How to to tackle a Food Challenge

Tips to tackle a ridiculous eating challenge?

This is absolutely utterly ridiculous… On Saturday 1st June I will take on the Hofbrauhaus Schnitzel challenge which consists of:

  • 1.5 kg pork schnitzel
  • 1 serve of chips
  • 1 stein of beer

In 45 minutes

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Spicy Pork Noodle Soup with Blood Jelly

Blood Jelly is thicker than Pho

Failing to read the menu properly can certainly get you into a sticky situation…

Blood Jelly was one of the original delicacies I had investigated for my Vietnam List, but had somehow lucked (or chickened) out of trying.

So, when I ordered the Spicy Pork Noodle Soup from one of my favourite Vietnamese haunts, Dong Ba on Hopkins st Footscray, I thought nothing of it.

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Snails de la mer!



I often find myself thinking of the humble garden snail and French people when I think of snails that you eat…

Down here in Mui Ne on the south-east coast of Vietnam they are quite the delicacy and are rather delicious!

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Weasel Poo Coffee???

Yep… you read that right…

Coffee… made out of poo…

Well technically that’s not completely true, it’s halfway there, but I’ll get to that…

My friend has recommended that when in Vietnam I try to look up this delicacy that comes in at a very hefty price (apparently about $50 a cup or up to $600 per pound for the beans). She managed to locate some of the ground beans, but never actually got to try the brew.

So now I have been charged with a mission to find some. According to what I’ve managed to research from internet sites and other blogs, the coffee is delicious and definitely worth trying!

Would you trust this weasel?

Here’s how the strange stuff comes about… The coffee is made out of coffee berries that have been digested by a weasel type creature called an “Asian Palm Civet” who poops out the indigestible coffee beans, which are scooped up, washed and given a light roast then ground into coffee like a normal bean.

“Kopi Luwak” (I prefer “Weasel Poo Coffee”) is apparently very unique in flavour, and whilst inside the civet/weasel, the bitterness is leached away by stomach enzymes which actually starts the bean to germinate in the digestive tract… mmm delicious?

Gross-out factor aside, and provided I can afford some since it’s the most expensive coffee in the world (it’s been around since the 1800’s and is very popular and sought after in many countries), I guess I’d better pop by Dak Lak province when in Nam and visit the weasel farm for a cuppa…

I wonder if it tastes nice with Soy Milk?

The poo... or coffee... :/

More fun facts about Weasel Poo Coffee can be found at this handy site… Weasel Poo Coffee

Can I eat that?

Is that edible? Are you going to finish that? Can I try some of yours?

Life is a revolving door of food and drink. Major life events are planned around it and the mundane reality of the day is broken up by it.

If you have never tried a particular food before how do you know if you like it or not? I was lucky enough to be brought up in a family where the words “oh I dont like that” food were never uttered and no matter what dish was served, it was expected to be finished. The chef (generally my mum) was always to be complimented… a task that wasnt hard in a kitchen that served dishes like fresh sushi 15 years before the Sushi Sushi invasion, delicious Kelapa lamb curries before greasy take-away indian and hearty home meals that never allowed for leftovers. Take-away food was a once in a fortnight rarity…

Such varied gastronomic beginnings have stood me in good stead for travelling, with a willingness to try new food with abandon… both locally (within Australia) and abroad, the prospect of sampling new food fills me with excitement and a chance to challenge myself… The stand-out memories from every single trip I have been on have revolved around food and drink, the pictures I have taken seem to always have such a theme, from roasted half a pig in Munich Germany, “meat bird” (chicken) in Sigatoka Fiji and the hottest green curry that gave me the ability to see through time in Koh Phangan Thailand…

So the challenge begins. Can I cross off the list of both standard and exotic fare that I have not already tried?

The next trip I embark on is to Vietnam… can I bring myself to eat White ant eggs, soft-shell turtle, fertilised duck egg or raw blood soup? I dont know… do they taste good? There is only one way to find out… though perhaps some of those dishes are too left of center even for myself…

This isn’t going to be some sort of Chanie vs. Food adventure or a mission to eat the grossest dishes out there… I’m sure I can find the most delicious Bahn Cuon (Rice paper rolls), Pho (Vietnamese Soup) or Glazed curries (Glazed curries?) to tempt everyone’s tastebuds but I also wont rule out other “delicacies” if they are on offer…

Except dog… too many of my friends will kill me if I do that.

Come with me on my journey… recommendations on what to sample are welcome and I will endeavour to try them and report back…

White ant soup

Banh Cuon