Would you eat grilled centipedes? How about haggis? Would you wash down your meal with some wine fermented in a bottle with three poisonous snakes?
For me, the answer to the first two questions was “no.” When walking along an outdoor food court in Beijing, some Chinese men offered me what looked like a grilled centipede from a stick. I turned them down and they laughed. In Scotland, during a wonderful Burns Supper evening at a friend's home, I could not bring myself to eat the haggis. Sue did!
On a return trip to China, I was offered snake wine during a Li River cruise and, remembering my regret at not grabbing a centipede from the young Chinese guys and tossing it in my mouth, I (very reluctantly) ordered a glass. It tasted like whiskey, made my tongue numb, and I surprised the Chinese hosts who were used to being turned down. We all had some great laughs when I tried to speak.
When we lived in Scotland, friends visiting from the U.S. brought canned pumpkin so we could make pies for Thanksgiving. I took a pie to work; some of the Scots tried it, but others would not. In fact, they were repulsed by the idea.
I hope I can become a more adventurous eater when I travel. Perhaps a bit more wine before a meal might help.
What is your favorite food story from your travels?