BAALUT (Philippines) How about that great delicacy of the Philippines - You take a fertilized duck or chicken egg, bury it in the ground for a few weeks and then enjoy.
Also known as "the treat with feet" or "the egg with legs".
Balut are duck eggs that have been incubated until the fetus is all feathery and beaky, and then boiled alive. The bones give the eggs a uniquely crunchy texture.
They are enjoyed in Cambodia, Philippines and the fifth and seventh levels of hell. They are typically sold by street vendors at night, out of buckets of warm sand.
You can spot the vendors because of their glowing red eyes, and the faint, otherworldly sound of children screaming
Tell yourself that every time you crack open an egg from now on
you won't be half expecting a leathery wad of bird to come
flopping out into the skillet.
Baby Mice Wine
Baby mice wine is a traditional Chinese and Korean "health tonic," which apparently tastes like raw gasoline.
Little mice, eyes still closed, are plucked from the embrace of their loving mothers and stuffed (while still alive) into a bottle of rice wine.
left to ferment while their parents wring their tiny mouse paws
in despair, tears drooping sadly from the tips of their whiskers.
Wait, it gets worse ...
Do you wince at the thought of swallowing a tequila worm?
Imagine how you'd feel during a session on this bastard. Whoops, I swallowed a dead mouse! Whoops, there goes another one! Cracked.com
BIERKASE (Germany) strong-smelling cheese made with beer yeast (?)
BIRD'S NEST SOUP (China) Made from the nest of a particular kind of cave/cliff swallow. The swallow secretes a substance from a gland (similar to a salivary gland) as an adhesive to bind twigs and leaves and such together to make the nest
BLACHAN (Indonesia) see NGAPI-JAW
BLOOD, JELLED (China) Duck or pig blood; looks like jello, but opaque and salty.
BLUBBER (Arctic Alaska) raw fat from sea mammals
BRAWN (England) see Head Cheese
BULL PENIS (Asia) Hmmm.....
CAMEL'S FEET (France) It's not really fair to include this as French, but my favorite recipe from the Larousse Gastronomique is _Pieds_de_chameau_ _a_la_vinaigrette_ (camel's feet).
It begins "Soak the feet of a young camel..."
You'll find it just before the recipe for camel's hump.
CAMEL TENDONS (China) These are much better than those cow tendons, I was assured by a chauvinistic northern Chinese friend
CEVICHE (Mexico et al.) raw fish marinated in citrus juice overnight.
Cebiche is the traditional dish of the Mexican coastal towns, where it takes many different guises, the ingredients being as varied as the people that prepare it. Red snapper is the most popular fish used, but cod and haddock can be used instead.
CHEWING GUM (U.S.) Originally made from chicle, the sap of a Central American tree. Now made with PVA (polyvinyl acetate) plastic, sugar (or artificial sweetener), flavors and colors.
Some Europeans characterize Americans as dim-witted ruminants because of this habit, which nonetheless spreads worldwide.
CHICKEN FEET (U.S. South and many others) in soup, pickled whole
CHICKEN - FRIED STEAK (U.S. South) Steak covered with a flour batter and fried, like chicken. This region is famous for frying everything.
Journalist Bill Moyers, in his TV series "Healing and the Mind," interviewed a heart patient in Dr. Dean Ornish's radically low-fat diet program, who said he was in complete denial for years after his first heart attack.
"I refused to even look at my cardiogram." "What is your profession?"
"I'm a cardiologist, but I'm a good ol' Southern boy first! Grits 'n' gravy, chicken-fried steak..."
CHO DO FU (China) see TOFU
CIBREO (Italy) Cock's combs (the wattly stuff on a male chicken's head, not the plant): reputedly a classic Tuscan dish.
CICADA (Mediterranean) This is an OLD story, but irresistable...
The French entomologist Henri Fabre reports eating roasted cicada larvae, caught as they were surfacing to morph.
Apparently Aristotle said that this was a delicacy. Although it did not taste too bad, Fabre concluded that Aristotle, with his fantastic record on experimental science, was probably tricked by some rural farmer's opinion.
CINCINNATI GREEK CHILI (U.S. Midwest) also "Skyline Chili, Gold Star Chili" Usually served over spaghetti or on very small hot dogs.
Basically, it resembles Tex-Mex or Mexican chili sauces in color and consistency, but not much else.
Active ingredients appear to be cinnamon and cocoa powder. Milder, yet somehow more toxic.
COD LIVER OIL (U.S. Northeast) more medicine than food, but eaten for its huge vitamin A content.
Polar bears absorb so much vitamin A that their livers contain deadly concentrations, and indigenous people know better than to eat the liver.
It killed explorers.
CRIADILLAS (Spain) prairie oysters; the testicles of bull. (If I remember correctly, the Spanish say "Como tu comes, tu eres" -- "You are what you eat."
CYNAR (Italy) bitter liqueur made from artichokes. Have you ever left artichokes steaming so long that they go dry and burn the pan.
Then you soak it desperately to clean it, creating a vile-smelling brown liquid Tastes, smells, and looks just like that.
DINIGUAN (Philippines) blood stew There is a "Chocolate Pork" recipe, otherwise known as Dinuguan.
The "Chocolate Pork" name cracks me up, b/c it's a nice way to get Filipino-American kids and non-Filipinos to eat what is basically a blood stew made with pork stuff (i.e. pork head, liver, heart, blood).
You can find a recipe in "Galing Galing: Philippine Cuisine" by Nora Daza.
DOG MEAT (Southeast Asia) Well, not a recipe, but a story:
I was once at a party where I heard a visiting Korean scholar say that at his university when dogs were used in psych experiments (no drugs involved) the dog would be eaten at the conclusion of the experiment by all involved.
Apparently the dog, having been taught behaviors which rendered it useless for other experiments, was considered a perk of sorts.
DRIED FISH (China) Various kinds of dried, salted fish are popular in East Asia.
One particular Chinese dish is made with ground pork and dried fish, steamed.
Delicious, but one of my Caucasian friends says it smells like dirty socks and won't go near it
DROPPED FOWL (U.S. Kentucky) Hang up a fowl by the neck to age until it's ripe enough that the weight of the carcass makes it fall off the head.
DRUNKEN SHRIMP (China) Live shrimp swimming in a bowl of rice wine. You capture them with your chopsticks and bite the head off. I think you're also supposed to eat the head.
- Find and capture a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake.
- Kill, skin and remove entrails.
- Cut into edible portions.
- Make a batter of flour, cracker meal, salt, pepper and garlic.
- Roll your snake portions in the batter.
- Fry in deep fat, heated to a temperature that will ignite a floating wooden match.
- Fry until meat is a golden brown.
- Eat it!!
RETSINA (Greece) white wine with pine resin added.
Legend has it that this was started by religious authorities trying to discourage drinking. Taxes were levied on wine that wasn't altered. Then people developed a taste for the cheap stuff with the resin in it. ...
The original retsinas had less than 1/10th the amount of pine resin as do the retsinas today.
A politically influential (and doubtless slightly insane) wine maker in northern Greece got the legislature to mandate his high level of resin in order for a wine to call itself retsina for export, and that is why we are stuck with resin plus a few fermented grapes instead of a wine with a very delicate hint of pine.
SAGO WORMS (Papua-New Guinea) The sago palm is the host of a worm that feeds on downed wood. They are roasted like sausages on a spit.
SCRAPPLE (U.S. Northeast) meat scraps cooked with corn meal ... I always thought that there was a large measure of brains in scrapple. Along with the other stuff too vile for hotdogs. I love it fried up and maple syrupped along with eggs and/or pancakes.
The Dutch don't waste a thing and I think that this is their invention.
The French Canadians make a *meat* product called *creton* that is not, I believe, a breakfast treat like this. But what could match scrapple?? Maybe even those brains will make you smarter
SHIOKARA (Japan) Fresh raw fish (usually squid) served in a sauce made of fermented fish/squid guts. Truly awful. I'd sooner eat a quart of natto than down more than 1/2 cup of this stuff
SILK WORM GRUBS (Korea) Steaming, grey silk worm grubs can be found in vendor's carts on the back streets of Seoul, Korea.
SONG BIRDS (Italy) roasted and eaten whole. Hunters have nearly eliminated many of the migratory species.
SPAM (U.S.) Recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. "SPiced hAM" tinned meat from the Hormel company was named in a contest in 1924. The handy meat-in-tins became an item of trade prized around the world, while boring and ultimately disgusting U.S. military personnel in WWII. ...
Spam is Hawaii's state food (more Spam eaten here per capita than anywhere else in the country).
Spam Musubi is a favorite finger food here. You slice up Spam, stir fry it in teriyaki sauce (or marinate it), stick it on a block of squished rice and wrap a piece of nori around it, like a giant sushi
STEAK , BLOODY RARE (U.S. West) Popular in other cultures too. In French it is ordered "bleu" (blue) which puts a slightly ghastly touch on the name.
STEAK TARTARE (France) completely raw beef (avoid the porc tartare!) Also popular in Japan (sesame beef) and many other parts of the world
STINKHEADS (Alaska) A fish delicacy invented by the Yup'ik Eskimos.
Just cut the heads off several fish (traditionally salmon), bury them in the ground for the summer, then dig them up and have a chewy treat! Getting it past your nose is a serious problem, but the result is reportedly somewhat hallucinogenic.
Given that there are no natural substances that grow in the northerly parts of Alaska that can be made to produce alcohol or other mind-altering substances, it was the best they could do.
Stinkheads are often used as a rite of passage to test "gussaks" (foreigners) who claim to want know more about native culture.
Few pass the test, but the natives have a lot of fun administering it.
TEA WITH YAK BUTTER (Tibet, northern India)
TEMPEH (Japan et al) deliberately moldy TOFU (i.e. ROTTEN bean crud)
TEQUILA WORMS (Mexico) the little worm (gusano) that lives on the agave plant gets stuck in the bottle. Mmmm.
There is even a special brand sold in 2-ounce bottles called "Dos Gusanos" (two worms) for those who can't get enough. ...
Locally, which is to say in North America, a not too uncommon confection is the tequila sucker -- a tequila flavored lollipop, complete with worm.
The first two ingredients are listed as "High fructose corn syrup, insect larva
TRIPE (France, many others) lining of cow's stomach. Famous recipe from Caen. ... Not particularly French.
Tripe and onions is a traditional British dish, and tripe is an important ingredient in much of the cuisine of Africa (e.g. Fetra Desti).
TURKEY , DEEP - FRIED WHOLE Justin Wilson ("Cooking Cajun") did this on one of his TV shows.
He did the cooking outside using a large, portable gas burner and a very large stock pot, the kind they use for fish fries down south.
The bird actually looked pretty good when done, although I wince at the calories.
WITCHETY GRUB (Australia) In Oz now it is considered patriotic to eat Witchety Grub, a plump insect which has become the symbol of Aboriginal cuisine.
It is served in fancy restaurants, but I don't think many Oz have actually screwed up the courage to sample it
YULE BROD (Denmark) also (?) ALE BROD a sort of stew of beer and old bread.
It made a striking appearance in the film _Babette's Feast_ as the staple food of some dreary religious colonists.
FIDDLEHEADS are the immature leaves of the ostrich fern. They are harvested in the early spring before the leaf starts to uncoil, and so have a curled shape reminiscent of the end of a fiddle or violin.
Fiddleheads are a traditional food along the Canadian East Coast, and New England, USA. Originally a favorite of the local native tribes, the white settlers quickly developed a taste for this peculiar green delicacy.
ROAST PIGEON BRAINS (China) The skull is crunchy and you suck the brains out
Pacha only reveals its terror gradually. Sure, maybe you can get around the fact that you're eating face.
But, the more you eat it, the more bone is revealed, until you give a final burp and set your cutlery down beside a grinning ivory skull. Its hollow eye sockets stare back at you with a look of grim damnation.
"Burp while ye may," the sockets say, "for the same fate will happen to you--and all too soon."
We wonder why the Iraqis keep blowing themselves up? Wouldn't you, if every evening meal was a festival of death? Cracked.com
PYROGY (pe roh gee). (Ukrainian) Thin dough that is stuffed with boiled potato, cheese, sauerkraut, cooked bacon, or any combination thereof and boiled. Served with caramelized onions, heavy fried beef and/or pork (25% bear, 25% pork and 50% beef sausage is also to die for) sausage, and sour cream.
RICE BUGS (Thailand) There are insects in Thailand the GIs called "rice bugs".
I believe the Thai name translates to "bug that eats rice". They are huge insects, four to six inches long and look like giant white cockroaches. They fly around lamps outdoors like moths.
They are called "rice bugs because they eat rice. They don't eat the insects, but rather pop the heads off and suck the rice out. Disgusting!
CHOW TOFU (Taiwan) Not sure how to spell it. It's tofu that's combined with shrimp or fish brine, and then allowed to ferment for 6 or 12 months. It is covered with kim chee to keep the smell down.
MOUNTAIN OYSTERS (USA) In the Western and Southern US, mountain oysters (aka Rocky Mountain Oysters) are a staple.
Mountain oysters are the testicles of young bulls. Cattle ranchers only need one or two bulls for a herd of cows, so the extra bulls are castrated at an early age. Most of the beef that comes to your table is from these steers.
Most folks fix them by battering and deep-frying them. I find the taste and texture similar to calamari when fixed this way. Others boil or pan-fry them. Folks also eat the testicle meat from buffalo, lamb, turkey, etc.
PICKLED DUCK EGGS (Philippines) Its pickled (I think or rancid or something) duck egg. But the duck inside is almost fully formed. It was all crunchy and feathery.
TIET CANH (Philippines) Congealed duck blood on a plate (red and round like a pizza), with lemon, herbs, and a sort of rice cracker
DURIAN (Southeast Asia) A fruit as big as a football, covered with tough spiky skin.
The pulp is pale yellow, with shape and consistency of raw brains. Smell has been compared to rotting flesh, old gym socks, or sewage.
Yet the taste has been called so exquisite that a European explorer of the 1700's claimed it was worth the journey to experience it; "the King of fruits."
Escamoles are the eggs of the giant black Liometopum ant, which makes its home in the root systems of maguey and agave plants.
Collecting the eggs is a uniquely unpleasant job, since the ants
are highly venomous and have some kind of blood grudge against human
The eggs have the consistency of cottage cheese. The most popular way to eat them is in a taco with guacamole, while being insane.
Wait, it gets worse ...
Escamoles have a surprisingly pleasant taste: buttery and slightly nutty.
This hugely increases the chances that, while in Mexico, you could eat them without realizing you are eating a taco full of ant eggs. From Cracked.com
Youtube video here Escamoles
ESCARGOT (France) garden snails
FISH FLOTATION BLADDER (China) that fish use to control their buoyancy. Chinese cooking uses this for a soup. It's pretty good, actually: sort of spongy
FISH PASTE , FERMENTED (Southeast Asia) shrimp or anchovy paste.
Traditionally, you piled up a mound of the critters with salt mixed in and let it sit outdoors until it was thick with flies.
Modern production techniques are said to be much more sanitary... Thai "fish sauce" is absolutely revolting - you take a barrel of fish and salt and let it set in the sun. Now and then you press a board down on the top and collect liquid dribbles out a hole in the bottom.
FUFU (Africa) Many West Africans have strong loyalty to their native fufu.
It is made from pounded yam and is eaten in slimy balls without chewing, normally with a spicy peanut sauce. It is a strong identity issue, notably in Ghana
FUGU (Japan) blowfish, with an organ containing a toxin so deadly that only specially licensed chefs are allowed to prepare it.
Supposedly it is the delicious flavor, not the macho thrill, that draws consumers. ... I noticed a little physical buzz, but that might easily have been psychological rather than physiological.
Certainly the danger is part of the appeal. Kills about 300 in Japan per year .
GARI (West Africa and Brazil) Grated cassava root. Somewhat like poi.
GEODUCK CLAMS (U.S. Northwest) big clams with a huge long neck. Very popular, just looks wierd. Often called "Gooey Duck." ...
You forgot to mention their real charm -- the "huge long necks" bear an uncanny resemblance to an obscenely oversized penis, including the head and a hole at the end from which water oozes.
GORGONZOLA (Italy) ripe stinky cheese
GRASSHOPPERS (Africa, Thailand) fried in oil. Good and good for you.
GRITS (U.S. South) cereal made of hominy (blanched white corn meal)
HABANERO PEPPERS (Mexico) bright green, much hotter than jalapenos ... Sure, just like a forest fire is "much hotter" than a summer's day
HAGGIS (Scotland) sheep's stomach, stuffed with oatmeal and steamed
A more accurate definition would be: "a highly spiced sausage made from offal meats with oatmeal filler, traditionally in a casing made from a sheep's stomach
HAKARL (Iceland): (Somniosus microcephalus) Greenland : shark.
The hakarl is poisonous when it is fresh. The production process does not include any peeing, but the body fluids of this shark contain different compounds of ammonia and urea, the same that give your piss that: special smell.....
Actually the shark meat is put through a fermentation: process. Earlier this was done by burying the meat deep in the ground (1,5-2 meters) wrapped up in something to cover it. Nowadays this is done by packing the meat in air-tight plastic.
The meat is left to ferment for some weeks and is then hanged up in air (to dry and get a nice colour) : for some more weeks. Hakarl is eaten without anything with it, like : jerk-meat. It is only the tourists (and urbans) who get it served as tiny : cubes on a toothpick.
HEAD CHEESE (Sweden) lunch meat made from boiled animal heads. Many European nations make this.
It's basically a jellied meat product made by boiling a whole head, and other scraps of meat, then chilling it into a loaf to be sliced.
IRN BRU (Scotland) Mustn't forget Irn Bru. Scotland's answer to the rest of the world's disgusting soft drinks. It's flourescent orange, tastes vaguely of bubble gum, and has the best non-beer adverts on the TV.
KANGAROO (Australia) Ten years ago it was considered weird to eat kangaroo in Oz, but nationalistic chefs have popularized it.
The chef of the late, lamented, "Pheasent Farm" restaurant in Nuriootpa claimed kangaroo was particularly popular with visiting Japanese.
‚ÄúMost people won't have ever tasted kangaroo. It is a sweet, strong-tasting meat, it's texture and taste described as somwhere between venison and liver...
To eat kangaroo, you have to like game; you have to like offal and you have to be a red meat eater...It's a very big, very strong-tasting meat
KIM CHEE (Korea) fermented mixture of vegetables, meat or fish, and very strong chili peppers, pickled and aged.
Legend has it that people bury it for extended periods of time, THEN eat it.
JALAPENO PEPPERS (Mexico) peppers from the town of Jalapa, which once had a large industry scrapping automobiles from the U.S.
People who saw the destination painted on junked cars corrupted the word to "jalopy."
KVASS (Russia) beer-like beverage made by fermenting old bread in water. It's sold from tank-trailers on the street during the summer.
LUTEFISK (Norway) cod fish soaked in lye
It almost doesn't matter what lutefisk tastes like, or that it has a slimy, gelatinous, gag-educing, unswallowable texture. For this strange dish, it's the recuperation that will make you cringe.
Iíll just walk you through the steps: - T
ake dried, salted cod and soak it in cold water for six days. - Next, soak the waterlogged fish in a lye solution for two days, or until the PH value of the fish is 12. That's caustic enough to cause a chemical burn. [Note: Lye is also used in drain openers and oven cleaners]
At this point, the fish is too caustic to even consider eating, as it would burn through your entrails like Alien spit through metal. To render the fish edible, it must be soaked again in cold water for another 6 days.
Finally, steam whatís left for 25 minutes and enjoy! Oh, but donít forget to enjoy your lutefisk with stainless steal utensils as it will permanently corrode anything silver that it touches.
Itís supposed to have a mild, pleasant taste, but it sounds like it would taste like an old battery. Thank god they serve it with bacon.
Casu Marzu - MAGGOT CHEESE What is the cheese called that they make in Sardinia?
The one where they leave the cheese out covered with cheesecloth so flies will lay their eggs in it, let the maggots hatch, then spread it on bread (including live maggots) and eat it? Now *that* is a bizarre food
This, dear reader, is a sheep' milk cheese that has been deliberately infested by a Piophila casei, the "cheese fly."
The result is a maggot-ridden, weeping stink bomb in an advanced state of decomposition.
Its translucent larvae are able to jump about 6 inches into the air, making this the only cheese that requires eye protection while eating.
The taste is strong enough to burn the tongue, and the larvae themselves pass through the stomach undigested, sometimes surviving long enough to breed in the intestine, where they attempt to bore through the walls, causing vomiting and bloody diarrhea.
Wait, it gets worse ... This cheese is a delicacy in Sardinia, where it is illegal.
That' right. It is illegal in the only place where people actually want to eat it. If this does not communicate a very clear message, perhaps the larvae will, as they leap desperately toward your face in an effort to escape the putrescent horror of the only home they have ever known.
Even the cheese itself is ashamed; when prodded, it weeps an
odorous liquid called lagrima, Sardinian for "tears." From
MARMITE (see also VEGEMITE) (Australia/New Zealand, UK) sandwich spread made of yeast extract, pungently smelly and salty.
MENUDO (Mexico) soup of boiled tripe (stomach lining of a cow) Supposedly a hangover cure.
MONKEY BRAINS (Hong Kong?) some people delight in experiencing weird or horrifying food. This takes the cake, according to most.
The brains must be eaten from the open skull of a live monkey, in a VERY expensive restaurant.
In another context, Woody Allen said: "I want my food dead. Not wounded, not sick. Dead."
NATTO (Japan) fermented beans. Even many Japanese dislike it. The guidebook warned about it. But it was served with breakfast at the Youth Hostel in Tokyo, of all places.
A strange honey-like syrup forms on the beans, so faint threads of it dangle from your chopsticks. Vile.
NGAPI - JAW (SE Asia) This one has various names in different countries and is a stir fried concoction containing chiles, garlic, onions, dried shrimp and some of the previously mentioned fermented shrimp/anchovy paste.
It's known as ngapi-jaw in Burma, kapi(?) in Thailand, and blachan in Indonesia. While you're making it, your house reeks of dead fish.
OKRA (Africa, U.S. South) a strong contender for Least Favorite Vegetable or Ropiest Mucus (vegetable division)
OWL SOUP (China) An acquaintance, Hong Kong Chinese, relates a banquet story from the PRC hinterlands (he was traveling on business).
What had appeared to be something like chicken soup turned out to be owl! His hosts produced the owl's head from the pot as proof
PICKLED PIG FEET (U.S. and many others)
POI (Hawaii) pounded taro root. Not many outsiders take to it; they usually characterize it as "library paste without the flavor." ...
Poi is actually very filling and nutritious--and easy for babies with severe lactose allergies to eat. It's got a kind of light lavender color to its gray.
Usually eaten with other Hawaiian food. Some people like to add sugar in it; I don't. I usually stick bites of kalua pork into the pork, twirl it around with a fork and eat it all mushed together like that.
POUTINE (France, Quebec) My vote for the most unsavory dish is a concoction they call 'Poutine' which is grease-impregnated French fries (called Frites or Chip) by the locals, soaked with fat-laden gravy topped by cheddar curd cheese which melts from the heat of the french fries and gravy into a sticky and stringy mess.
RAMPS (U.S. South) A very strongly flavored member of the onion family. The first fresh green vegetable to appear after the winter in Appalachia, it is gathered and ceremonially eaten.
This can leave such a powerful flavor on the breath that kids do it in order to be sent home from school. Wonderful ramp stories are told in the American folklore collection called "Pissing in the Snow."
RATS (China) In July 1994 the Weekly World News, known for its accurate and conscientious reporting (NOT) claimed that many restaurants in China were taking rat items off the menu because rats were becoming difficult to find in sufficient quantity.
The reason for eating rats is in the first place in dispute. Naturally, starving people always eat what they have to, regardless of nationality. ...
As far as I've ever read, the only time Chinese have resorted to eating rat is during famine or when the vermin are so out of control that the authorities try to persuade the populace to regard them as sources of meat in an attempt to reduce their numbers.
Fair is fair.
RATTLESNAKE (American West) Knew I'd have it somewhere in my collection of offbeat cookbooks. From "Cookin' In Rebel Country," c. 1972, no author or publisher information given:
This is an excellent page.
How about Jellied moose nose or slug fritters?
I have to add this weird article from The Telegraph.
The menu at Beijing's latest venue for its growing army of gourmets is eye-watering rather than mouth-watering.
China's cuisine is renowned for being "in your face" - from the skinned dogs displayed at food markets to the kebabbed scorpions sold on street stalls - and there is no polite way of describing Guo-li-zhuang.
A dish combining the male organs of an ox and a snake
Situated in an elegantly restored house beside Beijing's West Lake, it is China's first speciality penis restaurant.
Here, businessmen and government officials can sample the organs of yaks, donkeys, oxen and even seals. In fact, they have to, since they form part of every dish - except for those containing testicles.
"This is my third visit," said one customer, Liu Qiang. "Of course, there are other restaurants that serve the bian of individual animals. But this is the first that brings them all together."
Guolizhuang's owner, who set it up in November, is proud to combine his own surname (Guo), his wife's (Li) and his son's nickname (Zhuang) into its title.
A booking comes with a trained waitress and a nutritionist in attendance, to explain the menu and to boast its medicinal virtues.
Dog's penis, garnished with a plum
In China, you are what you eat, and The Daily Telegraph's nutritionist, Zhu Yan, said the clients were mainly men eager to improve their yang, or virility. Women could benefit, too, she added, although she told the Telegraph's female photographer: "I wouldn't recommend the testicles. The testosterone might interfere in fertility. But many women say bian is good for the skin."
Some dishes appear unexceptional, such as the simple goat penis, sliced, dipped in flour, fried, and served skewered with soy sauce.
But Guolizhuang also has its showpieces, such as the elegantly named "Head crowned with a Jade Bracelet" (provided by horses from the western Muslim region of Xin-jiang), for ¬£20 a portion, or "Dragon in the Flame of Desire" (yak, steamed whole, fried and flamb√©ed) for ¬£35.
For beginners, Miss Zhu recommended the hotpot, which offers a sampling of what the restaurant has to offer - six types of penis, and four of testicle, boiled in chicken stock by the waitress, Liu Yunyang, 22.
The Russian dog was first. It was julienned, and rather gamey.
The ox was, of all six, the most recognisable for what it was, even though it had been diced. In texture seemed identical to gristle.
The deer and the Mongolian goat were surprisingly similar: a little stringy, they had the appearance and feel of overcooked squid tentacles. The Xinjiang horse and the donkey, on the other hand, were quite different.
Though both came sliced lengthwise, and looked like bacon, the horse was light and fatty, while the donkey had a firm colour and taste. The testicles were slightly crumbly, and tasted better with lashings of the sesame, soy and chilli dips thoughtfully provided.
One speciality, Canadian seal penis, costs a hefty ¬£220, and requires ordering in advance. Miss Liu confessed that Guo-li-zhuang was an unusual place to work, partly because of her training - she has to recite tales proving the vigour of the animals in question as they are being eaten - and partly because of the interaction with the clientele.
I did find it embarrassing at first," she said. "And sometimes the customers take advantage of me by asking rude questions."
As for the supposed health benefits, Mr Liu, the most regular customer, was uncertain but hopeful. "I can't say I've noticed any difference yet," he said. "But it's a long-term thing."