DAILY DIRT: A year ago, Dirt turned into Mud


Happy anniversary, Stevie Dirt..er, Mud.

Daily Dirt for Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022

Early this morning, I took a deep breath — and smiled.

Today marks one full year of providing The Daily Dirt for Muddy River News. It’s been a great 365 days working with the people at the Big Muddy. I will be forever grateful to publishing czar J. Robert Gough for enticing me out of retirement, even if it’s only for a handful of contributions each week. And I am even more grateful to the readers of this space who — on a daily basis — drop me emails, texts and even an occasional phone call. I hope to be hearing from even more of you in the coming year! 

Welcome to Vol. 365 of The Daily Dirt.

I thought long hard about what to include in this one-year anniversary edition of The Daily Dirt. Our principal topics normally include pop culture in general, music, sports and food, particularly bad food. I opted for a special one-day tribute to the nastiest concoctions I’ve come across during our first 12 months of existence.

Grab the bottle of Tums and the bottle of Pepto-Bismol. Here’s the top 10 of the best of the worst foods ever:

1. Warthog anus, Namibia: To cook the warthog anus you have to pull it out with the last foot of intestine attached, squeeze the feces out and then throw it in the open fire. Don’t mind the ash and dirt; it’s a part of the process, I am told. For health reasons, I would guess, this is one food you would like to be well cooked. And I read it should be served right away. So … next time you’re in Namibia …

2. Bat Soup, Thailand: Usually we eat food that is good for our immune system but this delicacy could challenge that thought because the main ingredient — the vampire bat or the fruit bat — carry numerous diseases with lethal potential.

Directions say to cook it at low heat and season with herbs and spices. If it happens to emit odor reminiscent of urine, adding garlic, onions, chili pepper or beer can (supposedly) help reduce the smell.

Apparently, the bats can also be grilled, barbecued, deep fried, stewed and/or served as stir fry. 

3. Pidan, China: “Pidan” is more

 commonly known as century egg, black egg or millennial egg, it is still basically a rotten egg that stinks like sulfur.

The eggs are covered in salt, clay and ashes and left 100 days to “cook” on their own. The yolk turns to dark green with a soft gooey center and the egg white is a translucent gelatin resembling soy sauce. 

4. Dung-smoked whale testicle beer, Iceland: The controversial beer has a time consuming brewing method because it has to follow the quality assurance handbook that was created in order for local health departments to approve the beverage.

This item is made from giant whale testicles that originally weighed around 15 to 18 pounds and were smoked for an extended period with dried sheep dung. This is how the beer gets the unique smoky taste. Hops and malted barley are being added to the mix, plus some of the world’s purest water. Reportedly, it has an “almost meaty aftertaste.”

5. Roadkill Cook-Off in Marlinton, W. Va.: It’s an annual tradition in late September. The festivals features foods made from creatures we usually see dead along the road. I think the one exception is skunk. There are no dead skunks served at Marlinton, but there will be plenty of ‘possum. I have read one of the choice dishes involves tacos filled with the meat of such creatures.

6. Testicle Festival in Clinton, Mont.: The main dish is bull testicles. Partispants consume an average of 110 pounds of bull and bison testicles that are served deep fried, battered or marinated. The festival motto is “I Had A Ball At The Testicle Festival”.

7. North Carolina’s Livermush:Livermush is made with pig liver, the fatty parts of its head, and cornmeal, combined with sage and black pepper. The pig’s head is boiled, then the meat is pulled off and ground with the liver, cornmeal, and spices. That mixture is packed into loaves that are set by chilling or baking, depending on the recipe. The final product is sliced, then either deep fried or pan fried to make the outside crispy while keeping the inside soft; they may also be grilled.

This regional favorite originated in the Appalachian foothills and Piedmont region. 

8. BugFest in Raleigh, N.C.: Chowing down on some crunch crawlers is a late August tradition, and each year a different insect is the featured delicacy. Last year was ants.

9. Waikiki Span Jam: Hawaii hosts an annual celebration of Hormel’s potted meat product each April. I’m not sure why.

10. Tunarama in Australia: This event has become a well-known, day-long festival because of the “world-famous tuna toss” (their words, not mine), a fish-throwing contest that attracts locals and tourists throughout Australia and beyond, in hopes of winning prize money. I only included this item because I absolutely detest tuna.

Steve Thought O’ The Day — Of all the bizarre stuff listed here today, it still puzzles me why, at some point in time, someone in Namibia thought cooking warthog anus would be a good idea.

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. Warthog Anus sounds like either a grunge band or the name of a fantasy football team.

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