
     
  22. oneself

    oneself New Member

    If you happen to visit Delhi, I would strongly suggest that you visit the old delhi market. It is filled with diversity of steet food that range from sweet to extremely spicy. It is one place where you can get the taste of the age old recipes along the modern food. When there do consider eating from the wide variety of meat incase you are a meat lover.
     
  23. Bayleaf

    Bayleaf New Member

    Yes, I agree. Look at black pudding for example. Try explaining that to people from some countries and watch them gag, except in places like Korea where they have a similar dish called sundae. They eat silkworm there too. The smell of some unusual foods puts me off, and the thought of others does the same, but I have eaten snake, and some kind of fried spider.
     
  24. phoenix2015

    phoenix2015 New Member

    Frog legs are delicious. They are eaten in France as well. They taste like chicken!! I think I'll pass on the red ant chutney, the snail stew, the silkworm curry, and the pig's brain. Though not too much on the idea of silkworm curry, I am going to eat loads of curry and naan when I get to India!!
     
  25. Namiee

    Namiee New Member

    Oh! I can totally help you with that. I was recently in Kohima (Nagaland) not too long ago, and while walking back to my hostel, I'd noticed there was some street food being sold. One thing that people advise to not do while in India is eat street food, especially when away from larger cities, but I took a chance and ordered "Snail Stew". To be honest, I was reluctant to eat it at first (my friend had dared me to do so), but it definitely shocks your tastebuds!

    It was almost like a mix between French escargot and spicy Korean stew. There was a spicy version and a non-spicy version.

    If you do decide to go try Snail Stew, I would definitely advise adding a good helping of fresh vegetables! And, as a bonus, order "Steamed Hornet Larvae". It has a really distinct taste...

    But in general, go ahead and try it! There is no distinct place, but if you choose to go to Kohima (which is also known for it's interesting cultural tribes and is gorgeous), you should definitely dive headfirst into their cuisine. It's very unique!
     
    lynda.wilson187 likes this.
  26. Barty

    Barty New Member

    I love watching Andrew Zimmerman! What was it that he ate that was so bizarre in India? I'm curious to know. I'm not sure which country it was, but I once saw him eating some wormy cheese that was supposedly a delicacy. Yuck!
     
  27. Indyra

    Indyra Member

    Wormy cheese? I agree - yuck! I am open to trying certain things, but if it is still crawling, forget it. Does India serve up things like insects, I wonder? Those don't exactly appeal to me, either.
     
  28. arthnel

    arthnel Member

    I agree that what we are mainly talking about is Bizarre foods as we see it from our own country and point of view. Yes the wormy cheese was terrible but the real point is that the coin can be flipped. There are foods we love in the US that I'm sure Indians would find bizarre too. I'm not sure how well roasted cows head and goats balls would go down for them. It's just fun trading stories.
     
  29. MarySeba

    MarySeba New Member

    Hey there,

    Go to Nagaland.. They eat dog meat.. This is so common there. They will make you eat and you will not know it.. :(
     
  30. Rezonate

    Rezonate Member

    I love that show ! It makes me want to travel to different places and experience different cultures. India is definitely on my list because of their culture and my love for it, thank you for sharing !
     
  31. Rose @ Walnut Acre

    Rose @ Walnut Acre New Member

    I grew up eating frog legs so that doesn't bother me. But I don't think I could stomach some of the other things listed in this thread, especially spiders! It gives me the shivers just to think about it.
     
  32. arthnel

    arthnel Member

    Frogs legs don't seem bizarre now that I've tried them a few times. They are real tasty. I'm not up yet for things like scorpions and spiders. The spiders I've seem people eating on Bizarre Foods are super huge and meaty but just to imagine how creepy and crawly spiders are is my major turn-off. I've been in situations where people ate donkeys, iguana, cow and goat brains. I've had the brains and they were good. I gladly declined the others.
     
  33. CityLites

    CityLites New Member

    For things that aren't totally overwhelming but still hold some amount of exoticism, I recommend liver. Goat liver/Lamb's liver is a delicacy, eaten throughout India, and is pretty tame if you like liver and onions in the US. As far as the various insects go; I guess if I thought about it people need to eat. However I'd never heard of people eating arthropods in India, learn something every day.
     
  34. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    As someone who has a lot of French friends, I don't see what is bizarre about frog legs. they are pretty tasty and all meat. I think they are a bit like rabbit or chicken. I would be interested to try them in India.
     
  35. arthnel

    arthnel Member

    All in all I know Indian food tastes perfectly well with their mix of seasonings and spices. I think I would be willing to try a great variety of food stuff done with Indian cooking skills. That does not mean I'm all the way bizarre yet. My lady friend is asking me about trying snake, but I'm not that adventurous outright.
     
  36. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    Snake is actually really good. It reminds me of alligator, which is a lot like chicken. But some really bizarre Indian foods are the insects, and cow urine. Cow urine has medicinal properties, and can be had fresh at the cow temples. I won't be trying it though.
     
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  37. djordjem87

    djordjem87 Member

    I think that there is no bizarre food. I was working as a chef for some time and have been involved in kitchen since my early age and I realized that only people are different and regions. The cultures and customs as well .What is bizarre and strange in my country, Serbia, for example it might be an everyday thing in Madagascar. It was a randomization to make a point. We do not eat grasshoppers and it would be something my people would do only for money. Not including enthusiasts like me. Some cuisines have these things roasted and eaten like chips.
     
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  38. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    Well, I mainly agree with you sentiment. Most foods are not a problem. But there are certain ones which are plainly ridiculous. For example, in Iceland, they have rotted fish, fermented and pickled whale blubber, and other fermented things. It is absolutely disgusting, and hard to eat if you are new to the cuisine. But it has a place, because they would have starved historically without these foods, a lot of which were from whales washed up dead on the shore.
     

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