The Bleiman Brothers are in New Mexico for the week, which as many of you know, has not yet invented the internet. Unfortunately this means this is probably the only post we can send up, but hopefully you all can amuse yourselves by contributing the weirdest Thanksgiving meal you have ever had. Maybe you were doing research at Lake Baikal and enjoyed a fresh Thanksgiving Nerpa seal! Maybe you were in Madagascar and sat down to a traditional Lemur supper. Maybe you were in Southeast Asia and enjoyed their version of the turducken: five of any extremely endangered animals stuffed into one another.

If you had one of those tofu-turkeys, take a moment to tell us on a scale of 1-10 how gross those things actually are…

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For our many non-American readers, tell us about what strange foods you eat at your family gatherings. We are particularly interested in puffin recipes.


  1. #1 mr_subjunctive
    November 21, 2007

    Sorry, but the weirdest it’s ever been for me was the year I ate with a friend’s family and they served lamb. Which was . . . okay.

  2. #2 Skyen
    November 21, 2007

    Weird foods?
    Well, here in Denmark we have something called “æbleskiver”.
    It translates directly into “apple slices”. The thing just is, they contain no apples. They’re little round balls baked from flour, eggs, sugar and water that you usually eat with powdered sugar or marmalade. And they contain. No. Apples.

    They’re called “apple slices”, and have been called so for several hundred years.

    And there are. No. Apples. None.
    Greater men than I have found insanity in this conundrum as they consumed those (admittedly delicious) baked goods of chaos and confusion.

  3. #3 Jane
    November 22, 2007

    I had Ihop one thanksgiving with my mom… all the rest of my family was working, out of town, with other people we both dislike greatly.

    Pancakes are GREAT. <3

  4. #4 Myles
    November 22, 2007

    Personally, I love eating those tender little baby sheep, but I’ve never had them on Thanksgiving. What I have tried is tofurkey, and I have to say, despite what everyone says, it’s really – no, just kidding, it was disgusting. 7/10
    Another thing I can’t stand (and always have to eat for politeness) is that dish of yams and sweet potatoes soaked in maple syrup and some horrible combination of spices and sugar. It can be edible, but not my in-laws’ version of it.

  5. #5 csrster
    November 22, 2007

    I have a theory that while æbleskiver don’t contain any _physical_ trace of apples, they do actually contain the Essence of the Real Presence of Apples which they spookily acquire during the frying process.

  6. #6 Andrew
    November 22, 2007

    I don’t think my keypad even contains the letters to spell this aebleskiver… but I am fascinated. Can someone tell me where to find it in the Chicago area or at least post a recipe?!

  7. #7 flame821
    November 22, 2007

    Weirdest thing I ever made for Thanksgiving was shark. Let me preface that by saying it was my Mother’s turn to host Thanksgiving dinner and decided THE DAY PRIOR that it was ‘just too much’ for her to handle ‘just then’.

    So with no turkeys left in the market, I got what they had left, which was shark steaks

  8. #8 Gerry L
    November 23, 2007

    No turkey or pumpkin pie today. I treated myself to a nice dinner of … chicken hearts. Used to eat them all the time, but now only rarely, so it was special. And I have leftovers for tomorrow!

  9. #9 milkshake
    November 23, 2007

    Chicken hearts (and calf heart too) are a great goulash component – their chewy+meaty taste is awesome. You can use them for soup, too. But all offal has an exceptionally high cholesterol content so you should go easy on it.

    Beef tongue makes a pretty good meal for a whole family – (it cooks a lot faster if you have a pressure pot and you add herbs, carots and celery so you get a soup base as a sideproduct too). But you have to peel the skin from it after its cooked – very difficult on a raw thing. Try smoked one, its even better.

    The weirdest thanskgiving dinner we had was an octopus – we did not want to struggle with a giant turkey for just the two of us and as students we had no money to fly back to Europe to be our folks. So we went to Chinatown and bought some weird stuff there, then cooked it and made a pot of seafood salad – mixed with butter, scalions and young potatoes – very simple & good. Octopus is actually quite decent meat if you remove the skin it after boiling it and chop it into pieces. The trick is to buy as small one as possible – old octopus tend to be pretty rubbery.

  10. #10 Gerry L
    November 24, 2007

    Yes, cholesterol is why I don’t eat chicken hearts much anymore. I also used to eat beef heart. Grilled in a pan. But it is the chicken hearts that have my heart.

    My aunt had a poodle that she spoiled rotten. One day she brought home little packets of fresh meat she was going to cook up for him. When I saw that one packet contained chicken hearts, I claimed them and cooked them up for myself and ate them while the dog looked on.

  11. #11 Lonelyfatguy
    November 24, 2007

    Andrew, if you don’t succeed in finding any aebleskiver in the Chicago area, maybe you can try ‘poffertjes’, the dutch version. But without the apples…
    They are very popular and are mostly sold on fun fairs, but hey have them here in Belgium too in stores. I could send you a couple of bags, just send me back some pecan pie and some banana loaf. Oh, and a double whopper. Air mail, please.

  12. #12 Angela
    November 24, 2007

    Oh gosh, everyone will look at me funny, but I absolutely LOVE TOFURKEY!! I crave it and love having leftover tofurkey for 3 days after thanksgiving. The key is to baste it like a normal turkey, not their suggestion of orange juice and soy sauce!!! 🙂

  13. #13 Shadow
    November 25, 2007

    The noodles.

    What made the noodles so unapologetically weird was that, on the surface, they appeared to be a perfectly nice, normal part of a perfectly nice, normal Thanksgiving meal. The inside (of one’s mouth) proved otherwise.

    This would leave one to believe that they had simply been the victim of some kitchen catastrophe – say, a hellfaery dropping in with a changeling casserole – but no. They were a tradition on that side of the family. They were meant to be that way. (Which I suppose begs the question of whether it was born of numbed tastebuds or politenes, but the rest of us were too polite to ask.)

  14. #14 Paula
    November 28, 2007

    Don’t try monkey heads or arms – a Liberian woman has been jailed in NY for 5 years for eating monkeys for thanksgiving and other celebrations. She calls it soul food! Check it out here


  15. #15 Rick.
    November 29, 2007

    I had æbleskiver for the first time last August in Solvang CA. It’s like Denmark in the middle of California. They tasted exactly like pancakes, but covered in jam and in ball form.

    As for strange food, my Filipino family had all the usual stuff. My Mom also made dinuguan, which is pork liver, gizzard, and meat in a pork blood stew. I did not partake.

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