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Members of Atlanta's Dining Scene Dish on the Strangest Meats They've Eaten

Image via <a href="http://boston.eater.com/archives/2014/07/08/boston-chefs-rare-meat-unusual-meat.php">Rachel Blumenthal/Eater Boston</a>.
Image via Rachel Blumenthal/Eater Boston.

As the end of Eater's Five Days of Meat draws near, we will take a look at what members of Atlanta's dining scene had to say on the strangest meats they have ever eaten. With chefs, editors, and publicists in the mix, these dishes include questionable and at times unidentified body parts.

As a French child growing up in Paris, I ate horse meat once a week, often as steak tartare
I still miss it sometimes. The weirdest meat dish I ever ate was an unspeakable stew of lungs floating in a spicy broth served at the border of the former Yugoslavia and Albania. - Christiane Lauterbach of Knife & Fork and Atlanta Magazine

I had a butcher friend who roasted a pig head. There were several of us tearing through it. A friend and I decided to give the soft palate a try. It certainly wasn't great, but not as bad as you'd think. The eyeball was porky goodness. — Chris Fuhrmeister, editor at Eater Atlanta

The strangest meats I've tried were Kudu and Springbok (like antelopes) at Le Quartier Francais in Franschhoek, South Africa. — Alex Brounstein, owner of Grindhouse Burgers

When I visited Chengdu (capital of Sichuan in China), we ordered hot pot, and they brought us a whole brain, perfectly intact. I don't even know what animal it came from. I just know the taste had a metallic tinge to it. — Evan Mah, deputy food editor at Atlanta Magazine

I used to make goat brain tureen. The goat meat needed to be pushed half-way into the tureen mold, then I poached and peeled the brain before laying down into the mold. After pressing and poach-baking it with more meat on top, it would be sliced to make a cross-section of the brain. I ate a monk fish eye ball for extra credit in culinary school once, too. — Tyler Williams, Eater Atlanta's chef of the year 2012-2013, formerly of Woodfire Grill

I've eaten chicken sashimi in New York, whale and cod sperm in Japan, along with ants, grubs, crickets, and ant eggs in Mexico. — Chef Randy Lewis of the upcoming Southern Gentleman and Gypsy Kitchen

My gym, Crossfit HD, is located on Buford Highway and a lot of the members are Korean or other Asian ethnicities, so we like to venture out on Buford Highway for post-workout food. We typically go to Dongnea Bangnea, this tiny restaurant located in the back of an office building. One time they convinced me to eat pig intestines. Taste was good, once I mentally got past it. — Tori Allen, operations manager for Liz Lapidus PR

I ate brains in Mexico once. Didn't love it. I also ate a pig eyeball once just for fun; not so great either. I smoked some lamb testicles at my house once and they're not too bad, actually. Nutty. See what I did there? Oh, and I also tried a lot of weird fish jerky I couldn't quite identify when I was traveling in Tokyo. — Mike LaSage, owner and pit master at Bone Lick BBQ

I've taken the obligatory bites of beef pizzle, chitlins and squirrel here and there. I remember a bowl of cow skin and egusi seed soup at a now-defunct Nigerian restaurant in Stone Mountain. So, yeah, untanned leather... — John Kessler, food writer and chief dining critic at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

I ate bear paw in Fairbanks Alaska 20 years ago. My cousin had connection with a local hunter. I believed it is illegal. We cooked it the same way as we cook pig feet( with soy sauce, ginger , garlic). It tastes like the pig feet but more sticky and has wild flavor. It doesn't taste good. Chinese believe bear paw is good for liver, help allergy, very good for skin and helps people look younger because of the collagen. — Mali Hu, owner of One Sushi +

The strangest thing I've ever eaten was a rooster's comb. It's a little like a mushroom, and looks like a sautéed lobster mushroom when cooked. It was in San Francisco a few years ago at A16. I ordered it simply on the basis that I had not had it before and chefs are always on a mission to try as much as they can for the sake of the experience and passion for all things culinary. — Mark Alba, executive chef of STK

The strangest thing about the Peruvian street food anticuchos — skewered pieces of cow heart cooked over charcoal or an iron grill — is actually how not strange they are. After all, the heart's a muscle, not an organ, and while there's a little irony minerality to the taste, it's mostly just rich and beefy goodness. I first had them while wandering the streets of Trujillo, Peru, and while none in Atlanta has quite matched, part of that is probably due to the experience, health code regs, and being able to get 'em for pocket change in Peru. But the ones at Machu Picchu restaurant on Buford Highway are pretty solid. — Christopher Hassiotis, Zagat Atlanta editor

· The Five Days of Meat [-EATL-]