Food trends come in all sorts of different forms, and thankfully some have faded away while others have remained on our collective menu.
But now, a particular dish has been making its rounds on social media that defies belief.
Feast your eyes on stir-fried pebbles. Yes, you heard that right.
@cathychen95 Stir-fried #pebbles 🗿 #chinesefood #chineseculture #stirfry #cooking #fyp #foryou #fypシ ♬ 原聲 - FabulousCathy
Originating from Enshi, Hubei province, the dish was spotted in the Changsha Night Market.
The dish goes for about US$2 (S$2.69).
First, the pebbles are doused in chilli oil and then stir-fried with dry chilli, garlic and other spices.
You're probably thinking how does one go about eating it?
Well, the answer to this million-dollar question is that you actually just suck on the seasoned pebbles to get the flavour out.
Once you're done, you spit the stone out.
According to an article on Medium, the dish is called Suodiu. Back in the day, when it was tough to preserve food, especially during the summer months, the locals would rely on pebbles for flavour.
They would use the pebbles found in freshwater streams or rivers and cook them in spices. Apparently, the rocks have a distinct fishy flavour to it.
Yay or nay?
Netizens were shocked and surprised – with good reason.
Many thought the rocks were unnecessary in the dish as they were merely a vehicle for the spices.
"Why not just drink the sauce and remove the middle man," one user commented.
Others found it odd that people would pay for flavoured stones.
Of course, the fact that it's inedible wasn't lost on netizens, with one user mentioning that it's perfect for those who want to be on a diet.
Another bizarre food trend
On May 22, Taipei-based noodle bar The Ramen Boy added a giant isopod to its menu.
The limited-edition dish features a bowl of ramen noodles topped with the steamed isopod.
Looking like it came right out of a sci-fi film, the extraterrestrial-looking crustacean apparently tastes like lobster and crab.
The broth is able to achieve an umami note by mixing chicken and fish stock along with a variety of dried, smoked bonito flakes.
A bowl of this special dish is priced at NT$1,480 ($64.90). And due to limited supplies, it is only available to regular customers.
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