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Hacking into strange fruit and disturbing dishes on the Internet.

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There’s no shortage of strangeness lurking on the World Wide Web. When it comes to strange fruit, the Internet is a goldmine of weird and wacky foodstuffs. Here are a few of my favorites:



Google “Nude Man Carrot” and you’ll be taken to a photo gallery and story of veggie lewdness about a carrot that looks just like, well, a nude man … complete with a manly “package.” If that’s not weird enough, the guy who discovered the Nude Man Carrot is a Maui recording artist.



The home site for the Vegetable Rights Militant Movement is www.VegetableCruelty.com. There’s a warning at the site that “[t]he images you are about to see are graphic in nature and may be disturbing to friends of vegetables.” The horror … the horror. The image of Chinese broccoli torture is truly disturbing, although I confess to getting a little turned on by the pulverized mess of green that was once cilantro.



Everything you ever wanted or needed to know about ketchup can be found at Planet Ketchup (www.Ketchup.Wonderland.org). Did you know, for instance, that Baskin Robbins actually tried to sell ketchup-flavored ice cream? Now that’s weird.



At “The Gallery of Regrettable Food” (www.lileks.com) you’ll find links to truly horrid recipes, cookbooks, and photos of the scary foodstuffs. For example, check out the “10 PM Cookery” site with recipe ideas for special occasions like, “When It’s Strictly Stag.” Do you know where your wieners are? Or mouse-click your way to “Meat! Meat! Meat!” a handy tool for turning the most stubborn carnivore into a vegetarian.



Silkworms, hornets, beetles, scorpions, mealworms … if it’s a bug too disgusting to eat, you’ll find out about it at Zack’s Bug-Feasting Page (www.EatBees.net). There’s info on cooking, serving and consuming critters you’d probably never dreamed of popping into your mouth. And did you know that the lowest-price consumable insect is the silkworm (bombyx mori), which can be had for as little as $3 per pound? I hear it’s terrific with ponzu sauce.



Ever wonder how to get Hershey chocolate bar stains out of white jeans? Or tea stains off of a white cotton sweater? Log onto The Messy Gourmet site at www.MessyGourmet.com and you’ll learn to be gourmet stain-free!



For truly abysmal home-cooked dishes, check out the Utterly Outrageous Recipes site (www.lavamind.com). On it you’ll discover recipes for scrapple and headcheese, both of which call for one whole hog’s head. There’s also a recipe for chocolate-dipped hot dogs, mustard crunchies, cheddar coffee, Rocky Mountain oysters, and my favorite, cricket cookies. Now that’s fine dining!



Ted Scheffler



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