There are raw foods -- salad, fruit smoothies, un-roasted nuts. And then there are forbidden raw foods. You know, the raw food we're warned about, the raw food that could make us horribly, terribly ill. The raw food that is almost more delicious because it's so dangerous.
Every once in a while we indulge in the dark side of raw foods. We put our lives on the line and we take a risk for whatever reason, for taste or for promised health benefits. Here are my favorite raw foods I'll occasionally dare to eat. Have you ever tried these?
Raw Milk: I used to belong to a "secret" club that would deliver raw milk from the country into the city. I joined mostly out of curiosity. I wanted to find out if the milk would taste differently (it did, a little) and if it would cure my asthma (not really, getting rid of my cat helped much more). Ultimately I gave up the raw milk for three reasons: I was nervous about feeding it to my son, it did not play nice with hot coffee, and I just couldn't be bothered to travel to the delivery site and then lug home those giant jars of milk.
Deli Sushi: I love sushi, and I love not paying a lot of money for it. So that sushi I see in open coolers at delis and supermarkets is always a huge temptation. But how long has it been sitting there? How do I know it was really made "fresh today" and not "fresh five days ago but don't worry it's fine" --?
Street Mango: In New York City and other large cities you'll see those unlicensed vendors selling those fresh, peeled and sliced mangoes. It always looks so sweet and refreshing! But did they wash the mangoes before peeling them? Did they wash their hands? Should I be worried?
Cookie Dough: Come on, we all love it. Me, I think I love it almost more than fully-cooked cookies. How can we resist tasting that chocolate chip dough before it's baked? I can't! So it's got a little bit of raw egg. I know what farm that egg came from. If, for some horrible reason, I am stricken with salmonella poisoning my family will know exactly which farm to sue. But that's not going to happen! Because cookie dough would never do that to me.
Steak Tartare: Mmm, raw minced beef with shallots and capers. Put a raw egg on it! With the right beef it's heavenly. But it's also madness. It's basically the Russian Roulette of food.
Are there any "dangerously" raw foods you can't resist?