What is the strangest or most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten, and where were you at the time?

This month, Good News Wants to Know… What is the strangest or most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten, and where were you at the time?

Karen Granger

While on our honeymoon in Napa Valley, I told a server at a stunning restaurant to bring me the absolute best thing on the menu. He brought me one of the best meals I’ve ever had! Later I found out I ate “sweetbreads” and just about passed out when I learned what sweetbreads are… that is the thymus or pancreas of a calf or lamb!

Karen Granger, Director of Community Relations, 4KIDS Palm Beach


William C. Davell

Other than a goldfish during rush for the fraternity, squid, which is a delicacy eaten in the Greek islands on the Mediterranean. I can honestly say that I’m not into “exotic” and neither of these changed my mind.

William C. Davell, Director, Tripp Scott


Bill Tolia

I’ve travelled extensively through Africa and SE Asia and oftentimes been invited to dinner. I learned early on when it comes to food, if you don’t want to know the answer, don’t ask the question.

Bill Tolia, President, BrightStar Care


Bob Denison

I got to spend time In Libera a bunch of years ago. Rule #1: eat what’s in front of you. A few nights in we were served a warm and salty stew. About two bites in, Pastor Doug told us it was monkey soup. To this day I have absolutely no idea if he was being serious. Also, I broke Rule #1 that night.

Bob Denison, President, Denison Yachting


Brian Mudd

I entered a radio morning show’s pickle eating contest thinking that it might lead to my big break (which it actually did!). We were all handed a jar of pickles and told to eat as many as we could in 60 seconds. Determined to win, I polished them all off, but because someone else was doing the same I drank the juice in the jar too. Pickles may not be strange, but the way I felt for the next three days certainly was.

Brian Mudd, Program Director \ Host of The Brian Mudd Show, iHeartMedia


Char Talmadge

The most exotic thing I have eaten is pigeon pie. I was in the 1200 year old medina in Fez, Moracco. We went to dinner with a local who asked if he might place the order for us. I said yes! It was delicious. I am sure I would have never ordered it myself.

Char Talmadge, Executive Director, Rescue Upstream


Chip LaMarca

Growing up I never had the opportunity to eat sushi but tried it first in college in Boston. I also thought that escargot (snails) and octopus were exotic, until I tried them. The one thing that I have eaten that stands out is sweetbread, which is made up of the throat, gullet or pancreas.

Chip LaMarca, State Representative, Florida House District 100


Christopher C. Simpson

While living in Colombia, my team from the Ecuadoran border region invited me to a “BBQ.” It is always fun to spend the day with “the boys,” but this time, they served up Cuy, aka Guinea Pig. Good times!

Christopher C. Simpson, President and CEO, CBMC International


H. Collins Forman, Jr., P.A.

That’s an easy question for me. The most exotic things I have ever eaten were DOG in Sapa, North Viet Nam in 2013 and whale as a boy in Cape Cod (before they were put on the endangered species list). Neither of them was very appetizing! I’ll stick to stone crabs and tenderloins if I have my choice!

H. Collins Forman, Jr., P.A.


Craig D. Huston

I have two foods that stand out as the most “exotic.” The first would be glass eels eaten in Cascais, Portugal, and the second, fresh cloudberries (not lingonberries) with ice cream topping off a reindeer dinner in Stockholm, Sweden. Both were amazing. I did a hard pass on barnacles in Portugal but wish I had tried them.

Craig D. Huston, Summit Achievers


Deborah Cusick

The most disgusting thing I ever ate was when I was in a fine restaurant in Mexico City while recruiting students from the Universidad de Valle de Mexico to enroll in courses I helped design and taught at Lynn University. The teachers who were treating me to dinner insisted I try the large, roasted ants that were soaked in garlic and oil, a real delicacy for them, but way too crunchy for me.

Just an aside: while ministering to unreached people in the headwaters of the Amazon in Peru, I didn’t have the stomach to eat the large roasted slugs that the guys on our team did (that would pop open in one’s mouth) or the Toucan or the monkeys we were served by the tribes.

Deborah Cusick, FAU Campus Volunteer, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship


Dennis DeMarois

The strangest or most exotic thing I’ve ever eaten was possum. I was a young preacher, and my first sermon invite was out in Belle Glade. Scared silly, I preached through the Prodigal Son text, gave a short invitation and closing. Church Family promptly moved the pews, set up tables and brought out tons of home cooked food. Being the guest, I ate a bit of everything. Then on the ride home, I found out that I had eaten a home cooked special – possum. Needless to say, a cane field on the side of the road was my pullover spot to ‘unsettle’ my stomach. Sweet people, strange food. LOL 

Dennis DeMarois, Executive Director and CEO, Gathering Palm Beach County


Dolores King-St. George

I am quite squeamish about certain foods and once when I was a child my parents tricked me into tasting a frog leg. When they told me the truth and my stomach turned and I cried, they vowed never to trick me into something like that again. Even today I will hardly try an unknown vegetable let alone a mystery meat.

Dolores King-St. George, President, King Communications and GraceNet Radio


Don Campion

My mother-in-law is straight from Italy.  At Thanksgiving and Christmas, there would be 15 at the table and about 25 different dishes.  She would fill your plate and you would ask what certain things were, she would reply -“Ooh, justa eat and don’t think about it” sey you don’ta like, you don’ta eat”  I remember calf brains, tongue, homemade pasta with octopus ink and all kinds of fish.(I think).  All was always delicious!

Don Campion, President, Banyan Air Service, Team Lead, Egbe Medical Mission


Doug Sauder

Monkey soup in Liberia. The first spoonful was jolting. The aftertaste… more jolting!!

Doug Sauder, Lead Pastor, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale


Fidel Gomez

On a cruise we disembarked the ship and traveled to the local beach area. It was there that we found a mom-and-pop little restaurant that was so close to the beach that they would catch the fish, shrimp, octopus one minute and the next minute it was on the grill. The ceviche was, without a doubt, the best and freshest ever.

Fidel Gomez, Assistant Pastor, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale


Dr. Fred Scarbrough

I hesitate to mention this, but it is true and by anyone’s standards “unusual!” In Veterinary school in Iowa, it is a tradition to have “Rocky Mountain oyster” fries! I will let the reader look up what they are for those that do not know.

Dr. Fred Scarbrough, founder of Hope South Florida and Scarbrough Animal Hospital


Gregg Wallick

My mongoose killed a rattle snake and we grilled then ate it. 

Gregg Wallick, President, Best Roofing, Inc.


Helen Wayner, P.A.

Though I’m always open to trying new things, basic foods are my preference. I’ve tried caviar but my Hungarian pallet was very disagreeable! Everyone is different. Still believe a healthy diet is the best!

Helen Wayner P.A., Century 21 Hansen Realty


Dr. Jessica Vera

Unbeknownst to me, the most exotic thing I’ve eaten was deep-fried crickets. I was in Cuba, in the interior, where tourists typically do not venture, and a lovely family invited me in for a meal. Their living conditions were nothing like I had ever seen before; I was a youth at the time. I sat at a meg-shift table with the entire family, and I was the only one eating due to their scarcity of food. Later, when I found out what I had eaten, I felt physically ill, but my heart was so full due to the looks on their faces from the genuine hospitality they displayed at the time. 

Dr. Jessica Vera, President, Chief Executive Officer, Elite Foundation


Justus Martin

At fifteen, I was in Ethiopia and was given a small piece or two of meat by the local tribe… the missionary didn’t want to tell me what the mystery meat was. Aside from that, the most exotic thing I can think of was cow tongue in Bolivia.

Justus Martin, photographer, Justus Martin Photo


Larry Lacy

For me, Alligator tail. I’ve heard that it tasted like chicken, so I had to try it for myself. It’s not chicken. More chewy! I liked it! 15th Street Fisheries was the restaurant! Great place!

Larry Lacy, Pastor, The Answer Church


Laura C. Bishop

Fish eyes in a lovely gelatin in China. My hosts were very kind and enjoyed watching me try their favorite foods!

Laura C. Bishop, Executive Vice President of Advancement, Palm Beach Atlantic University


Dr. Mary Drabik

One of the most exotic things I have eaten is “Rudolph.” My cousin lives in Alaska and one year he gave me some meat and would not tell me what it was until I finished. Then he told me it was reindeer meat.

Dr. Mary Drabik, President, South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary


Mike McDermott, PA

Way back, over 50 years ago, when I first moved to Miami, I met Suki, who was to become my sister-in-law. She made this interesting Korean dish called Kimchee, which is pickled cabbage. My brother dared me to try it and, of course, I accepted the challenge, not knowing it would set my mouth on fire! In the true spirit of brotherly love, my brother gave me a cold beer to allegedly help ease my suffering. The alcohol only served to exacerbate my oral distress even more, much to the amusement of all present! Living in South Florida, I have since become more accustomed to exotic, spicy foods, but the Kimchee was definitely a hot start to my culinary journey.

Mike McDermott, PA, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, The Keyes Company


Milan Stefanovic

During my career with a major telecommunications company, I had the privilege to travel all over the world. With that experience comes many different types of cuisine. The most memorable for me was the serving of the turtle head and how that is to be eaten. And the strangest flavor (or disgusting flavor) was that of a pigeon. I can’t say I miss either of those two delicacies.

Milan Stefanovic, Chief Operations & Personal Lines Officer, Bass Underwriters


Oksana Horton

I would have to say the strangest things I ever ate were frog legs at a small southern restaurant in St. Augustine Florida. They were spicy and not something I would ever order again.

Oksana Horton, Artistic Director, Torch and Trumpet Theatre Company


Patricia Colangelo, EdS

The strangest thing that I ever ate was mannish water (goat head soup) while on a long-term mission trip in Trelawny, Jamaica. I was okay until I saw an eyeball, and that was the end of that.

Patricia Colangelo, EdS, Lecturer, Professor, Trinity International University – Florida


Coach Rick Andreassen

My stomach churns as I recount this story of the strangest and most exotic thing I ever ate. In the early 80s a half dozen lifeguard friends and I had spent a weekend dive trip on the island of Bimini in the Bahamas. At the ‘only’ seafood restaurant on the island, we ordered what would be called “The Surf & Turf Platter.” On that platter was every type of sea creature known to man: octopus, turtle, conch, squid, oysters, clams, mussels, sea snails, sea anemones, shrimp, scallops… Lots of other items that were unidentifiable even to me an avid diver who grew up watching “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.”

Footnote: I never ate seafood again. I’d prefer to wear a dive mask and look at the underwater sea life, rather than eat any of it!

Coach Rick Andreassen, Founder/President, SAINTS International Sports Ministry and SAINTS Homeschool P.E.


Sandra Muvdi, MBA

I will admit I tried snake blood in Taipei Night Market back in 1986 after the SS Universe ship docked in Keelung, Taiwan. At the time, I was a sophomore student on the Semester at Sea program and yes, peer pressure was a factor.

Sandra Muvdi, MBA, President/CEO, Jessica June Children’s Cancer Foundation®


Steve Daigle

The strangest thing that I’ve ever eaten is actually something that most people fear would eat them. When I worked at a retail store years ago, one of the employee’s family members went hunting for bear and brought us some back to try. It tasted a bit like meatloaf and was actually pretty good. I “bearly” noticed it wasn’t beef! Thank God that in Acts 10:15, God tells us not to call anything impure that He has made clean so we can try these exotic foods. 

Steve Daigle, Campus Pastor, Calvary Chapel Parkland


Steve Solomon

We went to Israel this this past June with our church group tour, and I have never seen such exotic and strange food as I was served in Israel. I never knew what I was eating until after I ate it. It was so good the vegetables the beef. Just the best food I’ve probably have ever had and never knew what it was.

Steve Solomon, Area Director, CBMC South Florida


Tewannah Aman

I was at an event when a friend brought what looked like fried chicken nuggets! She encouraged me to eat it. It had a different smell, so I was apprehensive. I am a very picky eater. Anyway, I decided to indulge and take a bite. When she started to laugh, I knew something was up. She exclaimed, “It’s alligator!” What! Ugh!! I thought I was going to be sick. Yuck!!! Talk about mind over matter. To this day, I can still grimace a little.

Tewannah Aman, Executive Director, Broward Right to Life

Read last month’s GNWTK at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/if-you-could-live-one-of-the-days-of-someone-elses-life-who-would-it-be-and-why/

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