Let's say...one is tired of the usual fast food options or the conventional menu offered at neighborhood eateries (not that there's anything wrong with local restaurants - I'm a fan). Perhaps there is an inner urge that can't be fulfilled at a buffet, a need for something different. Something on the exotic and perhaps a little eclectic side? How about some Nepali goat brain? Maybe live drunken shrimp, perhaps? Or lamb eyeball (no mention if it's served open or closed - hopefully closed), or perhaps boiled fertilized duck egg, a side of beaver tail. These food options are "average" fare for a group of adventurous diners who have named themselves, Gastronauts. Presumably, the name refers to gastronomical exotic fare and not the end result after eating unconventional food choices. But I digress. Already.
The group, created by two friends in 2006, were seeking out meals that offered a culinary experience not ordinarily found at your regular restaurants. Initially, the first meeting of the club, which has its home base in New York City, attracted a mere half dozen people. I can understand why. Over time, however, the membership has grown to 1000 eaters and plans are to expand to other U.S. cities.
The club, according to one Curtiss Calleo, an art director and graphic designer, who founded the club along with magazine editor, Ben Pauker, is open to all and has bankers, artists, designers among others, as members. There is no registration fee and members/participants pay for their own meals held monthly in restaurants.No mention of the name of host restaurants, though. The invitations are sent via e-mail to 70-80 people, who usually respond quickly to the invite.
In as far as the food served, at a recent gathering in New York for example, the invitees ate balut, a Philippine snack of boiled fertilized duck egg. Just wondering here what fertilized duck egg is preferred say...over unfertilized duck egg. Just a thought. Anybody know? But I digress. Again.
Other delicacies served at previous get together include cooked lamb eye ball. Pass. As an after thought, the vision of tail-less beavers is somehow personally worrisome.
Be that as it may, there may be people reading this who are interested in sampling food and would like more information on how and where to become a member: