I'll eat anything questionable—mostly just for the comedy it brings me. My mother tells me that as a toddler I preferred slimy, weird foods and "gross food" to normal food.
"You weren't like the other kids. You loved escargot. You'd say, 'Mom! I want to eat snails' You liked frog legs a lot, too. And you really liked those little mushrooms that they put in Chinese food. You know, the ones that look like penises. You called them the 'penis mushrooms.'"
I guess the gross-out contest started even farther back than I thought.
It's no surprise that I think nothing—-well, no food—can disgust me. (Plenty of non-food stuff disgusts me: Care Bears, for example.)
I have to say, though, that tonight's Swedish specialty made me a bit squeamish.
Ylva explained, "It's blood pudding. It's quite good. I'm a vegetarian myself and I even I like it a lot. Even our kids love it."
"So, Ylva, what exactly is blood pudding?" I think I was hoping that blood pudding was more like a blood orange—you know, with blood in the name and all, but no actual blood.
No such luck. "Well, it's blood. Blood and flour. You cut it into slices and fry it in a pan. You eat it with lingonberry jam on top."
Blood is not meant to be eaten. It should exclusively be used for two things:
1) Filling up your veins and giving your heart something to do.
2) Performance art, including (but not limited to) spraying gallons of it onto a crowd of people, being baptized in blood then letting dogs lick it off, using it for lube and posting pictures of the experience on the internet, or filling your dad's work Thermos with it.
Notice that eating blood is not on that list. That is because you are not supposed to eat blood.
So, I had to psyche myself up—I needed to overcome my mind's loud klaxons of warning. You know, the ones that tell you not to do stupid things like EATING BLOOD. So, I told myself, "When in Sweden do as the vikings." Everyone with even the most basic education knows that the primary food of vikings is blood.
And, what was I so scared of anyways? I've eaten bugs and jellyfish and I even ate 50 live earthworms once on some television show. Why was this such a big deal to me?
I watched Christoffer and Ylva's young daughters pile piece after piece of blood pudding on their plates. I sat silently, trying to invoke the courage of my inner vampire.
Christoffer must've sensed my caution. He menaced me by bellowing, "BLOOOOOOODE! BLOOOOODE! BLOOOOODE!" in this deep, ominous voice—rhyming the word with vogue just to make it funnier.
After taking a few pictures of the BLOOD I put a slice of it on my heavy, stoneware plate. I plopped a teaspoonful of sweet lingonnerry goo on the disc of blood.
It was time to dig in. So, I cut a piece and carefully sat in my incredibly wary tongue.
And waves of disappointment overwhelmed me.
It didn't taste horrible in any way. It was actually quite good.
What's the fun in eating disturbing foods if they actually taste quite alright? Where's the disgusting comedy in that?
I was concerned what the stuff might do to my system. What if I was allergic to BLOOOODE? What if I got really sick and became a fire hose of BLOOOOODE diarrhea?
If there's one thing I've learned from all my stupid food-comedy-experiments is that there are plenty of things out there that taste good but can still make you feel terrible. (Examples: Kentucky Fried Chicken and deep-fried Twinkies.) So, even though the BLOOOODE tasted fine, I didn't eat too much—four pieces was enough for me to feel like I'd had the experience.
So, the moral of the story is: You know that inner voice that helps you make good decisions—the Jiminy Cricket on your shoulder that helps to see the difference between right and wrong? Well, you should spend your entire life training yourself to IGNORE it, that way you can eat BLOOOOOODE.
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