Thursday, August 23, 2012

Weird Foods I Never Knew I'd Like

At some point in my life, I've discovered that I liked a plethora of foods that I hadn't been exposed to as a child.  A goodly portion of these I've discovered since living in Montana.  Since I've been designated the one with the weird tastes by my sisters, I figured I'd share with you some of the odd, and really not so odd, foods I've discovered in Montana.

1.  Kohlrabi.  Kohlrabi looks remarkably like Sputnik, but tastes much better.  A member of the cabbage family, this plant has a bulb that you peel and saute with garlic.  Milder flavor than cabbage, but can be tough if grown too big.

2.  Morel mushrooms.  These mushrooms are yummy and have a honeycomb-like texture.  You have to cook them -- you can't eat them raw.

3.  Kale.  Not a weird vegetable, per se, but I never had this as a child.  If you don't cook it properly, it can taste bitter.  Best to blanch it first and then saute in a favorite dish.

4.  Box Elder Maple Syrup.  Woody and oh so good.  Use like regular maple syrup.

5.  Turkey eggs.  My first taste of a turkey egg was from my own bird.  I tried it because she was laying.  What a treat!  Now I know why turkey eggs are gourmet.

6.  Quail eggs.  In particular, pickled quail eggs.  Yep, this one is odd.  I really didn't know I would like pickled quail eggs, but I had a bunch and needed to do something with them.  I had an egg pickling recipe.  Normally this would sound awful, but I tried it and lo and behold, pickled quail eggs are the bomb. 

7.  Antelope.  I got hold of some ground antelope and discovered how good it was.  Like beef in lots of ways. 

8.  Goat meat (Chevon).  This was a natural progression from antelope.  Chevon is a lot like beef but is a bit like lamb without the lamb aftertaste. 

9.  Goat milk.  Lots of goat owners claim that goat's milk tastes nothing like the abomination that is sold in stores.  I took the risk and discovered that goat's milk is incredibly sweet and creamy without an aftertaste.  Most things I've read state that the goaty flavor happens when the milk is no longer fresh.

10.  African and Indian Spices.  I tried some spices that a restaurant was selling and was amazed at how good the flavors were. I've used them in cooking game and goat with remarkable results.

11.  Duck and goose eggs.  Not as good as chicken eggs, but great for baking.

12.  Arugula.  I had no idea this little spicy leaf was so darn good in salads.

13.  Dragon's Tongue beans.  These beans are green or whitish with purple stripes throughout.  Best beans in the world.

14.  Maple hot chocolate.  I can thank the local coffee shops for this decadent treat.

15.  Water Buffalo Cheese.  Yep, a local organic store suckered me into eating water buffalo cheese.  Darn good and mild.

I'm sure there are more foods that I've tried here that I love, but those are some of them.  I already ate venison and elk, so that was a no brainer.

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