As I've so often mentioned, I keep expanding my "foodie" horizons - there are a number of potentially questionable things I've tried, and nearly as many I enjoy. I am passionate for things I found disgusting 10 years ago; I want to try things I never could have imagined myself eating 5 years ago.
Not to say there isn't food I don't like or just won't eat. There are things I'm a bit squeamish about (such as insects). There are people I've known that limit their diet to mundane foods, say boxed mac & cheese dinners and take-out pizza, and I just can't fathom such a stiflingly trite gastronomical existence.
I also ponder a lot on what makes foods "gross," especially to (us) white Americans. It seems often that "gross" or "bizarre" foods have a sort of social stigma, a taboo...
Why is offal - the meat of the head, the liver, stomach, blood - disgusting, but the flesh of an animal is not? If organs by themselves are gross, why are processed meat products appetizing?
Why are certain animals regarded above others? Some cultures eat different animals: yak, cat, horse, goose, live shrimp, insects. Why are some of these animals considered unappealing or taboo, when consumption of others (cattle, chicken, live oysters) is culturally and personally acceptable?
All right, enough of that; some questions, I'd greatly appreciate anyone that takes the time to fill this out to the best of their ability. There's no right or wrong answers! And answer as long or short as you like!
(Also "food" includes drinks - so if you think buffalo milk or snake venom liquor is weird too...)
1a.) Are there any foodstuffs that are personally taboo to you; things you will not eat*? Are these decisions based on health, moral, cultural and/or religious factors? (*=I differentiate here from can't eat - i.e. foods one is allergic to, regardless of whether one finds said item disgusting or tasty.)
1b.) Conversely, are there any taboo foods for your health, moral, cultural and/or religious beliefs/practices that you DO eat? Why do you make exception(s) for these item(s)?
2.) What do you, personally, consider to be gross or strange food? Is it common for these foods to be considered unappetizing for your culture or social group(s)?
3.) Have you eaten any "gross" or "bizarre" food? What was it/were they? Did you consider the food gross when you ate it, or did you even know what it was when you first ate it? If you were duped or surprised, would have eaten the food willingly if you knew what it was beforehand?
4.) On the coattails of #3 - Have you ever eaten any "strange foodstuffs" that you thought you would not like (i.e. out of curiousity, or duped into trying)? Did you like it? If you enjoyed it, did it change your opinion of its "grossness?"
5.) In your opinion:
a.) What is the most unusual foodstuff(s) you have ever consumed? Did your opinion change after you ate it?
b.) What is the most unusual or disgusting foodstuff(s) you have ever heard of? Would you try it despite your feeling(s)?</big>
6.) Not necessarily relating to "gross!"
a.) What are your favourite foodstuff(s)?
b.) What is your least favourite - or most despised - foodstuff(s)?
To be fair, here are my own answers. Thank you so much to everyone who has responded so far!
I'll be out of town the rest of this week, so I shall respond to you all after that ♥