The Tastiest Names For The Most Disgusting Meals

Yuck or luck?

Parents are full of funny euphemisms for gross vegetables. But, eventually normal foods and their conventional names (e.g., broccoli) don’t offend anymore. However, there are unconventional foods that only adventurous eaters can stomach. And, these foods demand euphemisms—we’re talking the kind of demand where you’re grabbed by the collar and thrown up against the wall.

Substitutions, deceptive descriptors, and exotic names lure unwary diners to select these dishes off the menu. Once at the table, a chill of terror creeps down the diner’s spine as they realize “this is definitely not what I ordered!” Here are a few of those dishes that may sound tasteful but are most certainly not.

Headcheese

Shift the focus away from the cheese part of the dish, and we get to the unappetizing head. In reality, headcheese is made from real pig heads. Boil a couple hog heads with some aromatics until the tongues are fork tender, then stuff it all into the intestines and slice it up. A great substitute for weeknight meatloaf . . . .

Mountain oysters

When you see mountain oysters on the menu, don’t expect a lovely plate of mollusks caught at the base of Black Mountain in San Francisco Bay.

Instead, you’ll receive a platter of fried bull, pig, or sheep testicles. In order for this Rocky Mountain specialty to catch the diner’s eye, the ruminant’s testicular area is likened to the precious pearl-bestowing oyster. You know who loves mountain oysters? Montanans, they actually throw testicle festivals every year in the spring. 

Prairie oysters

Sometimes mountain oysters are called prairie oysters, but this name also describes an outrageous cocktail. The drink is said to have been invented in the 1800s by a Wild West cowboy.

The recipe, you ask? Break a raw egg into a glass. But, don’t break the yolk! That’s the oyster and if broken, it would ruin the marriage of delectable flavors to come. Next, add an ounce of vodka, two dashes of vinegar, a teaspoon each of Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Splash in a dash or two of hot sauce and finish with a pinch of salt and pepper. 

Black pudding

Rich, silky smooth dark chocolate mousse . . . this is decidedly not that. Any mouths watering for dark chocolate will dry up faster than burnt toast in the oven.

Black pudding gets its coloring from one key ingredient: blood. Pig’s blood, to be exact. And, any creature’s blood, while red when freely flowing, will turn black as it dries. So, inky congealed pig’s blood is what we've got here . . . yum.

Cod milt

Cod is a meaty, flaky white fish with a mild flavor. Naturally, cod milt must be an interesting preparation of a classic cod fillet; like cod with chorizo and breadcrumbs, right? How we wish that were so. A plate of cod milt actually looks like a bulging, knotted, pinkish-white mass of umbilical cords. And, following the twisted logic of the umbilical cord, which connects mothers to their fetuses, milt produces fish babies. Know where we’re going with this?

Milt is an old Germanic word meaning “spleen,” but that’s not what you're getting here either. Order a plate of cod milt, and you’ll be presented with a mound of fish sperm. Brave eaters say it’s really delicious and tastes like pig brains. Well, that's convincing. 

Millennium or century eggs

Millennium eggs are ova from the best organic, sustainably-sourced, free-range chickens fed kale, quinoa, and avocado smoothies. Psych! Sorry, millennials, there are no special eggs for you. Eggs are eggs.

In China, however, century eggs (or millennium eggs) are preserved for a few months in a solution of clay, salt, ash, quicklime, and rice hulls. The whites turn black and the yolks take on a cheesy texture. Ugh!

Eskimo ice cream

Eskimo Pies are those delicious chocolate-covered ice cream bars, so maybe Eskimo ice cream is just like that, but made with whale milk? Compared to the other meals on this list, this is starting to sound appealing.

Eskimo ice cream, or akutuq, is a mixture of snow, berries, and sometimes ground fish blended with seal or whale oil and fat from a caribou, bear, reindeer, walrus, or muskox. Akutuq means “to stir” and the concoction is often whipped to six times its volume for a fluffy fruity dessert “with the sensuous feel of French buttercream” (smithsonian.org).

Chitterlings

Chitterlings has such a whimsical ring to it that of course an unknowing diner would be drawn to order it. But, no more beating around the bush: Chitterlings are pig intestines. More popularly known as chitlins, fried pig guts are traditional on Southern tables, alongside collard greens, mashed potatoes, ham-hock beans, and fried chicken.

The word chitterling has been used since the late 1200s and probably combines Old English and German words for “womb” and “guts.” Indeed, chitterlings sounds way better than “wombguts.” When first used, the word was spelled cheterlingis, which sounds more carnal than carnivorous, don’t you think?

Andouillete

Andouille sausage is delicious. Smokey with cayenne and paprika, aromatic with garlic and onions . . . it’s an amazing Cajun ingredient. Yes, we realize sausage usually comes in hog casings and hog casings come from the lining of pig’s intestines. We can handle a little gut, but not a lot. 

Andouillette, on the other hand, is stuffed with the entire pig intestine. So, instead of eating cute mini andouille sausages, you’re actually eating minced pig guts (chitterlings?) that imbue every bite with a hint of fecal matter. That just seems unsanitary. 

Lamb's fry

For some, lamb has a rancid aroma that the tongue can’t seem to slap away. But, maybe fried lamb would be palatable, because fried anything is good, right? (We’re still working out how we feel about fried pig guts.)

For the record, lamb’s fry is not a fried leg of lamb. When you order the dish, you’ll receive the lamb’s liver, heart, kidneys, brain, and abdominal fat. And, a side dish of “lamb fries,” or testicles (yep, balls again!). These nasty bits are usually breaded and pan-fried. 

Mountain chicken

Mountain chicken is a popular dish in the Caribbean islands of Dominica and Montserrat. Wait a minute—if mountain oysters aren’t really oysters, are mountain chickens really “chicken testicles” in disguise? Well, firstly mountain chickens aren’t chickens, but frogs—giant ditch frogs. Secondly, the meat of the frog tastes like chicken, hence the name.

It’s so tasty, in fact, the poor frog is on the endangered species list. 

Love in Disguise

Finishing off this unsavory feast is a Victorian dish called Love in Disguise. This is the most poetic disgusting-in-disguise euphemism on the menu. Dinner tables during the Victorian age and other periods in history were probably rife with ridiculously-named meals. If we could get our hands on old recipe books . . . .

Even an old recipe for Love in Disguise calls the dish “fairly disgusting”: It’s a calf’s heart coated in minced veal (keep in mind that’s also a baby cow), rolled in crushed vermicelli noodles (vermicelli, BTW means “little worms”), and baked.

After describing all these dishes, all we have left is . . . . non appetite!

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