daily post challenge #205: what food entices me…yet i’m afraid to try

At the Big Pineapple

Image by yewenyi via Flickr

When I was in high school, a friend started pushing insects and frogs legs. Not like she was pushing dope or anything. Though I wouldn’t know the difference, since I’ve never been in the latter situation. But my girlfriend seemed an expert on the latest trend. Living on Maui in the 50s and 60s, who knew what the fad-of-the-day was anywhere else in the world. In those days I longed to get off the “rock.” Even moving to Honolulu was something I longed to do…the excitement of the big city, and all that went along. And it was nothing, nothing like it is today. But compared to life on Maui, Honolulu represented the “Big Pineapple.”

My girlfriend may have gotten the delicacies from family in the Orient. She was an only child of first generation Japanese parents. I know they ate very traditional dishes, prepared by her mom. I never ate with her family, and I’m sure if I did I wouldn’t have been overly appreciative. My taste buds were nowhere as developed then, as they are now.

My mom use to trawl the muddy, water habitats where taro leaves grew, taro being the root from which the Hawaiian staple, poi, is made. What she was looking for were large snails, called “pupus.” They might’ve been related to the French escargot. Upon getting her catch home, my mom would boil the snails in salted water, probably a couple of times to rid them of the grit and grime in which they crawled. 

As the shelled slugs boiled, the whole house stunk, the smell making me sick to my stomach. I’m not sure if my siblings relished eating them as my mom did. Watching her stick the sharp end of a safety pin into the opening of the snail’s shell and drag its dead body out, popping it into her mouth, would make me cringe backwards in revulsion. But now anytime there’s escargot on the menu, I’m up for the tasty treat. Who’d a thunk?   

frogs' legs

Image via Wikipedia

But I must say I was most definitely intrigued by my school friend’s offerings of chocolate-covered ants and grasshoppers. After all to a kid, chocolate is chocolate, insects or no. And frogs legs, fried to a crisp, which my friend kept wrapped like the delicacies that they were…in white tissue paper, looked irresistible. My friend said they tasted just like chicken. My mom once told me that about eating rabbit. She lied. To me, eating a bunny was gross, and the taste to me was weird, not the least like chicken. 

Others tried the edibles on a dare. You’d think I’d have tried them since they’d be a change from the canned food I usually ate. But no thank you. The thought of eating ants which I was inclined to squish with bare feet, and grasshoppers that I’d watch sitting on a leaf for what seemed ages, and frogs that I’d hunt down in cane fields and nearby murky ponds for biology class experiments, was repulsive to say the least. In my childish way of thinking, I imagined these critters would merely resume life as they knew it…in my innards. And as far as I was concerned there was definitely “no room in the inn…period!”

Chocolate Covered Ant Cupcakes

Image by Photos o' Randomness via Flickr

In college I again encountered chocolate covered insects. A friend with whom I worked at the University of Hawaii Bookstore, brought in a box she’d purchased at a fancy department store. I was sorely tempted to sample what I thought I might have missed as an inexperienced, young teen. But my second encounter with cooked bugs was no different from my first. In truth…I knew I was still a chicken when it came to swallowing things i don’t even want crawling around inside my house…

let alone have them making themselves comfy cozy…inside my body…pawk, pawk…ribbet, ribbet………hugmamma. 

grasshopper-1

Image by musical photo man via Flickr

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21 thoughts on “daily post challenge #205: what food entices me…yet i’m afraid to try

  1. Pingback: Thanks for the inspiration Hugmamma « Chittle Chattle

  2. I don’t blame you in the least! My father used to eat pig’s feet and lamb’s tongue and we would NEVER try it. I don’t care what quality the chocolate is, if it covers an insect I won’t eat it. 🙂

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    • An old Chinese man who lived near us use to make pigs feet and turtle soup which he’d share with my mom. I’d either go and get it with her, or go alone. Just smelling either dish made me gag. Needless to say I didn’t partake…

      so glad to know i wasn’t the only finicky one…thanks for visiting and commenting…really appreciate it… 🙂

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    • You know my husband ate raw oysters on one of our first dates. Not sure if he was trying to show how sophisticated he was. Ended up he excused himself, exited the restaurant and threw up. Felt really badly for him. Since then, I’ve never been inclined to swallow the slithery suckers. I have since had them in Oysters Rockefeller. Now that was enjoyable… 🙂

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  3. Your first photoraph prompts me to offer some unsolicited advice about…pineapple.
    And please forgive me if you already know this. The best way to prepare really sweet, fresh pineapple is let it stand UPSIDE DOWN for 24 hours before slicing it. I guarantee you 100 percent success. A grocer taught my wife that trick, and it has never failed to produce really sweet, succulent pineapple. None of that fibrous, sour stuff anymore.

    No one we’ve told has heard of this trick, but I would not be surprised, Mamma, if you have. You are after all, Hawaiian. 🙂

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    • You’d be surprised how much this Hawaiian doesn’t know. ha, ha. And true to form, I’d never heard about this tip. I will definitely store it away in my brain, and let everyone else know about it as well. Will probably feature it in a post that I plan to write about your blog, encouraging readers to check out your photos and your writing. I’m a big fan…others should be too…and they will, if I can be of help. 🙂

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        • Words sincerely meant…and genuinely deserved… 😉

          BTW…my husband is a non-believer. He asks how do you know the pineapple is not already sweet before you turn it upside down? I couldn’t answer him. You’re a guy, maybe you’ll provide an answer he’ll accept. In our 41 years of marriage, we always seem to disagree about the trivial things in life. I’ll say something is blue; he’ll say it’s pink. Thank goodness we agree on the really important things. 🙂

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          • Ahhh. The incurable Non-Believer! A true cynic, like me.

            Well, I could say the consistency, something us scisentist call, “precision”, is so far beyond 2 standard deviations from the mean as to be inarguable and far outstrip coincidence, BUT…

            I could simply recommend a side-by-side trial. Tell him not to take my word for it (he doesn’t anyway). Buy TWO pineapples and perform the experiment yourself. Turn one on its “head” for 24 hours and leave the other standing per usual. Cut ’em up and eat.

            Let me know what happens.

            🙂

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            • Great response! Will perform test…but that’s a lot of pineapple to down…especially for Hawaiians. ha, ha. And by the way…I’m usually the cynic… 🙂 Will advise the outcome…can’t wait to try. ha, ha. 🙂

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    • I love, love, love your sense of fun. You always get me…to the nth degree. 🙂 And I can’t wait to giggle. Heck! I promise to be rolling around on the ground…in uncontrollable laughter. Silly old me…the older I get! ha, ha. 🙂

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    • I sometimes think those who can stomach eating bugs would fare much better than me should armageddon come. But I guess I could get use to anything…if I had to…yuck!!! 😉

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    • Ha, ha! I can pciture your grimacing while reading the post. Good to know I’m not the only one with the weak stomach when it comes to chomping into ants, grasshoppers and frogs legs. Even the thought makes me squeamish all over again. 🙂

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  4. Hugmamma if you have a few extra minutes and don’t mind answering, what food have you always wanted to try, gave it a whirl and then it was a food you craved and loved? Other than the escargot. For me believe it or not, I hated pizza as a kid and didn’t find it worth eating till highschool and now I could live on it plus any kind of potato fixed any old way and cold pasta eaten at the open refrigerator door with a fork and a smile 🙂

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    • I’ll really have to think about this. I guess I learned to like liver, but not love it. And because of my high cholesterol, I don’t think eating liver is a good idea now. My mom use to eat tripe. Didn’t like it then…don’t like the thought of it now. Am not a great fish eater…ate too much of it as a child. I guess the short answer is…I love to eat almost everything. What I do crave as I’m getting older is food I remember loving as a child, even if we weren’t able to have lots of it because we were poor…like stews, chili, meatloaf, hamburger niblets, spaghetti, canned corned beef and onions or canned corned beef and cabbage. Did I even answer your question? Ha, ha. I tend to run on… 🙂

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hugs for sharing some brief thoughts...and keeping them positive

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