Let’s play Meat Bingo!

How many can you check off?

I’ve had all of them, and in some cases, variations on the meat across continents.  For example, I’ve eaten American alligator and Nile crocodile;  I’ve had American bison and Cape buffalo;  I’ve enjoyed American lobster and South African kreef;  and I’ve eaten shrimp in America and prawns in South Africa, Mozambique and elsewhere.  Part of the fun of traveling widely is the variety of food one can enjoy – even if the aftermath is not always enjoyable!  (Yes, “Montezuma’s Revenge”, “Delhi Belly”, the “Gringo Gallop”, the “Cairo Two-step”, “Gyppy Tummy” and others are all the same thing, no matter what they’re called or where they strike!)

How many can you check off, dear reader?  If you have anything exotic to add (for example, balut in the Far East or cane rat [also known as “grasscutter”] in Africa – the latter enjoyed by both Lawdog and myself;  it’s very good eatin’!), let us know in Comments.


  1. Yup, I've eaten most of those. I've not had elk, gator, or quail, though I've eaten quails' eggs.

    Then there's turkey, pheasant, eel, squid, trout, cod, haddock, and many, many more.

    On the exotic side, how about conger eel?

  2. All of them, plus:
    Ostrich, guinea pig, rat, horse (wonderful), flying fish (the best!), ants, earthworms, crickets (surprisingly good), snail, pigeon, eel, lizard, deep-fried-bug-on-a-stick, dog, cat (not on purpose), dolphin.

  3. No shark, snake, nor frogs but all the rest. I have had bighorn sheep, cougar and bear. All a bit gamey but totally edible.

  4. I didn't see moose on the list. During the first trip that I made to New Brunswick, Canada to hunt bear I had the great pleasure of eating moose. We were having dinner at the lodge and that night's meal was burger and fries. I mentioned to the gentleman sitting beside me that it was about the best burger I ever tasted. He told me that it was moose. I laughed because I thought that he was kidding. He had me go into the kitchen and ask the cook. Sure enough, someone who was there the week before got a moose and didn't have enough cooler space to take all the meat home, so he left some packages of ground meat at the lodge. Bear is also pretty good, but you really need to marinate it because it doesn't smell very good if you don't. I made grilled, Teryaki tenderloin that year at deer camp and the guys all loved them. It tastes pretty much like beef. I also made bear jerky that everyone at work went nuts over. The only caveat to making bear jerky is that you need to give it an short, extra bake at a higher temp after it's dried to make sure that any parasites are killed…….

  5. Totally forgot moose! Hate the smell of it in a pressure cooker but fine as hamburger in a heavy sauce. Ate a lot when I was a lad.

  6. I forgot about squirrel. I've had it baked and fried, but didn't really care for it either way. The taste is okay, but it's pretty stringy. The way that it's great is in spaghetti sauce. A friend's wife would go out during the season and hunt them with a .22LR. The way she would prepare them is to boil the meat for about 45 minutes, then dice it up and cook it in the sauce for a few hours. That stuff was wonderful……..

  7. Haven't had elk nor snake; not sure about goat and quail – if I have had either of those, it's not exactly seared in my memory.
    On the other hand… I've sampled a great many sorts of fish and mollusc that could be found along the West Coast (and in lakes and streams) back when I was a young'n. Various sorts of clams, mussels, oysters, abalone, limpets, and of course anything with fins (scales optional) that could be induced to chomp on some sort of bait or lure.
    Also, yes, ostrich. And fried squid is a long-time favorite. Some years ago, back in California, I discovered that a fishmonger in San Jose would (on request) sell blocks of frozen squid tentacles. I fried up a big batch and took 'em to a Halloween party, where they were well received.
    … No, I'm not much on dietary laws. I've even been known to eat hot dog buns and put pineapple on pizza (though not at the same time).

  8. Add alpaca, llama, guinea pig, surubi, paiche, capybara; wildebeest, ostrich, gazelle(s), Cape buffalo. Burp!

  9. All of the above, plus (off the top of my head) squirrel, rat, raccoon. squid,flying fish (thanks for the reminder). AFAIK, I've managed to avoid cat and dog, though in some places you can never be sure. I avoided the dog featured at a buddy's wedding feast on Kosrae because he was also my boss and I had to stay behind to cover his shifts.

  10. Had various meats in various countries: didn't necessarily ask anyone the animal they came from.
    BTW, is lutefisk considered a meat? just kidding!
    How about boiled dog in the USA midwest?

  11. You can keep the lutefisk as well as hákarl (although I knew it as hauklaar) for yourself – NEVER AGAIN! Damn, I know why the vikings were so badass if they were able to enjoy something like this. BLEAH!

  12. Don't think I've ever had elk.

    Things I've had which aren't on the chart (excluding fish, because who knows, really):

    Goose, Grasshoppers, Pigeon/Squab, and Iguana.

  13. I don't know if the Vikings *enjoyed* lutefisk, but they ate it regularly so yeah, bad@$$. Though lutefisk, if prepared correctly (Like my Grandma used to make, very time consuming), can be not too bad. So yeah, add lutefisk to my list.

  14. Everything on the chart plus-
    ants (bitter)
    pigeon (squab)
    reindeer (dry and not that good, I blame the chef)
    whale (so good I had seconds)
    deep fried cod tongues with fried chunks of pork fat
    deep fried duck lungs with sesame seeds
    other entrails, OMG so many entrails

    and squirrel, I'm about 95% sure my grandma fed me squirrel

    There are probably more if you add in variations for species, especially for fish


  15. And now that people mention moose & squirrel… no squirrel, but I did have a mooseburger once, along the scenic route back from Fargo.
    Also, ants (chocolate covered). And squab, more than once.
    If we count unintentional consumption, probably all manner of tiny invertebrates.
    No otters' noses, though.

  16. I've had everything on the list except snake.
    I've eaten squirrel I've shot – I'm surprised it isn't on the list.

    The most unusual critter I've had is Cicada. Caught and cooked or frozen fresh it is pretty good, but you have to get them newly hatched (right word?). If you wait, they become papery and don't taste as good.

  17. No Elk.
    No Snake.
    I just have not had the opportunity.
    I will finish the Octopus Salad, that I made for Sunday, at lunch today.

    McChuck, is that dolphin as in porpoise, the ocean mammal? Dolphin is another name for Dorado/Mahi-mahi.

  18. 17, BUT…

    I can't eat pork, so two of those are off the list for me automagically. And Octopi are sentient so I won't eat them.

    Yes they are too!

  19. Snapping turtle – I still have all my fingers.
    Sea turtle and eggs – Before it became illegal.
    Sting and eagle rays
    Trunk fish
    Porcupine fish – Want to try fugu.
    Escargot – Land snail
    Bulgao – Sea snail
    Conch – Is it really exotic?
    Land crab – Caribbean. Lots of fun being a kid and spending time catching them. Would love to try Australia's mud crab and coconut crab.

    Does blood sausage count?

  20. I had all of the meat on your list (thanks to my husband, and Navy adventures), plus zebra and wildebeast, and crocodile which I agree is akin to alligator. Zebra, wildebeest and crocodile came courtesy of a South African friend via a circuitus route.

  21. No gater, snake or buffalo but have eaten snails and horse.
    I had the opportunity to eat balut but could not get past the appearance and smell.

    Does nước mắm count?

  22. @JamieInTexas – Yes to both. The fish and the mammal. People call the fish Mahi Mahi now.
    I forgot about squirrel stew and chili! That's been a few decades.

  23. Not sure if you ever ate at The Train restaurant in Jo'burg, but I did while there on a business trip in the '90s. Giraffe, elephant, wart hog (delicious!), zebra, wildebeest, etc. All very good. They also had Mpone worms which were in a pretty tasty sauce but I didn't really care for them. Quite frankly, I ate them for national honor …

    Oh, and kangaroo while in Sidney – a bit bland. Surprised me – I was expecting something more like venison.

  24. Never had snake, I've had all the rest. Plus – turtle, horse ( Germany, didn't know when I started eating), bear (Wyoming), and Hippopatomus (T Pittari restaurant in New Orleans in the 1960's).

  25. I've only gotten 15 off the chart, and no real desire to add to the list.
    I'm not big on Sea Food, so There's a bunch of stuff I'll not try.
    However, courtesy of Uncle Sugar, I have had Monkey in Manila, and Dog in Korea. Both had so much BBQ sauce that the taste was partially masked.

  26. Since when squirrel and rabbits are exotic?

    Any bugs, except mud bugs, are exotic around these here parts.

    McChuck. What does dolphin/ porpoise taste like, texture?

    My Dad, when the Army sent him to Panama for training, pre Korean Police Action, said that he would never order chicken off base because recess likely get iguana – gallina de palo.

  27. When I was in school many moons ago, I advocated the theory that in order to understand human nutrition and metabolism, you needed to understand the conditions we evolved under. And we evolved to eat anything that didn't eat us first. We now know this theory as Paleo diet (I never claim originality for the idea). None of this of course, answers the question of what diet is ideal.
    As for the list, I'll claim the prize for "What's the wierdest thing you've eaten?"—Placenta stew. Back in the day I lived with a bunch of tree-hugging, earth-woshipping hippies who had a baby, and of course had the featured item in celebration. They were so damn religious about it, there was no polite way to refuse. As a spaghetti sauce, it was OK.
    And if squid (calimari) can sub for octopus, I run the list.

  28. Have had them all, except for snake and only because I’ve never been offered it.

    Plus, snapping turtle, beaver, raccoon, muskrat, zebra, many types of African antelope, deer, moose, bear, several different types of caviar,

    Bear is actually one of my favourites.

    I work from the perspective that I’ll eat anything that doesn’t eat me first.

    Except Balut (Filipino half-grown duckling in eggs). I can’t imagine the amount of booze I’d need to take a shot at that.

  29. All but elk but have had moose and am counting bison as buffalo even though they are different things. If you are going to include invertebrates you should have escargot. Dove, Pheasant, and Partridge are also missing.

  30. Snake. IIRC, reticulated python. We supplied it to the restaurant that agreed to cook it.

    Caution! If the cook requires the snake to be delivered with the head removed, take it elsewhere. This indicates they don't know what they are doing.

    It ended up pretty much inedible, at least what we got served. The snake was ~14 ft long, and quite thick. Damn strong, too. The owner was 6'5", and 370 lbs, and he had a hell of a fight to hold it down while I cut off the head.

    Originally he had intended to give it to some sort of nature display group, but by the time it got to the 10ft legal limit for private ownership, there was a glut on the market.

    It was eating full size rabbits and chickens by then. Bizarre to watch mice run around on top of the snake, and both ignore each other.

  31. Everything on the chart but snake.

    I've also had alligator, turtle, guinea pig, barracuda, whelks, reindeer, and kangaroo. Probably some other things, as well. There's a restaurant in Denver (The Buckhorn Exchange) that has exotic meats such as yak and lion from time to time, but it's never been available when I've gone there.

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