Bizarre food items becoming wildly popular

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

pig feet
Pig feet are getting popular… you know, since bacon is way too mainstream.

It’s no secret that the world’s population is growing faster than there is conventional food to feed it, and people are turning to unusual places for a good meal. In fact, a lot of attention has been recently given to yummy bugs (yes, insects!), and they’re becoming quite the treat in unexpected places. Well, get ready for the next wave of wacky food ideas, which include fish necks, shrimp heads, and broccoli stalks.

If you found yourself thinking, “wait a second, fishes don’t have necks!” you’re absolutely right. The true name for the small space between a fish head and its body is a “collar,” and according to chef Jesse Schenker, from The Gander in New York, it’s not all that bad. The collar is usually thrown away along with the head before the fish is cooked, but that might not be the case anymore. According to the Yankee chef, the collar is just teeming with flavor. Throw in the fact that the fleshy fish part is ideal for grilling and searing, and it’s almost a mystery as to why fish collars took so long to get popular.

Fish necks aren’t the only bizarre marine body part that’s demanding attention. The heads of prawns – critters that are often mistaken for shrimp – are rapidly making their way onto culinary dishes. “We started selling so many dishes with prawn heads that we had to come up with a second dish that had shrimp in it,” said Scott Worsham, the co-owner of the “mfk” restaurant. “The tail is kind of wagging the dog here, so to speak.” Maybe patrons are realizing how succulent sea brains really are…

If all this talk about fish necks and shrimp heads is making you lose your appetite, don’t worry; there are some food trends that are more likely to be accepted by picky eaters. It seems that broccoli stalks are slowly making their way out of the compost bin and onto dinner plates. Broccoli stalks are being favored for their crunchy textures, flavorful punch, and versatility across different dishes.

While these are just a few trends gaining momentum, other notable foods you might want to stay on the lookout for include pig ears (and feet), swine tails, and green beets! Yum, I guess?

Featured image courtesy of zeevruchten on Wikipedia. Image of pig feet courtesy of Biskuit on Wikipedia.