No Joke: A Food Blogger Cooks Stir-Fry Using Cat Food
I confess that I ate cat food as a kid. (So did Louise Hung, who wrote about it in September.) I was on the phone with my equally cat-centric friend, Rachel, and let's just say we got curious. We agreed to try it at the same time, so we each grabbed a few pieces of kibble, counted down, and started crunching. It was surprisingly flavorless, much like stale cardboard (if it is possible for cardboard to be stale).
It wasn't horrible, but I was in no hurry to eat it ever again. It made me feel kind of dirty, like the cool, dusty room in our unfinished basement where my cat, Sweets, liked to lurk and stare out the ground-level windows. I'm pretty sure I took a shower afterward.
It was in a similar spirit or curiosity that Scottish food blogger Colin McQuistan decided to make cat food stir fry. Yes, you read that right: this man made stir fry in which wet cat food is the primary ingredient. He documented the results at My Foodee Blog, which he describes as the opposite of the web's many "pretentious food blogs."
"My blog is a comedy blog, but I'm genuinely interested in seeing if I can make edible things out of fairly inedible ingredients," McQuistan says. "Sometimes my efforts crash hard, but sometimes they really work."
Like me, McQuistan had cats as a kid, and he always wondered what their food tasted like. So with "steely determination," he headed to his local market and purchased a pouch of Felix "As Good As It Looks" chicken-in-jelly-flavored cat food.
“I think I might have freaked out the cashier, [because] when she said something about ‘lucky cat!’ and I said ‘I don’t have a cat,’ her facial expression changed from cheeree-ee-ness to something that resembled 89 percent utter confusion and 11 percent pure terror.”
When McQuistan got home, he dumped the mound of chickenstuffs on a plate. He was somewhat alarmed by its gelatinous appearance.
"It appears we have a problem of some magnitude," he writes. "It looks bad and it smells not good at all, but does it taste ‘as good as it looks?' Yes, horrendously disgusting."
He sampled the food four times in an attempt to "identify its unique flavors;" therefore, we can trust him when he says it is "one of the most horrible things I have ever eaten."
"It tastes of chicken, yes, but there is something so very very unpleasant about it I almost vomit," he writes. "It has a very burnt-rubber undertone and the chicken is chewy and tough; it is slightly sulfurous and the jelly is slightly more palatable than the chicken bits in so far as it doesn’t provoke such a strong vomiting response."
In an effort to make the cat food edible, he decided to turn it into a meal. He settled on a Chinese stir fry recipe -- "because they eat cats in China, so I thought there was a logical tie in there," he says.
In addition to the cat food, his recipe contained a fresh gherkin, sugar snap peas, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, cumin, Chinese curry mix, and sweet chili sauce. He cooked the ginger, garlic, and chili first, then added the veggies, cat food, and sauce to flash fry for another 90 seconds. He expected the cooking cat food to smell “unbearable,” but it was surprisingly odorless.
He served the finished product up with some sticky rice, and it looked like a nice meal, actually.
But the flavor told a different story.
“This is a very challenging dish to eat,” he writes. “There are nice enough flavors from the spices, vegetables, and sauces, but the cat food lends a weird flavor and horrid texture to the dish: I can still taste that sulfurous and burnt rubber and I feel a bit ill. The dish also makes my mouth produce an alarming amount of saliva so I end up drooling all over the place.”
So, would he recommend trying it?
“Absolutely not,” he says. And this is coming from a man who has also made meals using grass, toothpaste, dog biscuits, and worms, so I think we can trust his judgment.
Click here to follow My Foodee Blog on Facebook and tell McQuistan what to eat next.
All photos courtesy of My Foodee Blog.
About Angela: This not-crazy-at-all cat lady loves to lint-roll her favorite dress and go out dancing. She also frequents the gym, the vegan coffee joint, and the warm patch of sunlight on the living room floor. She enjoys a good cat rescue story about kindness and decency overcoming the odds, and she's an enthusiastic recipient of headbutts and purrs from her two cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix.
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