Sick of pretentious food blogs, Collin McQuistan, a foodie from Glasgow, Scotland, set up an unconventional blog where he documents all kinds of gourmet dishes cooked with weird ingredients like cat food, grass and toothpaste.
41-year-old Collin McQuistan only started his offbeat food blog last month, but he is already making headlines in international media, thanks to a series of downright bizarre ingredients he has used so far. First, it was the cat food. The amateur cook admits he had been curious about the taste of cat food ever since he was a child, and this was the perfect opportunity to finally try it. He opted for “Felix As Good As It Looks with Chicken in Jelly” and says he might have freaked out the cashier at the supermarket when she said something about “lucky cat”, and he replied “I don’t have a cat”. Collin describes her facial expression as “89% utter confusion and 11% pure terror”. About the cat food, he says it really does taste as good as it looks, but that’s only because it looks pretty bad. “I can reasonably say it is one of the most horrible things I have ever eaten,” the blogger writes. “It tastes of chicken, yes, but there is something so very very unpleasant about it I almost vomit; it has a very burnt-rubber undertone and the chicken is chewy and tough; it is slightly sulphorous and the jelly is slightly more palatable than the chicken bits in so far as it doesn’t provoke such a strong vomiting response.” Determined to urn the disgusting chow into something edible, McQuistan decided to use it in a Chinese stir fry, “because they eat cats in China so maybe there’s a logical tie-in there”. The dish turned out just “1% edible” and made his mouth produce “an alarming amount of saliva”.
But cat food was just the first of Collin McQuistan unusual ingredients. His next experiment involved something most of us put in our mouths every day, but desperately try not to swallow – toothpaste. Bored of going to the local store to look for weird ingredients, the adventurous foodie got the idea to cook with toothpaste while brushing his teeth. He decided to make a minty fresh version of a French dessert he loves, creme brulee. “The result? This thing … it’s runny, granular, gloopy and the caramel crust is just plain weird and rubbery, Collin writes. “It tastes like gritty eggy toothpaste. I doubt even if I had used the smallest amount of toothpaste would this have worked.”
McQuistan’s most recent kitchen endeavor involved plain grass as an ingredient for pesto sauce. After watching a lot of Countryfile – a television program on life in the British countryside – on BBC, he felt inspired to cook with grass. After all, cows and sheep love it, so maybe he would too. Living in an apartment building, Collin didn’t have a garden to source the grass from, so he got it from Glasgow Green park. After giving the grass a good rinse, Collin decided to have taste and described the texture as “unbelievably chewy, tough and fibrous”, and the taste as “very subtle, a little peppery, a little citrus-y and little apple-ee-ee, but very very slight”.
After blending the grass and mixing it with Parmesan cheese, olive oil and wasabi peas instead of pine nuts, Collin added his lovely pesto over some al-dente pasta and took a bite. “It. Is. HORRIBLE,” he writes on his blog. “The combination of wasabi peas and pasta and, well, everything else, is just bad. Really bad. The grass, because it has been blended, now tastes super grassy and adds to the overall horribleness.”
Collin has tried a few other slightly more edible stuff as well, but nothing as extreme as the ones mentioned above. But he’s always on the lookout for new things to try and takes suggestions from his readers. So if you have something interesting, head over to his blog and let him know.
Photos: Collin McQuistan