So I just came back from Brazil, and try to make it a point to sample the local cuisine and what that particular area is known for when I travel. When I travel, I just want the best of whats out there. That said, Brazil is pretty carnivorous-- all about the meat and fruit. Being that I don't eat pork and very rarely eat beef and like to eat lighter, I was a little skeptical. Since Brazil is all about the Rodizio and Churrascaria's, I decided to go anyway, even though they generally just bring around huge slabs of different beef cuts.
I tended to pass up most various cuts of beef-- I thought that though the quality of the beef was probably better, it was probably nothing so different that I couldn't obtain in the U.S. I also wanted to leave room for other food because they bring it around fast, and they bring around a LOT. Then they came around with the chicken hearts. This was something I wasn't sure I would try again, and so couldn't pass up the opportunity. I said yes to the chicken hearts, tried it, and was surprised at how much I really, thoroughly enjoyed them. A little burst of intense chicken flavor, the texture was not at all what I thought (only a tad bit chewier), and perfectly seasoned.
Next up for me to try: cow eyeball tacos. I live in Chicago, famous for it's Mexican food. On Maxwell Street is a place that serves cow eyeball tacos. I've had tongue before (which is not so unusual, and liked it), but never the eyeball. Skeptical, but I'm willing :)
Any other experiences where you were surprised by a specific food item? Either it was strange, not what you expected, or any other variation that comes to mind?