14 of the strangest things people used to eat

Including torpedo fuel and toast water.



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Specifically, the dormice – you know, the Disney-like cuties with big eyes and a plump body – were a delicacy popular among the upper classes of ancient Rome. They would be fattened and sold to the rich, who would eat them cooked in honey and poppy seeds, or stuffed with other meat.



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As if black pudding wasn’t enough, the researchers revealed that The Spartans ate a simple broth of pig’s blood, salt and vinegar. It was known as Spartan black broth, and even dignitaries visiting Sparta could not digest it.


Torpedo fuel

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In the movie Lighthouse, both characters take in kerosene (lamp oil), but there are no official reports of lighthouse keepers doing this. The sailors of World War II, however, consumed something called torpedo juice, which is basically a cocktail of lemon, pineapple juice, and 180-proof alcohol used as fuel in torpedoes!


Beaver tails

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Did you know that people feast on beaver tails during Lent? In the 17th century, the Catholic Church clarified that since beavers were semi-aquatic, they technically counted as “fish” and could be eaten during the 40-day period, which is traditionally a period when Christians give up eating meat. .


Salted jelly salads

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Americans of the last century have concocted some truly weird salads, but one recipe is still more heinous than them all – the “jell-o salad”. It was usually made with chicken or tuna, fruits and vegetables coated in lime jelly or some other sweet flavor.


Whale shit (sort of)

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Ambergris is mainly intestinal slurry a whale ejects from its body after digesting creatures like squid. It is probably secreted towards the rear of the whale and hardens in cold water. It was popular in modern Europe, where it became a luxury ingredient in things like ice cream.


Black iguana eggs

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The The Mayans loved those rich, all-yellow eggs which – unlike most bird eggs – have a leathery, rough exterior. The Mesoamerican people are said to cultivate black iguanas, which can stay out of the water longer than their green cousins, and harvest their eggs for food.


Fake bananas

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In Britain in the 1940s food was scarce and people were forced to live on rations which unfortunately did not include exotic fruits from warmer climates. As a result, the British create simulated bananas in add banana essence to parsnips!


Onion nuggets

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At the end of the 1970s, McDonald’s debuted “Onion Nuggets” – small pieces of onion fried in a paste. Onion bhajis are one thing, but I’m personally happy that they were never considered. Maccy D finally decided to go back to the drawing board, and from there they came up with the chicken nuggets we know and love today!


Milk lemonade

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It used to be quite common in the United States mix a little Seven-Up with cold milk to make “soda milk”. In parts of the UK as well, people mix Coca-Cola and milk. I guess there are soda floats and egg creams too, so the sparkling dairy is still alive!



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This bizarre medieval dish is often associated with England’s Tudor dynasty, and consists of a sewn piglet upper body on the bottom of a capon or turkey. It would then be stuffed and roasted on a spit. Similar chimerical objects were all the rage during this time, including the “Roast Without Equal”, which is a roast of 17 birds!


Toast sandwich

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In 1861, English food writer Isabella Beeton chose to include a simple recipe for a toast sandwich Mrs. Beeton’s Household Management Book. It’s basically two pieces of buttered bread with a piece of dry toast in the middle seasoned with salt and pepper. AKA the most British dish of all time.


Water toast

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The bizarre use of toast in cooking doesn’t stop there! Another 19th century English recipe calls for the British to toast a crust of bread, then submerge it in water for an hour until the water has a brown tint. Then you just need to filter the water and drink it. I don’t know about you, but this one really feels like it might turn out to be a weird trend in the future!


And finally, other humans.

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I mean it’s not totally amazes me that our ancestors ate each other thousands of years ago, but I’m talking about Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, a period during which people often ingested medicines made from human bone, blood and fat to cure all kinds of ailments!


Jan 10, 2021, 10:45 PM

Yes, so, a previous edition of this post incorrectly stated that the 6th century Catholic Church agreed to eat unborn baby rabbits during Lent, also known as “Laurices”. While this idea has been around for centuries, and would have been a striking addition to this list, it’s totally wrong. I went back to my sources to find that it was probably only one guy who had done this, and no one thought it was normal at the time to do it. Thanks to our readers for pointing this out!

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