Try It Thursday #2: Cara and Kyle take on Asian Market finds!

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Welcome to this week’s Try It Thursday!

I’d like to start off this post by thanking Special Guest Kyle, for being the first Special Guest on this blog and for agreeing to put weird shit in his mouth in the name of science. True friendship right there. Even better, he’s still my friend after the experience. Yay Kyle!

Alright, now let’s get to the “good” stuff.

Last Sunday, Kyle and I took a trip to the local asian market to see what weird things we could find to try. I think we found just a few things.

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Please take a minute to admire my handiwork at staging this photo, because it took me 5 minutes of OCD hell to figure out where to place everything.

Now that you’re done admiring, you might be wondering what the hell is that stuff? Well oddly inquisitive reader, I’m going to tell you. I’ll take you through the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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Cute things first, inside the bear (which is also a piggy bank where you can put all your money you saved by buying cheap sketchy veggies from the asian market) we found these little jelly things.

Bear Jelly Thingy Verdict: These were kind of like jello shots…if you took out the alcohol and replaced it with sadness and tiny artificial fruit cubes. It was pretty much just gelatin with a slightly fruity flavor, and added what I think were supposed to be fruit cubes but I don’t know that they were real.
Rating (1-10): 3
Smell: Infinite Nothingness
Flavor: My Little Pony Tears

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Because the picture is a little hard to read: “is a fibrous, cholesterol-free and delicious dessert. Spend hours of fun munching these chewy, juicy cubes or mix it with cocktails and other desserts to create your very own treats. Light and fibrous, it’s especially suitable for the health conscious. This Lychee flavor JUBES is for those who prefer cool & refreshing taste.”

I think that’s probably explanation enough, let’s get to the verdict.

Lychee Jubes Verdict: Not only is it fun trying to fish one of these slimy little cubes out of the goop they’re encased in, when they say “spend hours of fun munching” they’re not joking. You will literally spend hours chewing one f’ing cube. Whoever labeled it as fun must live a more boring life than I could possibly even imagine. It’s not just hard to chew, it has the consistency of a plastic bag. In fact the only difference between the two is this has a very slight fruit flavor.
Rating (1-10): 1
Smell: Fruit-ish
Flavor:  Barbie shoes with remnants of spilled juice

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Kyle channeling his inner Vanna White. What “meal” would be complete without something to drink? We decided to try the above Pomegranate Drink with Basil Seed.

Pomegranate Basil Drink Verdict: If you enjoy drinking refreshing pomegranate juice while hundreds of tiny gelatinous mold spores storm the castle of your mouth, this is the drink for you!
Rating(1-10): 4ish
Smell: Pomegranate
Flavor: If you can get past the chunkiness, it really just tastes like delicious pomegranate juice.

We also tried Golden Kiwis, which I forgot to take a picture of because I suck. They tasted like normal kiwis but they were more of a yellow color. Supposedly they’re a little sweeter, but we didn’t notice that much of a difference. They served a good purpose of being a reprieve from later offending flavors.

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This little fruit caused some questioning when I posted the above picture of the ingredients. So what is it? It’s a Rambutan! It’s an exotic fruit from Southeast Asia, and it was a little brighter red than what is shown in the pictures (thank you shitty kitchen lighting).

I was totally going to use my professional camera for these photos, but someone forgot to charge it because she’s a little worm.

Rambutan Verdict: This was actually not too horrible, not something I would eat every day. Maybe something to include in an exotic fruit salad.
Rating (1-10): 6
Smell: None
Flavor: Slightly Grassy Grape

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The true star of this experience: Star Fruit! With only about 30 calories and plenty of antioxidants, it’s a great choice for those health conscious folks. Kyle turned into Super Mario while eating it. (Photo evidence not included)

Star Fruit Verdict: At first bite, this fruit is a little bit confusing. The consistency is that of an apple, but the flavor is totally different. This would also be great in a fruit salad, or maybe even a smoothie.
Rating (1-10): eleventyseven
Smell: Tropical
Taste: Star Power

So if that’s the good and the bad, what’s left could be none other than…the downright ugly. Prepare yourself friends, there is no turning back now.

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Now let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time, we saw this really weird, dejected stalk looking vegetable hidden amongst the other produce at the asian market. For less than $2, how could we resist trying this? Poor. Life. Choice. Upon getting it home and researching how to prepare this we came across the following warning:

Do not handle with bare hands. Do not eat raw.

I know what you’re thinking, I thought the same thing. What level of hell did this toxic celery crawl out from? What could possibly go wrong with a warning like that. A lot, a lot could go wrong. But we decided to forge ahead for you brave readers, all 20 of you on a good day.

This vegetable is known as Bac Ha. Yes like the sound a chicken makes if the chicken were to make a bad joke and finish it with a “Ha!” for emphasis. The green outer skin can cause irritation to human skin, and the vegetable itself if not cooked properly can really upset your stomach. It’s most commonly used in soups. About the only time I want to eat broth-y soup is when I’m sick, now I know there’s such a soup that could actually make you sick.

Fortunately no physical casualties were suffered, though I’m left feeling like I need to dump bleach on every surface it might have come in contact with in my house. After screaming in pure terror as I accidentally flung a piece of the toxic skin towards my face, I now know how hypochondriacs feel every time someone in their vicinity sneezes.

Bac Ha Verdict: Unless you enjoy living dangerously, I would avoid this and other potentially toxic ingredients. Sitting and watching it boil just wondering if and when it would be safe to eat, is like playing russian roulette with your stomach. And considering there’s literally no flavor, it’s just not worth it.
Rating (1-10): -50
Smell: Toxic Celery
Flavor: Hot Styrofoam

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In the picture at the top of this post, you may have noticed some stubby banana looking things. These are in fact bananas, they’re Thai Bananas. We thought they weren’t quite ripe yet, but we found out later they really weren’t ripe at all. They are actually supposed to be pretty much black when they’re fully ripened.

Thai Banana Verdict:  Try these if you have a hankering for teaching your mouth a lesson.
Rating (1-10): 1
Smell: Banana
Flavor: Banana Scented Chalk

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Oh Bitter Melon, Oh Bitter Melon, why do you taste like poison? (Sung to the tune of O’Christmas Tree)

I was informed by the interwebs that this was supposed to be similar to a zucchini. I don’t know what fantasy land that person was living in, but this was literally nothing like a zucchini save for maybe the green color. And I guess if you squint your eyes really hard the exterior looks like a zucchini mated with broccoli and they had an ugly love child.

Bitter Melon Verdict: Science says that we gained the ability to taste bitterness as an evolutionary defense to poisonous substances in nature. Whoever the hell plucked this shit off a vine and enjoyed it is a sadist and should be fired from life immediately for his piss poor taste in edible things.
Kyle’s Comments: “It’s like if bitter chocolate and coffee had a baby.”
Rating: -1000
Smell: A mix between a cucumber and a tomato.
Flavor: Vengeful Ex, as bitter as they come.

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After reading a little more about the Thai Bananas and the Bitter Melon, we found that most recipes actually involve frying them. Not the healthiest of methods, but we decided to try it for shits and giggles and see if it improved the taste at all.

Fried Thai Banana Verdict: Quite a bit better, less like eating chalk. More similar to a plantain, would be good as a dessert with cinnamon.
Rating (1-10): 6
Smell: Fried
Flavor: Fried Crispy Banana

Fried Bitter Melon Verdict: Tasted like a whole lotta nope. Even better, the taste gets progressively worse the longer it’s in your mouth. And after you spit it out, be prepared for the charred after taste of satan’s butthole.
Rating (1-10): Hell No
Smell: Fried
Flavor: Fried Poison, wouldn’t even feed this to rats

With that, this week’s Try It Thursday comes to a close. While I thoroughly enjoyed trying some seriously unforgettable flavors, I’m glad it’s over. I think Kyle is glad it’s over too, here are his ending remarks:

“I think that the best part was the fruits that weren’t so foreign. I enjoy trying new things and I know that bitter melon is definitely not for me.” 

They say you should try something new several times before you can truly say you don’t like it. I think once is plenty enough for me on some of these things.

Y’all can be whatever you want to be, just don’t be a bitter melon.

 

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