Delicacies seem like oddities to the uninitiated

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Delicacies seem like oddities to the uninitiated

by: Peter Denman | .
The Guam Guide | .
published: May 01, 2015

Down in Chuuk the people like to bury breadfruit in the ground for a couple of years to get it ready for a pleasant dinner. Sometimes it makes them sick, but it is so good they’re willing to put up with that in order to experience the taste sensation resulting from this unique aging process.

In Africa they like to hang a monkey up for a couple of days to let him age a bit before cooking him. In East Texas there are a lot of good old boys who prefer leaving the heads on when boiling up a half-dozen squirrels in a stew.

There are a few interesting things on the grocery store shelves here, too. Recently I ran across this one.

Having never heard of mudfish before, I decided to see what sort of recipes might be found online, and ran across this: “Cut filets from the mudfish without cutting into the gut area. This is where the worst mud taste comes from.”

This suggests that the not-quite-as-bad mud taste comes from the rest of the fish, and leaves one wondering why anyone wants to eat a fish which tastes like mud. Of course, never having eaten mud, I really ought to keep quiet, shouldn’t I, as an ignorant person who doesn’t know what he’s talking about? The trick, no doubt, as indicated on the label, is in the fermenting process — exactly the same as in the cases of the breadfruit and the monkeys.

I have eaten duck eggs a few times, and found them quite nice. On a store shelf here in Guam, however, I spotted ‘lead-free’ duck eggs in a can. I didn’t have my camera with me that day, and went back a few days later to get a photo. I couldn’t find them, asked for them, and was shown some ordinary duck eggs. “No, no,” I said, “I want lead-free duck eggs. I must have them without lead!” I enjoyed saying that as much or more than I would have enjoyed getting the photo.

The people of Guam like Spam better than anyone else on earth. They average 16 cans of Spam per person per year; Hawaii is a distant second at 9 cans a year. Apparently Spam became popular after WWII, when it was shipped here in vast quantities for reasons I have forgotten. The military guys called it “ham that didn’t pass its physical.”

Notice the “Island” Limited Edition can. There are three kinds of Spam made especially for the Guam market which are unavailable anywhere else on earth as far as I know. Those who have moved here and are still adjusting may wish to meditate on this and thus acquire a greater appreciation for the benefits. Limited Editions are usually works of art — special printings of books or paintings. This shows the high esteem in which Spam is held on the island.

Sushi rolls are a familiar item all over the place these days — but take a close look at the ingredients of these:

The first ingredient is “seasoned friend.” One wonders what these fellows do to their enemies. Their friends get made into sushi rolls, thus adding to the variety of interesting things to eat here on the beautiful island of Guam.

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