Four Foods That Shockingly Became Food

Food is usually readily recognizable as being something desirable to eat. Most food looks good, smells good, and tastes good. However, there are some foods that are so objectively nasty on first sight or smell that someone must have been truly desperate to try it in the first place. Let’s play a little guessing game and see if you can figure out each grotesquery out before it’s revealed.

King of the What Now?

Here’s a fruit that looks like an alien and smells like a baby with digestive problems took a poo in a homeless person’s armpit. Yet in Southeast Asia, this is known as the “king of fruits.” Sources say that it tastes like custard if you can make your way past the garbage dump smell, but I say it had better taste like heaven if I’m going to smell up my whole house for it. Hint: It doesn’t.


This monstrosity is known as . . . Durian. Stateside, your best bet at finding it might be in Ice Cream form, since it doesn’t travel too well.

Edible Disease

Does the phrase “tumor that grows on corn” make your mouth water? How about this food’s common alias, “corn smut”?

Yes, it’s true — a tumor. It’s a disease. And people eat it. Truthfully, it’s actually good in a quesadilla and it’s not dissimilar to a mushroom once cooked. But still. It’s a black, amorphous blob of sickness on a piece of corn. Which person first thought, “Hmm let me take a bite of that?”


(Photographer: Stuart Spivak ; Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License.

This tantalizing tumor is called . . . Huitlacoche.

I might add that huitlacoche basically means “raven poop,” so it’s not like it even had an appetizing name. Huitlacoche will never take off in the U.S. because producing it involves murdering corn . . . and then HOW WOULD WE MAKE OUR CORN SYRUP?!

New Meaning to the Phrase ‘Rot Gut’

Probably the foulest idea that someone ever had for something to eat, this fish dish takes something good and turns it into something perverted and wrong and then you’re supposed to eat it. First, you take a fresh fish and clean seawater and you throw the fish in it and let it sit for three days. Once the seawater has been thoroughly infused with rotting fish, you strain out the fish and put new fish in the seawater for about ten minutes, and then you eat it. So basically you are taking a lovely fish and saucing it with sewage water.

This long, unholy ritual will result in . . . Fafaru.

This Tahitian delight smells like death, and it tastes like death, although rumor has it there are other flavors underneath if you can choke down enough of it.

‘Eggs Any Style’ Taken Way Too Far

Okay, so you take an egg, usually a duck egg. But not the kind you’d normally eat–this is a fertilized egg, which means it’s essentially a duck fetus. It has veins. It may have a feather. The taste, I’m told, is like … well, duck. Duck liver. But you can get duck for that. You don’t have to chomp into a tiny monster.


This half-formed homunculus is known as . . . Balut.

Now I can understand how people may have eaten this once, accidentally. Someone’s starving, they go to eat an egg and … whoops! It’s halfway to a duck. But what I don’t get is how this becomes a regularly eaten food. You could just eat eggs! Somehow, getting a duck fetus in the Philippines is like grabbing a hot dog is here. Granted, a street hot dog could be a risky proposition . . . but next to an almost-duck? I’m almost feeling patriotic for that great American mechanically recovered meat.

(c) Osmosis Online, 2009. All rights reserved. For reprint information, please contact Editor [at] Osmosis-Online [dot] com.


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