Girls Write Out
Thursday, February 24, 2011
I ate my first pansy today, and I have to tell you, from now on nobody's flower garden will be safe from me. Who knew nasturtiums, pansies, carnations and roses were edible? Mel and I had them in our salad tonight, along with sheep and goat cheese, mint leaves, spinach, olive oil, garlic, beef and chicken.

So please share with us: What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten? I'm not asking for the grossest or most disgusting like they do in those survivor shows. I mean what have you eaten that was very strange to you that may have turned out to be quite good? Or bad. You don't have to limit it to one thing, either. We've been sharing recipes this week, and let's continue.

For example, I've eaten octopus, dried squid, fried squid and eel and found all but the octopus delicious. The octopus was rubbery. I've eaten goat, haven't been able to make myself eat lamb, but when Mel did, I waited until he had it in his mouth and then said, "Ba-a-a-a-ah."

I've eaten dog food--the dry stuff, when I was a kid. I've eaten berries and fruits from trees when I didn't know what they were--but I was hungry and curious, and we were lost on a hike in Hawaii. Everything in Hawaii is delicious. Anyway, I didn't get sick.

I've convinced other people to eat things I wouldn't, like dirt. Okay, I was in first grade, and I got a paper cup and gathered the soft dirt--probably fertilizer and all--from beneath a newly planted tree, and I took it around to my school mates (note I didn't say friends) and convinced them it was good for them. You know, I could probably have made a good career in natural supplement sales, but since then I've grown a conscience, and wouldn't do that. Honestly. You can trust me now.

So when I say you can eat nasturtiums, you really can. I bought these at a health food store yesterday, ready to try something new. Do NOT eat oleander blooms. I grew up in a home with an oleander hedge, and was warned they were poisonous. I've never actually used it as a poison in a book yet because I set my books in Missouri, and we don't have them here. If you live in California, you might give it a try.

Mel is still wanting to taste a pansy. I ate the only one in the package. So now I'll have to go buy more.

Share, girls. What weird, exotic, interesting, fun foods have you eaten in your life?

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Hannah Alexander  
posted at 8:30 PM  
  Comments (16)
Delicious Delicious
At 11:45 PM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Living in Japan and Turkey--and traveling many other places--I've had my share of interesting, exotic foods and drinks. Worst? Fermented mare's milk in Kyrgyzstan. Best? Loved eel in Japan. (Squid, not so much. You're right--octopus is rubbery.) Yummy, buttery-garlic snails in France. Fondue in Switzerland. A wonderful chocolate drink in Spain. Yum!

At 12:47 AM, Blogger Ruthie said...

The most unusual food I've eaten is fried alligator tail. It was cooked very well so it was chewy-tender and tasted like slightly gamey chicken. If it had been overcooked, it would have been really tough. I've also eaten abalone, squid, clams...belly and all, though I could do without the belly portion. I didn't like eel or rattlesnake so just had a bite of each. I think I'll just settle for a good old American burger! LOL

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

I love edible flowers. One of my favorites is Fiddleheads. Those are ferns when they first peek out of the ground. They're rare and delicious! I first tried those when living in upstate NY.

I love lamb, but I was raised eating it. My mom loved it too. So we have lamb often.

The weirdest thing I've eaten was a fish head. You don't eat the whole thing, It was cooked and had a wonderful sweet & sour sauce over it. You pick out the meat from small pockets.

We used to go to a Sushi bar near our home in SoCal. We went so often the owner started to give us different dishes to try without charging us.

The fish head was very rich. I liked it, but I doubt I'll ever order it.

At 12:08 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oh, Pam, tell us what the mare's milk really tasted like! Was it like buttermilk? I love buttermilk. Can't do snails. Did them, swallowed them with the garlic butter, just couldn't get past the thought of them. I'm a wimp. What kind of fondue? How fun that must have been.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Ruthie, when did you eat the alligator? I think we had it at Hemingway's in Bass Pro. Never had rattlesnake. Did have abalone and used to eat fried clams. My favorite food is king crab, but we don't get that often because it's so expensive. I love tasting new things, don't you?

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Ane, I love sushi, but I prefer the cooked meat sushi, though I will, on occasion, eat raw. My favorite is salmon egg. And to think we used to fish with them when I was growing up in...SoCal. We didn't have sushi in CA, though. We didn't try weird foods when I was growing up, but I can remember where I was when I ate my first steak that wasn't country fried, my first chinese food, my first crab legs. I'd love to try fiddleheads!

At 2:47 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

A turtle burger in the Caymans. I was a teenager and brave.

At 3:08 PM, OpenID Tina said...

I've eaten rattlesnake and frog legs. The snake was at a restaurant at the Grand Canyon and I thought it was very bony. The frog legs, I sheepishly admit, were fried up by my dad who had to show us what the older people used to eat as a treat a long time ago. They were pretty good!

At 3:32 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Kristin, I've never had my knowledge. As a teen, I'd have tried it, too. We were braver as teens, weren't we?

At 3:34 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oh, Tina, that reminded me that I've also eaten frog legs. And I really did think they tasted like chicken. Now, I've had ostrich, which tastes nothing like chicken. I hated it both times I've tried it.

I'd love to know where you were at the Grand Canyon. I thought I'd been to every restaurant at the Grand Canyon, but I haven't been there in years.

My father fried up something when I was a teenager that I didn't have the nerve to eat. Okay, I may have tasted it on a dare, but they stunk when he was frying them. Ever had mountain oysters? I was pretty freaked about that.

At 3:37 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Pansy. Oh my. LOL I've eaten rattlesnake, poi, fried dandelion heads (taste just like mushrooms!) frog legs and snails. I like trying new things.

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Colleen, did you like the poi? I didn't like it mashed, but isn't it taro root? I love taro chips. The dandelion heads sound wonderful, and our yard is filled with them in the spring. That's the next thing I'm trying.
Yes, the pansies were good. Altogether in a salad, all the flowers I ate were delicious.

At 6:37 PM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Fermented mare's milk tastes like, um, ...well, it's pretty awful. Like bar-b-que sauce mixed with horse droppings. It smells bad, too. I drank it politely (so I wouldn't offend the host)--without making a face or saying a word. :)

The fondue was a yummy cheese served with crusty bread. It was incredible.

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Okay then, Pam, you have my everlasting admiration. And I will never travel to Kyrgystan for any reason whatsoever. Ugh.

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Pam S. said...

You can travel there, just don't drink the mare's milk! :)

At 6:54 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

That's the best advice I've had in a long time.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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