Be honest - after a few pints (okay, a LOT of pints), have you ever looked at a can of Pedigree Chum or Whiskas and wondered whether the meaty chunks in jelly may actually be a secret taste explosion?
Whereas most of us would shake our heads after entertaining the thought (yes our pets may like it but they also lick their bottoms, leaving us to question their barometer of taste), food blogger Colin McQuistan decided to test the theory out.
In his blog, he writes that he tested the cat food (the brand was Felix) a whopping four times to check for consistency and texture and that the bottom line was that it was "horribly disgusting."
Surprisingly, the jelly wasn't the most gross bit. "I can reasonably say it is one of the most horrible things I have ever eaten. It tastes of chicken, yes, but there is something so very very unpleasant about it I almost vomit; it has a very burnt-rubber undertone and the chicken is chewy and tough; it is slightly sulphorous and the jelly is slightly more palatable than the chicken bits in so far as it doesn’t provoke such a strong vomiting response."
On the basis that "they eat cats in China", he opted to cook it a la stir fry.
"I have an gherkin (fresh), some sugar snap peas, ginger garlic, soy sauce, cumin, Yeungs Concentrated Chinese Curry Mix, sweet chilli sauce and Felix As Good As It Looks Cat Food With Chicken In Jelly.
"I first add the ginger, garlic and chilli into a pan for a couple of minutes to soften. I then add the vegetables, the cat food and the sauces and flash fry for another 90 seconds. At this point I was expecting the frying cat food to smell unbearable but interestingly it doesn’t give off any odour when cooking."
If you're expecting Colin to have stumbled across some innovative dish that means you can eat the same dish as your cat, you will unfortunately be disappointed.
He pronounced it as "1% edible", adding: "There are nice enough flavours from the spices, vegetables and sauces but the cat food lends a weird flavour and horrid texture to the dish: I can still taste that sulphurous and burnt rubber and I feel a bit ill. The dish also makes my mouth produce an alarming amount of saliva so I end up drooling all over the place."
Escamoles are sometimes called "insect caviar" because they're made from ant larvae harvested from plants. This Mexican delicacy is fried up and served in tacos and other dishes. Apparently, escamoles have a yummy buttery taste and cottage-cheese constancy if you can get past the fact that they're bugs.
Sardinia: Casu Marzu
Like Escamoles, Casu Marzu also relies on insect larvae. This pricey cheese, however, is covered in <em>live</em> bugs that give the cheese it's distinct taste. <a href="http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2011/11/casu-marzu-rotten-cheese-video.html" target="_blank">Watch this video to see a close-up of the writhing larvae in action. </a>
<a href="http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkintheroad/2009/12/let_us_now_prai_5.php" target="_blank">Anthony Bourdain called the Icelandic dish Hakarl "the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing."</a> This may be because the flesh comes from a Greenland shark that is so high in uric acid that it's inedible without first curing the meat for 6-8 weeks.
Scotts take pride in this stomach-churning dish, a mix of sheep's innards tied up in a sheep's stomach. <a href="http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/24/denying-american-scots-their-holiday-haggis/" target="_blank">After a 40-year ban on sheep's lung in the U.S., this year Scotts-Americans celebrated that it was finally legal to make traditional haggis once again. </a>
You may have tried frog's legs during dim sum but probably not Hasma. This Chinese dessert is made from the dried tissue around the fallopian tubes of frogs. You might not want seconds for this treat.
In Ecuador, guinea pigs are considered a special delicacy. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pam-grout/eating-guinea-pig-in-ecua_b_969983.html" target="_blank">So much so, that a mating pair of the furry creatures are offered as wedding gifts. </a> Cuy are cooked spread-eagle a spit and then served.
<a href="http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2011/08/downtown-new-york-ready-balut/41051/" target="_blank">When the Filipino restaurant Maharlika opened in 2011 in NYC, it caused a stir because it was one of the few restaurants in the U.S. that offered balut. </a> The contentious dish is a delicacy in the Philippines, and it consists of a boiled, partially-developed duck embryo.
Iran: Kale Pache
No part of the sheep goes to waste in this Iranian dish. Kale Pache (or Kaleh Pacheh) is an Iranian soup made from sheep's head, hooves, and stomach boiled in spices. Other versions of this dish appear in various Arab countries.
Historically, Nordic people lived off of lutefisk during the winter. Today, Lutefisk is still enjoyed by Scandinavian communities in Minneapolis during Christmas. The Nordic delicacy is made of cod or hake that is dried, jellied in lye, and then cooked in butter. It a very pungent dish, and the Village Voice called Lukefish's odor<a href="http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkintheroad/2009/12/let_us_now_prai_1.php" target="_blank">"something like the smell outside a seafood resetaurant after the garbage is put out on the hottest day of summer."</a>
BONUS: Spain: Criadillas
This dish will make a man out of you. Criadilla is the Spanish word for bull testicle. If you can stomach a criadilla, the rest of this list should be cake.