Far Out Gross Out
Deep in Neopia Central rests a mysterious machine that no one, save a handful
of Alien Aishas, knows much about. It was moved to the center of the Neopian Bazaar
not too long ago but nobody knows why or even how, even though the streets are
bustling with Neopians at every hour. In what seems like a ritual, Neopians from
all over Neopia stand before this mysterious machine, input nova-shaped tokens,
pull levers, and push buttons with hopeful looks on their faces.
Hundreds of kilometers to the south on the west coast of a distant island surrounded
by dark waters sits a strange box that only the Pirate Krawk who owns it knows
everything about. Rolled-up sheets of paper sit in holes placed evenly across
the top of the box which appears to have a map of some kind. People wait in
a long line to pull out a sheet of paper from one square of the grid on the
box as if it were a daily lottery, and they, too, have hopeful looks on their
To the north is a nearby island that holds the mystery of all mysteries. The
dense tropical jungle that covers the entire island holds many secrets that
only the island’s guardians know full well about. A man in a tiki mask, one
of the island’s guardians, stands by the southern shore of the island and draws
pieces of paper out of a revolving cylinder as people who are unsurprisingly
hopeful step up to get a ticket.
What do these three events have in common? Hundreds of thousands of hopeful
people? A mysterious allure? Well, yes and yes but that’s not the only thing.
Thousands upon thousands of people end up with what is technically, if not scientifically,
called “Gross Food.” What is Gross Food exactly? A hodgepodge of foods that
should never go together? Raw allium? Invertebrates? A cruel Halloween trick?
Or that ancient burger you found in the ground? Apparently, it’s all of them,
but more specifically, it is food of the Alien Aishas and ancient food dug up
from the ground.
The label Gross Foods may be misleading. Many of these foods will not gross
out many Neopians. There are other foods that are on the same level or worse
than many Gross Foods. Parts on a Pizza, for example, is much grosser than a
Chocolate Duck Rump but perhaps on the same level as a Brain Kebab, and that
is a Spooky Food. Here is my take on Gross Foods.
Gross Foods can be categorized in two ways, by origin and by detestability.
There are several origins of gross foods, the Nosh-o-matic, Buried Treasure,
Tombola, the Cooking Pot, and Ghosty Trick or Treat Bags. Three main groups
of detestability: the conceptually gross, which definitionally encompasses all
Gross Foods; the elementarily gross, which includes Gross Foods made from generally
disagreeable foods; and the unhealthily gross, which contains everything that
has barely any nutritional value. All unhealthily gross foods are elementarily
gross and all elementarily gross foods are conceptually gross.
The Nosh-o-matic aka The Alien Aisha Vending Machine
A vending machine is a metallic box thing from outer space. The Alien Aishas
have one and so do the Orange Grundos. It seems to dispense items of impending
doom in exchange for a small token. The Nosh-o-matic usually dispenses what
might be called Alien Aisha foods, as it has been known that some of these Gross
Foods are Aishan delicacies, such as the Brain Kebab and Ham and Hair Sandwich.
Alien Aishan cuisine is an acquired taste and it does seem more palatable with
each taste. Nevertheless, you should sample a few dishes should you one day
achieve great fame and be invited to a banquet hosted by Alien Aishas or their
Supreme Commander! You don’t want to know what they will do if you offend them.
All Gross Foods received as a booby prize from Buried Treasure should not be
confused with the Aishan delicacies. Such foods include, in the order of increasing
rarity, Yellow Growth, Rancid Old Meat, Rock Sprouts, Spongy Mound, Snout Plant,
Buried Burger, and Maggoty Spud. Most of these foods have been buried for so
long that they barely hold any resemblance to their original forms. It is also
very unwise to place these items anywhere near you or your pet's mouth. However,
if you are foolhardy and have that Gooblahesque stomach of steel, then why not
venture a bite?
It has been posited that the Gross Foods from the Mystery Island Tombola are,
in fact, discarded Gross Foods from the Nosh-o-matic, but that has not been
proven and the Tiki Tack Man is being uncooperative. Most of these Gross Foods
contain fish or worms, which make it appear grosser than most Gross Foods. Despite
the ingredients of the foods, Gross Foods won from Tombola should not be eaten
as you can never tell where it has been or if it’s even fresh.
The Cooking Pot
The only Gross Foods you can make at the Cooking Pot, or actually ones that
the Great Pango Pango will grant as Gross Foods are Grubs. Not only may they
be made in the Cooking Pot, but these plump grubs are also an Aishan delicacy
with flavors such as Cheeseburger, Watermelon Soup, and Spotted Pudding with
Custard. They are remarkably tasty despite their appearance.
Ghosty Trick or Treat Bags
These bags were distributed on the thirty-first of the Month of Gathering of
Year Seven. The Chocolate Covered Onion was a nasty trick placed in some of
the bags, although Skeiths, Grarrls, and Jetsams have been seen happily munching
away on those onions wishing that the onions had even the slightest amount of
sprinkles. They have a nice little zing that will perk you up in no time.
The only thing wrong with these foods is that these foods are not too popular
among the masses. A few reasons for their unpopularity are their unconventionality,
appearance, and an overall bleh factor with younger Neopians. Not too many people
prefer to pop a raw, chocolate-covered onion bulb into their mouth for breakfast
every morning over a bowl of Coco Neocrunch. I doubt many people enjoy two scoops
of ice cream and an olive atop a fresh zucchini from Meri Acres on a hot summer
Many of the more normal counterparts of these foods are widely accepted and
consumed everyday, like ice cream, milkshake, chocolate, cheese, and burgers.
There are Bacon and Eggs Ice Cream and Courgette Ice Cream, Lime Milkshake and
Strawberry and Cheese Milkshakes, Chocolate Duck Rump and Chocolate Taco, Cheese
Covered Caramel Apples, and Waffle Burger. Of course, these flavors may not
be especially appealing to your palate as a Mint Kyrii Ice Cream and a Deluxe
Elephante Burger, but at least it’s better than a cone of Dung Ice Cream or
a Snot Burger.
Like the Chocolate Slime Burger, a delectable delight from the Chocolate Factory,
some of the names and appearances of these foods are misleading. Take Finger
Crisps for example. It is definitely finger-shaped as its name and image suggests,
but it is not made of real fingers when you read the ingredients. Another example
is the Waffle Burger, which may sound to be one of two things, waffles in place
of burger buns or waffles in between two waffle buns. Surprisingly, it is the
latter, which only sounds and appears a bit odd.
These foods are gross because the ingredients used to make them are gross.
This may include insects, worms, fish, and eyes. This category can be further
broken down into three subcategories, invertebrate, piscine, and organic.
This subcategory of elementarily gross foods consists of insects, annelids,
and mollusks. Many Neopians would avoid eating any of these if they possibly
could. The idea of crunching bugs and biting down into worms would gross out
the average Neopian in an instant as they don’t have a particularly appealing
taste. Even though grubs such as the Spoc Spoc Grub and Chebu Chebu Grub are
juicy and delectable albeit a little sour, they are still icky, slimy worms
to many people. Additionally, it doesn’t help the food’s popularity when the
mollusks in such foods as the Octopus Ice Cream Platter are actually still alive
when they are served.
Not a lot of people enjoy the fishy flavor of fish. What makes these foods
even worse is that they seem to be made of whole fish with extra fishiness,
but there is nothing wrong with fish. In fact, they are quite healthy for you.
The Fish Pops, in particular, are a healthy alternative to some of the Ice Lollies
sold at the Super Happy Icy Fun Snow Shop. You just need to get past that empty
stare and the fact that it looks like it hasn’t been cooked. In most of the
other such food items, all you need to do is get past the fact that there is
an entire fish in your food. After all, if a Flotsam can eat it, it can’t be
too bad, right?
These are mainly, but not all of, the Alien Aisha delicacies. It is possible
that they may enjoy Spooky Food as well, as many of these foods reminiscent
of Spooky Foods like Tongue with Veggies and the Eyewich. For some reason, most
of these foods contain eyeballs. If you already like Spooky Foods that contain
eyeballs, then you should have no problem with these Gross Foods. For those
others, it helps to close your eyes, so you don’t see yourself putting the food
into your mouth, to fully enjoy the rich flavors.
These foods have little nutritional value, even if you could digest any of
it. None of these foods (and this group includes the Buried Treasure Gross Foods)
should ever be eaten under any circumstances, even if a person promises you
five Super Attack Peas, Ten MSPPs, and a slew of expensive retired Battledome
Dung, mucus, slime, mud, and rotten foods aren’t exactly everyone’s list of
desired foods for lunch. The Swill Pudding is even obviously made from dirty
river water teeming with all sorts of microbes. Don’t be caught unawares by
the Cheesy Apple Stick. It may look wholesome, but it has been, in fact, left
out to rot in the sun for a few days. If any gross food looks, smells, and/or
feels* questionable then you most likely should discard it and hope it doesn’t
find its way into your next booby prize.
*If you can hear Gross Food, then you know there’s something wrong with it.
Additionally, you shouldn’t have already tasted it before physically examining
Whether you are a gourmand or a daredevil, never underestimate Gross Food.
They may delight your palate beyond your wildest imaginations (however nauseating
it may appear), and unlike the more popular Spooky Foods, they won’t bite back.
Gather your courage, step up to the table, and prepare yourself for a feast
that won’t be soon forgotten.