Best Culinary Dare
Where silkworms fear to tread, er, spin 

Kang Tong Degi

Where do we start? In the multiculti hodgepodge of the East Bay dining scene, there are sure a lot of family favorites to turn one's stomach: sea cucumber, pig lips, beef colon, durian fruit, dinuguan (blood and organ stew), stinky tofu, duck tongues -- even some of the Cheese Board's whiffier imports. But this year, once again, those adventurous Koreans presented us with the most Fear Factor-worthy dare: braised silkworm pods, as big as a Chiclet, as rubbery as a pencil eraser, and as aromatic as mildew. Sure, the pods are a kiddie food in Korea, but even our waitress admitted she could stomach them only when she was drunk. If you want to have a try -- and no one at our table could try more than one -- you have to ask for them specially, because they're listed on the menu in Korean. Luckily, the soju is potent enough to sterilize your mouth afterward, and the rest of the food at Kang Tong Degi kicks ass. You can recognize the joint because the front of it looks like a stack of tin cans.

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