Mark Danger Powers

drummer • educator • author

When in Rome . . .

(Updated: April 14, 2010)

I may not look it, but I love food! Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am one of the world’s least picky eaters. Most people have at least a short list of foods that they will not- or cannot- eat. I have no such list.

In the past, I used to say that I would eat anything. After being challenged by a couple of my drum students to mow down on items such as a drumstick or a piece of cardboard, I’ve altered that statement a bit. I will eat nearly anything that people of some culture actually consume and thrive on.

That being said, here is a random list of what some consider to be the more odd fares that I have digested in my travels. A few of these items will be expounded on in further detail in upcoming posts, so stay tuned! It’s very difficult for me to rank these in order of my personal preference, so they are presented here in no particular order.

——————-

– Pulpo and mofongo (pictured above): this Puerto Rican octopus/plantains dish is quickly becoming one of my faves! Yum.

Hot Pot, super popular in southern China: besides winning the award for spiciest/hottest thing I’m ever tackled (we’re talking painful here, folks), it included cook-’em-yourself duck intestines!

– Whatever could be gleaned from the side of a goats’ skull, on a beach in Ghana, West Africa. Remind me to dig out the photo of that one!

– While acting as videographer for some friends’ meeting with their sponsor-child in a remote Karen village of northern Thailand, we were all treated to a traditional fish dinner. But, by that, I mean the entire fish! Even the head, you say? Yup.

– Peking Duck at a restaurant that was much too fancy for my fellow bandmates and I. The chef himself delivered the final course to the table . . . the duck’s head. Of course, it’s a delicacy to suck what innards that you can through its eyehole. And, of course, we had to try it! I love China! Also during our stay in Beijing was a failed attempt to find another local restaurant- this one famous for its dish of ‘pig and cat.’

– My generous hostess during my first trip to Puerto Rico served up several new foodstuffs, including fish soup (with the little guy’s whole skeleton laid out across the bowl) and pork blood sausage. But nothing, nothing, beat the Noni juice she poured me one morning. Without the slightest exaggeration, the only way I can possibly describe the putrid smell is like pure vomit. I know that that would stop many people right there, but I slammed the glass as fast as possible, just to get it over with. I have to admit . . . it didn’t taste much better than it smelled. She was delighted that I drank it, quickly offered me more, but unfortunately, I really had to be going right about then . . . stuff to do, people to see . . . RUN!

– A night on the town in Seoul, South Korea brought many yummy surprises. After my friends and I dined on bulgogi (meat and fixin’s self-cooked on your tabletop grill, then wrapped and eaten in a beautiful green leaf), we hit the streets for drinks, fish balls (yeah, I’m not so sure myself) and sheep-on-a-stick.

Squid jerky and scorpion from street vendors in Thailand.

——————-

This post will be updated as I discover (and remember) other things I’ve tried. Leave a comment and let me hear about your food adventures!