Feb 24, 2009, 09:23AM

Disturbing post of the week

A top-ten list of disgusting foods, complete with photos, video and a legal disclaimer absolving the site of any damage done to your person or computer as a result of egregious vomiting.

Good. Lord.

6. Vacationing in Alaska: "Don't Eat the Stink Heads"

Salmon is a staple of the native Alaskan diet and natives have traditionally used all parts of the fish. One of the traditional delicacies is fermented salmon heads. Colloquially the dish has earned the name “stink heads.” Essentially the heads of King salmon are buried in the ground in fermentation pits, put into plastic or wooden barrels, even plastic food storage bags, and left to let nature do its thing for a few weeks or more. The heads are then harvested and consumed as a putty-ish mash. 

“Stink heads” as a distinct ethnic cuisine have been covered in various mainstream media the latest of which is The Food Network’s “Bizarre Foods” show. In and of themselves salmon heads are not repulsive, whole fish dishes are a legitimate part of rustic AND haute cuisine everywhere and King salmon is a real world delicacy. What has struck the “gross-out” nerve is the overriding fact that much of the stink head prep process is less about fermentation and more about rot and decomposition. The dish, by modern culinary standards, is nothing but rotten salmon heads, albeit treasured tribal fare. Imagine, a bucket load of large King Salmon heads left outside during the warm summer months for a few weeks….Outside the native Alaskan culture the stink head topic is nothing but a novelty, but health-wise the tradition of stink head consumption poses a real and continued challenge to regional Alaskan healthcare professionals faced with frequent and, sometimes serious, totally avoidable botulism cases.

  • I'd go for the jellied Moose nose. Can't be worse than olive loat.

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  • The maggot cheese is the grossest of all of those foods. The Jellied moose nose comes in a close second. But, more importantly, why would anybody want to eat any of those foods.

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  • All delicacies, with perhaps the exception of the maggot cheese. I was in Germany a few years ago, in the Black Forest, and stopped at an inn for lunch. Our German wasn't great, so we just winged it, and got something translated to a "Farmhouse Snack." The assortment of head cheeses looked nasty, but wasn't bad, although perhaps made more palatable by many steins of fine local beer.

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  • I could go for some bat paste right now...maybe with a side of sheep head and fugu puffer fish.

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