AUTHOR: Julia TITLE: I've Been Defeated DATE: 1/23/2009 04:07:00 PM ----- BODY:
(Don't forget about the Celebration Peachy Mama Giveaway, now through January 29th. To put your name in the pot, simply leave a comment on any post between now and then. Winners will be announced on January 30th)

Before leaving on my trip, I had a lovely phone conversation with Diane from White on Rice Couple. She's Vietnamese and lives in southern California, has traveled back many times and is a huge foodie. Her insights gave me good background as I ate my way through the country.

In our conversation, she mentioned snails. Specifically, a street in Saigon that has a plethora of food stalls selling dishes of snails. I wasn't scared of snails... I had eaten them before in French restaurants, sauteed in butter with garlic and parsley. Escargot (French snails) are usually pretty small, about 1/2 inch. They have a mildly briny taste and firmly chewy texture. To me, they are more a vehicle for eating bread with garlic and butter.

I never found snail street, but looked for them every time I was in a restaurant. In Hanoi, at Quan An Ngon, I finally ordered snails. The couple sitting next to us romantically scooped out the meat, tilted their heads back and dangled them into their mouths.
When mine arrived, I tried to exude the same romance. The shells were huge, at least 2 inches. I wasn't able to pull them out as effortlessly, but nonetheless, popped the whole thing into my mouth. I bit into the first one and the juices burst in my mouth and trickled down my throat, making me gag a little and cough a lot. I tried again anyways. Oy. I couldn't do it. The flavor of the broth was nice with chilies, lemongrass and basil. But without a spoon or any bread to sop up the juices, I wasn't able to fully enjoy it.

So now on the list of things I've tried, but don't need to eat again:
1. Cow's Feet
2. Kidneys
3. Large Snails

What's on your list?


----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous noble pig DATE:1/23/2009 09:24:00 PM Cow's feet...okay that's on my ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger 3monstermama DATE:1/23/2009 10:07:00 PM While I've learned to eat tripe [at least when it shows up in pho] I still can't force down chittlins, or however you spell it. I've accidentally ordered it twice traveling in China and all but lost my cookies. Of course, as a mom who doesn't want to influence my kids food tastes, my distaste for such things is a big secret meaning when I've ordered the stuff, I've basically shorted myself food. Kidneys are on my list too. I tried them in France figuring it was the best place and nearly choked. I keep seeing them on menus in Chinese restaurants and just haven't gotten up the nerve. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) DATE:1/23/2009 11:10:00 PM Witchedy grubs. Had one in Australia, once a long time ago. Don't need to eat one ever again. Also durian. Really don't like it! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous white on rice couple DATE:1/24/2009 02:36:00 AM Ohhhh, you had the big apple snails. Don't worry, our really good foodie friend was defeated by these as well.

I should have mentioned to you to start with the smaller sea snails first. Oooops! :D

But that was an experience, huh? When we get together one day, I'll regain your confidence in these snails with a different variety. You'll love it!

I can't stomach snake wine. Just can't do it. Period. Gag. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener DATE:1/24/2009 09:22:00 AM Jello... wiggly and in psychedelic colors. Ugh!

Sylvie ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous we are never full DATE:1/24/2009 12:11:00 PM you crack me up. i give you credit for trying. i always hate when people automatically say the would hate somethign w/o trying but you're a trooper! i have a stomach of steal, so it takes alot of nastiness for me to be turned off. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:1/24/2009 01:16:00 PM Noble Pig, oddly, I have no problem (and rather enjoy) chicken feet.

3monstermama, I give you credit for trying kidney... and if you didn't like it in France, I think you're free and clear to swear it off.

Lydia, I've never heard of Witchedy grubs. I'll need to google that! You're right about Durian, I need to add that to my list.

WORC - Now you tell me.... I didn't try the snake wine, but did buy a bottle as a souvenir.

Sylvie -- you're too funny!

WANF -- I'm impressed! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger melissa DATE:1/25/2009 01:27:00 AM Good on you for trying them. I have that same attitude - at least TRY it. I got hubby that way too, thank god.

I don't know if I have anything quite like that. As much as I have shied away from lamb, I'm already considering making it again after a 6-month hiatus. Same with capers.

I guess it's hard for me to truly hate anything, though I'm sure something like snails or tripe will get me one of these days! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Blogger Julia DATE:1/25/2009 10:07:00 AM Melissa, I'm glad you're going to try lamb and capers again!

And I'm with you, I couldn't be with a man that wouldn't try things... that's why things never worked out with Fred Flintstone ( ) -- he was too much of a culinary cave man! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Anonymous DATE:1/25/2009 02:38:00 PM itfeet of any kind...kidney, not rinsed and not thoroughly cooked...cheese with maggots still living and crawling Is that enough..I'm fairly adventuresome,BUT there are some limtits ----- --------