While most chefs work hard to make sure no dirt winds up in their food, at French restaurant Ne Quittez Pas, in Tokyo, Japan, dirt is actually used as a key ingredient.

Mind you, this isn’t just any kind of dirt. It’s a special black soil from Kanuma, Tochigi Prefecture, that’s actually been tested for safety, but it’s still the thing most people use to grow plants in. So how did dirt wind up on the menu of this respectable venue? Apparently, Chef Toshio Tanabe once won a cooking competition with his signature dirt sauce, and from that point on he put together an entire menu based on the unusual ingredient. Now the restaurant is offering dishes priced as high as $110 with Kanuma dirt in them.

Dirt risotto

The guys at RocketNews24 heard about the unique restaurant and decided to sample some of the dirt-based foods on their menu. They started with a dirt soup, moved on to a salad with dirt dressing, an aspic made with oriental clams and topped with a layer of sediment, and finished off with dirt ice-cream and dirt gratin. Believe it or not, the reporter swears they all tasted divine, and had only a hint of earthiness to them. I guess Ne Quittez Pas’ Chef won that TV cooking show for a reason. Still, ¥10,000 ($110) for a dirt meal seems a bit steep.

Salad with dirt dressing

Although not considered a gourmet meal until now, dirt has been used as food before. Pregnant women suffering from a condition known as PICA sometimes eat dirt to soothe their stomachs, and in the Indonesian village of Tuban, people eat ampo – baked dirt.

Dirt soup

 

Dirt gratin

Dirt ice-cream

Photos by RocketNews24.com

- Oddity Central