cake, duck heart and bone marrow ice cream served in Philadelphia

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An array of bizarre-sounding dishes is on offer at a dining experience founded by a doctor and a chef. While some might find it stomach-turning, these feasts are being enjoyed by many hungry guests who are also sometimes treated to a live dissection.

Jonathan Reisman, a Philadelphia-based physician, founded Anatomy Eats with chef Ari Miller – who also happens to be known for the best cheesesteak according to Philadelphia Magazine. Now he is turning his hands to something very different and much more unusual.

The fining experience encourages attendees to look at their dinner in a new light, and eat parts of the body they might never have considered digesting in all new ways. These include duck heart kebabs and blood cake, bone marrow ice cream with jowl toffee, and blended liver soup.

The duck heart kebab is served with smoked gourd mutabal (roasted eggplant dip), braised fennel, caramelized pearl onions, and pomegranate. Currently, tickets for the event, which has popped up in locations like Oxford, Mississippi, and Washington DC, cost between $115 to $120.

This covers drink pairings for the unusual dishes and a “show”, in which Reisman explains a bit about the body part they are heating. During the event in DC, Reismen dissected a cow’s heart live, and the video was projected onto screens for diners.

Chef Marcelle Afram described the blood cake in gory detail. He said: “When making the ganache base, I incorporated pig’s blood, which gave the cake an added earthiness in addition to retaining a beautiful amount of moisture.”

Reismen explained the passion behind this usual interest. He said: “I grew up knowing very little about food and no experience basically cooking. I got interested in food when I dissected a human cadaver on the first day of medical school. I’d never thought about butchering… and ended up visiting a slaughterhouse.

“From there I got interested in the meat and found the knowledge I was learning in class was very applicable to butchering and cooking.”

He advocates eating as much of the animal as possible, for ethical and environmental reasons. Eating nose-to-tail creates less waste, which he says is “very wise”. But, he added: “Those are side benefits. The real reason to eat these parts is that they are fascinating and delicious.”

Weirdest foods from around the world

Century Egg, China

These very old eggs are considered a delicacy in China. The eggs, which can be from a chicken, duck, or quail, are preserved in a mix of clay, ash, and salt. The egg is dark green and the eggs smell strongly of sulfur. This is essentially a rotten egg, but it’s a well-known dish in China.

Stargazey Pie, England

This fish pie comes from the village of Mousehole, Cornwall. It stems from a 16th-century legend about a brave sailor who battled storms one night to catch fish for a starving village. The pie features fish heads poking from the pastry, looking up at the stars.

Huitlacoche, Mexico

This dish is sometimes called Mexican truffle. It is essentially a disease that infects corn. However, it has become known for being quite tasty, with an earthy flavour.

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