The Unvegan

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‘Strange Meat’

Strange Meats: Camel

Whatcha gonna do with all that hump?
Whatcha gonna do with all that hump?

After taking a camel ride in the Sahara, it almost seems wrong to have sought out camel meat in Marrakesh. Yet, that’s exactly what I did because I’m a man of the people and my people are unvegans. I found what looked to be a camel hump in a stall in the Medina and knew I had come to the right place. For those that are wondering, yes that is a hump in the picture and no, the humps are not filled with water. In fact, they are mostly fat.

Strange Meats: Chiavetta’s Chicken

Kinda like a normal chicken.
Kinda like a normal chicken.

Throughout my time in Western New York, I saw a great many signs for “Chicken BBQ.” They would often appear on weekends as fundraisers for churches and the like. Eventually I learned they were using Chiavetta’s Marinade and while the chicken itself was ordinary, I found the existence and cultural phenomenon of Chiavetta’s strange enough to turn Chiavetta’s Chicken into a strange meat.

Strange Meats: Guinea Fowl

Tastes like chicken.
Tastes like chicken.

You know that whole “tastes like chicken” thing that was popular back when The Matrix came out? Yeah, I thought it was annoying too. However, when it came to eating guinea fowl (also known as bush chicken), I was eager to put that old adage to the test. My opportunity to dine on this fowl came in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and perhaps the best part of eating guinea fowl for dinner was the fact that I saw flocks of wild guinea fowl wandering the grounds of the restaurant earlier in the day.

Strange Meats: Mopani Worm

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me...
Nobody likes me, everybody hates me…

Have you ever accidentally swallowed a fly and been told it’s good protein? Well, it’s true and flies aren’t alone in the bug world as a good source of protein. And in some places the bugs are eaten deliberately. I’ve seen scorpions and tarantulas eaten in China, heard about eating silkworms in Korea and now have my own bug-eating experience in Zimbabwe.

Strange Meats: Ostrich

Pan-seared ostrich.
Pan-seared ostrich.

The ostrich is a strange creature. A relic of a world ruled by birds, it is both flightless and the largest bird on Earth. These factors combine to make it ideal for food, and if it weren’t the fastest bird on the planet, I have a feeling its meat would be a bit more ubiquitous on the dinner plate. Ostrich is certainly not the strangest of meats, as it can be found as beef alternative in healthy burgers. Yet, it is unquestionably abnormal.

Strange Meats: Kudu and Impala

Oh antelope, how deer-like you are.
Oh kudu, how deer-like you are.

On the first day of our safari, we spotted something strolling around the hotel grounds. To an untrained eye like mine, I thought it was a deer. But hey, I was in South Africa and deer are boring. It turned out to be an antelope called kudu. Kudu are pretty common, which is why, when I found myself being served kudu a couple days later I was only somewhat concerned that it was the kudu I had seen bumming around the grounds.

The Best Wurst at Wurstkuche

A fest of sausage.
A fest of sausage.

I had been hearing about a glorious and semi-new restaurant in downtown LA for months and finally I gathered up the strength to make the trek down the 10 and check it out. This new restaurant is called Wurstkuche and although there are multiple fun and interesting pronunciations for such a place, the one thing that is certain is that it means “sausage kitchen” in some Germanic language.

Arriving on a Sunday night, I expected the place to be packed, but was happy to find a relatively short line at the counter that gave me just enough time to decide what I wanted. The menu is limited to a wide variety of sausages and french fries. Although this seems kind of limiting, there is a sausage in their extensive list for everyone (even those dastardly vegetarians and vegans). The most intriguing part for me was the exotic sausages.