Foreign Queasine

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
That's right, folks, people actually pay to eat disease.

Connor Macleod: I cannot swim, ye stupid haggis!
Ramirez: Haggis? What is haggis?
Macleod: Sheep's stomach, stuffed with meat and barley!
Ramirez: ... And what do you do with it?
Macleod: You eat it!
Ramirez: (bridling) How revolting!

The planet Earth is a very diverse place, with many different cultures, each of which has its own traditions, history, worldview, and menu. For the hapless traveler, encountering a new and very different food can be an unsettling experience of the Squick-tastic variety. This is very much Truth in Television, and often finds its way into fiction as well, where it is usually played for laughs. Plus, it's an easy challenge for a Reality Show to pull off. (For example, pictured here is huitlacoche, corn grains infected with corn smut, a true Mexican delicacy!)

For the outer space version, see Alien Lunch. Foods like this may taste like feet. Contrast with I Ate What?, when a person ingests something that's not food in any culture. Note that most Foreign Queasine is automatically Stock Yuck material. May appear as a Masochist's Meal.

For the non-culinary equivalent, see Americans Hate Tingle.

No real life examples, please; what is foreign and bizarre to one person is local and mundane to another, and the user base of All The Tropes is not situated in one particular country. Also, taste is subjective.

Examples of Foreign Queasine include:

Anime and Manga

  • Inverted in the first Ranma ½ movie. Akane has been taken prisoner by a Chinese clan that eats only rice and pickled vegetables. She asks if she can have some fried eggs, and her kidnapper responds, aghast, "You eat bird embryos?"
    • Akane mistakes this for some bizarre and confining cultural belief, decides that this is no way to live, and cooks them up a proper meal. The main villain-captor-person-guy tries some... and almost immediately collapses in agony. Though this isn't just because Akane is a really bad cook; turns out that where they came from, the populace had been on the rice-and-pickle diet for so long that now their digestive systems couldn't actually handle anything else. Oops.
  • Used in Magical Pokaan with underworld princesses and natto juice.
  • Finland and Sweden point out in the Axis Powers Hetalia manga that most people only know them because of their infamous Surströmming and Salmiakki.
    • England also gets no end of grief for his food, which is invariably pegged as burnt and inedibly disgusting.
    • In an early episode, when Japan is trying to learn about European nations, he sees Italy and Germany eating snails. In the dub, when they ask if he would like some, he turns them down because "I've already had raw fish".
    • There's also this conversation, between Japan and Germany:

Japan: Germany, I was cleaning up my dolphin stew mess, when I found this.
Germany: O_o Well, who knew Flipper would taste so gamey?

  • In Moyashimon, Professor Itsuki has a fondness for bizarre, and often downright disgusting, fermented foods like kiviak (a paste made from the innards of auks that have been stuffed inside a seal carcass and buried for several months) and hongeohoe (a type of sashimi originating in Korea made from stingray fermented in its own digestive juices and urea).
  • In Crest of the Stars, or more precisely the sequel series Banner of the Stars Samson's home planet Midgrat considers cat a delicacy. His Abh colleagues, among whom cats are the preferred household pet, are generally not amused when he brings this up (which is not often for that very reason). He promises not to make any of those dishes when he makes a Midgrat style meal in Banner of the Stars II.
    • Ironically, Midgrat's decision to join the Abh Empire instead of Four Nation Alliance stemmed exactly from their culinary practices. When envoys from the major powers came to Midgrat they were each honored with a banquet featuring a cat centerdish. While the other powers expressed shock and disgust, the Abh partook with no comment.
      • This is also political commentary on the powers. The Abh, while finding Midgratian cat-eating habits weird, could not generally care less what their subjects do on their planets—they're a space-living race. United Mankind on the other hand are well-known to be the bothersome Obstructive Bureaucrats that actively try to make everyone conform, so they'd certainly forbid this.
  • In Darker than Black, the elderly Japanese landlord lady implies that the main character's people would eat "anything with four legs, except maybe desks". (He just laughs it off, probably secure in the knowledge that he's the best cook in the series anyway)
  • Subverted in Noein, when Haruka is brought to La'Cryma and is given a disgusting-looking dinner consisting of, among other things, very large raw grubs and soup that looks suspiciously like blood. She tries it anyway, and comments that it's actually very tasty.
  • Ganymede Sea Rats of Cowboy Bebop are claimed to be a delicacy by various restaurants, allowing it to be sold at exorbitant prices. In fact, the little beasty is dirt-common and tastes horrible. The people of Ganymede only ate it while getting their colony operating and the various companies gathering the Rats had to find new markets once other food sources opened up.
  • In Slayers TRY, there is the Dradora Surprise. The viewers are never informed on what actually contains, but is apparently disgusting enough to make the otherwise Extreme Omnivore Gourry sick when he is informed of its ingredients.

Comic Books

  • Happens in Tintin. It is mentioned that a prime dish in Syldavia is Slaczek, the hind leg of a young dog in heavy Syldavian sauce (though given the context this is possibly untrue).
    • Although he was more concerned that the chef might have mistaken a previous request and cooked Tintin's own dog for the course.
  • In a Doonesbury strip where Uncle Duke is serving as ambassador to China, he encounters birds-nest soup:

Duke: Birds' nests? That's revolting!
Honey: That's a misnomer. It's not actually made from birds' nests.
Duke: Good lord, I should hope not!
Honey: It's actually made from the salivary glands of--
Duke: Did I ask? Did I ask?

  • In Asterix, Asterix, Obelix and Dogmatix are accidentally stranded in pre-Columbian America, and are honored with a feast by the local indians, Obelix asks what they are serving and discovers it is dog heated up (the translation of hot dog has always been a source of comedy). Even a compulsive eater like Obelix is disgusted, putting his dish aside, and has no heart to let Dogmatix know what it's already eating.
  • In American Born Chinese, the horrible Chinese caricature Chin-Kee eats fried cat gizzards, to the disgust of the other students at school.
    • Of course, cats (being mammals) don't actually have gizzards, but it's a Take That to a racist comic by famous political cartoonist Pat Oliphant.
  • On a Garfield strip, Jon, Garfield, and Odie are in a tribal restaurant where the only item on the menu is something called "Unguah". After ordering it and finding it tasty, a waiter steps on something and exclaims "Ah! An Unguah!", pŕompting paninc on all the boys (who find themselves unable of swallow what they still have in mouth) and Garfield calling for the check.


  • In Crocodile Dundee, Linda Koslowski's character is out with Mick Dundee in the middle of the Australian bush, and he goes about the stereotypical "bushman" thing of catching a goanna (lizard) and cooking it up in front of her. She's looking at it somewhat distastefully and asks words to the effect of "You live on this stuff?" Mick Dundee's response? "Oh, you can live on it -- but it tastes like shit." Hilarity Ensues. There is a callback to this scene in New York... where they have the same conversation, with the roles reversed, about a hot dog.
    • Made even funnier when he pulls out a can of beans, proving that he was just screwing with her the whole time.
    • Crocodile Dundee 2 has one of the aboriginal men eating a large bat he had cooked on an open fire. When a disgusted companion asked if he is enjoying it, he replies "Eh...needs garlic."
  • Happens to James Bond with the sheep's head served in Octopussy. However, he does think it has a truth serum mixed into the eyeball.
  • Features in Ill Met By Moonlight (1957) (a.k.a. Night Ambush in the US); where Captain 'Billy' Stanley Moss, fresh to Crete, is offered a sheep's head to eat. Horrified, he refuses to eat the eye, only to have Major 'Paddy' Leigh Fermor take it and eat it with gusto.
  • In the movie Clue, the fact that Miss Peacock enjoys monkey brains (much to the disgust of the other guests, who weren't told what they were eating) is an important clue in two of the endings.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indy, Willie and Short Round dine with their Indian hosts and are grossed out to find that every item on the menu is like this. Live snakes, eyeball soup, and for dessert, chilled monkey brains. Served en suite in chilled monkey heads. Hilarity Ensues. (According to a making-of special, this was intended as an instance of the 'locals serve weird food as a joke on the ignorant foreigners' version of the trope, but the intention doesn't really come through.)
    • Never mind that they don't even remotely resemble any real Indian dishes, or have the standard vegetarian option (many Hindus don't eat meat). This got the movie banned in India for spreading racist stereotypes.
      • Indy lampshaded that dietary discrepancy in the novelization — it's what led him to suspect the Thuggee had infiltrated the palace.
  • The quote above from Highlander... made hilarious by who plays Ramirez.
  • In Funny Farm, Chevy Chase's character enjoys a local delicacy called "lamb fries", which (he subsequently learns) are actually sheep testicles.
  • Soylent Green IS MADE FROM PEOPLE!!
  • Overlapping with Alien Lunch is Daniel Jackson's first encounter with Abydos cuisine in the Stargate movie - which is a lovingly prepared roasted desert lizard. After an experimental bite, he decides that it Tastes Like Chicken, which he attempts (with limited success) to communicate to his hosts.
  • Triple-subverted in Demolition Man. John Spartan wakes up from cyro-prison to find that the food in his own hometown has become Queasine, because it has been stripped of anything even the slightest bit unhealthy. When he goes to the rebel undercity, he is so excited to find them grilling meat that he trades his partner's Rolex watch for a burger and a beer. Then he discovers it's made of sewer rat meat. After a Beat, he shrugs and keeps eating it anyway.
    • Okay, here's part of the list of banned foods; meat, fat, salt, caffeine, chocolate, processed sugar, anything spicy, etc. After a few days eating nothing but highly nutritious cardboard with the possibility of nothing else for the rest of his life... he'd have kept chewing even if it had been made from cockroaches.
  • In Galaxy Quest Alan Rickman's character is served his characters "native food". It's a bowl full of weird looking bugs. He doesn't eat it.
    • The fact that they were still alive and kept jumping off his spoon may have contributed to his disgust.

Quellek: Are you enjoying your Kep-mok blood ticks, Dr. Lazarus?
Sir Alexander Dane: [disgusted] Just like mother used to make.

Rocco: [as a dog rips his trouser leg] "What a charming little animal."
Lillian: "Do you know dogs, Mister Melonchek?"
Rocco: "Know dogs? I used to be a chef in a Korean restaurant!"

  • The Italian Cannibal films of the late 1970s. Aside from scenes of people being eaten, many indigenous eating (and to the chagrin of many viewers, hunting and slaughtering) habits are depicted.
  • Icelandic foods in the film Jar City. The detective stops at a takeaway and buys Sheep's Head, wrapped in paper, which he eats with his fingers while reading, tearing off sticky gelatinous strings of dark coloured squick and stuffing them in his mouth with obvious enjoyment. When his dissolute drug-taking daughter makes him a delicious-looking club sandwich he grumbles because it has 3 pieces of bread, so she makes his favourite Meat Soup—lumps of animal bone and other less appealing bits floating in hot water—just like mother used to make. Lampshaded by his assistant in a cafeteria serving a selection of roadkill in watery stuff (again) where everything seems to be served in soup bowls. After looking at the foods on offer he asks if they have anything vegetarian, then settles for coffee.
  • In Cars 2, Mater mistakenly eats wasabi after mistaking it for pistachio ice cream. A Fire-Breathing Diner moment ensues.
  • In A Christmas Story the family ends dining in a Chinese restaurant during Christmas Day. The family is very weirded out when the duck they ordered arrived at the table with its head still attached, but they are actually squicked with the reaction of the waiter when they point this out: the guy just hacks off the head and saves it in his pocket.
  • In both adaptations of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory there are scenes of the Oompa Loompas offering Willy Wonka a sample of their local cuisine, depicted as an slimy substance in the 1971 film and as crushed bugs in the 2005 one. In both versions, Wonka barely disguises his disgust.


  • In the Discworld book Jingo, Klatchians (a sort of Arabia-meets-India Fantasy Counterpart Culture) offer sheeps' eyes and similar disgusting things to foreigners who visit them. It turns out they don't actually eat these things but only do it to screw with tourists.
    • Of course, it's no surprise this ends up subverted when we get to the D'regs, because they were trying to fool the ever-suspicious Sam Vimes, who wasn't going to eat it no matter who found it offensive. He did light his cigar on a camel-dung fire, but he said it "improved the flavor".
      • Sam Vimes also later discovers that "vindaloo" roughly translates to "mouth scalding gristle for macho foreign idiots."
    • Pratchett also played with this in Witches Abroad, by describing the unusual (but delicious) cuisine of Genua being born of desperate ingenuity: "No one would eat shark's fin soup if they were allowed to eat the rest of the shark."
      • A joke he later used in Interesting Times: "The big meal here is pig's ear soup. You know what that tells me? ... It tells me someone else already pinched the rest of the pig."
    • Finally, in The Last Continent, one of his asides describes "local speciality" as "stuff that people from everywhere else run away from really fast", or something to that effect.
      • Which is especially hammered for comedic effect when the local Dibbler (Fair Go) sells Pie Floaters.
      • Witches Abroad mentions that some of the greatest chefs come from places where you have to be a damn good cook because your only ingredients are something small and hairy that hates you, and mud; "no one would make shark's fin soup," it says, "if they were allowed to eat the rest of the shark." This gets thrown out the window by The Last Continent when Rincewind notes that shark meat tastes like boots that have been pissed on.
    • Ankh-Morpork is called "The Big Wahooni"; in the Discworld Companion it is explained that the wahooni is a particularly disgusting root vegetable...
      • The description of the wahooni(e) is based on the durian (though that isn't a root vegetable) - see below.
    • Some actual recipes for Foreign Queasine are included in Nanny Ogg's Cookbook, including a simulation of rat pizza (a favorite among dwarfs) using sliced vegetables arranged into rodent shapes. The last step in preparing it is to go hide under the bed, overcome by squickiness.
  • Dave Barry uses the "French people feed snails to American tourists as a prank" joke in his book Dave Barry's Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need. His book Dave Barry Goes To Japan lists examples from his trip to Japan, including being dared to eat a squid tentacle.
  • An interesting variant is seen in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novel City of Sorcery: a character from a culture so pacifist that for fear of killing a living thing they never even eat natural food, but only synthetics, is forced to resort not only to "real" foods, but to actual meat. She can even deal with it, in the form of "just a bar, or a slice", but looking down at a wing on her plate stops her cold.
    • Something very similar is common in Anne McCaffrey's Death of Sleep and its same-universe relatives. They aren't quite as extreme, just vegan—or at least the protagonist isn't; she states a few extremists (such as one of her aunts) do go to lengths similar to the Darkover example—but the protagonist is similarly undone when she realizes an hors d'oeuvre she's been enjoying actually contains meat.
      • Said aunt will eat only annual plants. Perrenials are going too far.
    • Could fall under Truth in Television as well. Jainists are pacifistic enough that they wear veil-like things solely to keep bugs from flying into their mouths, where they may be accidentally killed, and they carry small broom-like things to constantly sweep the ground in front of them, to avoid stepping on any bugs.
  • Older Than Radio: Samuel Johnson's Dictionary defines oats as a grain which in England is fed to horses, but which in Scotland supports the people. (Resulting in the legendary retort "That's why Scotland is known for its men and England for its horses.")
  • In Superfudge, Peter and a friend collect worms for a neighbor, and speculate that she might eat them. This is confirmed when she gives them cookies into which ground-up worms (for protein) have been blended. Actually it was a Halloween counter-prank, there were no worms in the cookies.
  • In Shadow Magic, Alcibiades spends most of his time as a diplomat complaining about the food (and the furniture, and his job, and the people, and Caius...). Finding some fried dumplings being sold on the street is the first time he eats sufficiently since he got to Xi'an.
  • Some natives of the Ringworld are disgusted by Luis Wu's love of cheese.
  • In a Star Trek Expanded Universe novel, the crew travels to a planet populated by descendants of Chinese colonists, who have formed their own interstellar empire. Picard's task is to convince the Dragon (not that Dragon), the ruler of that empire, to ally with The Federation in order to fight off an invasion of Lizard Folk. To test Picard, the Dragon makes him eat increasingly exotic and vile food. Picard, having strict orders (and having eaten Klingon gagh), bravely tastes the dishes to the Dragon's delight. Eventually, however, the servers bring in a dish that looks and smells so bad that Picard is forced to refuse. The Dragon shrugs and throws it to the dog, who tries it and dies within seconds. The crew determine that someone is trying to kill the Dragon, but he dismisses the notion, assuming the cooks simply messed up. Since the food is prepared on an alien planet using alien ingredients, this could also be considered as Alien Lunch.
  • Richard Marcinko goes into detail about a Cambodian cobra feast in his first autobiography. Cobra skin salad, then cobra kababs, then cobra eggs, then cobra blood, then finally the venomous sac of the cobra itself, preserved in cognac. Later novels mention dog, cat, rat, monkey brains, as well as the fine foreign foods in Miami and the hottest food known to man.
  • In You Only Live Twice, James Bond objected when Tanaka offered him a plateful of something that was obviously still living. Tanaka got mildly offended, and Bond sardonically apologized, saying he'd thought it would be rude to the food to eat it alive.
  • Makes an appearance in A Song of Ice and Fire, when a slaver tries to seduce Daenerys with offers of "jellied dog's brains." Of course, in an inversion, the slaver is grossed out by the fact that the people of Westeros eat beef.
    • The Ghiscari also treat us with "unborn puppy on a stick", at a sporting event (geddit? Corn dog!).
  • A part of Jon Stewart's Earth (The Book) (a guide to aliens on everything Earth-related) is devoted to foods that one culture treats as delicacy and everyone else finds revolting. The examples include haggis, hasma, balut, and Peeps.
  • Subverted in an Able Team novel. Carl Lyons is in Guatemala and is eating a tortilla stuffed with meat when the man with him says with a grin: "I didn't think you'd like pig guts." Carl just looks at his meal and says, "I didn't think I'd like it either" and then goes on eating.
  • Inverted in Myth Conceptions, in which Skeeve is grossed out by a strawberry milkshake, comparing the proffered drink's appearance to mud mixed with blood.
  • In Neverwhere, Anaesthesia offers Richard an alternative breakfast - cat - after eating the banana he packed for himself. ("Thigh or breast?") Later, when buying food at the floating market, Richard opts for the vegetarian curry after finding out what sort of meat the stand serves. The reader never learns this information.
  • Played with in Count and Countess. Vlad Tepes criticizes Balkan cuisine.
  • The Child Soldiers in Someone Elses War are so neglected that their diet mostly consists of vermin that's not even necessarily dead. The Naive Newcomer hero is initially repulsed.
  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, during the Triwizard tournament, there are several foreign options added to the menu to cater to the invited foreign students. Ron immediately gets disgusted by the bowl of Bouillabaisse he gets, despite Hermione pointing out that it actually tastes good.

Live Action TV

  • Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern. That guy will eat anything. Except durians.
    • That's covered already by Anthony Bourdain, who adores durians. And yes, they've been in each other's shows.
      • Zimmern's also shown up on Man v. Food, where he introduces Adam to lutefisk.
  • I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here uses this trope for certain Bushtucker Trails. Hilarity Ensues.
  • This trope played straight through as a running gag in the sitcom Perfect Strangers. Numerous times throughout the show's run Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot) will often make and serve dishes from his home country of Mypos to his cousin Larry Appleton (Mark Linn-Baker), that contain such bizarre (and vomit-inducing) ingredients such as yak bile and the bladders of sheep and pigs. The season three episode "Come Fly with Me" centers on this, as Balki and Larry's flight attendant girlfriends Jennifer and Mary Anne get sick from eating Halkidikis (coincidentally sharing an alternate spelling of a Greek peninsula), described by Balki as the "travel food of Mypos", whose primary ingredients are the standard ingredients of milk, eggs, flour and honey, and goat spleen with mold aged to the point where it developed green fur on it. This is inverted however in the season three episode "Just Desserts" with a dessert known as the Bibi-babka, which contains typical dessert ingredients and which Larry attempts to market (though he tries to make it in such a rushed fashion that they explode because they weren't made with love and care).
  • Wilson on Home Improvement is famous for his eel pies, tadpole soup and kung pao crickets. And in one episode, haggis.
  • Quite a few of the items listed under Real Life have made appearances on Iron Chef. The feeling is apparently mutual, as many items and dishes that looked normal to Western eyes were greeted with dismay (occasionally bordering on horror) by the commentators.
    • And sometimes food that sounds quite appetizing to the American sushi-eater's palate will become this due to the way Japanese chefs butcher animals without killing them first, like the infamous Battle Octopus.
  • Crunchy Frog.
    • Lemon curry?
      • Prawn salad (Ltd.)?
      • Albatross!
  • An integral part of the Finnish travel show Madventures is trying out the squicky local cuisines, with the two hosts deciding via rock-paper-scissors on which one of them has to try it out. Notable examples include leeches filled with the host's blood, monkey brain, blowfish, chicken fetus and worms. Subverted at least once when the "loser" said that fried caterpillars tasted better than potato chips and kept on snacking.
  • The infamous gagh of Star Trek. A traditional Klingon dish, it is basically live worms. There are apparently several varieties.
  • Steak Tartare ie. chopped raw meat (originally horse-meat, but nowadays usually beef) with some oil, spices and sometimes an egg.
  • Survivorman: what do you eat when you've had yourself dropped in the desert for a week? Ostrich eggs, scorpions, and millipedes.
  • The Amazing Race does this to teams Once a Season, generally in very large quantities, and the teams can't get their next clue until they eat the whole thing.
  • Food Network's Sandra Lee can serve some up.
  • In an episode of Blackadder the Third, Mrs Miggins prepares "Scarlet Pimpernel Sauce" for her French customers, made by squeezing a frog. There are also "huge, suspicious-looking sausages", subverted when one of the Frenchmen comments to Blackadder that if he didn't know any better he'd think the sausage was a horse's willy. Which of course it was.
  • Richard Hammond usually suffers from this whenever Top Gear goes on an overseas trip. He wasn't interested in the snakes offered for dinner in Vietnam, and was less than pleased with the lamb brain, testicles, and entire head that were ordered in a restaurant in Syria. Extreme Omnivores Jeremy Clarkson and James May will usually take advantage of this to torment him.
  • An episode of Barney Miller had Yemana preparing what he claimed was a traditional Japanese delicacy, composed of fish heads and other bits of garbage. At the end, Barney is forced to be the first to taste it, only to discover... it's actually pretty good. Yemana samples it himself, and sighs and shakes his head. "Must have got the recipe wrong.."
  • Oscar the Grouch eats food that the Normal People find yucky, such as spaghetti ice cream, clam and tuna pie with chocolate sauce, and pickle juice. This appears to be traditional Grouch cuisine, and provides An Aesop about cultural differences.
  • In MasterChef USA, the winner of a challenge got to set the theme for the next challenge, which was based around one of three European cuisines. Joe Bastianich revealed the first choice of Spanish cuisine, Graham Elliot revealed the second choice of French cuisine, and then Gordon Ramsay revealed the third and final choice of... British cuisine. Despite his attempts to talk it up, the contestant and the other two chefs glared at Ramsay with barely disguised contempt, before moving on to discuss whether Spanish or French cuisine would be the better choice.
  • The Discovery Channel once gave us an episode of Flying Wild Alaska featuring Stink Flipper. Bury a seal flipper in the tundra to rot for a few weeks, dig it up again, boil, enjoy. Yum. White folks need not sample.
  • Survivor has gone here a few times. one episode featured, among other things, duck fetuses in the egg.
  • CSI: NY 'Fare Game' centered on an event where diners paid high prices to eat exotic cuisine, with each day featuring different types. The victim died after the seafood day, and Danny and Flack showed up for questioning during the insect day. Danny slurps down a giant black centipede when it's offered to him (while squicking Flack a bit), and later, he brings back more of the stuff which Lindsay also eats, biting into a fried spider on a stick, which squicks out the rest of the team and makes Danny lose a bet with Mac.
  • CSI Grissom says he puts red ants on his eggs sometimes.
  • The Beverly Hillbillies has the running gag of Mrs. Drsydale and her snobby friends tasting some dish made by Granny and proclaiming it delicious, only to be informed that what they ate were some sort of wild animal like possum, owl, rattlesnake, etc. Cue retching.



  • A Prairie Home Companion: Garrison Keillor has opined that Lutherans of Scandinavian ancestry ear lutefisk as a form of penance.

Recorded and Stand-up Comedy

  • Peter Kay has a routine in which he relates an incident from his own life where his father was baffled by discovering Garlic? Bread?! on a menu in foreign parts, before said dish became popular in the UK, wondering how those ingredients could possibly go together. The skit culminates in Kay senior trying garlic bread and declaring it to be "a taste sensation!"
  • French comedian Jacques Bodoin used to have a famous sketch about haggis.

'"Well, at first, I thought it was shit ...and then I regretted it wasn't."

Video Games

  • Ask Ellis If he's ever eaten horse before. He'll reply with something to the effect of "who ain't right in the head now?"
  • Dwarves in Dwarf Fortress waste nothing when they butcher an animal for food, preparing and eating things like the animal's heart, eyes, brains, and stomach. They will also butcher anything that is edible and not sentient. This includes titans and forgotten beasts, if they're not made of something like glass or amethyst.
    • This can get a little weird when traders start bringing you stuff like barrels stuffed full of monarch butterfly brains.
    • Elves go one step farther and practice cannibalism.
  • The Bosmer, or Wood Elves, of The Elder Scrolls have a peculiar diet as a result of the Green Pact. As they cannot eat any form of plantlife, they've become quite skilled at cooking any form of meat, including one another as cannibalism is a key facet of their society. Perhaps their most bizarre food is an alcohol made by fermenting rotten meat.
  • In Douglas Adams's text adventure Bureaucracy, you'll end up being served some of this when on an airplane. Actually eating it will kill you, and the plane can't land until you stow your tray, and you can't stow your tray until you get rid of the food...
  • In the first Eagle Eye Mysteries game, Hot Librarian Mrs. Garcia tells you that when she was a little girl growing up in Mexico, she and her family ate iguanas as a delicacy. The protagonists are quite grossed out (especially since they have an iguana as a pet), but she assures you that it actually Tastes Like Chicken.
  • Discussed in Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 3: Lair of the Leviathan: when Guybrush looks at the manatee's uvula, he says, "Mmm... manatee uvula," then pauses a bit before adding, "Eh, it's a delicacy in some cultures."
  • Subverted in Grandia II. The group comes across a town that is apparently known for Arum Root, which one of the characters had heard was a delicacy in the area. When they sit down and try it, they unanimously agree that it's disgusting. Then it turns out that the locals hate it just as much, but due to being under a curse that completely robs them of their sense of taste, it's the only thing they can stomach anymore, regardless of how revolting it is.
  • In Golden Sun games, checking out stoves in each new town can net you edible power-ups or a brief description of the local specialty. In some cases, it's quite appetizing, while in others, the hero du jour is surprised or disgusted by what's for dinner.

Ew! They're frying up bug larvae! It looks awful... but it smells great!

  • The Fallout games have, by necessity, culinary treats like the (in)famous Iguana-on-a-stick and other wasteland cuisine.
  • EarthBound has the Tendas' Tendakraut, a dish that the Tendas love but it's apparently revolting to everybody else.
  • World of Warcraft has food options than come from the plausible (like roasted boar and quail), to the exotic but edible-looking (like bear meat burgers or crunchy serpent), to things that even in-universe are considered revolting (like Sewer Carp, Mud Pie, and anything cooked by the inhabitants of the Undercity -save for the surprisingly tasty triple spiced cockroach stew-)


  • Cinema Bums features a holiday strip where Mr. Hereford tries to convert the concession stand to seasonal fare, sacrificing the appeal of dishes in the process.
  • Harkovast runs into this when Sir Miur and Chen-chen visit Shogun and he offers them Tsung-dao food, which consists of rice and beetles.
  • Schlock Mercenary has a space station-mall whose food court sells huitlacoche. They also sell fermented soybeans, or "natto". The house specialty is both together. It's corn smut+ natto. Its' Smutto!

Schlock: ...And you automatically serve this to someone who orders number two?

  • Elan is rather put off his appetite on learning that a delicacy in the Empire of Blood is phoenix pate. Since phoenixes explode when they die, the liver has to be cut out while they're still alive. He decides to wait for the main course, which is unicorn flank. Both of these in Dungeons & Dragons are good aligned, and are smarter than most humans.
  • Halflings certainly enjoy... interesting kinds of food In Our Little Adventure.
  • When Thaco of Goblins procures some food from the human city, the other goblins refuse to eat any of the bread or cheese, complaining that they can't tell whether these mysterious foodstuffs are plant or animal.
  • Scandinavia and The World; Iceland complains about Sweden and Norway's surstromming (fermented herring; "Wait, isn't 'fermented' pretty much the same as 'rotten'?") Denmark thinks he's found a kindred spirit until Iceland continues; "Rotten fish is for pussies! I only eat rotten, poisonous shark that has been buried for twelve weeks!" The writer put a "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer in the notes; hakarl is a genuine Icelandic dish made from shark which has been buried for some time.
  • Freefall has Winston - a fan of "The Entomologist's Cookbook" and a former client of "The International house of decaying invertebrates". Which is lucky for him, since on a planet that didn't finish terraforming yet insects are the main source of protein either way.

Western Animation

  • Rolf in Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy is partial to dishes like this, such as stuffed pig's head, which according to him is "a favorite of my country."
  • Used in Samurai Jack, when Jack visits the Scotsman's home (not Scotland itself) and is offered haggis. They even use some of the same lines as the Highlander quote above.
    • Also played with, in that Jack gets offered some food by an alien race and, upon seeing it, is delighted to have sushi and sashimi which he is very used to. The aliens look on with startled amazement that anyone else would eat it.
  • Justice League: Hawkgirl, an alien from Thanagar, enjoys human foods that are every bit as gross as her Alien Lunches.

Hawkgirl: But after we're done, let's gets some take-out from that Chinese place near your apartment.
Green Lantern: Great. But this time, no eel heads.
Hawkgirl: Lightweight.

  • Used in The Simpsons with Groundskeeper Willie trying to sell haggis at a school fair. Note that there are no stalls anywhere near his.

Willie: Haggis! Get yer Haggis! Heart 'n lungs boiled in a wee sheep's stomach! Tastes as good as it sounds!

  • The Weekenders: Carver falls victim to this when he scarfs down a large amount of a foreign dish Tish's parents made, only to later find out that it was stuffed with ostrich meat. Carver is shocked and then disgusted, and Tino can only gasp, "JIMMY!"
  • From an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast,

Space Ghost: Speaking of strange mixes, you know what I had for breakfast this morning? A sausage and mayonnaise soup with a cream of corn omelette, some milk I left out in the sun for a week, and some fuzzy bread.
Moltar: I'm gonna be sick! <Bleeaaaargh!>
Space Ghost: Moltar! Damage report!
Moltar: I just hurled in my helmet!

  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender it's a running gag that Aang, being a vegan monk with a Sweet Tooth, won't enjoy anything made from animals, from meat to more weird species. In the first season, when the Gaang runs into Sokka and Katara's father's friend, Bato, who makes them stewed sea prunes to Aang's eternal disgust. In the third season, Hama makes ocean kumquats, an equally-gross substitute using ingredients available in the Fire Nation. In the Foggy Swamp, the local waterbenders treated the Gaang to a fine meal of giant roasted bug; Sokka was hungry enough that he didn't care that he was eating a giant roach. And on the third season, when they meet Hama, she serves them ocean kumquats, which all claim taste the same as sea prunes.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, original cartoon: In a scene that establishes her as probably not an actual New Yorker, April O'Neil considers the pizza offered by the turtles—which includes toppings such as whipped cream, ice cream/pepperoni, and peanut butter/anchovies—marginally more palatable than...sushi.
  • Kim Possible is not a fan of this trope. Throughout the series, her brain surgeon mother makes meatloaf made to look like brains, declines an offer for squirrel stew and nearly throws up when told about the various bugs that are considered a delicacy. Ron has his own moments, such as the time he ate some chips and found out that they'd been made from crickets.
  • One episode of Johnny Bravo had him and Momma visit Scotland, where he purchased a haggis without knowing what goes into it. The smell attracts the Loch Ness Monster, and Johnny fights to protect his food. When he's finally told what haggis is (by William Wallace), he says "Eeeew!" and gladly gives it to Nessie, who decides he likes Johnny.
  • A Running Gag in Earthworm Jim was Peter Puppy's almost catatonia-inducing revulsion and horror over the content of your average haggis.
  • Played with in the Jimmy Neutron made for tv-movie Win, Lose or Kaboom during one of the contest challenges. Carl steps up to take the challenge and gets Plutonian Gut Chunks, a disgusting and potentially poisonous looking dish... However, Carl finds them delicious and keeps asking for seconds. When an alien race, also competing, gets a human dish - banana cream pie - their heads explode when they eat it.
  • Subverted on Kick Buttowski where everyone is practically in love with Scandinavian cooking, no matter what it is.
  • Hey Arnold! had Helga throwing up after ordering calf brain and eggs at a french restaurant.
  • In an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, everybody loves the cookies that Grims's aunt makes, to the point that even when it's revealed that the cookies contain such ingredients as nightcrawlers, mashed crickets, and dung beetles (with said bugs still alive and squirming), people pause only a moment after this revelation... and then continue munching them (although one person does passes out, but only to spring out immediately and praise the cookies. They are truly that good.)
  • Starfire in both Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go!, because of her extraterrestrial origin, is seen actively enjoying every Earth food she is introduced to, no matter how disgusting is to her Earth-born friends. Her love for the foods on this trope also contributes to her Lethal Chef tendencies (remember, she genuinely enjoys mustard as a drink).
  • In The Wild Thornberrys, in an episode taking place in South America, the family are served capybara burgers. Debbie actually enjoys them until she's informed that capybaras are giant rodents. To make it worse, an actual capybara walks on the table at that same moment.

It's a cookbook! IT'S A COOKBOOK!!