The Fearless Eater Competition: Enter to Win Tommy’s! Salsas and Spices

The giveaway: Tommy's! salsas (photo by Carol Shih)

I just came back from Taiwan where, for 10 days, I ate things like pigs feet, fish heads (yes, including the eye balls), and other animal organ parts I probably shouldn’t mention this early in the morning. I’m no Andrew Zimmerman and there’s no way I could ever swallow the contents of a bile sac, but I consider myself a brave-ish eater with a high food tolerance, especially compared to a guy I knew in college who ate nothing but bread and cheese in all its various forms. No joke.

A bunch of you out there are savvy eaters who surely top me on my eating habits. Some of y’all have mentioned eating bizarre foods already on that Bazaar giveaway post back in July, which (btdubs) was highly entertaining to read. So, friends, let’s play a game to make this Wednesday spicier. Tell me about the scariest, hairiest, weirdest food you’ve ever eaten before Friday, August 24, at 5 p.m. Be detailed in your descriptions! The more cringe-worthy, the better. The winner will be declared “The Bravest Eater on SideDish” and win the following:

Jump for more.

Whoever wins these Tommy’s! salsas and spices has to be brave indeed. Even I’m a little afraid to try it (which might be the motivation behind this giveaway, but whatever) since the label is… uh.. an interesting depiction of a man wrapping his arms around different vegetables. Who knows. Tommy’s! could be the best salsa that ever came in a jar.



    The weirdest, scariest, thing I have ever eaten was in fact DOG. I was not told what I was eating until after I took a few bites. We had been hiking in Bejing all day. We were all very hungry and tired. I was staying with a host family. I couldn’t begin to tell you how horrible it was. From that point on, I decided never to eat meat in foreign countries again. I grew up watching Scooby Doo. To this day I still cringe when I see any dog commercial, cartoon, or show. I can’t even begin to tell you how grossed out I am at the sheer thought of that meal.

  • Ben Guthrie

    I remember my grandmother once saying “There is no such thing as too much garlic.” Years after that, I had developed a taste for garlic, and thought that she might be right. My wife is a fan of reasonable (restaraunt) levels of flavor, and was out of the house for a night, so I decided to accept my grandmother’s challenge.

    I started by taking five heads of garlic (75 cloves?) and chopping them up, filling the bottom half of a casserole dish, and started baking it at 400 degrees. Then I had to decide what else I would add to the dish. I settled on two mashed potatoes, a little butter, and some cheese. It baked until the top got a little brown and it was hot all the way through.

    It was a little tough to breathe in the house, which I took as a good sign.

    I ate the entire dish for dinner.

    It was highly acetic, and not completely pleasant. That night, and the next day, my body did its best to get rid of the garlic smell through my pores, burps and farts.

    When my wife got home and pulled into the driveway (not garage) with the windows still up, she knew exactly what had happened. We left all the windows open for two days, and the house retained a lingering smell for well over a week.

    So, I think my grandmother may have been right. It was uncomfortable, and unpleasant for others, but I can’t say that there can be such a thing as too much garlic.

  • honeymadger

    …Andrew Zimmern?

  • Mike

    The Great Balls of Fire at Salvador Molly’s in Portland, Oregon. Cream cheese stuffed habaneros that are deep fried and served with fire roasted habanero salsa. It’s my lasting legacy to the city I grew to love in the my mug still adorns the Hall (wall) of Flame.

  • Andrew Chalk

    Sheep’s brain at Cibreo in Florence.

    The waiter delivers a teacup-sized white porcelain ramekin with a lid. Just as with the metal domes on those large tureens, he ceremoniously removes the lid. Inside, in a consomme-like broth, is a perfectly formed sheep’s brain. The organ has been so carefully treated during service that the flesh is unblemished and the blood vessels are almost beating. It is barely an appetizer. You are struck how it is no surprise sheep are stupid if this is the size of their brain.

  • allison

    My grandmothers’ cooking. One bakes steaks uncovered for 3 hours at 200 degrees. Steak knives do not work. My other grandmother sprinkles Nestlé chocolate chips in her Mexican casserole to make it molé flavored.

  • logan

    A taco from Taco Bell…made with an unidentified meat.

  • Liz

    Corned Beef Salad. The recipe will give you a hint as to the horror. You begin by combining teo boxes of lemon jello, hot water, and vinegar and let that cool. To this you add a festival of garlic salt,a diced green bell pepper, a small can of pimentos, 2 cans of Libby’s corned beef, 2 cups of chopped celery, 2 T of minced onion and two cups of Miracle Whip. Yes, it is Jello Miracle Whip salad with corned beef. There isn’t enough liquor in the world to make me try it again.

  • carol j

    Alligator meat. Didn’t know what it was until afterwords.

  • Erin Ahlfinger

    I have knowingly consumed squirrel.

    I once dated a guy who’s father liked to hunt for deer, and would take the grandson’s buy scout den hunting from time to time. The six year old (my boyfriend’s nephew, if you’re following) wanted to go, so they gave him a bee bee gun and told him to try to shoot a rabbit. He tried his best for hours, and finally thought he got one. It turned out that what he thought was a rabbit was a squirrel. He was so upset that the doting grandfather cleaned skinned it, cleaned it, and took it home. He handed it to grandma and proclaimed “the little one hit one! We’re eating good tonight!” as he went to go stash the venison in the freezer. No further comment (imagine her surprise when she opened the cooler). A flexible and experienced cook never dashes a grandchild’s hopes by refusing to cook and eat his first kill. Dinner that night was chicken and squirrel stir fry.

    You can put so much spicy mustard on bad meat that you won’t taste it, but I can tell you, there’s just no tenderizing squirrel.

  • Melissa E

    A friend of my Parents was raised in Thailand & Laos. We has brought over dried water snake for us to try many times. Since he makes amazing food I tried it once. That was the last time I tried it:( I also tried Alligator meat in Florida. It was cajun seasoned & delicious!

  • While living in New York City, I bought a bag of grasshoppers for a buck, stuck it in the freezer overnight and roasted them the next day. Guess what I did after that? Yep, I ate them. They were crunchy, got wedged in my teeth and delicious.

  • @Taco Trail- did you use seasonings?!

  • BJC

    I lived in Beijing for several years and have traveled extensively throughout China and the rest of Asia so I’ve got quite a list. How about live lobster(yes, it was moving), Ox Penis(no comment on the texture) and sand worms(I liked these so much I ordered more). I’ve also drank snake bile and blood mixed with bai jiu (a powerful white liquor also known by a popular brand name-Mao Tai).

  • Daniel

    I’ve eaten a few of the tamer things already mentioned here, but my curiosity about Teresa’s comment won’t rest. Was it really that gross? I mean, I understand the objection to eating dogs — they’re part of our extended social family (along with horses); the revulsion is primal, as with incest — but at some level, isn’t meat just meat?

  • Congrats, Taco Trail, I’m crowning you the victor for frying up your own dead grasshoppers at home! Email me to claim your prize.