Four Bizarre Foods

The world is full of bizarre, strange, and weird foods. Frog legs, squid and escargot, to name a few. Everyone has a different opinion about how these foods taste. Some claim these foods are the most delicious things they have ever tried. Others are so grossed out by the very idea of these foods, that they would rather starve than eat them.

Here is a list of some of the world’s bizarre foods, when people started eating them, where they are popular, and, in some cases, opinions on how they taste.


People have been eating snails — known in France as escargot — since prehistoric times. In Ancient Rome, snails were considered a delicacy and were rarely served.

When snails are served as escargot, they’re usually taken out of their shell, cooked, then put back in their shell with sauce. I can’t help thinking that escargot looks like something made by a sick dog.

In many parts of the world, snails are such a popular food that snail farms have sprung up. These farms sell snails for escargot, and snail eggs for caviar.

I would try any food, at least once. The only exception? Escargot. Just looking at photos turns my stomach.

But if you, personally, want to try escargot, there are multiple recipes online. Sadly, I don’t know where to get the snails.


Cuisses de grenouille — the infamous French delicacy, known to English speakers as frog legs. But frog isn’t only eaten by the French. It’s eaten all across Europe, throughout China, in the Caribbean, and, surprisingly, in some parts of the United States.

In some areas, the demand for frog legs has become a problem. See, most edible frogs are caught in the wild. Which means, that if to many frogs are caught, the wild frog population could become dangerously low.

This is especially a problem in the Caribbean, where a species of local frog, named ‘mountain chicken’, has been classified as critically endangered, thanks in part to being caught, cooked and eaten.

Two members of my family have tasted frog. One is my grandpa, and the other is my dog. The frog my grandpa ate had been cooked. The one my dog ate was not cooked; in fact, it was rotten.

According to my grandpa, frog legs taste like chicken. He says that if he hadn’t known he was eating frog legs, he’d have honestly thought it was chicken. I’d be willing to try meat that tasted like that, even if it did come from a frog.


It’s hard to imagine someone pulling a slimy, tentacled creature out of the sea and deciding to eat it, but apparently it happened … more than once. Squid is eaten all over the world — from Europe to Asia, to Central America. Pretty much any place touching the ocean.

Cooked squid is known by various names, such as calamari, san ojingeo, kalmar tava and adobong pusit. One can buy squid steaks, squid jerky, and enjoy stuffed squid. In Italy, squid are often put in pasta.

I once tried the salt and pepper squid at a Chinese restaurant. It was flavourless, but went down easily. I ate several, then brought the rest home for my dog.

With a different sauce … squid could become delicious.


Most people have heard of fugu — also known as blowfish. The poisonous fish that the Japanese love eating. If cooked right, it tastes — according to the Japanese — delicious, and causes absolutely no harm at all. But if one mistake is made in the preparation … you die.

It’s hard to imagine the ancients deciding to risk squid. Blowfish doesn’t look as strange — I can see some poor fisherman deciding it was safer to eat than squid. But I can’t see them doing that again, even if they survived. There is no way that the first fugu eaters knew the proper recipe.

Even today, with the proper recipe, twenty people per year die from eating fugu, and many more are hospitalized.

When I first began reading about fugu, I suspected that it became popular as a way of poisoning political rivals, or as a samurai dare game.

I was wrong on both counts. Fugu has been eaten for 2,300 years, since the Jōmon period. There is no evidence it was ever used for assassinations. The last shogunate in Japan banned fugu, but fugu returned as soon as the shogunate was gone. Today, fugu is the one food that the Emperor of Japan is forbidden from eating — a precaution to keep him safe.

In my opinion, fugu is not a food. It’s Russian roulette on a plate.

In Closing

If you had no choice but to eat one of the above foods, every day for the rest of your life, which one would you choose?



Recipe for Escargot

Recipe for Stewed Squid

Recipe for Frog Legs

Mountain Chicken


the Myths and Facts of Jurassic Park

‘Jurassic Park’ is one of the most well known movie series of all times. Even those who haven’t watched it have heard of it. Pre-historic monsters hunting screaming humans; a recipe for success.

Of course, one has to wonder—were real dinosaurs anything like the ones in ‘Jurassic Park’?


The infamous Veggiesaurus — a harmless herbivore that couldn’t hurt a fly if it tried.

If anyone believes the above statement, they’ve got a surprise coming. Herbivores are often more dangerous than carnivores. Take the moose, for instance. A herbivore that lives of greens, yet attacks more humans than bears and wolves combined, and injures more humans per year than any other wild animal, except the hippo (also a herbivore).
If, like most herbivores, you live in a world full of things that want to eat you, then you need to be able to defend yourself.

A tiny human hardly would’ve been worth the attention of a dinosaur as huge as Brachiosaurus. However, one wrong step from Brachiosaurus, and those poor palaeontologists would have gone squish!


Many people’s favourite dinosaur, yet Triceratops appeared in the movie for only a few minutes. Apparently the screenwriters didn’t think it had much plot potential.

I think otherwise.

Triceratops weighed as much as an African elephant. Did you know elephants are one of the most dangerous animals in Africa? Elephants killed over two hundred people in the years between 2000 and 2004. A group of elephants once killed a rhino.

Of course, elephants are also beautiful, amazing creatures. Seeing one in the wild should be on every person’s bucket list. If Triceratops were still around, I imagine it would be the same.

Scientist have uncovered a Triceratops skull with a dent in one of it’s horns, the same shape as a T. Rex tooth. What was really interesting was the fact the bone had healed over — in other words, the Triceratops had fought a T. Rex, and lived to tell about it.

Now that’s plot potential!


The Velociraptor was very, very different from what was portrayed in the movies. The movie Velociraptors have nothing in common with the pre-historic ones, except the name.

For starters, actual Velociraptors were three feet high, not seven feet. There is no evidence Velociraptors hunted in packs, and no evidence that they were smarter than the average turkey.

Velociraptors did not have the feather mohawks shown in the third movie. They also weren’t scaly or leathery. Real Velociraptors were completely covered in feathers — they looked like a cross between a deranged toucan and a clawed duck.

That’s not to say Velociraptors weren’t dangerous — each foot had a three inch claw. A fight with a Velociraptor would, at the very least, leave you needing stitches.

In Closing

Dinosaurs were amazing, wonderful creatures. Some, like Triceratops, got little screen time, but were portrayed accurately. Others, like the velociraptors, received lots of screen time, but were portrayed completely wrong. Brachiosaurus got stuck somewhere in between.

That said, if Jurassic Park was real place, and you could see any one of these dinosaurs, which would you choose?


Brachiosaurus, Wikipedia

Velociraptor, Wikipedia

Triceratops, Wikipedia

Velociraptors, Business Insider





I’m sure every one of you has heard about Charlottesville.  One person is dead, and dozens more are in the hospital.

Donald Trump won’t acknowledge this act of terrorism.  Like Cornelius Fudge, he’s sticking his head in sand, refusing to face the truth in order to win favour from the pure-bloods/white supremacists/Nazis.

I’m Canadian, and have no say about what happens in America.  But I can tell you that nearly every member of our country is shaking their heads.  There’s disgust, every time the attack is mentioned.  Horror.  Sorrow.  Prime Minister Trudeau may be a yes-man, but even he has standards.

All I can say is, the best of luck to the men and women in the United States who won’t stop fighting for justice, even if the leader of their country tells them to stop. Know that you have this Canadian’s support, every step of the way.


‘I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’
— Nelson Mandela

Macbeth: the Man and the Myth 

Macbeth is one of my favourite plays. That’s saying something, because I’ve only ever seen half the play. But I’ve read the script hundreds of times, and each time is as thrilling as the time before.

Finding out the play was was based on actual history was amazing. Who was the real Macbeth? Was he as ruthlessly ambitious as his fictional counterpart?

Macbeth was born in the eleventh century. His grandfather was Malcolm II, King of Scotland. Pretty much nothing is known about his childhood. In the eleventh century, a person’s childhood was rarely considered interesting enough to be recorded.

In 1020, Macbeth’s father was killed by a man named Gille Coemgáin. How did Macbeth feel about this? Was he angry, or was he forgiving?

All that is known is that Gille Coemgáin died before 1032, burned to death along with fifty of his men. No one knows who started the fire that Gille Coemgáin died in, but Macbeth is high on the list of suspects.

Afterwards, Macbeth married Gruoch, Gille’s wife. No one knows how this marriage came about, or what Gruoch thought of marrying a man suspected of murdering her husband.

Gruoch and Gille had at least one son, Lulach. Macbeth raised him as his own.

Malcolm II died in 1034, and was succeeded by Macbeth’s cousin Duncan. You might remember him from Shakespeare’s play. In the play, Macbeth murdered him to gain the throne. But was Duncan murdered in real life?

Duncan was probably not a popular king. His nickname was ‘An t-Ilgarach’, meaning ‘the diseased’. Duncan ruled for less than a decade. For some reason, Duncan decided it would be a good idea to lead an army against Moray—Macbeth’s territory.

Unsurprisingly, Macbeth defended himself against this attack, and Duncan was killed in the process. Death in battle is a different thing from being stabbed in your sleep. In this, at least, Macbeth was justified.

Duncan’s sons, Malcolm and Donald were children at the time. Malcolm, it is believed, was taken to England for safety, and Donald to Ireland.

Guess who seized the throne in the meantime? Yes, none other than Macbeth himself. In the play, Macbeth’s rein is portrayed as short, a few years at most. In reality, Macbeth ruled Scotland for seventeen years.

Then Malcolm, now an adult made his comeback. With the help of the English, he set out to regain his throne. Macduff, however, did not join Malcolm’s army. Why? Simple, really. As far as the evidence goes, Macduff never actually existed.

Records from the time claim Malcolm was the one who killed Macbeth. Although it could be that Malcolm stole another man’s glory, to make himself look better. Hard to tell, now that the battle’s lost and won.

Shakespeare’s play was based on real events—but very loosely. The facts are
fascinating, and I hope to learn more about the real Macbeth in the future.

If you have any thoughts on Macbeth you would like to share, feel free to leave a comment.

Gruoch, Wikipedia

Duncun I, Wikipedia


the Daughter of Marie-Antoinette

Who hasn’t heard of Marie-Antoinette? Even those who don’t know who she was know her name. But does anyone know the story of Marie-Antoinette’s daughters?

The children of Marie-Antoinette have fascinated me since I was a child. Yes, we all know what happened to Mary-Antoinette herself, but what happened to her children? The history books available contained no information, other than acknowledging these children’s existence.

Marie-Antoinette had four children, two of whom were daughters: Marie-Thérèse, her eldest child, and Sophie. Only one would live to adulthood.

Her firstborn, Marie-Thérèse, was born in December. Most of the court was disappointed; not a future king, but a girl. But Marie-Antoinette was happy. She looked at her newborn daughter and said: “Poor little one, you are not desired, but you will be none the less dear to me! A son would have belonged to the state—you will belong to me.”

Marie-Antoinette had a second child several years later—a boy, Louis Joseph, heir to the throne. Her second son, Louis Charles, was born in 1785. Marie-Antoinette then gave birth to her final child, Sophie, a second daughter.

What did Marie-Thérèse, then seven years old, think of the new baby? Was she jealous? Or was she delighted with her baby sister?

Eleven months and ten days later, Sophie died. Her death was likely the result of tuberculosis; she suffered from convulsions for nearly a week before she died.

Marie-Thérèse must have been devastated. The royal family was down one daughter; only the eldest remained.

Two years after Sophie passed away, Louis Joseph joined her in death. He was seven-years-old at the time, the closest in age to Marie-Thérèse. Four-year-old Louis Charles was now heir to the throne.

Mere months after Marie-Thérèse lost her brother, the palace of Versailles was stormed by an crowd of angry working women, who’d spent the last months struggling to get enough for their families to eat. The royal family was forced to take shelter in the king’s apartments. The crowd demanded the king and his family be removed from Versailles, to Tuileries Palace in Paris.

Together, both Marie-Antoinette and the king planned to escape France, and the Revolution. On June 21, 1791, both Marie-Thérèse and Louis Charles were disguised as middle class girls, and their mother as a middle class women. The royal family got into a six horsed carriage, and the escape began.

On June 22, one day later, the king and his family were recaptured. They were brought back to Paris and placed under house arrest.

In 1793, the king was executed. One evening in July, guards marched in the royal families apartment, and tore eight-year-old Louis Charles away from his mother and sister.

Marie-Antoinette was taken away a month later. Her daughter never saw her again, and for a two long years, had no clue whether her mother was alive or dead.

Marie-Thérèse was finally released in 1795, the day before her seventeenth birthday, and taken to Austria, her mother’s birth country.

The ruler of Austria, Marie-Thérèse’s uncle, had worked hard to get the royal family released. By the time he succeeded, only Marie-Thérèse was left. Louis Charles had died several months before.

Marie-Thérèse married Louis-Antoine in 1799. The two had no children; they rarely, if ever, slept together. Perhaps after the events of her own childhood, Marie-Thérèse was unwilling to risk children of her own.

In the following years, Marie-Thérèse attempted to return to France, but was forced, after a brave resistance, to leave by Napoleon. Surprisingly, Napoleon paid Marie-Thérèse what could be described as a compliment, saying she was the ‘only man in her family’.

On October 19, 1851, Marie-Thérèse died, the eldest daughter, and only surviving child of Marie-Antoinette. Hopefully her death reunited with her sister, Sophie and her brothers.


Mary-Thérèse, Wikipedia

Sophie, Wikipedia

Marie-Antoinette, Wikipedia

Marie Thérèse, History and Other Thoughts