My husband took me out for a surprise dinner this evening. No special occasion, just “because”.
We went to an Authentic Australian Restaurant featuring Australian and Indigenous produce, The Coolgardie Safe.
On the menu : The Tastes of Australia – A platter of crocodile, kangaroo, emu, marron, karri smoked chicken, Australian olives, Australian fetta, bush tomato chutney, wild lime compote, quandong relish, beetroot wedges and Australian style damper.
Emu (left) : It tasted like very soft, juicy, tender meat with the strong flavour of BLOOD. I figured that this is what everyone means when they say “It tastes gamey.”
Kangaroo (middle) : Tasted like very tender steak. In fact, it was so tender that it was quite flavourless.
Crocodile (right) : Tasted like tough pork.
Marron : Tasted like extra soft crayfish.
Bush tomato chutney : The tomatoes look like little blueberries and I thought it had a creamy chocolate taste to it.
Everything else tasted as expected. It was indeed a very tasty platter.
Now everyone knows I’m an adventurous diner. I’ll give anything a go. And when I saw that witchetty grubs were on the entrée menu, I knew – I just KNEW – I would dare myself to try it. I can’t help myself.
I was pretty excited! Wow! I’ve never had a witchetty grub before! How cool! Yay for new experiences. But it arrived. And I turned into a shuddering wimp.
Inside my head, a couple of nuclear bombs went off and an all-out attack was launched on both sides.
I AM A GARDENER! I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT’S INSIDE A CATTERPILLAR! I SQUASH THOSE LITTLE BUGGERS ALL THE TIME! IT AINT PRETTY!
YOU’RE CHINESE FOR GOD’S SAKE KAREN. YOU EAT PRAWNS! YOU EAT OYSTERS! YOU EAT PIG SNOUTS AND CHICKEN BEAKS! HOW IS THIS ANY DIFFERENT?
IF I BITE THE END IT’LL EXPLODE LIKE A TUBE OF TOOTHPASTE AND I’LL HAVE THE BOWELS OF A GRUB SITTING ON MY TONGUE.
I sat there for 10 minutes, staring at my grub.
The moment I found some courage to eat it, I instantly turned pale and gagged. It was so not cool. My husband was keen to try it. He was hurrying me! Yes, my HUSBAND – he who looks away from the turning pig on a spit. He who gags on Chinese soups.
Eventually I cut it in half. Passed one half to my husband. Chopped my piece into little pieces. And ate them all, one by one.
What does a witchetty grub taste like? It had a faint taste that was creamy and nutty, kind of like a soft fruit, with a thick, chewy skin.
I guess it would have been slightly more pleasant, were it not for the screaming and wailing in my head.
Note : For those who don’t live in Australia, I don’t know anyone around here who eats this kind of food. This ain’t typical Australian food. Seriously. Don’t I look so brave?