If you haven’t yet heard about the goblin shark—yep, we said “goblin”—let us introduce you to the most terrifying thing we’ve seen this year…and we lived through the first day ramps were available at the farmers’ market. A shrimper caught this snaggletoothed, over 15-feet-long monstrosity in the Gulf of Mexico before releasing it back in the water—Wait. This means it’s still out there?!—but not before snapping a few photos to terrify the rest of us.
Now, not that we’re lining up to eat goblin shark (seriously, we’re not), but being a food publication and all, this news did get us talking about some of the other gnarly-looking food we happily toss down our gullets. From geoduck clam (of course) to black truffles (oh, we went there), we love these foods for their great personalities.
Geoduck: Obviously, this mollusk made the top of our list. It’s just…just…it’s just so special, isn’t it? As one BA staffer put it: “It looks like a &@#$ inside a *&!%.”
Eels: Slithery, slippery, and just the perfect cross between miniature snakes and very large worms, eels are terrifying.
Octopus: As demonstrated by Ursula the Sea Witch, an octopus is not a thing of beauty. And yeah, texturally-speaking, they can be a challenge for those not inherently fond of eating suction cups. But we love it—especially when it’s cooked tandoori-style.
Celery Root: We could eat celery root purée every day, but these babies are nothing to look at. In fact, one might even say they look like bulbous, gnarled alien brains.
Truffles: Such an extravagant and luxurious ingredient! So akin to dirt-covered lumps of moldy earth!
Morel Mushrooms: Harbingers of spring though they may be, we cannot deny that morels are mere squishy little nubbins of grey-brown boringness.
Seitan: This wheat gluten product is often used as a meat substitute, and while it sure is tasty, that doesn’t mean we wanna know it intimately or anything.
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Head Cheese: Head cheese looks like chunks of meat from a pig’s face, set in aspic and molded in a terrine…which is EXACTLY WHAT IT IS.
Injera: Ignoring the fact that injera looks vaguely like an old bathmat in need of a run through the washing machine, this sourdough-fermented teff flour bread is actually delicious.
Sweetbreads: Not bread that is sweet, but rather the thymus gland of unsuspecting cows and lambs, sweetbreads are considered to be a delicacy. (They’re often disguised prepared by frying.)
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Sea Urchin: Wow, are these things awesome—they’ll also cost you a pretty penny at restaurants. But let’s be real: Everything about their appearance screams, “Do not even think about touching me.”
Natto: Yeah, it’s a bit slimy and super strong-smelling—and kiiinda looks like it’s gone rancid—but we love this fermented soybean dish exactly the way it is.
Monkfish: NIGHTMARES FOR WEEKS.