Up until Labor Day weekend, the worst food I'd ever eaten was fermented shark.
I sampled this "delicacy" while traveling in Iceland, and spit it into my napkin almost immediately after tasting it. My husband, who likes pretty much everything, agreed that it was disgusting.
We're not alone in our assessment - the famed chef and author Anthony Bourdain listed fermented shark as one of his worst food-related experiences, along with Namibian warthog rectum.
Over Labor Day weekend, I tried a food that was just as bad, if not worse, than fermented shark.
This culinary misstep occurred at the garlic festival in Bennington, Vt.
Looking for something new and interesting to try, I picked up chocolate-covered garlic cloves from a candy-maker.
I assumed that something had been done to make this edible - that perhaps the garlic had been cooked, maybe even caramelized. Unfortunately, I assumed wrong: I bit into a raw garlic clove that had been dipped in chocolate.
It was awful.
I spit it into a napkin, but the taste lingered in my mouth for hours.
It went away after a tasty dinner at Madison Brewery Company in downtown Bennington, but sometimes it seems to return - a sickening mix of sugar and hot sulfur.
I stashed the candies in my son's diaper bag and they remained their until last weekend, when my husband offered them to my parents while we were hanging around the jazz festival in downtown Albany.
Coming from a man who has always tried to endear himself to my parents, this was a surprising act of cruelty. Even now, they seem baffled as to why he would give them such an awful treat. Or whatever the opposite of a treat is.
Unlike Anthony Bourdain, I've never eaten Namibian warthog rectum.
But I can safely say that fermented shark and raw garlic cloves dipped in chocolate rank as my worst food experiences.
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