Lobster Ice Cream: disgusting or delicious?

In an era of limitless ice cream flavors, including charcoal black ice cream, gorgonzola ice cream, and unicorn ice cream, “Ben and Bill’s Chocolate Emporium” is a must: the seaside institution, located in Bar Harbor, an island town that is home to beautiful Acadia National Park, Maine, has been serving vanilla scoops churned with real lobster meat since 1988. And, at the time, putting real seafood in ice cream was nothing short of extreme. According to company lore, the owners invented the flavor either to prove to a patron that…

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Goong Ten: the Dancing Shrimp of Thailand

In the Northeast Thailand region of Isaan along the Mekong River, local cooks often serve meat raw, doused in a spicy, salty, sour marinade of chili, fish sauce, and lime. People in this region have an affair with things that are prepared raw: beef, pork, shrimp, fish, and other meats that are cooked elsewhere in the world, here can be found in their naturally squirming or bloody form. However, street vendors sometimes take the uncooked element one step further, selling a dish known as Goong Ten ( กุ้งเต้น ), which…

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Yin and Yang Fish: a controversial dish that’s both dead and alive

Yin and Yang Fish is a controversial dish where the body of a fish is cooked, while the head is kept fresh. From fish that smells like a public toilet, to a cheese as hard as rock, or a fish-head-stuffed pie, the world is full of weird foods, but few dishes can be described as truly disturbing. Reportedly, it was invented in the early 2000s by a restauranteur in Chiayi City, Taiwan. Yin and Yang fish, also known as “dead and alive fish”, is definitely not a dish for the…

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Stargazy Pie, an English pastry dish with fish heads sticking out of it

When it comes to unusual and unappetizing-looking holiday dishes, there are few treats out there that can compete with the Stargazy Pie, a pie with fish heads protruding through its crust appearing to be gazing skyward. England is home to a variety of pies, from classics like apple pie and pork pie, to less known treats like steak and ale pie, or pot pie. But none of these pastry treats can compete with the popular Stargazy Pie, when it comes to wow factor. No matter how elaborate your pie design…

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Rakfisk: Norway’s notorious fermented trout is a tangy Christmas tradition.

The Rakfisk dates back to the ancient Scandinavian culturem when peoples needed to store food over a considerable period of time. The first record of rakfisk probably dates back to mid 1300’s. The dish is actually salted, fermented stored char or trout, and is now a popular dish around Christmas time. 400 tons of rakfisk is produced in Norway every year, mainly from farmed rainbow trout. The traditional Norwegian treat has such a strong smell that most diners chase it with a bracing shot of aquavit. Comparisons include also old…

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The fish dish that killed a King…

England’s King Henry I died aged 66 on this day, December 1, 1135 after eating what was described at the time as “a surfeit of lampreys”. Of course, his death must have been unpleasant, but nothing like as terrific as the process that his body went through. Lampreys are an eel-like fish whose mouth has a circular suction pad. They don’t have a jaw, but the adults have teeth and they seem they are horror movies creatures. Henry enjoyed them as a meal, even though his physicians warned against eating…

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Hongeo: South Korea’s stinkiest food that smells like a public restroom

Hongeo is a bizarre South Korean dish with a “pungent” aroma that most people describe as a mix of dirty public toilet and wet laundry left untended for days. Made from the so-called skate, a bottom-dwelling ray fish, Hongeo is considered by far South Korea’s (and probably not only) smelliest food. In any case, It’s so stinky that many South Koreans wouldn’t come near it, let alone put it in their mouths. However, its many fans can’t get enough and swear that once you get used to it, it’s impossible…

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Catemaco: the witchcraft capital of Mexico

We are in Catemaco, in eastern Mexico. Built on the shores of the eponymous lake, the town has a long history of fishing, even though nowadays, the town’s main economic activity is tourism. In the 1970s, tourism to Catemaco spiked massively owing to the fame of Gonzalo Aguirre, a renowned sorcerer who lived and practiced in the region. During his lifetime, Aguirre performed rituals for politicians, actors, and business leaders. He also organized a witchcraft convention that brought together the country’s top shamans for a black mass. After his death,…

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Salmon ATM – frozen in Norway, vended in Singapore!

Recently, in January 2019, a new ATM was unveiled in Singapore’s Wisteria shopping mall. Nothing strange, apparently. However, instead of cash, this machine dispenses 200-gram fillets of frozen salmon from the fjords of Norway and today, dozens of salmon ATMs dot the island city-state. Manish Kumar, founder and CEO of Norwegian Salmon Pte Ltd, declared that his goal is to make his beloved salmon available and afforbable to all. So, by cutting out the cost of storefronts, staff, and distributors, he’s able to sell his fillets for S$5.90 ($4.25). In…

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24# Feast of the Seven Fishes

On the night before Christmas, some people are preparing and decorating Christmas cookies, while others are readying a delicious roast beast for the oven. But for Italian-Americans, the traditional dinner can taste “a bit” fishy. This feast has no hard and fast rules, except one: seafood must be served! While the precise origins of the tradition are not clear, the Feast of the Seven Fishes, also referred to as “La Vigilia”, in italian, honors Italian-Catholic traditions of eating lean, or “magro”, in preparation for Christmas holiday feasting. Christmas Eve is…

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3# From the bathtub to the table: Christmas Eve Carp!

There are many ways to ensure your meal is fresh: first, you can grow it yourself, or you can buy it directly from the farm. Or you can take it home alive and let it swim in your bathtub! The latter method is a Christmas Eve carp tradition in Slovakia, Poland, and Czech Republic. For centuries, families throughout much of central Europe have relied on one simple main course for Christmas Eve dinner: the common carp, a symbol of good luck and classic meat-free meal for Christians. Strong Catholic traditions…

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The disappearing art of Smoked Fish in Grimsby – England~

The seaport of Grimsby, along the Lincolnshire coast of England, was once a very attended fishing port, and in the 1930s, there were nearly 80 smokehouses in the town. Inside, a jubilation a artisans hand-filleted and cold-smoked fresh cod and haddock in tall brick chimneys over smoldering sawdust. The finished product, smoky and salty to perfection, enriched delicious fishcakes and kedgerees across the nation. Back then Grimsby was the world’s busiest fishing port and its traditionally smoked fish was a source of local pride and countrywide enjoyment. Once caught, the…

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”The big fish” of Northern Ireland

We are in Northern Ireland, along the banks of the River Lagan in Donegall Quay, Belfast. “The Big Fish,” also known as “The Salmon of Knowledge” (Irish: bradán feasa), is a sculpture made from a mosaic of ceramic tiles representing a creature of the Irish mythology. The giant sculpture is based on a character from the tale “The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn”, which recounts the early adventures of Fionn mac Cumhaill, a mythical hunter-warrior of Irish mythology. The story tells of an ordinary salmon that eats nine hazelnuts that fell…

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Garum: the bizzarre sauce that tells the story of Ancient Rome.

Probably romans needed a recharge after a rousing chariot race, dining with at least one food seasoned with this popular fermented fish sauce known as garum. The original Roman Garum was not an appetizing condiment. Lets face it: to the average stomach of modern man, there can be few things more disgusting than the thought of a spatter of fermented fish guts over your roast, which is basically what garum was. Even for the entrails-loving Romans, the smell of garum during the process of fermentation was said to be so…

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Exclusive: the sad fate of the historic Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market.

The Japanese capital prepares itself for the 2020 Olympic Games, and the historic Tsukiji fish market is now closed forever. Following years of delays and plenty of controversy, Tokyo’s Tsukiji wholesale fish market, one of the city’s most popular destinations for tourists closed definitively its doors. A revolution that, it seems, did not like anyone, not because of passatism, but because of identity. Saturday 29 September 2018 was the last day of the largest and most famous fish market in the world. And from that day on, the public could…

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