When I cast my mind back I can remember eating a few strange things.
A whole large bottle of Virol, eaten furtively in the cloakroom at boarding school was divine at the time, but put me off Virol for the rest of my life.
How the cook at boarding school managed to get that pimply, gritty skin on the jelly, and make the banana custard so watery, so lumpy, so brown and full of stringy things and so utterly gag-worthy is a tribute to their culinary ingenuity, and remembering them still makes my stomach heave.
Once I ate a raw flying ant. But only once.
As the guest of honour at a family feast in rural Italy, I was offered the choice part of the chicken. No, it was not the Parson’s nose. It was the entire head, comb, eyes, beak and tongue. An honour which I declined and was then offered the feet to suck, which I also declined, and thus forever labelled myself as a “fussy foreigner”.
Eating an exquisite cold coffee mousse at an upmarket Malindi restaurant, I found a sugar-lump sized cube of something chewy and rubbery in it. When I asked the chef what it was, he replied that it was a piece of pork fat. I asked why he had put a piece of pork fat in a sweet coffee dessert, and he replied that that was what the recipe said. I can’t help feeling something must have been lost in translation.
But for sheer weirdness, I very much doubt that I will ever eat anything quite so peculiar as an unripe persimmon.