9 Strange Ingredients

9 Weird Ingredients

1. Canada Police investigate theft of mummified human toe served in drinks

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Police in Canada have launched an investigation after a patron at a Yukon bar allegedly stole the famed ingredient of their signature drink: a mummified human toe. For more than 40 years the Downtown hotel in Dawson City has served up the sourtoe cocktail, a shot of whisky with a blackened toe - nail and all - bobbing inside. Those who manage to touch the gnarled, severed toe to their lips earn a certificate.

On Saturday a customer took it one step further, allegedly making off with the wrinkled digit after swallowing his drink. "We are furious," said Terry Lee of the hotel. "Toes are very hard to come by." The man had apparently boasted of his plans to steal the toe earlier in the evening. He later convinced a staff member to let him try the drink outside of the designated two-hour window known at the bar as toe time. "And this is how he pays her back," Lee said in a news release. "What a lowlife."

The tradition claims to trace its roots to the 1920s, when a rum runner preserved his frostbitten, amputated big toe in a jar of alcohol in his cabin. Fifty years later, the pickled toe was discovered by a Yukon native who brought it to the Downtown, where it became a celebrated ingredient in its drinks. After Saturday’s theft, the hotel contacted the police and began offering a reward to anyone with information. “We fortunately have a couple of back-up toes, but we really need this one back,” said Lee.

It was the newest addition to their collection, donated by a man who had had to have his toe surgically removed. After curing it for six months in salt, the staff had only begun adding it to drinks this weekend, the hotel manager told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “This was our new toe, and it was a really good one,” said Geri Coulbourne.

At least eight other toes have gone missing over the years, some stolen while others have been swallowed. The original toe belonging to the rum runner was accidentally swallowed by a miner after seven years at the hotel, giving rise to another tradition: the hotel’s constant search for toes.

“Got frostbite?” reads an advertisement on its website, which goes on to promise that those who donate toes will be “immortalised in the Sourtoe Hall of Fame”. The hotel said it had received 10 donated toes – big toes are preferred – over the years, including a few that were left to the establishment through wills.

The tradition last made headlines in 2013, after a man seemingly deliberately swallowed the toe in his drink before slapping down C$500 –the fine at the time for anyone who stole or swallowed the toe.

The hotel responded by raising the fine to C$2,500. Staff said they fully intend to charge the latest thief the full fine unless the toe is returned intact. When it comes to tracking him down, they may have caught a lucky break – the man left behind his sourtoe cocktail certificate, meaning police now have his name.


2. Cooking With Semen

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"Cooking With Cum" sounds like a joke, and maybe it is. Still, it's an elaborate one as Paul "Fotie" Photenhauer has penned not one but TWO books on using jism in both food and drink. He explains in the introduction to Natural Harvest that semen is not only nutritious but "has a palatable texture and excellent cooking properties" like wine or cheese.


3. Cecilia Westbrook Makes Yogurt With Her Own Vaginal Bacteria ( NSFW )

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Here's some food for thought: It's possible to make yogurt using bacteria from a woman's vagina, but it's probably not a good idea. Last August 2017, Cecilia Westbrook, an MD/PhD Student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, decided to see if the stomach-churning idea was feasible, according to VICE. Westbrook noted that the most common bacteria found in a healthy vagina was lactobacillus, the same bacteria commonly found in yogurt. She figured she could easily whip up a batch of yogurt just by extracting some of her vagina's bacteria with a wooden spoon.

Homemade yogurt is traditionally made by mixing a small amount of a yogurt starter culture with some milk and heating it. However, Westbrook discovered there was not much information on making yogurt with vaginal bacteria - or much information on vaginal bacteria at all, according to an interview she gave to Jezebel.


4. Bread From Vagina Yeast

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A blogger called "Angry Young Woman" woke one morning in late November 2015 with a nasty yeast infection. She decided to make the best of the situation and announced she would use the yeast to make sourdough bread. Naturally, the internet went insane, with some supporting her experiment and others disgusted by it. She admits there was only a tiny amount of vagina yeast in the starter and is not sure how much a role ( pun intended ) it played in the final product. Still, she ate it and said it tasted "quite nice."


5. The Beijing Penis Restaurant

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There are some weird and wacky things to eat out there in the world. Over the years, I have tried scorpion, silkworm and even tarantula. But they were nothing compared to this experience of eating animal penis.

The first thing that surprised me was the actual restaurant. I was expecting a strange, small, dark and establishment appropriate for the dodgy cuisine we were able to try. In my mind this was quite a subversive thing to be doing and I thought the decor would reflect that - I imagined furtively glancing around at other patrons as we bit into a forbidden food, sharing an unspoken and guilty feeling of naughtiness. So it was quite a shock to walk into a rather posh restaurant with private rooms, crystal goblets, gold cutlery and a personal waitress who would explain the health benefits of the appendages we were about to taste. Apparently penis is quite a delicacy in China and the other rooms were full of businessmen who were clearly trying to impress.


6. Scientists create toe, belly button cheese from human bacteria

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Cheese is known for its stinky odor. But, cheeses at one exhibit at the Science Gallery Dublin in Trinity College Dublin come from an especially smelly source -- human toe, armpit, belly button and mouth bacteria.

Selfmade, which is part of the Grow Your Own…Life After Nature exhibition, features different “microbial sketches” of cheeses created with bacteria samples from various people. Each cheese supposedly smells similar to the donor’s body odor.

The team took different microbial strains from the subjects. Next, they identified microbes that made up that person’s specific scent using a method known as headspace gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis, which can find volatile organic compounds in a sample.

Then, the cheese making process began. Milk was added to the microbe sample, and spoiled with a bacteria called Lactobacillus. When the sample curdled, the team separated the clumps and aged them with yeast to make different varieties of cheese.

"I'm really excited about things that sometimes are a little bit gross, a little bit disgusting,” microbiologist Christina Agapakis, who worked on the project, admitted at a Pop Tech presentation about the human cheese project.

Agapakis partnered with artist Sissell Tolaas for the project. They explained in a statement that they were interested in creating cheese from the human bacteria to showcase the different aspects of smell and microbial communities.

“Many of the stinkiest cheeses are hosts to species of bacteria closely related to the bacteria responsible for the characteristic smells of human armpits or feet,” they said. “Can knowledge and tolerance of bacterial cultures in our food improve tolerance of the bacteria on our bodies? How do humans cultivate and value bacterial cultures on cheeses and fermented foods? How will synthetic biology change with a better understanding of how species of bacteria work together in nature as opposed to the pure cultures of the lab?”

Agapakis admitted to NPR that people were a little weirded out by the idea.

"People were really nervous and uncomfortable, and kind of making these grossed out faces," she said. "Then they smell the cheese, and they'll realize that it just smells like a normal cheese."

But, the creators say that you can’t snack on this kind of cheese.

"This isn't cheese for eating," Agapakis said at Pop Tech. "This is cheese for thinking."


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7. This woman made her makeup with food and it's both weird and amazing

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Food and makeup is a weird combination but somehow, Ms Yeah, a viral sensation, made it work. From the past few years, we have seen a rage amidst social media bloggers to ditch Sephora and use kitchen products as on their faces to look pretty. From using hard eggs as beauty blenders to mixing cocoa and rice powder as a foundation, make-up bloggers have gone at lengths to experiment and innovate with their make-up. And the result so far has been a big YAY!

But Chinese blogger Ms Yeah  levelled up the make-up game when she does a full make-up routine for super web celebrity event with products available in her kitchen. She released her food makeup tutorial on YouTube on June 18, which instantly went viral with 103k views.

In the video, Ms Yeah, who is commonly known for being the ‘Office Chef’, gets a festival invite from a colleague. Now, what would you do if you are stuck in the office without your make-up kit and have to leave in an hour? An ordinary person would rush home. But Ms Yeah is anything but that. She collected all food from her co-workers and made her own makeup.


8. Woman Uses Menstrual Blood She Collected In A Jar To Bake Cookies

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Every month when we get our periods, we might sit back and wonder what we could do with all the time we waste dealing with it, the clothes that accidentally got stained because of it, or even the material and blood coming out of our bodies. One woman allegedly decided to answer that last question in a way that might actually make you gag: she collected her period blood in a jar for a year and a half and used the collected fluids to make cookies. You might have already gagged from hearing that, and you’re not alone, because I’m writing this in a state of disbelief and disgust that this was an idea that even entered someone’s head and stayed there long enough to become a reality. However, period blood has been used for some pretty interesting things over the course of history, and while I wouldn’t recommend doing what this woman did, the other ways menstrual blood has been used over the course of time actually aren’t quite so horrifying. Here’s the story of the woman who made cookies with a year’s worth of period blood, and what she could have done with all of that blood instead.

For most of us, our periods are just something that happen to us every month. We wake up one morning, once a month, see that our periods have started, then live with it for a few days, and when it’s over, we forget about it until our next cycle shows up. It’s a part of life that we don’t particularly enjoy, but it’s something that we have to deal with.

However, one woman decided to make periods a lot worse. Not necessarily for herself, by the way, for us, because we’re the ones who have to hear about this story. She decided to get a 45 ounce jar and slowly fill it up with period blood over the course of a year and a half. “I am not sure what to do with it once it's full. I have been collecting my blood for a year and a half, and I would like to keep it. But, I am terrified of something happening and it breaking. I would be lying if I said I weren't attached to it.”

She decided to bake cookies with it. The cookies themselves look innocuous enough, but they’re allegedly made of period blood, so stay far away. “I made menstrual blood cookies! I am not entirely happy with how they turned out, so I am going to experiment with some recipes throughout the rest of this month so I can try for something great next cycle. This recipe was far too floury.”


9. This Woman Drinks Sperm Smoothies to Fight the Flu. Yes, Semen.

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Okay, this one is even crazier than the woman who quit her job to breastfeed her boyfriend. A woman in England claims she drinks a sperm smoothie everyday to fight the flu.

Yes, semen.

Tracy Kiss tells the NY Post that thanks to her best friend’s donated sperm, she’s able to put a spoonful in her concoction everyday, and it’s kept her from getting sick.

Well, I’m getting sick just typing this.

“It can taste really good, depending on what my friend has been eating,” Kiss said. “My other mates think I’m strange, but I don’t give a toss.”

Strange is an understatement, lady.

And get this, she claims she’s a vegan. Uh…

So, what the heck is in her bizarre beverage?  Kiss says she mixes semen with fruit, seeds, and coconut or almond milk. But she has no problem drinking it on its own.

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