A great deal of the fun of travel is eating different foods. Maybe foods you never dreamt you’d try or it would never occur to you to eat. Animal, vegetable or fruit, trying new things is, in my opinion, critical to staying happy in life. And what better way to experience another culture than to eat what they do? So here, in this entry, which I will update regularly, I will keep an ongoing list of interesting things I’ve eaten and how I liked them.
Frog, roasted – I think we all know what frog is. It’s green, it jumps, it eats bugs. And eating it roasted, it tasted a little bit like a cross between rabbit and fish. It was a little tough, like rabbit, but had a smooth texture like fish. It was absolutely delicious, though it had lots of tiny bones and required a little bit of work.
Manioc – Manioc is basically a white yam, and it is a hugely popular crop in Asia. The manioc we tasted had been cooked in what we assume was coconut milk, so it was very creamy and rich. It was also very filling, like potatoes are. Loved it.
Fish-flavored tortilla (?) – One of the more interesting street foods I have ever eaten. In Dalat, we were encouraged to buy it from an older woman cooking on a grill. We initially thought it was the Vietnamese version of a quesadilla. She wrapped it up in a piece of scrap paper from a local hotel and gave it to us. Once we took a bite, we discovered that it lacked cheese, and instead tasted like toasted fish skin. There was no evidence of actual fish skin, but basically, that was the texture. Still not quite sure what it was.
Dragon fruit – At breakfast in Mui Ne, we were given a slice of dragonfruit, which has a red skin and a white flesh dotted with black seeds that look like poppy seeds. It is sweet with a texture somewhere between a watermelon and a banana. Definitely worth a try.
Jack fruit – It grows on a tree and looks like a small pineapple. The little sections are individual pieces of fruit, each with a huge nut inside of it. The yellow flesh of the fruit is sweet and tropical-tasting, kind of like a chewy mango. Delightful.
Roasted squid – We bought 12 skewers with squid on the beach in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. It was what you would imagine squid would taste like, but the roasting on the little charcoal grill she had made the outside caramelize a little bit. She served it with a chili pepper sauce that was a good compliment to the mild squid meat. Yum.