When planning my summer travels I expected to meet some interesting people, see some weird sights and eat some foods that you definitely would not find back at home. But let me tell you, one thing I definitely didn’t expect to be writing is the following: this week I may have drunk turtle penis.
There’s no other feeling quite like stepping on to the blinding beaches of the Caribbean. And when I say blinding, I mean blinding. Sand so white it should probably come with some kind of warning from the local optician. But you won’t find me complaining.
Face screwed up and eyes squinted, I know that the aqua blue bath rolling in somewhere in front of me is the only way to regain my vision. I look like I’ve really lost it as i hop from one foot to another, with the burning sand warmly greeting the bottom of my feet. Now it feels like a matter of life and death that I plunge head first in to the sea as soon as possible. I finally stride forward and submerge myself, at least mentally letting out an “ahhhh”.
Looking around, I see almost every shade of blue. The sky, the multi-coloured sea, even the blue lagoon cocktails people are sipping on the beach. I just realised why my favourite colour is blue.
I’m in the Dominican Republic and it’s very easy to understand why the stock response when enquiring about a local’s wellbeing, is “excellente!”. It may also be because 80% of the copious amounts of rum produced here, are also consumed here! Rum is enjoyed in just about every way imaginable, but the most popular way is to combine it with red wine, herbs and spices.
Being in the Caribbean, I probably wasn’t the first person to mishear the waiter as he offered me some Mamajuana on my first night here.
Waiter: Mamajuana, do you want a shot of Mamajuana?
Me: Ummmm, sure…
I drank it as instructed: in one. A bit of a strange taste but not too harsh, quite fruity. Thanks! It wasn’t until a few days later when touring the island that I learned of it’s potential contents.
“It’s not uncommon for locals to add their own ingredients” read a sign nailed to the wall. It went on to list the following common ingredients:
Cinnamon – lovely
Raisins – tasty
Strawberry – fruity
Sea turtle penis – …
Sea turtle penis… As in, the penis of a turtle? I enquired.
Siiii, it is an aphrodisiac! replied our enthusiastic guide.
I didn’t even know that turtles had penises so that’s some useless knowledge I can save up for an obscure pub quiz question somewhere in the future.
Now all I can think about is the turtle from Finding Nemo… “Duuuuuude why do you want to make a drink out of my willy?!”
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten or drunk?