I'm about to break with tradition here and write about a food that I ate that is 'weird'. Readers of my blog may remember that weird food coverage is a pet peeve of mine: Just because something is utterly bizarre to you doesn't mean that it is rightfully strange. It's entirely subjective. Many Americans, for instance, think that eating a fish that has bones inside, and a head still affixed, is a repellent thing to do. I danced around that idea here, in a recent Atlantic post about little pigs.
This Saturday I found myself at an Isaan restaurant with a great number of ant egg dishes, which is a fairly common thing to eat in that area of Northeast Thailand. And I'd never eaten them, so we ordered a bowl of ant eggs in a pungent soup, deeply flavored with musky herbs and lots of chili. The restaurant, called Crokmai Thai Lao, was especially delicious and festive on a crowded Saturday. The ant eggs, on the other hand, were very ordinary. Once again, the bizarre proved to be tasteless - their only contribution to the soup was a slightly sour tang and a pleasant, caviar-like pop when one bursts between your teeth.
Overall it was a great meal - a perfectly balanced papaya salad, a rich duck laab salad that contained chopped meat, crispy gizzard, and crunchy skin dressed in spicy/sour, and a moist grilled chicken. After polishing it all off, we did manage to see something pretty extraordinary. This truck, decked out with four tiny Michelin men on the lookout, waiting just outside the restaurant.