Peculiar Produce: Canned Meat Edition

I have to issue a warning about my last post: don’t eat the kiwano unless you’re a fan of intestinal distress. Seriously, it apparently has a bunch of dietary fibre in it, so unless you’re looking to get a case of the runs, avoid it at all costs.

And now:

I know what you’re thinking: "David, this isn't produce!" If you'll recall, I said in my first post that I wouldn't be exclusively covering produce in the interest of not limiting my options. And now you're probably thinking, “Oh David, this isn’t obscure, Spam has been around for God knows how long, this post is garbage.” Well, consider the following: have you actually ever eaten Spam in your life? It used to be a big thing, but not anymore. Yeah, you’ve passed it by on the shelves in the grocery store, but have you bought a can and eaten it? Probably not. But now you don’t have to, because I’m going to do it for you.

Here’s what it looks like out of the can. It’s basically a meat brick.

I cut a slice off of it to test it out. It tastes a bit like ham, a bit like bologna… the most generic pork taste you can possibly think of. You get the feeling that it’s just a whole bunch of different meats mashed together into this brick. Not bad, but nothing to write home about. Inspired by the picture on the can, I cut off two more slices, threw them between two slices of bread, added a bit of cheese, onion, and mustard, then microwaved it for 45 seconds. It got extremely hot on the bottom, but more importantly, the cheese melted a bit and the meat heated up to make a hot Spam sandwich. It was not bad, although the Spam kind of overpowered the cheese and onions. The expiration date on the can said 2018, which is either a testament to the secure packaging or an indication of how little the product has to do with actual food. It cost about four dollars, so that’s pretty decent for a food product that could probably survive a nuclear holocaust with no adverse changes to its taste or nutritional content.

Next up, I had a tin of smoked herring from the Brunswick fish company:

Like the Spam, it’s probably something you’ve seen before but never tried. So I figured, why not?

I was expecting individual de-boned herrings inside when I opened it, but instead I got this cat food-looking wad of fish.

I grimaced and dug in. It turned out to be pretty decent - a little salty, not too strong of a fishy taste, an all right texture. I ate the whole tin right then and there. I’m not sure how you’re supposed to use it, maybe put it on a sandwich or in a salad like tuna, or eat it straight out of the container like I did. I doubt it matters anyway. I paid $1.80 for it, which seems solid for what you get.


David Gurman

David has never been a big fan of veggies, but because he loves you guys so much he started this blog just for you. He currently attends the professional writing program at Algonquin College and spends his free time trying not to take anything too seriously.

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Peculiar Produce: Spiky Yellow Fruit Edition

Welcome to the inaugural post of Peculiar Produce! The idea behind this blog is, I go to stores and buy food that maybe most people have never had, and then I try it and tell you all about it. Don’t let the name fool you though, I won’t be limiting this blog to just produce. There’s a whole bunch of stuff out there that hasn’t been touched by John Q. Public, and I intend to tell you guys all about it.

To start things off, we’re going to look at a couple of fruits I found at my local Loblaws. Now, chances are you’ve seen these before, what with them being found at a big store like Loblaws, but you most likely passed them by, not knowing what they were, what they taste like or even how to eat them. But no more! For here, I shall explain all of this stuff and more.

First up, we have the yellow Pitahaya:

Hailing from Colombia, this fruit is actually a type of dragon fruit. It’s apparently a lot sweeter than regular dragon fruit (which I have yet to try - more on that later) and is rich in Vitamin C. To eat it, you cut in half, then scoop the contents out with a spoon.

It actually tastes pretty great, a bit like a mixture between a honeydew melon and kiwi. The seeds within are edible as well and give the flesh of the pitahaya a nice crunch. All in all, it makes a healthy and pretty tasty snack. It’s a bit pricey, though, at around six bucks a fruit, so it’s not the sort of thing you can eat every day.


The next fruit I tried was the Kiwano, also known as the horned melon for obvious reasons:


It’s native to sub-Saharan Africa, but it is currently grown in many locations around the world. Like the Pitahaya, you’re meant to cut it open.

This time, you’re apparently meant to suck the flesh out of the rind somehow. It didn’t seem to want to cooperate, though, so I ended up just scooping the contents into a bowl.


It may look like green sludge with seeds in it, but it’s actually just hundreds of these little jelly-like seed pods.


Taste-wise, I didn’t like it quite as much as the Pitahaya, although it was not bad. It was a lot more tart and sour, kind of like sour green grapes, or possibly a Granny Smith apple. Texture-wise, it felt a lot like the flesh of a grape, and you could pretty much just drink the whole thing, seeds and all, directly from the bowl (which I ended up doing). Like the Pitahaya, it contains a good amount of Vitamin C, and also like the Pitahaya, it cost me six bucks. Probably not worth it in this case.

Tune in next time, when we discuss canned meat!

David Gurman

David has never been a big fan of veggies, but because he loves you guys so much he started this blog just for you. He currently attends the professional writing program at Algonquin College and spends his free time trying not to take anything too seriously.

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