More Foods That Shouldn't Exist: Balut, Beans, and Beef Tongue, Oh My

In Depth

Welcome back to Foods That Should Not Exist, our weekly series where Kitchenette goes on a deep, spiritual quest to eventually offend everyone in the entire world. Last week we checked Scandinavia and New England off that list, so let’s see who I can piss off this week, shall we?

Balut — Let’s put it this way: I can’t post a picture of Balut because I’m not 100% certain I wouldn’t be tried for war crimes if I did so. A street food common in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, Balut is made from fertilized duck eggs left in the sun for nine days to keep them warm. Those of you with an understanding of what happens to fertilized bird eggs when you keep them warm for over a week are running ahead of this saying, “wait, doesn’t that mean that—” YES. IT DOES. You’re supposed to eat a half-formed bird fetus straight out of the shell. No, I’m not exaggerating. Yes, this is real, and common, and it is somehow MORE horrifying than you’re imagining right now. I know you think you want to Google it, but trust me, you don’t want to Google it. No, no, stop typing, put down the Google, for the love of — aww, now see what you did? Good luck eating eggs for the rest of your life. Anyway, I’m pretty sure this is the signature dish at Cthulhu’s Diner. I give up on our species.

Falafel — Oh good, alternately crunchy and mushy spiced balls of apathy and spite. It could be worse, though; at least with the balled form of Falafel it’s not trying to replace meat in a sandwich like a fucking pretender to the throne. Falafel in a sandwich/wrap is the Joffrey of sandwiches/wraps. There’s just no possible way it isn’t horrifying. Yes, I fucking said it. Kitchenette: Making Enemies of Vegetarians and the Entire Middle East Since 2014.

Truffle Oil — It’s not Truffle Oil, it’s goddamned Snake Oil: there are no fucking truffles anywhere near it (unless you’re talking about natural Truffle Oil, which retails for like $90/ounce). If I eat Frankenberry and then poop into a box, it doesn’t become Strawberry Puree just because it’s pink and mushy. You’re welcome for that image, by the way.

Beef Tongue — If my food is capable of licking back, it makes me start to wonder if I’ve accidentally wandered into a Guillermo del Toro movie, and I struggle to see how that’s in any way appetizing.

Black Pudding — OK, first of all, England, stop calling things pudding when they aren’t pudding. You keep using that word; I do not think it means what you think it means. Second, there are certain parts of an animal you just really shouldn’t eat, and “congealed blood” is most of that list. Much like Balut and Hakarl, I have to wonder who the hell conceived of this atrocity in the first place. “Hey, let’s eat the splattery, copper-tasting fluid, that’ll be delicious.” — Said apparently one unbelievably starving guy, and everyone somehow ran with it. I don’t get you, England.

Baked Beans — This apparently has turned into the “screw England” edition of Foods That Should Not Exist. Look, Baked Beans taste like vomit. I’m not speaking hyperbolically — they have the taste, smell, and texture of something that emerges from your facehole after one too many Tequila Sunrises, only you’re sober enough that you remember your suffering the next day. I’ve never had Baked Beans on Toast, but it sounds like a crime against innocent Toast.

Fake Maple Syrup — What the fuck is this shit? It tastes like someone trawled the sewers of Candyland. It tastes like The Ghost of Pancakes Past masturbated into a plastic bottle. It tastes like the Sugar Plum Fairy’s casket. It tastes like Lucky the Leprechaun’s ball sweat. It tastes like Type II Diabetes. I should probably stop now.

Aspic — When my Mother was a kid, her parents were having some old friends over for dinner. My grandmother, who was of the Old Country, decided to make something special. She spent hours getting her signature dish ready, making sure it was exactly how she wanted it. When the friends came over and the lid was pulled off the dish, they discovered what amounted to a tuna fish Jell-O mold. I mention this because Aspic made possible this travesty against goodness and light. Also because my grandmother was a fucking horrific cook and I spent the first 20 years of my life thinking the words “home-cooked meal” were originally uttered by Torquemada…which probably explains a lot about this entire series, actually. Oh well, until next time.

Image via AP.

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