Category: Mammal

Cheeseburger in a Can

cheeseburger in can
Canned Cheeseburger – Do you want fries with that?

Believe it or not, there is such thing as canned cheeseburgers.

An innovative Outdoor and adventure company called “Trek ‘N Eat,” who manufacture high-quality, freeze-dried specialty foods, have developed the words first cheeseburger in a can.

The following is an extract from their website: “Nothing could be easier to prepare: Just heat the can in a water bath, open the lid, and enjoy your delicious cheeseburger! Never before has it been easier to prepare a burger in the wilderness within such a short time.”

Sounds nice however the product photo on their website hardly resembles the soggy unappetizing looking thing shown on the left and various other websites.

Trek ‘N Eat also produce and extensive range of other unique adventure food goodies, from powdered wine to to vegetable risottos. Unfortunately their products are only available in Sweden or on-line so you may have to wait a while before it’s available at your local supermarket.

Horse and Llama Meat

Canned Horse Meat
Russian canned horse meat – Photo by SA_Steve

Believe it or not, in many non-English speaking countries, horse meat is considered a very healthy choice for a meal –even healthier than beef.  In Japan, chefs even make sashimi (raw, chilled, sliced meat) from horse meat and it is considered a delicacy.  It is sometimes served with a shiso leaf wrapper, and is sometimes prepared ‘BBQ’ style.  In Italy, a stew is regularly made from horse meat in the Veneto region.  Referred to as pastissada, the recipe includes paprika, wine and horse meat.

Some cultures serve horse mane as a dish.  In that case, you are not eating the horse’s hair, but rather the skin from beneath the hair.  In Belgium there are many different horse dishes to try, such as horse steak, horse meat tartar, horse sausage and smoked horse.  Horse is even served in France with fried potatoes and a side of foie gras.

People in Bolivia take it a step further by grinding up llama and serving it as a traditional dish.

Pickled Pigs Lips

pickled pigs lips
Jar of Pickled Pigs Lips

Pickled pig lips are a common food item in parts of southeast America, particularly Louisiana where pickling is ingrained into the local culture. Pickling pig meat has been in vogue in the Deep South for more than a century now. Economical picklers from past generations put to use previously disregarded meat products such as feet, lips and tails, and the idea of pickling them caught on. The pickled meat is usually eaten straight from the jar or used in salads, rice and bean dishes.

If that’s whet your appetite, you can pick up your very own jar of pigs lips here.

Eskimo Ice Cream (Alaska)

Eskimo Ice Cream
Eskimo Ice Cream – Photo by Jon Rowley

Eskimo ice cream may sound like a sweet treat, but traditionally speaking that is far from the truth.  Eskimos have been making this dish for a very long time, and it truly is their own unique take on ice cream.  Locals call this dish akutaq.  Eskimo ice cream is made from reindeer fat.  Fat taken from other animals such as moose or seal may be included in the mix.  For those who live in the more remote villages in Alaska, it really is dependent on what game is available.  Eskimo ice cream may also include dried salmon eggs, berries or fish.  It is cold and creamy, but due to the animal fat this dish will not taste like the ice cream you are likely familiar with.  The traditional version of this dish does not contain sugar or any sweeteners, but if you are a tourist in Alaska who wishes to try Eskimo ice cream you may be able to find a version that has some sweetener in it.

Haggis (Scotland)

Haggis Scotland

You may have heard someone joke about haggis before, but do you know what it is?  This dish comes from Scotland and is well-known to be a traditional and popular Scottish dish.  To prepare haggis, all you must do is take the lungs, heart and liver of a sheep and chop them up; and then mix them together with spices, onion and oatmeal.  After you’ve mixed it up well, pack it into a sheep’s stomach and tie the ends tightly.  Next, boil the final product in water for a few hours and voila!  You have freshly prepared haggis ready to eat.

If you’re hesitant to put something made of stomach into your stomach, you can always purchase haggis at a Scottish grocery or market.  Many of the less expensive brands use artificial casings rather than actual sheep stomachs.  But if you want to have the authentic experience, you can get real haggis complete with stomach from many pubs, hotels and bed and breakfasts.  At the yearly Burns Supper (a holiday in Scotland that celebrates the poet Robert Burns) haggis is usually served with an accompanying shot of Scotch whiskey.  Haggis is often compared to scrapple, and is said to have a similar taste and consistency.

Roasted Guinea Pigs (Peru)

Roasted Guinea Pigs
Roasted Guinea Pig – Photo by Phillie Casablanca

You have likely heard of at least one person with a guinea pig for a pet.  But did you know that in Peru guinea pigs are considered to be a delicacy?  Yes, Peruvian people eat guinea pigs.  Especially in the Andean region of Peru, these small furry creatures are roasted before they are served.  The dish is known by the name cuy chactado.

Guinea pigs that are destined to be cooked are grown much larger than those that are kept as pets.  Sometimes they are the main course, but more often they are an appetizer or a snack.  They are also included in the pachamanca, which is a meat banquet that involves many different types of meats like pork and beef along with various vegetables and herbs.  The mixture is prepared in an underground oven on top of hot stones.

Cavia prcellus has been an important part of Andean cuisine, culture and medicine for more than 40 centuries.  To this day, guinea pigs continue to be a vital source of protein for many in the region.

Rocky Mountain Oysters (US & Canada)

rocky mountain oysters
Rocky Mountain Oysters

Oysters do not seem like a strange dish, but rocky mountain oysters definitely are. That is because rocky mountain oysters are not seafood and they’re not actually oysters. They are the testicles of a boar, bull or buffalo that are deep fried for your dining pleasure. Also referred to as Prairie Oysters, rocky mountain oysters are a dish that is enjoyed and loved by many who live in certain regions of Canada and the United States, particularly those areas in which there is a lot of cattle ranching. To prepare the dish, the chef must peel the testicles and then boil them. Afterwards they are coated in flower and are then fried and served with cocktail sauce or ketchup.

Love Fatty Foods? Try Salo!

If you are someone who enjoys eating flavorful fatty foods for the fun of it, you should definitely give Salo a try.  This Ukrainian delicacy is made from pig fat, and that is all it is made from.  Unlike bacon, Salo does not have any meat on it.

ukrainian salo
Salo – a Ukrainian delicacy

Salo is prepared by removing fat from a butchered pig, and then treating it with a curing process involving various spices like garlic, pepper, paprika, and salt.  After it has been prepared for curing, the Salo is placed in a room to age for as much as a year or even longer.  In order for the Salo to cure properly, the room must be a low temperature and must not have much light.

If the Salo is not cured properly and is oxidized during the process, it is spoiled and will taste quite bitter and have a yellowish hue.  However, Ukranians are known for their resourcefulness and use spoiled Salo for various purposes including making their shoes and other clothing items repel water.

Those who live for Salo say that it tastes similar to bacon, but that bacon simply cannot live up to the mouthwatering one of a kind taste of Salo.  You can either eat Salo fresh and cold straightaway as soon as the curing process is over, or you can fry Salo like you would fry a slice of bacon.  Either way you choose to enjoy this dish, you are sure to have a one of a kind culinary experience!

Scrapple (USA)

Pork Mush—The Pennsylvania Treat

Pennsylvanian scrapple
Pennsylvanian scrapple

Unless you live in the Middle Atlantic states, you may have never had the dubious pleasure of breakfasting on scrapple—a fried slice of pork-mush. Often erroneously called Philadelphia Scrapple, it’s really a dish that originated in the Eastern Pennsylvania farmlands of German born settlers—far from the city of Brotherly Love.

It’s dictionary defined as “cornmeal mush made with the meat and broth of pork, seasoned with onions, spices and herbs and shaped into loaves for slicing and frying.” The word, scrapple originates from “scrap” or “scrappy” meaning made up of odds and ends for that’s exactly what it is—boiled, ground leftover pig scraps with cornmeal and spices thrown in. Scrapple lovers think of it as food for the gods. Anti-scrapplers consider it a culinary abomination. Continue reading