> Weird food: Catfish wontons
Fried catfish is a tasty entree. Wontons, generally filled with ground pork, are a tasty appetizer. This variation on crab Rangoon brings the two together, which sort of makes it seem like we’re missing out on one or the other.
> Weird food: Pacific lamprey
Lamprey are long, eel-like fish with sucker-like mouths and no scales, long an important food source for Indian tribes in the Columbia River Basin, prized for their rich, fatty meat. You won’t find them in Portland’s trendy restaurants, though; while not (yet) on the endangered list, they are considered a species of concern.
> Weird food: Scrapple
Known in Pennsylvania Dutch as Pannhaas (“pan rabbit”), scrapple is a mush of cornmeal and wheat flour (sometimes with buckwheat flour added) and a whole array of pork scraps, including head, heart, and liver. Ohio’s goetta and North Carolina’s livermush (see above) are not dissimilar.
> Weird food: Pizza strips
If you like leftover cold pizza for breakfast, you’ll like these. Pizza strips are basically thickish pizza dough, almost like a focaccia, formed into a rectangle, covered with tomato sauce (no cheese), and baked. Then it’s cut into strips and eaten at room temperature, to the delight of many Rhode Islanders.
> Weird food: Boiled peanuts
Unless they’re allergic, almost everybody loves peanuts. But only Southerners — especially South Carolinians, for whom they are the official state snack food — understand these. Raw, sometimes green, peanuts are boiled in their shells in salted water. They’re easy to peel and soft and good if you eat them right away, but they grow slimy quickly.