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March 12, 2007

Foods That Make Your Children Cry: A Participatory Thread

Busy day today, so I'm off to do things and stuff. To keep you amused and occupied and possibly disturbed while I am away, I offer this participatory thread:

Foods that make your children cry. No, not like Brussels sprouts. We're talking foods that they will need therapy to get over. Like this:


"From the heart of the Shetlands, Shetland hearts."

Your turn. Keep it clean, if disturbing.

Posted by john at March 12, 2007 09:38 AM

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Jeff Hentosz | March 12, 2007 10:01 AM

Children? I think I need to hug somebody after that, dude.

Lis Carey | March 12, 2007 10:14 AM

That is just wrong. Very wrong. What'll it be next, dogs and cats?

You ain't gettin' my kitties.

Yanni | March 12, 2007 10:15 AM

Kapusta. The rancid smell wafting through the house as my father made it. The obvious pleasure he felt while consuming it. The threats that we would be forced to eat it should we continue to misbehave. That, my friend, was incentive enough to put us on our best manners for a week. Such a foul, disgusting food that no child should ever be forced to eat.

Amanda Downum | March 12, 2007 10:16 AM

Kitty Kabobs. I'm about to fire up the grill right now.

Ray | March 12, 2007 10:22 AM

So my roommate turned me on to yet another sausage. Austria is full of them. After I ate it he decided to tell me that the sausage was made from horse.
No joke.
Appartantly it is a Vienna specialty.

MisterStinky | March 12, 2007 10:26 AM

here are some more interesting foods, that are slightly disturbing. (warning the comments on the pictures are PG-13)


my personal favorite is the bum bum banana

Jennie | March 12, 2007 10:31 AM


Is this in any way related to the eel omlettes my father used to make? I forget the Danish term for this particular "delicacy"...

Jess Nevins | March 12, 2007 10:32 AM

"It's part of the circle of life, honey. When a puppy like Bun-Bun dies, we take the best part of him, the muscles and liver, and run them through the food processor, like this" grindwhirr "and then we've got a pate. We add a few spices, like so, and then spin the food processor again," grindwhirr "and now we've got a yummy food. Hungry?"

Steve Buchheit | March 12, 2007 10:34 AM

So *that's* what SPAM is made from. Well, it's all meat. Not exactly my style, but then neither is any "meat in a can" when I can get away from it.

Jeri | March 12, 2007 10:56 AM

I'm from Alaska, although moved to the Seattle area a couple years ago. A commonly available food up there is reindeer sausage. It's often served for breakfast, with eggs & toast.


"But do you recall.. the most famous reindeer of all.."

Rhiannon_s | March 12, 2007 11:05 AM

If you visit www.thailandunique.com they have a full range of edible insects, even edible insect ready meals apparently.

Lucy Kemnitzer | March 12, 2007 11:07 AM

I hate horsemeat growing up and there's nothing wrong with me . . . relating to that, anyways.

Yanni: I looked up kapusta, and I'm pretty sure my father made it now and then, only with canned mushrooms instead of portobellos. Only I don't recall any problem with it.

The staring eye of the whole fish, though . . .

JonathanMoeller | March 12, 2007 11:10 AM

Mr. & Mrs. Tenorman Chili, spiced lightly with the tears of unfathomable sadness.

Jim Wright | March 12, 2007 11:17 AM

I grew up on a ranch, after years of kicks, bites, stacking hay bales, straw dust, delivering foals, and mucking stalls the only way I like horses is on a bun, with pickles and ketchup.

Over the years I've eaten horse in Tunisia, pigeon pie and monkey on a stick in Morocco, cat in Spain (though that was an accident), eels and snails in France, eels and dog in Asia, and whale here in Alaska. But if you really want to make children cry, two words: puppy chow.

Yanni | March 12, 2007 11:26 AM


Every recipe is different. It's like there's no one type of borchsht. And my dad has some...interesting dietary restrictions, so he substituted and such. Trust me, for a five year old who didn't like chicken nuggets, kapusta was the worst of the worst. Closely followed by zucchini the size of baseball bats.

Kate | March 12, 2007 11:26 AM


You can't be knocking the traditional polish food that my grandfather makes every Christmas. Every man that my aunts have married who have been of a different nationality have lovingly referred to the dish as 'Kapoopsta' due to the lovely effect of cabbage.

That stuff is the bomb! *literally*

Jim Wright | March 12, 2007 11:26 AM

Jeri, hey I eat reindeer sausage on a regular basis. It's so common that I didn't even consider it unusual. We were just at Gwennie's in Anchorage last weekend, reindeer sausage and fried potatoes.

I've got a whole freezer full of moose and caribou (well, not full exactly, we've been eating it). So, yeah, for outsiders, eating Santa's reindeer might make the kids cry - but as you know here in a Alaska Santa best keep his deer outta my yard lest they end up in the freezer - with the kids helping package and wrap.

Jim | March 12, 2007 11:49 AM

Chipmunks roasting on an open fire, by Bob Rivers



On a side note if someone can post on how you get links to work properly on this blog I would appreciate it.

Annalee Flower Horne | March 12, 2007 11:51 AM

Scalzi, please dear dog tell me that's a photoshop job.

PS: has anyone made the obvious soilent green joke yet?

jess a. | March 12, 2007 11:51 AM

I really don't have anything to add (except that I remember more than one really awful fried bologna incident from my childhood)... I just appreciate the honesty & specificity of the featured photo food.

It takes a lot of guts to boldly declare not only that your product consists of "haunches, lips, and ovaries" of beloved animals, but that you take the time to select only the choicest cuts!

John Scalzi | March 12, 2007 11:52 AM

Soylent Green Beans!

Soylent Green Tea!

Yes, it's a Photoshop job.

jon | March 12, 2007 11:54 AM

Well, Timmy, it's been a lean month at the mill for good old dad. But the folks at Child Protection say we have to feed you. Unfortunately, all we have is the fixin's for Survivor Type stew.

So which leg don't you -really- need all that much?

Brian Greenberg | March 12, 2007 12:03 PM

Now, now - if you want food that makes kids cry, you can't beat Stuffed Derma. This line from the recipe says it all:

2. In a large bowl, mix together well the liver, lung (optional), ground beef, rice, coriander, salt, and pepper. Sew up one end of the intestine (derma) and stuff - not too tightly since the rice will expand. Sew up the opening.

Yup - liver, lung & beef all stuffed into a large intestine, then sliced & served. Quite the delicacy at Passover seders and such.

Personally, I've never gone near the stuff...

Omaha Lisa | March 12, 2007 12:12 PM

Alligator sausage. YUM!

I first tasted it in New Orleans at the Farmer's Market; it tasted just like regular sausage since it was about 50/50 mixed with pork and spices.

And while it didn't make my daughter cry, she did want to upchuck. But then, she had a touch of the flu anyway and seeing it on a stick while my son in law and I ate it probably was a bit much.

michael | March 12, 2007 12:16 PM

For the girls, "Bunny Burgers," ah, what a cute bunny, and tasty too!

For the boys, "Puppy Pattys," tastes like Old Yeller!

Because not only should the foods make them cry, they should introduce them sexist ad campaigns.


Tania | March 12, 2007 12:39 PM

I've had horse testicles, fresh from the foal. Long story...but the gist of it is, when you're a smart-ass 14 year-old, and you say "Yeah, why don't you cook those up for me", be prepared to follow through with your pronouncement.

Not bad, reminded me of chicken gizzard.

We always eat reindeer sausage at Christmas, it seems the respectful thing to do. Right now I have a freezer full of moose and only two adults in the house. I'm really tired of moose.

Oh, fun things to do as a kid - octopus sandwiches. Toast your bread, put condiment of choice on it, put the little octopi legs on the sandwich. Voila - tentacle sandwich. Perfect for that 6th grader that fantasizes about being an avatar of Cthulhu.

David Huff | March 12, 2007 12:50 PM

OK, how about Hobo Soup ? Mmmmm...made from real hobos! ;)

(actually it's a bean & vegetable soup that's quite good...)

John H | March 12, 2007 01:12 PM

Jim: To make a hyperlink work, you have to use <a href="{URL}">word or phrase</a>

For example, <a href="http://scalzi.com/whatever">click here</a> becomes click here...

John H | March 12, 2007 01:14 PM

Man, I'm so hungry I could eat a horse...

And now I can! Yay!!!

Ben | March 12, 2007 01:47 PM

I'm surprised no one mentioned haggis

not bad if you're hungry enough

John Scalzi | March 12, 2007 01:49 PM

I like haggis, actually. Had it in Scotland. It was fine.

Adam Rakunas | March 12, 2007 02:35 PM

Let's not forget the first time your mom serves rabbit. Right after you've just seen Bambi. My dad made Thumper jokes all through dinner.

Years later, I went to a wedding in St. Louis, and we went to a fabulous restaurant for the rehearsal dinner. I had Rabbit Wellington. Amazing. Wish I could remember the restaurant's name...

James | March 12, 2007 02:49 PM

I remember having lapin au moutarde in a French restaurant shortly after my brother and sister had read Watership Down. They were not impressed.

Come to think of it, I've had horse, escargots, chocolate-covered locusts (crunchy!), and various other foods that seem to give people pause.

My adopted daughter comes from a region where dog is a common food, but I was never offered it while in Guiyang. Lost opportunity.

theophylact | March 12, 2007 02:58 PM

Smorked beef rectum.

Nathan | March 12, 2007 03:00 PM

After dining on Pony Loaf, the proper desert is a refreshing tuna sorbet and a piping hot latte with steamed milk and grated garlic.


andrew | March 12, 2007 03:13 PM

Nigella make something called “Rudolph Pie”, that’s kind of shepherd’s pie (meat & veggies with a mashed potato top) made with venison—complete with a cherry in the middle for his nose—which I frankly think is hilarious but could easily make children weep.

has | March 12, 2007 03:24 PM


Ben | March 12, 2007 03:53 PM

I just remembered watching a video of a fish being pulled live from a tank, gutted, cooked and served on a plate while still gasping for breath.
Also frog sushi where people eat the still beating heart of the frog.

timelady | March 12, 2007 04:00 PM

kangaroo. we eat skippy (an old kids show about a roo) here in oz. aww, kids, eat the tasty cute lil roo.

i approve (even as a vego who doesnt eat any of that, i will feed it to the horde of carnivores). why? eat and farm the ntives. sheep are a damned MENACE to our environment, they just arent designed for it. roos are:)

eating the feral pigs and cmels and brumbies(wild feral horses) is just fine by me too. and those damned pest rabbits. the cats and dogs that are feral - cliniclly yes, emotionally, no...not with pets in the house:)

nisleib | March 12, 2007 04:04 PM

To Jerri and Jim Wright;

I too am from Alaska (I now live in Texas) and used to love reindeer sausage. The weidest thing I ever ate in Alaska was fish head stew. If you could get past the floating fish heads, however, it tasted really great.

The worst thing I ever ate in Alaska was Kraft Maccoroni and cheese with Spam added in. It was the middle of the Red run and we were running low on provisions.

Good times

Ben | March 12, 2007 04:16 PM

Found the frog


Nick Stump | March 12, 2007 04:21 PM

During my year long vacation in sunny Southeast Asia over thirty years ago, I spent a lot of time with some of the hill tribes around the Thai Laotian border. Let me tell you, I was forced to abandon food bias or go hungry. I ate snake on a stick, a soup made of whole minnows, a flying insect called the mangda, which you broke in half and ate the bottom half, (tasted like custard). I have eaten dog and cat, the latter an accident in an iffy taco stand in San Antonio in 1971, later busted for their choice of meat.

In Kentucky, (no Little Abner, or cousin sex jokes please) cow and pig testicles are considered a choice meal for some and others will not try it. Called "Lamb Fries" in most restaurants and mountain oysters by some wags, they are often served with cream gravy--a further insult, I think.

My father was a County Agricultural Agent and often performed this surgery and usually was given the testicles as payment. (I know--it's almost too much.) Knowing what was being fried, I would not eat them for years. But after a year in Vietnam eating snails and puppy dogs tails, I came home and ate the "lamb fries". My mother sliced them in 1/4 inch slices, made a tempura batter and fried them. She did not make the cream gravy. All I can say is they were delicious, though I think one would want to be assured of their freshness as one would with all organ meats. Not everyone has an ag agent Dad coming home with a bloody paper bag and a wild look in his eye--so check for freshness. They do not freeze well and do not have a long shelf life.

Leslie | March 12, 2007 04:50 PM

Looking for Nemo?

kirabug | March 12, 2007 05:04 PM

When I was a kid (around 6 or 7)I made the mistake of asking my dad to help me find a box to hold the rabbit I was raising for 4H so I could clean the hutch. He came out with the roasting pan. Instant tears (and my mother in the backround yelling that he'd better bleach it later).

A few years later I asked what the "mince" in mince meat pie was, and Dad launched into this long story of these tiny little furry creatures called minces, and their beautiful eyes and soft fur and how (bunny foo foo style) you'd murder them for the pie.... also instant tears.

Now I have no problems eating cute food. And rabbit is delicious.

claire | March 12, 2007 05:42 PM

Hmm, I don't think I cried, but it was definitely a bad idea when I was a kid to play with the lobsters before they were thrown in the pot.

Jim Wright | March 12, 2007 06:42 PM

nisleib: Yeah, I'm not a big fan of fish head stew, I'll eat it, but not if there's anything else in camp. But, Mac and Spam, I'm okay with that - twenty years in the military, to me spam is a food group.

Wil | March 12, 2007 07:01 PM

My daughter wasn't too fond of "Roast Leg of Katie."

Tania | March 12, 2007 07:28 PM

Ah, but moose nose... now that's a delicacy! Tastier than you think.

This has been our year for moose nose. I had Asian Braised Moose Nose a few months ago. Yum. A few weeks ago the husband went to an elder's birthday party down in Nenana, and gorged on Moose Nose Soup.

We usually talk about getting another piece of Bullwinkle out of the freezer.

What's up with the people from Alaska being here? Hmm. Odd.

Amanda J | March 12, 2007 07:47 PM

When I was little, I used to go down to the canal (salt water) behind my grandparents' house and catch crabs with a chicken leg suspended from a fishing pole, and a net. My father was quite proud of me until I made him let them go (I think he already had the water boiling).

As an adult, I visited Japan, and ate sushi with the gasping head of the flesh's former owner sitting in the case in front of me.

I'm not sure if that's a sign of maturity...

Doug Murray | March 12, 2007 07:57 PM

I dunno.

We sent the granddaughters some chocolate penguins for Valentine's Day. Word came back the four-year-old was running around saying something like "Let's pretend we're seals and bite their heads off!"

Now I'm crying.

Jeri | March 12, 2007 07:59 PM

As long as we're on an Alaska tangent...

The moose come out of the hills into town for the winter. Eating decorative shrubs and walking plowed roads is like the moose version of McDonalds for them.

This means that moose and moving cars often get into arguments. The cars win... barely... although they limp away from such encounters.

It's my understanding that Depts. of Fish and Game and Public Assistance work together. When fresh moose roadkill is reported, the next needy family on the list is given the opportunity to go pick it up & butcher it for personal meat consumption - at an average of 500# meat per moose.

I've never had any moose nose dishes though!

Nathan | March 12, 2007 08:03 PM

A couple of years ago, my girlfriend and I were visiting her family at the lake cabin in northern Minnesota and while not catching any fish, saw a school(?) of freshwater crayfish.

After much netting (and splashing and falling out of the boat), we decided we had enough for everyone to have an appetizer. I can now report that the freshwater version tastes NOTHING like those wonderful critters from saltwater.


Scorpio | March 12, 2007 08:10 PM

Puppyburger! A happy meal favorite.

Your other choices include Hamster Nuggets and Bunny Bites!

Chang, the real. | March 12, 2007 08:30 PM

I was gonna say Puppy Tacos.

Rabbit goes over poorly as a food in my house, too.

Puppy tacos. Mmmmm.

Soni | March 12, 2007 09:23 PM

I'm surprised no one has pointed to The Gallery of Regrettable Food, a site that reviews those old and truly dreadful 50's and 60's cookbooks.

I suggest starting with Meat, Meat, Meat or Knudsens Very Best. I was literally drooling and crying from uncontrollable laughter by the time I got through that last one. I think it was the pink sauce that mortally wounded me.

Riccardo | March 12, 2007 11:38 PM


"[...] cow testicles [...]"?

that must really be a very rare delicacy.

Sure you got your gender right?

Tania | March 13, 2007 12:19 AM

Jeri - It's true about roadkill moose. You sign up for the roadkill call list, usually with ADF&G or the the Wildlife Division of the Troopers. We were on it when I was kid, but I haven't been in that sort of economic situation since I've been an adult.

Essentially, you get a call and they tell you where you can go to get the moose carcass. If you can't make it, they call the next person on the list. Moose * Car = Burger + Car Crumbs.

Tolladay | March 13, 2007 12:20 AM

As a kid, we used to go out to the family ranch and help out on castration day.

And the proper term is steer testicles.

Tolladay | March 13, 2007 12:20 AM

As a kid, we used to go out to the family ranch and help out on castration day.

They make for good eating.

And the proper term is steer testicles.

John F. Opie | March 13, 2007 05:41 AM

Hi -

When my daughters were younger, before they became monstrous teenagers (but I repeat myself), both wanted house pets. My oldest has a severe allergy to animal hairs, so there was never a question of getting one, but my comments always elicited "Dad, you're gross!"

To the question of "How do you like hamsters" (or rabbits or anything similiar") I always answered in the form of a recipe.

Hamsters/guinea pigs are good in a salt crust, baked in a wood-fired oven, just like in Peru...

Rabbits are good in a red wine sauce, baked in a crockery pot in a hot oven...

White mice (pre-punk phase of daughter #1) are good sauteed as appetizers with hoisin sauce.

Cats are good prepared like rabbit...

Oddly enought, the question of a dog never came up, because they knew that I would categorically refuse to take it walkies, and that while getting up at 5 to take the dog for a walk might build character, skipping that and remaining warm and cozy took precedence. Major precedence.

Nonetheless, it took more than three years for them to stop asking the question.

And my dear wife went to South America with a girlfriend two years ago for trekking, and had hamster in Peru a number of times. She said it was very stringy and tough, but put that down to poor preparation, as the one time she had it baked in a salt crust it was very, very good.

ajay | March 13, 2007 07:07 AM

Mr Opie: Not to doubt your wife, but hamsters are native to Syria. In Peru they eat guinea pigs - is that perhaps what you are thinking of?

PJ O'Rourke wrote about eating in a Swedish restaurant where the starter was reindeer tongue. "What's that, Bambi? I can't understand a word you're saying."

Ginny | March 13, 2007 07:33 AM

Who needs to make up food when the real thing can be just as frightening?


Just get yourself a heapin' helpin' of rice engineered from human genes, and wonder aloud if eating a rice that contains human genes makes you a cannibal.

Can vegans eat rice engineered with human genes?

Skiriki | March 13, 2007 07:33 AM

Several dishes native to my country (Finland) seems to have US folks weeping whenever I describe them.

Horse in salami-like sausage, smoked, or roasted? Nice, especially sausage.

Cooked cow's tongue? (Or reindeer, moose or pork) Very, very nice; I cook it couple of times per year and feast like there's no tomorrow.

Reindeer, deer and moose? Delicious.

Testicles of various animals? Can do.

Then, of course, there are dishes like this: http://skiriki.livejournal.com/28285.html

This is based on sausage recipe (where I decided to skip the sausage skin and turn it into meat patties instead); it resembles British culinary treat of black pudding rather well.

We have a number of blood-based dishes: pancakes, soup, dumplings, sausage, bread... and for some reason those tend to be foods so many kids hate. (Fortunately, I do not.)

And liver casserole. Which, in my opinion, must be served with raisins in, or otherwise it isn't the real deal... and for some reason even my fellow countrymen are about to pummel me to death, apparently scarred by bad versions of this particular dish.

nisleib | March 13, 2007 07:52 AM

Scalzi does get a lot of Alaska love, I wonder why that is?

When I was a kid the Moose road kill was donated to the school and turned into lunch. Given the price of meat in Alaska I can't say I blame them.

What really surprised me was the things people eat in Texas that we Alaskan's never thought of eating. For instance the first time I saw a flounder in a supermarket I flipped. Who eats flounder? We used to throw them over the side by the thousands. They were a nuisance! Mussels, who eats mussels? They grew everywhere by the millions and I never knew they were edible until I moved to the lower forty eight.

Scott Baker | March 13, 2007 11:42 AM

My favorite meat is Miss Piggy's pork-chops. You have to hide the package from the kids, though, because the picture of Miss Piggy's smiling mug is on it.

One can also get a belly-full of Kermit-loaf or Fozzie's Rump Roast.

Alison Brendel | March 13, 2007 01:48 PM

I love this site for interesting recipes, some fun and just look gross and some are gross. I've made the kitty litter cake recipe a lot and its wonderful fun and tastes great. But some of the recipes are really disturbing; like the cow udder eclairs. Those words just should never share the same sentence like that.


Barbara | March 13, 2007 03:26 PM

Thing is, they'd eat this in France.

jdt | March 13, 2007 04:24 PM

Tania said: What's up with the people from Alaska being here? Hmm. Odd.

Aren't we, though? But I'm just here for the cat (for which I have no gastronomical intent, I assure you).

Marc Mielke | March 13, 2007 06:18 PM

I'm not certain it's traditional anywhere else, or if my Dad was making a theological joke at the expense of "The Lamb of God", but my family has a tradition of making a lamb roast for Easter.

Anyway, comes the year they want me to help make it and I gleefully tease my kid sister that it's "Mary's Little Lamb".

She kinda cried a bit, but the roast smelled so darn good she ate it anyway. I make a MEAN Lamb roast.

My co-worker relates a story about a pet rabbit that died, and his father cooked it up and told his kids: "Now, boys...if Mom asks you...it's CHICKEN. Got it?". He's also the guy who saw a deer just hanging about his property, and snuck up behind it and killed it with his bow.

Couple days later, his wife was all confused and a bit sad..."Honey, where's that little deer I was feeding?"

Ben Doom | March 14, 2007 06:28 PM

Coming to the party late, I'm surprised no one said:

Ketchup Green -- The "t" is Soylent!

Sam Mallett | March 15, 2007 12:31 PM

Remind me never to eat at your house again! Your just as bad as mom!

Jim Shepherd | March 16, 2007 10:46 AM

@Marc Mielke

Your comments remind me of my dad, who would invariably joke at Easter dinner that mom had "killed the easter bunny," despite the fact that she always served either chicken, pork loin or roast ham.

My recipe to make the kids (and adults) cry comes as a byproduct of my quest to create decent pulled pork barbecue. I suspect that this would make "Cut-Me-Own-Throat" Dibbler's eyes water.
I apologize in advance that it's not as disturbingly visceral as the entries above, however, barbecue fanatics may well experience vertiginous nausea that I don't actually slow cook or smoke the pork.

The setup:

I prepare the pulled pork in the following manner: Take 3 to 5 tenderloin cuts of pork and place in a large stock pot, cover the pork with lager beer (use a beer that you would otherwise drink, I know this is a subjective thing, I use a six pack of Rolling Rock in the long neck bottles, which is one of the few large production American Lagers that I find the least bit enjoyable, I'm mostly a ale/stout/porter/barley wine sort.)

If the beer doesn't completely cover the pork, add enough water to cover, or more beer. Put a lid on the pot, and put it in the refrigerator over night. The next day, place it on the range and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to a non-rolling boil and cook until meat is safe to eat, I use a temp probe for this, so I've never paid attention to the time required.

When the meat is done, fish it out of the pot, let it drain and cool a bit, and shred it with a fork. It should fall apart pretty easily at this point. Plate it and serve with your favorite sauce and sides. Yummy.

Now for the disturbing part, What's left in the pot becomes:

Pork Soda

Put the pot in the fridge. When the pork fat in the pot has congealed, remove it with a spoon and send it on to Emeril Lagasse.

Warm the mixture to room temp. and optionally run it through a strainer to filter out any floaty fatty meaty bits, if you don't like it "chunk style."

Charge with CO2 and bottle. Can be served warm or cold, or for the adults, used to make Pernod boilermakers. Enjoy!

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