Monday 21 October 2019

'10 weird foods to eat before you die' - our reporter tries 1,000-year-old egg, shredded jellyfish, and a cow's aorta

Aoife Walsh with Eva Pau, Commercial Director at the Asia Market on Drury Street
Pic by Steve Humphreys
Aoife Walsh with Eva Pau, Commercial Director at the Asia Market on Drury Street Pic by Steve Humphreys
Jellyfish at the Asia Market on Drury Street Pic by Steve Humphreys
Rambutan at the Asia Market on Drury Street. Pic by Steve Humphreys
The thousand-year-old egg at the Asia Market on Drury Street Pic by Steve Humphreys
Tamarind at the Asia Market on Drury Street. Pic by Steve Humphreys
Eva Pau Commercial Director at the Asia Market on Drury Street Pic by Steve Humphreys
Mochi at the Asia Market on Drury Street Pic by Steve Humphreys

Aoife Walsh

A thousand-year-old egg, shredded jellyfish, and a cow's aorta are some of the specialties that will be on offer during the DublinTown Food and Drink festival taking place this month.

Owner of the Asia Market, Drury Street, Dublin, Eva Pau is inviting adventurous customers to try "10 weird foods to eat before you die,"including dishes such as Japanese eel, fish balls, and durian, also known as the world’s smelliest fruit.

The event is one of many that the Asian Market is holding during the DublinTown Food and Drink festival, which kicks off on the Monday October 14 until Sunday October 20.

Wanting to get in on the action myself, I tasted five of the weird and wacky dishes, including special Japanese dessert, mochi, southeast Asian fruit rambutan, crunchy jellyfish, the special thousand-year-old-egg, and the spicy beef aorta.

Mochi, a rice cake dessert with a doughy shell and gooey centre, tastes like a big, chewy marshmallow. I tried the green tea flavour, but plenty of other flavours such as chocolate and coffee are also available.

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Mochi at the Asia Market on Drury Street Pic by Steve Humphreys

The rambutan fruit is slightly bizarre to look at. It's round and red, with long green hairs covering it. On the inside is a white bubble of sweet and fruity goodness - but watch out for the stone in the centre.

If that isn't enough to quieten your rumbling tummy, a taste of the slippery jellyfish might do the trick. Having never tried jellyfish before, I was taken back by it's tough texture - but it's not so bad.

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Jellyfish at the Asia Market on Drury Street Pic by Steve Humphreys

The thousand-year-old egg was definitely the dish I feared the most. It's black and green on the inside, so it isn't exactly kind to the eye - or the nose either, for that matter.

I learned the egg hasn't actually persevered over the past millennium. Instead, the egg is soaked in a solution made of clay, ash and salt over a few months. I expected it to taste horrific, but it actually tasted like a very eggy egg.

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The thousand-year-old egg at the Asia Market on Drury Street Pic by Steve Humphreys

The toughest taste test was the beef aorta. The texture, the crunch, the thought of what I was eating on top of the light spicy taste made it one food I wouldn't wish to try again.

To taste the dishes yourself, head down to the Asia Market at 6.00pm on Thursday, 17 October. Tickets cost €40.

More than 50 businesses will participate in the DublinTown Food and Drink festival, bringing together some of the most exclusive and diverse cuisines Dublin has to offer.

Other events include the Dublin Pub Historical Trail, Multi-Sensory Coffee Experience with Irish Barista Champion Wojciech Tysler at Bewley's Grafton Street,  and a dumpling making workshop.

For more on each of the exclusive experiences and to book event tickets visit foodanddrinkfest.ie.

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