Japan has always been a popular destination for people with adventurous palates. But this might be taking things a bit too far.
Ne Quittez Pas, a French restaurant in Tokyo’s Gotanda district, recently unveiled an extraordinary menu. For $110 per person, it is serving an entire course featuring a rather peculiar ingredient: dirt. An Asian news site, Rocket News 24, has checked out the dishes, which include a potato starch and dirt soup, a salad with dirt dressing, a dirt risotto with sautéed sea bass and dirt ice cream with dirt gratin for dessert.
The publication said the food was “divine” and “refreshing” and totally didn’t taste like dirt at all. Part of the reason may be that its chef, Toshio Tanabe, only uses what’s arguably the best dirt on earth. The restaurant buys the ingredients from Protoleaf, a company that makes organic compost using coconut husks imported from Sri Lanka and India, and tests its products rigorously for safety.
Eating dirt is actually nothing new. The phenomenon, known as geophagy, has been around for centuries and is popular with pregnant women in some regions, reported ABC News. And some experts suggest that eating dirt may boost immune systems, according to the New York Times.
However, other experts remain dubious. Rebecca Scritchfield, a registered dietitian in Washington, D.C., told Yahoo that dirt is not for consumption so “it is hard to know the effects it would have on a person.”
(More: How the World Eats)