You’ve partied all night and the impending doom of that dreaded hangover awaits you. Those of us lucky enough to have our wits about us just before stumbling into bed may swig as much water as we, can stomach in an attempt to prevent the inevitable. Others, a little more inebriated, will probably seek solace in that greasy fry up the day after, washed down with whatever caffeine we can stomach.
Alternatively, how about a nice helping of sheep’s eyeballs? Or one deep fried canary? Will they do the trick? Mongolians seem to think so, along with the ancient Romans and various other peoples that have developed rather bizarre hangover cures. Many people swear by them, yet the following recipes look like they would leave you feeling worse than ever…
As mentioned, the good folks of Mongolia do indeed like to indulge in two sheep eyeballs steeped in tomato juice. A Japanese study from 2012 suggests tomato juice helps the liver purge alcohol from the system, so there appears to be some science behind this. As for the sheep eyeballs, perhaps staring into another pair of eyes while you drink shakes you out of your hangover.
Yes, deep fried canary was the hangover cure of choice in ancient Rome. Leaving no parts behind, the Romans devoured the entire bird.
As for ancient Greece, they consoled themselves with a different take on the hangover cure. A plate of sheep’s lungs and owl eggs was on the menu. Whether raw or cooked, these ingredients made for a peculiar protein packed meal, which may have in fact helped the ancient party animals. (We think the Greeks’ usual healthy diet will do the trick, no offal required.)
Perhaps an even more vomit-inducing remedy is from Hungary. A cocktail of sparrow droppings in brandy is drunk in the hope of curing your ailment, seemingly a Russian roulette as to who gets the worst food poisoning which could make your hangover seem like a walk in the park.
Umeboshi is what the Japanese use to cure their hangover, a small plum-like food which is dried and pickled, and left in the mouth to dissolve. The intense sour flavour is particularly difficult to swallow, probably due to the pyric acid which is supposed to help the stomach. I would tend to stick with Japan’s incredible street food (speaking of which, here’s a whole list of street eats around the world that you should try).
In Namibia, they enjoy some ‘buffalo milk’. Seems tolerable – until one learns that it is simply a concoction of cream, clotted cream, different rums and liqueurs, a dairy heavy cocktail, the very drink you are probably trying to run way from.
Romanians boil cow’s stomach in a salty root vegetable soup, with added garlic, vinegar and cream. This greasy broth has a lot of salt which may replace depleted electrolytes; however, the cow’s stomach is enough to churn your own.
Finally, the most gross hangover cure has to belong to Sicily. The Sicilians, renowned for their exquisite cuisine, offer up something not quite so appetising. They munch on ‘pizzle’. A bull’s penis, dried. While already in your tender state, chewing on a bull’s dry penis does not sound like the gateway to recovery.
I think a full English breakfast will do me just fine.