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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Food and drink from the dark side's LiveJournal:

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    Thursday, November 13th, 2008
    11:15 am
    [names0fthedead]
    Hospital food reviewed.
    This is a bit off topic I guess and there's no pictures, but this food was truly disgusting.
    I have been ill and had to spend a few days in hospital, and the food was one of the worst things about the stay, just shocking. I tend to eat mostly vegetarian, although I am actually omnivorous. I just don't feel the need to eat tons of meat. Unfortunately all the veggie options were smothered in greasy cheese, which I hate more than I hate meat, so I ate processed meat way too often. On to the food...

    Ham Sandwich
    Ham was surprisingly ok, nice and thick and chewy, not the horrible wafer thin sort. There was far too much margarine and the bread was so stale it was curling at the edges. The salad on the side had been mistreated horribly too. The cucumber was completely dried out and shrunken. Tomato was ok, luckily the cut side faced down onto the plate so it was still juicy, and the salad leaves were yellowing and wilted.
    3/10.

    Shepherd's Pie & Broccoli
    The broccoli was actually crispy around the edges and the stalks were overcooked and mushy. I wonder how that was done? I have never been able to cook broccoli like that (luckily). The mashed potato was moulded into something resembling a decorative plaster ceiling moulding for some reason. It was very chewy and dense. Did not fall apart in the mouth at all. Also very dry. It was a lot like the instant mashed potato we were made to eat when I was a kid and on camping trips with the Brownies. The filling was also overcooked. The carrots and onions were falling to bits and the mince was leathery. The sauce was very thick and tasted exactly like reconstituted gravy granules where not enough water has been put in.
    2/10

    Sweet and sour chicken
    This looked very pale and anaemic. Soggy rice, dry chicken pieces, canned pineapple and pieces of pepper. Very pale sauce and not much of it, most of the moisture comes from the water left in the rice. The chicken resembles polystyrene pellets used for packaging fragile things, does not taste of anything. The pineapple is obviously canned but is still recognisable as pineapple. The peppers are bitter and slimy, and have obviously been frozen, that texture is unmistakeable. There are lumps of egg and dried chives in the rice. The sauce tastes roughly like sweet and sour sauce but very artificial. The whole thing is just bland. This is worse than the worst Chinese takeaway I've had and also worse than the cheapest sweet and sour microwave ready-meal I have had while too hung over to cook. Certainly a low point.
    1/10. It only gets the one as it was technically food and I had no ill effects.

    Cheese and tomato... thing
    I didn't eat this one. I lifted the lid off the plate to see orangey yellow glossy slime coating pasta and the horrible stench of the cheapest melted processed cheese. I refused to eat it and had grapes and crackers for my dinner instead.

    Saturday, July 26th, 2008
    10:18 pm
    [plushabilities]
    Pickled Eggplant
    About three weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting Mitsuwa Corp in Fort Lee, NJ. It's a large Japanese supermarket and food court originally built for the families of wealthy Japanese businessmen.

    Naturally, the store is very large, very clean, and somewhat expensive. But they do have everything, so its well worth the trip.



    I'm a big fan of Japanese pickles, so I nabbed a bag each of eggplant and cucumber tsukemono. Both were very vividly colored, the cuke being a bright green and the eggplant a shocking purple. I'd had the cucumber often before (it tastes like a salty pickle, wonderful), but I'd only ever had the eggplant in a bento.


    The eggplant wasn't much to look at besides the color. very dark on one side, purple on the other. Kind of wrinkly. Smelled faintly alcoholic, but not unpleasant, so I took a bite.

    The flavor was exactly what it was expected to be: briny, vinegary eggplant, very nice. However the texture was kind of awful, and the skin squeaked against my teeth with every bite. I dislike sharp, screechy noises, so the sound was more horrible than the mouthfeel.


    Latter, I had some more chopped up over steamed rice. No squeak, much better.


    Overall, 7/10
    Thursday, April 3rd, 2008
    12:30 am
    [foodtube]
    Fried scorpions
    Food - Deep-fried scorpions

    Location - Wangfujing night market, Beijing


    I've just spent six months in Beijing and trying the weird food at the night market seems to be the done thing, for tourists at least. Locals and resident foreigners avoid the place, as it's fair to say that it's an inauthentic, overexpensive tourist trap. Still, as a fan of unusual food you can't help but like the place. Whatever government official set the place up knew what he was doing. About thirty identical stalls stretch down one side of the road toward the forbidden city, each with it's own selection of snacks. Many are variations on the fried noodles and roujiamo themes, but a fair few also have the kind of thing I'm more interested in.
    One stall in particular had a nice selection of not-usually-considered-edible wildlife on skewers, some of it still alive.



    There were a few that didn't seem particularly special, and a few things I'd tried before, but the scorpions looked interesting.



    This friendly chap made a good performnce out of skewering and deep-frying poisonous insects. I wonder how you get a job like that.Do you have to have some kind of certificate? Is there a training course?



    After the frying it looked much the same - that is, not something you'd be particularly keen on puttng in your mouth. Scorpions are poisonous aren't they? And I'm afraid of them aren't I?
    Ah well, I've put worse in there.



    First impressions were not bad at all. A bit like fried chicken, with a thin, insect-y skin. Might as well finish it off.



    It didn't even have a bad aftertaste. The tail didn't look like it was supposed to be eaten, so I left that out.
    All-in-all fried scorpion is just a fairly pleasant oily street snack, if a bit of a expensive one. I'm assured that Chinese people don't really eat scorpions, they're just for tourists, but I don't see why not. If you can stomach the silkworms then why not these?

    Finally today we have a first for foodtube, a youtube video.



    As you can see, nothing wrong with eating scorpions.
    I'm off to Vietnam this month, so expect a few more unusual eats to come.
    Wednesday, December 19th, 2007
    2:43 am
    [foodtube]
    Bamboo Rat. Merry Christmas.
    Colourful Chinese name: Bamboo rat

    What it really is: Stir-fried dried rat bits with vegetables

    Location: Yangshuo, Guangxi, China




    Continued under the linkCollapse )
    Monday, June 4th, 2007
    10:01 am
    [zylpha]
    Hi! I'm new here, and i am a great lover of strange food. My food allergies force me to eat a lot of it =P Sorry i dont have my own pictures, but i'll make do with what i can find on the web until i find my stupid camera cord. Here is something i eat on a regular basis:

    [IMG]http://i9.tinypic.com/4xmnltw.jpg[/IMG]

    Tofu noodles! 

    The same brand i get even. To make them you just open up the bag and either heat up or boil. I prefer boiling them myelf, then adding sauce. 

    The flavor isnt quite that of regular noodles, it got more of a bland, flour-y taste. The texture can be best described as noodle-like rubber. They are chewy, but boiling helps.
    Friday, June 1st, 2007
    3:54 am
    [rodshark]
    Shrimp and Crab flavored snack chips
    New member, so I thought I would contribute with something I got for Christmas last year. Shrimp and Crab flavored snack chips. Here are the cans


    Odd Chips
    Odd Chips
    The Shrimp and Crab flavored chips I got for christmas from my brother



    As you can tell from the packages, they are imports that he got at an asian grocery store.

    Both types of chips had similar size, shape, and texture. Being shaped kinda like an earlobe the size of a half dollar with a slightly yellowish color to them. (sorry, don't have a picture of the actual chips themselves).

    Taste-wise, they were very unique. The shrimp ones had a rather spicy, slightly hot flavor to them. While the crab chips had a sweeter "fishy" taste to them.

    Texture-wise, they don't have quite the same mouth-feel of a potato chip (or crisp I guess you would say in the UK), but almost had the texture of a cheese/corn puff and a pork rind combined. A little crispy, but also rather puffy and airy.

    Since I can't smell I have no idea how they smell, but from what my family said, it kind of had a smell that was a cross between seafood and potato chips *lol*.

    Overall they were fairly tasty, but a little unusual. I give them a 6/10

    Current Mood: awake
    Thursday, May 31st, 2007
    11:00 pm
    [names0fthedead]
    unusual lollipop thing


    This is a lemon and lime flavoured sweet entirely encrusted in... chilli flakes. It was a gift from a friend from latin america, but I am not sure if people eat these for fun anywhere in the world. Maybe he was just messing with me.
    It's not too bad. The burning sensation with the lemon and lime kind of works, a bit like the vodka shots with tabasco in them. I couldn't finish it though.
    I think this would be nice with tequila. Or while drunk. Or both.
    7/10

    Monday, February 19th, 2007
    4:51 pm
    [foodtube]
    Snake Soup
    What it is: Snake Soup

    Location: Backstreet restaurant, Gongbei



    Review continues under the cutCollapse )
    Thursday, November 30th, 2006
    10:10 pm
    [foodtube]
    Tasty Crispy Silkworm
    Appealing Chinese name - "tasty crispy silkworm"

    What it really is - deep fried silkworm larvae

    Location - posh Beijing restaurant.




    Read more...Collapse )
    Wednesday, November 8th, 2006
    3:45 pm
    [foodtube]
    Good Doggy
    Unusually straightforward Chinese name - "dog meat hotpot"

    What it really is - a dog meat hotpot

    Location - Backstreet restaurant




    Read more...Collapse )
    Friday, October 27th, 2006
    10:56 pm
    [foodtube]
    "Three Duck Parts"
    Slightly misleading Chinese name - "three duck parts"

    What it really is - duck tongues, feet and shoulders in hot sauce

    Location - Hunan restaurant




    Read more...Collapse )
    Tuesday, October 17th, 2006
    10:36 pm
    [foodtube]
    Name - "balut"

    What it really is - boiled duck foetus

    Location - Samantha's house, Manila, Philippines




    Read more...Collapse )
    Saturday, October 7th, 2006
    6:25 pm
    [foodtube]
    Field Chicken
    Misleading Chinese name - "field chicken"

    What it really is - frogs. Lots of frogs.

    Location - Cheers restaurant




    full review hereCollapse )
    Tuesday, September 26th, 2006
    6:56 pm
    [foodtube]
    Misleading Chinese name - "phoenix claws"

    What they really are - chicken feet boiled in vinegar

    Location - Sichuan restaurant, Zhuhai, China




    Read more...Collapse )
    Tuesday, September 12th, 2006
    9:59 pm
    [names0fthedead]
    Dried Beancurd Spicy Flavour


    and the product itself:

    Chewy fake meat jerky like sticks of dried tofu.

    Nasty. Like meat flavoured Dairylea or chewing on pencil erasers. Sort of meaty, a lot savoury, a bit mushroomy, a bit oxo-y. Texture is just horrible.
    Rubbish.
    1/10
    9:49 pm
    [names0fthedead]
    Vegetarian 'Chicken' Nuggets
    More fake meat based on soya!

    The reccomended serving for these little buggers is 3 per person, which seems a little stingy since they are only small. Emptied onto a plate, they are small and whitish and lumpy. The cooking instructions were vague, saying just to bake or microwave them but not how long or on what heat. Flatmate Dan decided that 5 minutes on high in the microwave should do it, and 3 minutes or so in we were assaulted by a strong smell of chicken oxo cubes emanating from said oven. Opened the door and they were hissing and popping and seemed cooked, but man, did they look unappetising:

    Mmmmm. Pale lumps with a faint sheen of grease.
    They were chewy, with odd gristly bits I think might have been on purpose, but why anyone would want to recreate the texture of mechanically recovered chicken is beyond me. And as for the taste? Amazingly accurate! They were just like birds eye chicken dippers or mcdonalds nuggets without the crispy coatings. Seriously, coat these in breadcrubs and deep-fry the fuckers and you'd never know the difference.
    And as fot the warning of 3 per person? It's true, they are incredibly filling and gave Dan a tummy ache.
    Sad little balls of misery. Avoid. (unless you are a vegetarian or vegan who misses the worst kinds of junk food)
    2/10
    9:38 pm
    [names0fthedead]
    Tiger Skin Rainbow Roll

    It has no resemblance to tiger skin, either on the outside or on the inside, see?

    It came from the chiller cabinet of the chinese supermarket alongside the mochi and bean based desserts.
    It's got a marshmallowy texture, you know the one, the kind of cheap cake you had at birthday parties as a kid. It's sweet and... cakey to eat. I think the coloured bits are meant to have different flavours, the pink being strawberry, the green being pandan and the brown chocolate, but they actually taste identical. At least it looks interesting even if it doesn't taste it.
    Although something on the label captured Ben's attention and after a bit of research it transpired that this cake contains glycol; a type of antifreeze, and propylene; a hydrocarbon. Worrying, especially as there is a possibility that they are carcinogenic. Yes, I know everything gives you cancer these days, I'm just more disturbed by antifreeze being an inredient in cake.
    Um.
    3/10
    7:12 pm
    [names0fthedead]
    black pepper delicious dried beancurd

    This actually announces that it's made from genetically modified soybeans on the packaging. How... unusual. It looks like this:

    Oddly remeniscent of dried bits of skin on shrunken heads. I've had vegan jerky made from soy before and expected this to be similar, but it was easier to chew than I was expecting. About the texture of sultanas. It's sweet but still peppery, not bad. Makes your fingers greasy. It's ok, I suppose.

    5/10
    Wednesday, August 30th, 2006
    7:02 pm
    [names0fthedead]
    Natto
    I'd been interested by the idea of eating Natto ever since I saw it being cooked on Iron Chef and was basically horrified by what it looked like. Something that looks that grim has to be interesting, right?

    It's basically fermented (rotten) soybeans.

    Well, you ought to be careful what you wish for as a few days back, Ben got me some and presented me it for breakfast, as apparently that is how it is meant to be eaten. I think this was just sadistic, but anyhow...


    Natto in the bowl with the sachets of soy sauce and mustard you eat it with.
    The first thing I noticed about it was the smell. It was pungent, but I couldn't quite place what it reminded me of. I stirred in the contents of the sachets and UGH UGH UGH
    HOLY SHIT THE TEXTURE OF IT
    NO NO NOOOOO

    The picture does not fully illustrate the horror:

    The beans were coated with a thin mucusy looking substance that stretched into strands when you lifted the fork... it was EXACTLY like someone had sneezed into a bowl of beans.
    And then the smell hit me again. It was like particuluarly ripe socks. The sort that have been worn for a while and have to be softened up with a hammer to become wearable. The kind of socks you can imagine belonging to Lister from Red Dwarf or to my boyfriend if he has been cycling all day in hot weather.
    I ate some anyhow. I drew back my lips from my teeth so the mucus would not trail on me, took a deep breath and ate a forkful. And...
    ... it tasted ok. Just non-specific savoury, not bad or offensive at all.
    Surprising.

    I ate a bit more, then gave up. It really didn't taste all that bad, but gusts of the vile stench kept getting me, and I had to admit defeat and put it in the bin.

    And the next day I was washing up and noticed a foul, foul smell coming from the bin. Investigated, and found the source was the natto, which had ripened up considerably over the previous 24 hours and was now infecting the kitchen with it's reek.

    This stuff is a health hazard and I cannot understand why it is sold as food.

    1/10
    6:55 pm
    [names0fthedead]
    Reindeer Salami
    This looked interesting and it was pretty cheap. I like venison so I thought I'd like this, although I'd never had actual reindeer before.



    It was...
    just like normal salami. No difference at all unfortunately. Nice, but boring. Although it was cheaper than most salami and of equally nice flavour so I can't complain really. How disappointing.

    6/10
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