Monday, November 14, 2011

Let's Talk About Grub

Behold, Ecuadorian jungle grubs.



Y'all. This happened.

And so did this.



We'd heard that guinea pig is a delicacy in Ecuador and frankly, the thought of that grossed me out. But as soon as I saw the grubs I was all, "Dude, where is the guinea pig?"

We had been on a bus winding through the Andes mountains for about 6 hours and our stomachs were on edge. Certain bloggers' stomachs had succumbed to the windiness. These are some women who were smiling because they were so happy to be off the bus. This was before they laid eyes on, well, the fish eyes.



I wish you could have seen our faces when we were all seated at the table and our hostess announced that for lunch we would be having tilapia and worms. Ha! I knew right away that a fish head was about to be put in front of me and I prepared myself to be strong and courageous. I imagined the worms might be earthworms. That would be gross, but I thought I could cut it into small pieces and get it down. It might be worth it to be able to tell Jackson Jones that Mommy ate a worm.

But the jungle grubs turned out to be fat and rubbery. I am seriously getting nauseous right now just writing about this. Several members of our team got brave and tried them. The looks on their faces did not encourage me. This is our photographer, Keely. She is the bravest girl I know.




I know it's bad form to not eat something given to you in another country. But here were my options:

A) Eat the worm and throw up at the table.
B) Don't eat the worm and, instead, eat the fish with a huge smile and talk about how yummy it is!

I went with option B. I just tried to ignore the fish eye until I was done. Y'all, nature is so great because after my last bite I pulled about five bones out of my mouth and had I needed a toothpick, I would have been all set!

What is the weirdest thing you've ever eaten in another country?

*If this post didn't really do it for you, check out my friends' posts here.*

**You can make the fish heads and grubs all worth it by sponsoring a child in Ecuador. :) **

46 comments:

brie. said...

that would have been tough. weirdest thing - funky yak milk in india, oh and a dish called 'drunken shrimp' in hong kong where they put live shrimp on your table, cover them in a sauce and you watch them splash about before they take them away and cook them...that was a little up close and personal!

Angel said...

I'm brave in eating when I have to be, but I don't think I could do grubs either. I ate a deep friend scorpion in Beijing, but my motive had nothing to do with being culturally appropriate... I was wanting to impress my 11 year old son. Let me just say the grin he gave me made the greasy goo and bug legs stuck in my teeth totally worth it!

Laura Forman said...

While living in China I ate scorpions, caterpillars, turtle head soup, a fried whole baby bird...among other things...all I have to say if you chase anything down with a bottle of coke, it can be done! :)

Amanda said...

Laura, I definitely learned on this trip what a ministry a bottle of Coke can be.

Patty said...

I don't think I could have done it. *shudders*

Proud of you! The thing about the grub, they have attacked my front yard over the last few weeks and they have eaten my grass and I see them poking their heads out of the ground and they gross me out! After seeing them in this way, I just don't think I could have eaten them. lol

I have only been out of the country once and that was to Canada and I didn't eat anything weird. ;)

Sharae said...

Your comment, "Dude, where is the guinea pig" totally cracked me up! That sounds exactly like what I would have said and how I would have said it! When I was in Mexico on a missions trip I had chicken foot soup. Luckily, my bowl didn't contain the foot - another team member was blessed with that. I have such fond memories of being overseas and the generosity of the Christian locals to bless us with whatever they had. I have enjoyed following your journey so much, and had a sweet opportunity to talk about being thankful with my six year old daughter yesterday and used your blog posts as an example of how blessed we are. Keep pressing on!!!

bethany said...

I don't think I could have choked those down either. When I went to New Zealand, I was prepared to eat a lot of strange things (fish eyes are a delicacy), but thank goodness was never offered anything extraordinarily weird.

Zak had squirrel on his mission in Arkansas. Not sure how I would have done with that.

Ashley said...

No way. We have watched Man vs. Wild for years and seen him eat all kinds of stuff. I convinced myself that I could probably eat some of those things if they were cooked til crispy, but after seeing that big fat grub in the bowl, I think not.

Jennifer said...

I ate fried crickets once in Thailand...offered to me by a friend's family. They weren't bad, actually, if you could get over the thought of eating crickets.

Lauren & Eddie said...

Yikes! I've done two mission trips to Peru and after the second one we stayed and did the tourist thing in Cusco. Awesome, amazing city. The guinea pig is a delicacy there as well. My husband DID try the guinea pig, but not as his whole meal. Just a bite to say he'd done it. HE, however, ordered alpaca. I tried a tiny bite of that and then stuck to my harmless French onion soup. Ha! We were fed on the boat we stayed on and I didn't try anything in the villages. Thankfully, nothing was ever offered to me. :) My American tummy couldn't have handled it!

Mari Bryant- Marks said...

I'm with you. Option B. Oh my.

Laura Forman said...

oh I thought of one more...I have eaten dog! In China that was eaten rather often. Outside of our apartment they actually had dog restaurants with the dogs in cages outside...it was awful! I guess I had tried to block it from my memory, I haven't thought of it in years.... :)

Deidre said...

Bless your heart. I couldn't have done it. I would have chosen the fish as well, though I'm having a tough time looking at either picture.

So proud of all of you for going. I hung on every word. I love Compassion!

Dana said...

It wasn't in another country, but here is good ol' Houston. Cricket tacos at Hugos. They actually aren't too bad!

Karen said...

My daughter was on a mission trip to Costa Rica once, and their host family served them 'burgers'--only to find out, after consumption thankfully, that the meat was actually: cat.

ThirtysomethingMom said...

I've been reading your posts this week. You are so brave. I don't think that I could have eaten either one.

Praising God for your trip.
Thanks for sharing your experience.

Denice said...

I wouldn't have been able to eat the worms or the fish. Oh my word... probably one of the reasons I've never been out of the USA. Maybe someday I'll get brave.

happymcfamily said...

You could nickname her Simba: "slimy yet satisfying".

In Honduras I had conch for the first time... it tasted like clam stips only even meatier. So I loved it! Most of the other "different" things I had weren't previously living creatures (plantains, some sort of milky type beverage, stuff like that), and they were pretty tasty.

I couldn't do the grubs.

Tara G. said...

I had a worm in my compote one time (it's a fermented fruit drink) but discovered it before drinking- we were stationed here in Ukraine the first time when my husband was an Olmsted scholar. He was attending a local university and one of his professors invited us over for dinner...we were the first Americans they'd ever had over. I never said a word but was dying of thirst the rest of the night- vodka is not my thing either. :)

Jennifer said...

Bless.Your.Heart.

Weirdest thing I've eaten in another country would have to be iguana stew and iguana egg (it was boiled and you had to bite the tip of the egg off and suck the yoke out). Gross.

Kiki said...

I told Levi you ate that fish and asked what he thought about that.

"Not good."

So proud of you, friend!

jennie said...

oh my goodness, i don't think i could have done the grubs either! i think the most random thing i've ever eaten was served to me by some indian friends. they were so excited to make me a homemade dinner (which was sooo delicious) and at the end they brought out a dessert that they only made for company. it looked like some sort of custard and they said it was sweet, so i ate it tho it did taste strange. afterwards, my friend explained that it was made from (cow's) colostrum milk. oh my oh my oh my. i just said, 'oh really?' and tried not to wimper...every time i think about that moment i about die laughing. wow.

Dionna Sanchez said...

You are so brave, Amanda. I'm just not sure I could have eaten the fish, either.
God has blessed me. I haven't had to eat anything horrible so far in another country. I can't handle much. :) But my husband has endured fish head soup in Africa.

Keri C said...

Ok, that is one brave girl! When she said, "The texture..." that kinda did it for me. Yuck. I totally think you made the right choice to eat the fish with a smile. As my Auntie always says, "Grin and nod. Grin and nod." Ha! Such a fun memory for y'all! There is nothing like bonding over eating crazy stuff like Grub worms!

Meghann said...

God bless you, Amanda. The "weirdest" I've ever had is blood sausage in Ireland. That's it. (It was actually kind of good!)

Susan said...

You are my hero.

The bus ride alone would have done me in. Which is why I stayed put and prayed.

Sooz

MississippiMom said...

Weirdest things?

Uganda: Grasshoppers. I ate one to be polite and shouldn't have been surprised when the person serving them said, "Now you have to eat another to show me you really liked it."

Honduras: The upper part of a cow's udder. WAY. TOO. SPONGY.

In Kenya, tilapia is almost always served with the head still on. I'd take that over grubs any day!

Marybeth said...

Hey Amanda,
My 6th graders and I spent some time with you in Ecudor today! What can I say they walked away with. Well in their words that looks like fun, I would love to go down the Amozon River! Thank you "coming into my class" and showing my students where life can take you when u give your life to the Lord completely!! The students themselves blogged to you but at school it would not work so the teck guys is trying to fix that. So maybe tomorrow.

We are praying for you. May the Lord use you greatly!
They have an assignment tonight so they will be on your blog tonight!

Marybeth
(aka Miss Clark)

Shellie Paparazzo said...

Okay, sweet thing, this is how much I hate fish! I would've tried the worm! Although, I'm such a sissy pants, I probably would've suddenly decided I was fasting for the day! Oh, my! Especially after listening to you know who vomit on the bus! I couldn't help but smile when you said if this didn't do it for you, you could go see your friend's posts, at the thought of them reading Big Mama's rendition of this particular day! Oh, my! Let's see, yeah, if you want more nauseousness hop on over to her blog! LOL

I love ya'll so much! Your such troopers, but I'm sure you would have been Jackson's hero if you'd eaten the worms! Speaking of which, how are the vine swinging lessons going? I'm sorry, you're probably sick of my obsession with the vines, but when your mom tweeted that it totally cracked me up. I can't get over it!

Oh, and I've only been to Mexico and eaten real Mexican food which is delicious! So, yeah, I'm spoiled, and a wimp!

Cindy Childers said...

Amanda, I can't think of anything crazy I've ever eaten, but my husband however ate "Cow's Tongue" in Australia and it just about put me over the edge. (And he's from Texas!!)

Wonder said...

sheep intestine soup...(until first bite we "thought" they were noodles ☺). Love that you all got to experience this adventure and spread the compassion. May love be multiplied!

This Is The Day said...

Wow, that was brave of her to eat the grub! I don't blame you one bit for not trying it! Glad to hear (from the LPM blog) that you got back safe! It looks like it was an amazing experience.

Rachel

Cooking Up Faith said...

Oh, I could not have done that!! I'm not sure what the weirdest thing I've ever eaten has been - I'm such a picky eater!! My brother ate frog legs once though - yuck!!

Okay, I must get off the computer and get ready for Ladie's Bible Class tomorrow - The Beloved Disciple - it's been a great study! :)

Traci said...

Well, two words that should not be used together: food and exoskeleton.

Allison said...

Lion King is the new favorite disney movie in our house and all I could think of when I saw the "grub" picture was Timon and Pumba:). What a great trip. "Grub" will be so much more meaningful to you now.

Enfant de Dieu said...

I almost threw up just reading this. I've got to say, though, you handled that better than I handled being asked to eat snails while on a mission trip to Taiwan. They weren't going to leave us alone until we ate one, so I told them I was allergic and my throat would close up and I'd die if I ate one. Not my proudest moment, but I was already gagging just at the thought of it. :/

Allison said...

I once ate a termite when i was in costa rica....it was really small though.

katiegfromtennessee said...

Your pics and the posts on the Ecuador trip were great:):) Compassion is such a great thing, my husband and I now are sponsoring a child. He is a sweetie. He's from Kenya. He has written us some letters, and we have written him back. I got one yesterday. For the first time, He said I love you to us. I was so blessed by that.

Erin, Sara, Emily, Luke said...

Jungle rat in the Amazon in Peru. It was actually pretty good!

We also ate Iguana (bad), alligator (good), Sting ray (ok), and Monkey (good unless you thought about it too much....)

Fun Fit Mom Stephanie said...

I ate guinea pig when we were in Ecuador...which tasted like fatty rib. And...I would take guinea pig any day over grub worms!!! Seriously...my stomach is ill, too! LOVE YOU!!!

Naomi said...

I ate fried cat in Haiti. It wasnt too bad, but I will never eat it again.:)

BeckyB said...

Leg bone of goat, freshly slaughtered just for us as the honored guests in Ethiopia. But you have one or two up on me with GRUBS and fish eyes. Loved this post!

Adele said...

Following your journey into the jungle has made me miss my (former) life in the boonies in Kenya terribly! Thanks for taking us along on the journey through your (and the rest of the group's) writing.

I've been living in various countries around the world for the past 16 years, and some of the things I've eaten oh-so-politely was goat intestines (Mozambique & Kenya), fried worms (from Myanmar), fish eyes (Taiwan), fried termites (Kenya). I couldn't convince myself to eat boiled cockroaches in Thailand...

Praying for your food takes on a whole new meaning when you're traveling in the bush! :)

Lori said...

AMANDA! I'm back from my trip to Quito to visit my family. I was praying for you all while I was there. I had to laugh at your tilapia! My uncle took us to a little dive outside of Otavalo claiming they had the best tilapia you ever had... I totally thought it was a joke when they brought it out and it was the whole dang fish! I said "haha...yeah, I prefer mine without the head" (totally thinking I could order something else at that place)...uh, nope...that was it but my uncle did order me one without the head so I didn't have to look at the freaky eyes! grody.
Anyways, it makes me so happy to see all those pictures from your trip especially all the places and names that are so familiar to me, seeing that I've been traveling to Ecuador since I was 6 months old...makes me want to do a mission trip there one day. thanks for sharing what the Lord did through y'all!

Lindsay said...

I ate armadillo in Brazil, which is not nearly as scary as those worms, Amanda. I think the smiling fish was a wise choice! ;)

Amy said...

This is awesome! I love it. The weirdest thing I've eaten is definitely the ginea pig in Peru...and I also downed the fish head eyes and all...had to count to something and guzzle it down with Inca Kola but I was pretty proud to have done it. Don't know if I could do it again though. The worm? Only if forced!! P.S. The guinea pig wasn't so bad. The one my husband had came with whiskers though. That was bad.