Scallion Latte – Spring Onion-Infused Coffee Is All the Rage in China

Spring onions and coffee definitely don’t sound made for each other, but spring onion-infused lattes are apparently all the rage in China these days.

A simple search for the #springonionlatter hashtag on TikTok or Instragram will yield dozens of photos and videos with scallion-topped latte cups. They first went viral last month, when multiple Asian publications covered the unusual drink, calling it one of the most surprising combinations ever attempted. Apparently, to make a good green onion latte, you first have to mash a few green onions in the cup, then add ice, milk, and coffee, before finally topping it off with lots of chopped green onions, because why not?

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Japanese Company Officially Launches Taste-Enhancing Smart Spoon

Japanese tech company Kirin Holdings recently unveiled the commercial version of its taste-enhancing spoon, dubbed Elecispoon, which improves taste buds’ perception of salt, thus making food taste better.

We originally covered Kirin’s taste-enhancing technology a couple of years ago. The company’s researchers had teamed up with scientists at Meiji University to develop a line of smart kitchenware that used electricity to make food taste saltier and tastier than it actually was. Back then, they were testing a smart spoon and bowl which worked in tandem to make foods about 1.5 times saltier than they were, but it seems that only the spoon made it to market. Kirin Technology recently announced its newest product, Elecispoon, a smart spoon designed to improve people’s health by helping them cut salt from their food.

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Restaurant Sparks Controversy for Serving Alien-Looking Raw Octopus Eggs

A Japanese food restaurant in Singapore recently attracted criticism online for serving a bizarre-looking dish consisting of a raw octopus egg sack.

Known as tako tamago, the strange dish that landed Singapore restaurant Koji in hot water with social media users isn’t the most appetizing food we’ve ever featured on Oddity Central. It’s basically a large white sack with a very flexible membrane that conceals hundreds of oblong octopus eggs swimming in a viscous fluid. The sack is served raw and melted with a blow torch to release the eggs inside onto the plate. The eggs are usually served with soy sauce and have a taste similar to that of salmon roe.

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Japanese Rice Balls Rolled in Cute Girls’ Armpits Allegedly 10 Times More Expensive Than Regular Ones

Armpit onigiri is a bizarre take on the classic Japanese snack where cute girls allegedly press the rice using their armpits and infuse it with their pheromone-containing sweat.

The origins of armpit onigiri, aka underarm onigiri, are not very clear. Some sources claim it was inspired by an iconic scene in the manga Mahōjin Guru Guru (Magicle Circle Guru Guru), where an old man assists the protagonist by rolling rice balls with his armpits. This theory is supported by the plethora of armpit onigiri anime-style artworks that can be found online, but as for how the bizarre treat transitioned into real life, that still remains a mystery. And it was weird enough to know some people are actually trying armpit-rolled rice balls in their own homes, but apparently there are restaurants that proudly serve armpit onigiri to customers willing to pay 10 times their regular price.

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Mexican Food Stall Has Been Selling Rat Broth for Over Half a Century

You can find a great many things in Mexico’s Mercado República de San Luis Potosí market, but perhaps the most exotic of all is an old food stall known for selling rat meat.

For many of us, rat meat ranks pretty highly on the list of things we wouldn’t be caught dead eating, but in the region of San Luis Potosí, it has long been valued for its exotic flavor and alleged medicinal properties. However, in recent years, stalls selling rat meat and dishes containing it have all but disappeared from local markets. All except one in Mercado República de San Luis Potosí, which still sells both raw rats and rodent broth cooked with an assortment of vegetables and spices. Each bowl of rat broth contains a whole field rat and sells for 100 pesos ($5.80).

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Milbenkäse – The Rare German Cheese Infested with Live Mites

Milbenkäse is a unique type of goat cheese ripened in wooden boxes infested with millions of tiny cheese mites and consumed with the tiny critters for added taste.

The history of Milbenkäse can be traced back to the Middle Ages when it was produced in Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia regions of Germany, but the cheese-making tradition faded with time, and in 1970 the recipe for Milbenkäse was nearly lost forever. An elderly woman in the village of  Würchwitz remained the only person in the world who knew how to make this special cheese, and she passed on her knowledge to local science teacher Helmut Pöschel. He in turn partnered with Christian Schmelzer and together they managed to revitalize the production of the so-called “spider cheese”. Today, Würchwitz is the only place in the world where Milbenkäse is still produced.

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Blonde Chocolate, a Delicious Treat Created by Mistake

Blonde chocolate has yet to reach the popularity of milk, dark, and white chocolate, but it is already recognized as one of the most ingenious variations of white chocolate ever created.

The history of blonde chocolate can be traced back to the year 2004 when French pastry chef Frederic Bau was busy showing off his skills during an exhibition in Japan. He apparently got so carried away during the show that he left his white chocolate melting in a bain-marie for four days. When he finally got back to it, the chocolate had become a pale brown and had a very distinct smell and flavor. Apart from its caramel-like color, this new confection had the milky smoothness of white chocolate, but also butterscotch, toffee, and shortbread-tasting notes, as well as a distinct aftertaste of roasted coffee. Frederic Bau quickly recognized the potential of his discovery, and blonde chocolate was born.

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Matsutake Mushrooms – The World’s Most Expensive Mushrooms

Japanese matsutake mushrooms are the most expensive mushrooms in the world. Fetching up to $500 per pound, they rival truffles and are considered one of the most valuable ingredients of Japanese cuisine.

Matsutake, or mattake mushrooms grow on the Korean Peninsula, in China, and even in the United States, but only the ones harvested in Japan, especially around the Kyoto area, fetch truly mindblowing prizes. While imported Matsutake can cost around $50 per pound or less, Japanese mushrooms can cost up to ten times as much. To help Japanese buyers discern between imported and home-grown matsutake, Japan has a law that requires imported mushrooms to be washed of dirt before commercialization, while the domestic variety has a rough, grubby appearance. Japanese matsutake are prized for their strong aroma, meaty texture, and earty taste.

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To’ak – The World’s Most Valuable Chocolate

Made with rare Nacional cacao harvested from just 14 farms in Ecuador’s Piedra de Plata valley, To’ak chocolate is undoubtedly the world’s most valuable chocolate.

From truffle-infused ice cream to gold-plated sandwiches, the world is full of expensive sweets and treats. But while most of them are gimmicky creations designed to attract attention, a few do more than simply add outrageously expensive ingredients that hardly affect the experience of eating them. Ecuadorian chocolate brand To’ak claims that its products are among these few, although judging whether the price of its most expensive offerings is actually justified is ultimately up to the consumer. To’ak is most often referred to as ‘the most expensive chocolate in the world’, which is technically true, as its small chocolate bars can sell for up to $490 per 50-gram bar, but the company believes that simply referring to its product simply as expensive doesn’t really tell the whole story of To’ak.

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Australian Farm Grows Bluberry the Size of a Golf Ball

Australian fresh produce company Costa Group recently set a new Guinness Record for the world’s heaviest blueberry, with a 20.4-gram fruit roughly the size of a golf ball.

Picked on November 13, 2023, at Costa’s berry farm in Corindi, New South Wales, the record-breaking blueberry was from the Eterna variety, which is known for yielding consistently large fruit without compromising on flavor. Interestingly, one of the growers in charge of this particular farm said that this blueberry was one of at least 20 fruits of similar size spotted during harvesting. After measuring and weighing, it was discovered that the fruit beat the former heaviest blueberry by over 4 grams. The previous world record was for a 16.20g blueberryberry grown in Western Australia in 2020.

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South-Korean Researchers Create Beef-Infused Super Rice

Scientists at South Korea’s Yonsei University have created a new type of hybrid rice that not only has a meaty pink color but is also packed with beef protein and fat cells.

Rice is already one of the most nutritious foods available in nature, but thanks to some scientific ‘magic’, it could soon become a viable, sustainable alternative to meat. A team of researchers at the Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, managed to create a rice hybrid laced with beef protein and fat cells. The new pink rice has 8 percent more protein and 7 percent more fat than regular rice, and while it doesn’t yet taste like beef, it does carry a “unique blend of aromas, including a slight nuttiness and umami which are characteristic of meat”. Thanks to the integrated animal cells, this new pink rice could one day become a complete meal by itself, ensuring a sufficient, sustainable food supply for the whole world.

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Chili-Infused ‘Hot Ice Latte’ Proves Big Hit in China

A coffee shop in Ganzhou, China’s Jianxi Province, has found success with a bizarre but innovative drink that combines the traditional ice latte with dried chilies and chili powder.

Jingshi Coffee launched its now-famous ‘hot ice latte’ back in December, as a tribute to Jianxi Province’s famously fiery cuisine, but the drink proved a big hit and the café is now selling it at a rate of 300 cups per day. Viral videos doing the rounds on Douyin (China’s version of TikTok), show café pouring the lattes in plastic cups before infusing them with dried chili and topping off the drink with chili powder. Those brave enough to have tried it claim that the drink is a bit more spicy than regular lattes, but definitely not unpleasant.

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Trendy Ice Cream Shop Specializes in Hyper-Realistic Edible Flower Bouquets

(THISIS)SHIZEN is a Kyoto-based café that has gained popularity mainly thanks to its artistic ice cream cones which resemble intricate flower bouquets.

We use the phrase ‘too beautiful to eat’ to describe food art pretty often here on Oddity Central, but the edible ice-cream bouquets created by (THISIS)SHIZEN really look too pretty to eat, regardless of how tasty they are. Featuring a botanical-themed decor containing potted plants and nature-inspired paintings, this relatively new Japanese café serves a variety of ice-cream bouquets that are only available for a limited time, depending on the season. You can treat yourself to creamy roses, lilac, Japanese camellia, and many more flavorful wonders.

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This Japanese Restaurant Makes the World’s Smallest Sushi

Tokyo restaurant Sushiya no Nohachi reportedly serves great sushi, but it is most famous for its gimmick – making the world’s smallest sushi with a single grain of rice.

Located in Asakusa, a slightly quieter part of Tokyo, Sushiya no Nohachi is the place to go if you want to enjoy the tiniest, most adorable sushi in the world. Each piece is made with only a grain of rice and a tiny slice of topping wrapped in the thinnest piece of nori. Every served piece is actually perfect, which hints at the amount of work and patience that goes into making them. They are the work of Hironori Ikeno, the chef of Sushiya no Nohachi, who came up with the idea in 2002 when a client asked him how small he could make his sushi. He answered, “as small as a grain of rice”, and proceeded to demonstrate that he wasn’t kidding. Over the years, the eatery became internationally famous for making the world’s smallest sushi.

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Joke Gone Wrong – Retiring Cook Makes Space Cake for Colleagues, Gets Sued

A retiring Dutch cook who wanted to say goodbye to her colleagues in a special way cooked a cannabis-infused space cake for them as a surprise. It didn’t go well…

The retiring cook, known only as Mariska, had worked in a Zeeland hotel alongside her colleagues for a long time and wanted to part ways with them in a memorable way. They had discussed the cannabis-infused space cake many times in the past but had never gotten around to actually making it together, so she decided to make one for them, as a parting gift. On February 8th, on her last day on the job, she greeted her colleagues and left the workplace, but not before leaving behind a surprise cake for her colleagues along with a note advising them to only eat it after working hours. Unfortunately, some of them just couldn’t wait.

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