In its natural state, the sea cucumber is rather unappealing. Panini Guy once held one in his bare hands on a snorkeling trip, and found it akin to “holding the world’s largest loogie.” He will not be eating one—at least knowingly—in the foreseeable future.

However, sea cucumber—a relative of the starfish and the sea urchin whose superpower is the ability to squirt out its own internal organs when threatened and re-grow them at its leisure—has its culinary uses, especially when weird texture is called for. “It’s sort of like eating hard gelatin,” says choctastic. On its own it has very little taste, but it’s useful for supplying that peculiar texture reminiscent of jellyfish. bitsubeats initially found the very thought of it disgusting, but became a convert after accidentally trying it at a Korean restaurant. “I loved it,” says bitsubeats.

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