PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – If you’re into cooking shows, you know that right now, one of the more popular ones out there is called “Bizarre Foods.”
It highlights the things people eat around the world that might not be the most appealing dishes.
And it turns out that inside the Penguins locker room, we found a few strange things just might qualify as bizarre.
When it comes to professional athletes these days, what they put into their bodies has become the stuff of science. Gone are the days of pizza and beer after the game. Now it’s just the right blend of protein and carbs to refuel for the next game.
But that doesn’t mean today’s athletes don’t sometimes veer off the rails into cuisines more unusual.
“Um, I actually had bone marrow for the first time the other day, it wasn’t for me,” said forward Jayson Megna.
Although not exactly meatloaf, bone marrow is growing trend at niche and higher end restaurants. So maybe that’s not the weirdest.
“Oh boy, I’ve tried alligator, live shrimp,” said Tanner Glass.
When questioned by his teammates about the “live” part, Glass says that’s right.
“Live, yeah, they’ve been alive, you just pop them in right out of the water,” he said. “Boom … you gotta, you just gotta end it quickly. Bite down and they’re not wiggling anymore.”
But by far the most interesting answer from our informal survey game form rookie defenseman Olli Maata – and it might leave you hearing sleigh bells.
A favorite treat of his is reindeer.
“Really good, really lean meat,” he says, “like, there’s no fat in it. And I think it’s really expensive too.”
It’s a specialty in his native Finland.
“It’s big, yeah,” he said. “But we don’t have that really, maybe once a year, twice a year. It’s unbelievable.”
In fact, it’s so popular, it’s referred to as a “true treasure in Finnish gastronomy” by the Consulate General of Finland in New York. They recommend ways to cook it, including sautéed with mashed potatoes and lingonberries or cold smoked with some baked turnips.
Most of his teammates said they were open to trying the dish.
“I think they’re pretty close and I’ve had caribou before, so,” said Craig Adams.
And it turns out that reindeer is simply the Scandinavian term for caribou. Leave it to the only Harvard graduate on the Penguins to point that out.