My top 5 worst food stories – from around the world!

Sorry, for not posting for a while, my laptop ceased to work and I have had to have it wiped clean…sob. Pictures will be a little sparse for a few days until I can get copies from my travel buddy…double sob!

The other day a colleague at work told me about how she found a beetle in her Indian takeaway;  we entered into a debate / competition about the strangest and most discussing food stories, this gave me an idea for a post: My top 5 worst food stories – from around the world! If you have any of your own please, let me know!

5 – Tongue

This story happened in London only 30 minutes from my home, whilst on a shopping trip to Oxford Street me and my ex took a little wander into Soho, short on cash after spending everything we physically possessed in Topshop, we decided to dine at a small Thai Restaurant / all you can eat buffet for £3.50. your probably thinking that this already sounds like a ridiculous idea because where the hell can you eat anything in London for that price – let alone an all you can eat buffet – and trust me at this buffet you can’t eat a lot…it’s gross. We pile our plates with nameless dishes, consisting of various unnamed meats in sauces, the sort of which I have never quite seen anything like, and tuck in. Our first thought was, what the hell meat is this, it was kind of… spongy, and chewy at the same time!  I asked the waitress what this dish was and was told “meat and sauce”. We left our plates still piled as high as ever and our stomach as empty. As we walked past the back of the restaurant we seen the delivery, boxes of meat left on the ground saying “Tongue” lots of them….well at least I found out what the mystery meat was!

4 – Rats

After a long day traveling over the boarder of Thailand into Cambodia we arrived at our guesthouse on a dirt track road about a 20 minute walk to the town of Siam Reap. Too tired to make the journey into town we decide to eat in the hotel restaurant. The food was…to put it nicely, vile, but that was not the issue. As I was tucking into my “steak” that did not taste of cow, but god only knows what! I heard a rustling in the bush. I knew what it was, but I tried to block it from my mind. Then there was rustling again, and all of a sudden I feel something brush past my leg…and it was furry! I take a closer look around the restaurant first I notice the droppings, then I notice about 10 rats, in the corners of the room, hiding behind the plants, and worst of all under my seat! I cannot even begin to describe how A) scared I was or B) disgusted I was. This time I really don’t ever want to truly know what my mystery meat was.

3 – Snake

Whilst traveling to Nha Trang in Vietnam I lost all of my money, bankcards and all documentation that a backpacker needs except thankfully my passport; I  ended up having to check into a rather nice hotel, outside of the tourist area, as it was the only place I could find that would let me stay by handing in my passport. I don’t think they understood that I had no money, as we were literally the only westerners there and the only word they seemed to understand was “Tab”. This was a strange hotel to me… it was lovely but the other guests consisted of wealthy Vietnamese locals and the Vietnamese army. With no money, we ate at the hotel’s restaurant on our tab, which was great except for one glaring problem – the menu was in Vietnamese, and the staff knew no English. With the menu being useless to me I said the only Vietnamese word I know for food and said “Po Bo” thinking that it meant beef noodle soup. Not sure if my pronunciation was way off, or if they just thought it would be funny, I found myself presented with a snakes head, cut open to reveal its brain filled with herbs and spices! I had tried snake before, but this time it had eyes! I sat for a moment staring at it then the waiter handed me some chop sticks, made the gesture for eat it then rubbed his belly – laughing. Mortified that I really was going to have to eat it, or face offending them and probably then not eat anything until my money situation was sorted out, I picked up a slice with my chop sticks and sampled a piece. In all honesty, apart from the texture it wasn’t all that bad, the flavors where nice but it was so spongy; I couldn’t quite get over the fact that I was actually eating from a snakes head, whilst its eyes glared at me. “uummm yummy” I said whilst rubbing my stomach, the waiter looked satisfied and left, I made my boyfriend eat the rest and had a very hungry next couple of days.

2 – Cockroach

In Sydney, Australia there is a takeaway called Indian Hut in the Kings Cross, they do the best chicken tikka wraps, when you are drunk it beats any kebab. For around three months I basically lived on these things until one day when I got one for dinned and bought it back to my hostel, I laid it down on the side for a moment to sort out my stuff when out pops a cockroach from inside the wrap, covered in chicken korma sauce, making a dash for freedom. Horrified that I had nearly eaten it and in a total panic I threw said tikka wrap out of the window, right in front of some poor woman. Rash? Probably, but I just needed that thing out of my room immediately, and I never did find that saucy cockroach!

1 – Ants

When I was 17 I went to Cabaret in Dominican Republic, my hotel had some of the most revolting food ever, everything was absolutely covered in fly’s and I starved for around a week before we decided to head into town and treat ourselves to some western food at the local Irish bar. I know, I know… you should always eat the local cuisine blah, blah, blah but I was 17 and it didn’t look very nice, so I didn’t. Well I should have because this Irish bar served me the worst thing I have ever eaten! I order a burger and side of onion rings, it all seems lovely and I’m munching away happily when I take a bite out of one of the onion rings, it tasted rather odd, on closer inspection there was no onion in my onion ring, but instead a bunch of ants. They seem to have battered and deep fried ants…then served them to me on a plate. I gag, spit out the ants that I haven’t already swallowed and call over the waiter. He takes them away and asks do I want more onion rings! WTF… NO I do not want any more of those disgusting insect rings! He brings the bill and not only still charges for the rings but whacks on a hefty 25% service charge for himself. With not enough money to pay due to the service charge I have to sit there whilst my boyfriend gets a taxi back to the hotel to get more money, to pay for this filth. I could understand if they were local and the couple of dollars was a large amount of money to them but it was run by Americans – who should surely know this is not acceptable.

I don’t want to put anyone off trying food in different countries, most of the time it is gorgeous especially in Asia, Thai street food is some of the best I’ve ever had these are just examples of when it goes wrong. What are your top 5 most vomit inducing food moments?

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5 thoughts on “My top 5 worst food stories – from around the world!

  1. I don’t mind tongue though I can’t eat a lot of it (I ended up chomping my way through a couple of giant sized tongues in a BBQ here in Cambodia) – but I’m with you on the cockroaches, no thanks at all.

    My grossest food experience? Fetal mice in honey in China or possible less disgusting to look at but by far worse tasting was a bowl of shark’s fin soup (also in China) which was presented to me by a generous billionaire. I had to get my business partner to drink the soup while he wasn’t looking.

  2. Love this post! Could totally relate to this, as I’ve had some similar experiences. Drank snake wine in Vietnam, munched on some bugs in other parts of Asia (crickets, maggots) and have definitely eaten various mystery meats.

    Worst thing I’ve found in a meal – an industrial sized staple in a chicken burger from a restaurant at home in Toronto!

  3. Pingback: Starvation (Part 1) | True Travelings

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