First Bite

About once every couple of months my Dad would get a hankering for Limburger cheese. He’d buy himself a hunk with some good dark German rye bread. Then, with all the kids gathered around barely able to contain their excitement, he’d sloooooowly unwrap the cheese while we all screamed in giddy anticipation and horror.

If you’ve never smelled the Limburger, it’s quite pungent – like the smelliest of smelly feet. That’s because Limburger cheese is made with the same bacterium found on human skin (Brevibacterium linens) which, in part, causes body odors.

Anyway, us kids would then watch as Dad spread the cheese on the dark rye, add some sliced onions, pour himself a cold lager…and then…then he’d offer us the first bite… At which point we all ran away and he enjoyed his sandwich and beer in peace.

When I got older, I did, one day take him up on his offer of the first bite. The younger kids shrieked in disbelief and followed me around the rest of the day asking me to explain in minute and precise detail exactly what it tasted like.

It wasn’t bad. It started me on the road to trying and enjoying a lot of different cheeses.

I wonder if my Dad would have been grossed out at the thought of eating tofu? Some people are.

I also like to eat cold spaghetti (with sauce) which my daughter thinks is revolting. I like it a lot better cold than hot. She also thinks its revolting that I have kippers and toast (cold) for breakfast sometimes and that I like onion, tomato and peanut butter sandwiches.

Is there anything unusual you like to eat that friends and/or family think is weird or yucky? Or, is there anything unusual someone you know eats that you think is weird or yucky? Not unhealthy-yucky (because that list could be endless) but Limburger cheese & onions style weird/yucky. Like these:

  • Bagels spread with hotdog relish
  • Doritos dipped in Marshmallow Fluff
  • French Fries dipped in milk shakes
  • Donuts dunked in beer
  • Sugar in scrambled eggs
  • Sushi with ketchup
  • Cream cheese on hot dogs
  • Popcorn with yellow mustard for dipping (I do this sometimes)
  • Chocolate sprinkles on rice

Who knows what culinary wonders are out there we haven’t tried yet?

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48 responses to “First Bite

  1. The only weird one that I can think of is coffee cheese. Dad used to make this when I was a kid but I haven’t had it in a long time: Cut big chunks of a good cheddar and drop into a coffee cup. Pour hot coffee in the cup and let it stand about 2 or 3 minutes. Pour most of the coffee out and then twirl out the melty coffee cheese on a fork. It’s really delicious! I haven’t had it in a while but I think about it a lot. MMmmmm, coffee cheese.

  2. For some reason lots of people find cream of tomato soup (homemade is best) with peanut butter sandwiches revolting. Go figure.

  3. Dr. Monkey – Not any more?

    Geewits – That sounds pretty revolting to me. Maybe you should try it again and see if it’s still as good as you remember. Let us know. Please.

    Trashee – Might as well get all your pseudo-foods in one glorious dish, right?

    Hannah – Do you? Do you buy it and just eat it randomly throughout the year? Do you have it with all sorts of meals?

    Jazz – Really? I like cream of tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches. I’ve never tried it with peanut butter. Peanut butter seems like the most versatile food ever invented. There isn’t anything someone doesn’t eat regularly with peanut butter, I think.

  4. I also really like pickled anchovies, aka boquerones. My girlfriend only lets me eat them (and kippers) when she’s out of town.

  5. XUP-I mainly like to eat it by itself randomly throughout the year and obviously more often around Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I also like to cook with it and used it in my cranberry/pumpkin cake recipe. 🙂

  6. Funny that you posted this at the same time as this other blog posted about things to eat when one bikes 100 miles a day for days on end.
    http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/2009/10/what-long-distance-cyclists-really-eat.html

    When we were little, my Mum used to make us bolognie melts. She had a meat grinder (the heavy metal manual kind that bolts onto the edge of the kitchen counter) and she’d put slices of bolognie (that’s how we pronounced it, so that’s how I’m spelling it) in it and make it like hamburger and then add sweet pickle relish to the mix. Spread it on bread and add a slice of cheese on top, run it under the broiler and Yum!

  7. Closest I get is dipping my french fries into my Frosty-brand dairy desserts at Wendy’s, which is already on your list. I’ll eat leftover macaroni & cheese cold if I’m too lazy to reheat it. But I’m pretty vanilla food-wise.

    But there is this chick I know who likes to eat her toast cold. She even blogged about it once, as if it’s a normal thing. Can you believe it? I know! Crazy!

    – RG>

  8. First, I had to look up Poutine, because I totaly thought it meant something else…not even close.

    Second: In our family growing up it was a family tradition that at midnight on New Years Eve everyone and I do mean EVERYONE had to eat Limburger on rye with pickled herring and onion…I kept that tradition until just a few years back. Sometimes I’d miss midnight because I was out and you really can’t whip out a sandwhich like that and eat it in a public place, or really shouldn’t, but I’d eat it as soon as I got home. Germans are just strange folks.

  9. Dave – Poutine is just yucky in an artery-clogging way. It’s probably delicious otherwise, like so many other artery-clogging foods. Pickled anchovies, eh? Sounds like something you’ll be able to torment your kids with one day, too. When my Dad had Limburger, he’d have to sleep in the spare room.

    Hannah – Meh, I don’t think cranberry sauce is so strange. Now if you used it as a chip dip, that would be interesting. Actually chips dipped in apple sauce are great, so maybe cranberry sauce would work as well??? Try it!

    Julia – I guess if you think of balognie (even ground up) as the same stuff as hot dogs and hot dogs are good with cheese and relish, so why not. Did she have a name for these things? Seems like a lot of work when you could just have had hot dogs. Or even plain balognie with relish and cheese. Why grind it up?

    Grouchy – The french fries in the frosty/milk shake thing seems to be enormously popular. I don’t know why. And while I was looking around for stuff about food I found the film where they guy puts the McDonald’s fries in a jar (and other McDonald’s stuff in other jars) and while everything else rots, the McDonald’s fries are still good as new after 10 weeks. That was freaky. I’m sure they were cold by then though. Cold stuff is good. If I’d been a caveman person I would never have invented fire.

    Lebowski – Ah those French and their butter. They sure like butter. They even eat ketchup with butter. Was it warm toast or cold?

    Cedar – I love pickled herring and onion. Seems like a bit of overkill to add Limburger to the mix though. And they wonder why we’re all still single! Anyway, yeah — poutine is actually a food you can buy in restaurants and chip wagons all over Quebec, Ottawa and other random places in Canada. Also, Portland Oregon for some reason. They seem to have taken a shine to it, though they charge four bucks for a small plate of it with hardly any visible cheese curds. I can’t imagine what YOU thought poutine could be. Hmmmmm.

  10. Yes, it’s from the DVD extras to Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me. I can lend you my copy if you like.

    Note, however, that *looking* good as new and actually being no less healthy or tasty are two very different things.

    – RG>

  11. I worked with a Woman Marine (I believe that’s the approved language) who would load her breakfast-buffet plate up with sausages, Canadian bacon, eggs, pancakes, the works, then smother EVERYTHING with maple syrup. The smell was enough leave her alone.

  12. Grouchy – But why didn’t they rot? The other french fries rotted right away. And they were never healthy or tasty to being with, so that’s moot.

    Friar – Well, I guess it’s the same as a grilled cheese sandwich dipped in ketchup or eaten with tomato soup – both of which are pretty normal, right?

    Nylon – The smell of maple syrup is bad?? I love the smell of maple syrup. I might not want it on my eggs, but it’s yummy with all that other stuff. Or was it all the breakfast meat that made her smell bad??

    Bob – We were giddy in anticipation of the stink that would waft out of that wrapper of cheese. Kids love being grossed out — especially by grown ups.

  13. Toast an English muffin. Then, while it’s still hot, spread it with butter and strawberry jam. Then quickly add very thin slices of old cheddar (the sharper the better) on top, so the heat of the toasted English muffin starts to melt them slightly. Then eat while moaning at the goodness of it all.

    People always thought that strawberry jam and cheese was weird. Also good? Peanut butter and very well drained crispy bacon sandwiches, toasted.

    I had a cousin once who would spread toast (cold toast — she’s Scottish) with butter and creamed honey, and then cover the honey with cheesies. She swore by it.

  14. I don’t generally eat weird combinations of foods. I *have* had people express their horror at things I consider perfectly normal, like raw cookie dough (strangely enough, not because of the raw egg but because of the raw flour — WTF?!) or cheese, bologna, and sweet pickles on crackers (which are really just cheap hors d’oeuvres after all).

    My father regularly grosses me out with his food — he’s a “hasher”, someone who takes lovely, OCDly separately food items and mixes them together into a hash and then eats it. Someone even his dessert and main meal. I find that absolutely horrifying.

  15. I do know this one nut that eats peanut butter, onion and tomato sandwiches… I have to say I really don’t eat anything weird, but at thanksgiving before I was a veg, I would take my turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, gravy, stuffing and make a big heap. Mmmmmm…. Like a casserole, but awesomer. Mmmmm….

  16. I had a friend at school who liked to eat her strawberry yogurt with dry roasted peanuts dropped into it. I quite like baked bean sandwiches, but that’s normal, isn’t it?

  17. Solomon Gundy (sweet pickled herring) mixed with cold mashed potatoes.

    Smoked mackerel on pizza

    Pesto mixed with thick yogurt and spead on toast.

    Yum.

    Oh and tonight I tried something on a hunch and it was awesome – I added chinese 5 spice blend to creamed parsnip soup.

    Have I mentioned I’m writing a cookbook???

  18. The friend I visited in Mexico just posted on facebook that today she had a truffle with pipe tobacco, sea salt, and chocolate at a specialty dessert shop. Sounds horrible. She said it was subtle and delicious, wonderful.

  19. Alison is right about anything fruity and sharp cheddar… mmmmm…

    I really really love sardines in mustard on melba toast. My mother used to serve it with soup or as a snack. Came in a tin, haven’t seen it in years. Shame really….

  20. Alison – All of that except for the cheesies and the hot buttered muffin sound good — the combos, I mean. Sharp cheddar goes really well with sweet stuff like apple pie and fig bread.

    Louise – Ya, hashers are yucky. Almost as weird as people who only put one food on their plate at a time, eat that and then move on to the next dish.

    Cedar -K.

    Mayopie – Oh, like Louise’s hasher father. Are YOU Louise’s hasher father?

    Loth – I’ve never had a baked bean sandwich. Wouldn’t that be messy? I’ve had baked beans on toast before. Would you wrap this sandwich up and take it to work and have it for lunch at your desk? Would the beans be cold? How exactly does this sandwich work?

    Mudmamma – Yes, you’ve mentioned the cookbook. I like solomon gundy, but I don’t think I’d like it with cold mashed potatoes. And I definitely wouldn’t like smoked mackerel on pizza. The pesto and yoghurt thing doesn’t sound too bad though and I could go for some of that parsnip soup right now even though it’s only 7:30 in the morning.

    LoLa – Pipe tobacco? Okay, now you’re grossing ME out. LoLa factor 4. People are doing some mighty weird stuff with chocolate these days.

    Nat – I’m sure they still have sardines in mustard sauce. I keep looking at the various sardines in the grocery store because I’d like to like them because I know how good they are for people. I’ve seen them in all sorts of sauces and I’ve tried them in a variety of ways but I always have to choke them down. For me they’ve never acquired a yum factor yet. I’m not giving up though!!

  21. I love peanut butter and banana sandwhiches. My wife watches in disbelief as i make them and takes pictures to share with all her friends – we live in Korea and she is Korean so this is really unusual for her.

    I love to eat dried squid with mayonnaise as well. This is snack food that you can buy at the movie theatre (minus the mayonnaise).

    I’m also the only person I know who mixes cream soda and Orange Juice.

  22. Sean – I think Elvis popularized the PB&B craze. Have you ever taken a pita, slathered it in peanut butter, slapped a banana in the middle and rolled it up to go? It was pretty much my standard breakfast at university when I had 10 minutes between waking up and getting to class. (Dried squid and mayo? Dude – that’s nasty.) Where will you be living when you get back to Canada?

  23. Ottawa – hence my Ottawa oriented blogroll on my sidebar. No haven’t tried the pita peanut butter and banana, but if I can find some pita bread, I will.

  24. I had forgotten that my mom used to make this all the time when I was a kid until I was pregnant and the craving came out of nowhere… or out of the fetus… I don’t know how these things work.

    Cooked spaghetti noodles heaped on a plate. Topped with warmed Bravo pasta sauce (plain) topped with a big chunk of butter.

    I think it’s like… $0.50/serving…

  25. I can’t think of any weird food combinations that I eat. I used to have Ding Dongs (sort of a chocolate covered twinkie) with cold milk for breakfast. I love sweet and salty combinations-like dates and bacon-but I think I may be very boring for this particular competition. Living in France I have found a whole lot of new ways of eating in which I am further out of the loop.

  26. My dad and a couple of my sisters used to like Cheese Whiz and peanut butter sandwiches. I thought they were awful – from the description, I’d never tried them. Last year I finally tried one, and it’s surprisingly not awful.

  27. Sean – You might have to wait to get back to Ottawa for the pita. Let me know when you get here, we have quite an organized (and large) Ottawa bloggers group that get together occasionally for brunches or other events.

    Tiana – Yum. Nat blogged once about a similar comfort food. Plain spaghetti with plain sauce and grated cheddar on top.

    Mary – Ya, I’ve heard of them. I wonder if you have to go all the way to Glasgow for them?

    Linda – I thought you’d have all sorts of interesting food combos to share given the sorts of things they eat over there in France.

    LoLa – Almost everything you can think of has been paired with chocolate, I think

    Colette – Didn’t someone else mention them earlier? It doesn’t sound all that bad actually.

  28. Peanut Butter, mayonaise and banana sandwiches causes people in my family to groan, but I love it.

    potato chips on cheese sandwich.

    I can make a sandwich out of buttered bread with country fried potatoes.

    butter and pepper on oatmeal

  29. Mustard on hot toast to accompany baked beans – if lucky, finding little peices of lard in the beans and adding it to the toast and mustard. Oh, the beans have to have lots of brown sugar on them.

    Mustard on hot toast and an egg easy over slammed together into a sandwich – messy but so yummy.

  30. Sheryl – That potato sandwich is actually a “thing” in the UK – I believe more so in the north. They call it “chip butty” – two slabs of bread thickly buttered, pile the middle with some fries hot out of the fryer.

    Woodsy – You’re a mustard lover. Is it just the yellow mustard for these treats or a special mustard? I remember we used to fight over that tiny piece of lard in the cans of baked beans – back when we were kids

  31. I emailed my Dad and he wrote back:

    Discussed this with Mum with the following results:

    1. The ground up bologna could be spread over the whole slice of bread, therefore no bare corners. (I recall her talking about a nursing supervisor at the Royal Vic who instructed her students to always spread the butter or jam right out to the crust when preparing sandwiches for children.)

    2. As to the name, she says, “You name it, you can have it.”

    So now I have to think up a name! Or not. Interestingly, I still do the “spread out to the corners” thing for Everything I make involving bread. I hate getting sandwiches where the fillings are just in the middle.

  32. Julia – That’s hilarious that you emailed your parents for more indepth information. I always spread everything to the edges of the bread too, otherwise it’s not a sandwich — just bread with some stuff plopped in the middle. You could call it something simple like balognie spread or balognie pate

  33. I’m not a fan of balogna, but I agree about spreading to the edges of sandwiches. The crusts have more ‘bread’ in them, creating an uncomfortably high ratio of bread to tastymushystuff at the edges.

    – RG>

  34. mac-n-cheese, baked beans, and hot dogs all together. it’s a big comfort food for me. it started in my pot smoking days when i’d get the munchies. i’m surprised it carried over.

    sometimes ketchup on scrambled eggs and i had a boss that turned me onto orange juice mixed with coke.

  35. Grouchy – Oh ya, I think spreading to the edges should be mandatory. I really hate it in restaurants when you get your toast with butter slapped into the middle of the slice, so it’s all soggy there and crunchy everwhere else. I’d much rather they just left the butter off altogether.

    Leah – the first one sounds revolting and a serious carb & sodium overkill. Eggs demand ketchup so that’s not strange to me at all, but coke and orange juice? Shudder…

  36. Well it depends on the season but in the Autumnals I enjoy eating anything dipped in caramel sauce like Rondell’s Famous Caramel Meat Loaf, Trish’a Velveeta and Crackers with a Caramel Dip Spread, and most of all That Ain’t Yo Usual Long John Silver Caramel Covered Hush Puppies. Ooh y’all I’m getting hungry!

  37. Rondell – Well, shut ma mouth! No really, please… I don’t think I want to accidentally eat any of that stuff. But you go ahead and enjoy. And thanks for stopping by the blog and leaving that heee-larious comment!!

  38. This was a fun post to read!

    When I was a kid, my dad was on the road a lot for his job, and my mother reliably made one of my still-favourite comfort-food dinners when he was away: canned spaghetti over french fries. I don’t think there is a single nutritionally-redeeming part of it as a meal, but I’ve always loved it and the people who know me well are consistently horrified by the idea. People have compared it to poutine, but it’s not really the same.

    For each major holiday (Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving) my mother cooks up a turkey dinner for the whole family, but she rarely puts out mashed or roasted potatoes. Instead, we get rice-a-roni and potato salad. And stuffing from a box. And if we remind her, a vegetable side other than the pickle tray. It’s an odd traditional meal, but we’ve all come to love it!