While we’re taught that food that smells rotten should be thrown away, there are actually many foods that you eat whenever they’ve just started rotting. Of course, it’s not pleasant to call these foods rotten, so we refer to them in different ways instead.
Coconut yogurt is a healthy source of non-dairy bacteria. You can make you own by heating coconut milk, adding probiotics, and allowing it to sit on your counter until sour.
Pickles are cucumbers that have been soaked in vinegar or a brine solution and left to ferment for a very long time. So next time you pick up a pickle, just think, you’re about to eat a rotten cucumber.
The Inuits in Alaska preserve their meat by cutting it into big steaks then burying it in the ground for months where it ferments in the autumn then freezes in the fall.
They then eat this prized delicacy. However, since these recipes are also passed down through the generations, botulism is also quite common here as well.
This is a very popular dish throughout the Sham-el-Nessim festival in Egypt. It is made by sun-drying mullet then preserving it in salt.
Fesikh poisonings are common because the recipes are passed down through generations, making it difficult to get right.
In Indonesia, tempeh is a staple. It’s made by soaking whole soybeans in vinegar and allowing them to ferment. All of this is then bound together with mycelium, which is a sticky fungus.
While hákarl is a delicacy in Iceland, it’s a very divisive food elsewhere. This is because it’s rotten shark that’s made by putting a gutted shark into a hole in the sand for 6-12 weeks. It’s then dug up and left hanging for several months before being eaten.
This is a staple in Japanese cuisine, being found in sauces, spreads and marinades. In the US, it’s commonly found in soup. It’s made by fermenting soybeans then adding barley, wheat and rice.
Korean cuisine is known for its kimchi. This is made by covering cabbage with a mixture that’s both salty and spicy. It’s then allowed to sit in an air tight jar for a couple of days.
In order for beef to be dry-aged it must sit in a temperature and humidity controlled room for 3 weeks. This allows it to develop a moldy crust that’s cut away so that you have a tender steak that’s full of flavor. Of course, it’s also full of minerals as well.
Sauerkraut is a type of fermented cabbage. It’s made by mixing shredded cabbage with salt then letting it sit for a bit. Many people say that this is good for your digestion.
Another native Alaskan delicacy is what’s known as stinkheads. These are King Salmon heads that have either been buried in fermentation pits in the ground or placed inside of a barrel or plastic bag where they’re left for weeks. Once removed, they’re mashed and eaten.
Making cheese comes down to your ability to control rot. This is because milk is treated with bacteria and enzymes causing it to curdle. The curdles are then cut, formed and ripened into cheese.