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Robert Rosenthal

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Repulsive-Sounding Foods (That Are Delicious)

Posted: 02/21/2012 5:05 pm

The very idea of ingesting the liver of a calf or chewing voluntarily on a cow's tongue seems to be sufficient in itself to qualify "liver" and "tongue" as repulsive sounding foods to some. I vehemently disagree with the premise, for I relish not only those parts, but also take delight in eating a platter of grilled chicken hearts and a portion of well sauteed cow's pancreas. And there's the rub, so to speak. The names alone of certain foods negatively affect how we perceive them regardless of their actual deliciousness. That's why euphemisms come in handy. Doesn't the name "sweetbreads" suggest something wonderful and tasty? However, the second it's explained that you're dining on a large mammal's thymus gland, not so much.

Here are 12 other foods that seem like they could be a one-way ticket to uncontrollable vomiting.

Oxtail
Sounds like ass meat. Then again, so do pork butt and rump roast. Great foods all, but how many gourmands do you know who would admit that they like to eat butt?

Blood Sausage
Sausage alone, no problem. We'll eat it anytime, prepared any way, in almost any dish. But once the sausage name is preceded by blood, then most people would rather give it than eat it.

Mung Beans
Again, beans alone are fine. But mung is a tad too close to dung. And no one wants that in their salad.

Funghi
Speaking of dung, funghi is the all-purpose Italian designation for mushrooms. Who couldn't go for some sauteed porcini right now? But associating food with fungus is unlikely to engender widespread popularity.

Frogs' Legs
Total. Delicacy. Yet a classic case of the unwillingness to suck the meat off the fragile bones of a slimy swamp creature that jumps from lily pad to lily pad while yelling ribbit.

Snails
Or, as the French call them, escargot. See, doesn't that seem better tasting already? And they are truly scrumptious, especially drenched in garlic butter. Yet when some people hear snails, they instantly translate it as slugs, or worse yet, worms. In which case, no amount of garlic butter can help.

Tripe
Again, forget what it actually is. It sounds like it refers to penis, as in, "hey, nice tripe." For the record, it's not. It's the rubbery stomach lining of cattle. I've had it, and must say that I prefer it to eating penis any day.

Jerky
Most folks do go for the dried beef product. And many also enjoy jerk -- or jerked -- chicken. It's just that "jerking" is such a pervasive pastime that its association to something edible seems downright distasteful.

Shark Fin, Turtle and Cock-A-Leekie Soups
Shark fin doesn't make your mouth water? Turtle, not your cup of soup? But cock-a-leekie really takes the cake as the most disgusting sounding warm liquid to come in a bowl.

Guinea Fowl
Sorry to say, but any dish whose name resembles a nasty epithet you'd hear on Jersey Shore loses its taste appeal.

Head Cheese
Yeah, sure. And while you're at it... pass the toe jam, smegma breath.

Haggis
Other than being Scotland's national dish, I'm not entirely sure what it is. But the name haggis just doesn't seem like something you would eat; it sounds more like a disease that features a mucous-y, hacking cough. ("Poor lad, he's a got a horrible case of the haggis.") Wait, let me look it up.

OK, just back from Wikipedia and here's what Haggis is: "a kind of savoury pudding containing sheep's heart, liver and lungs, minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal's stomach and simmered for approximately three hours. " Holy shit. I'll take the disease.

What other foods can you think of that sound as if they're going to taste disgusting?

 

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