Imagine you're at an Italian restaurant and the waiter brings you a nice big
bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. Sounds good, right? But what if the
spaghetti were actually 1000's of slimy worms and the meatballs were made of
coagulated blood? Step right up for a horrific little dish we call "Fear
We'd always wanted to do some kind of blood eating stunt on the show. We knew we'd be able to get the goods-there are meat purveyors who sell animal blood by the gallon. But we wanted to do something a little more creative than just have the contestants drink down a tall glass of the icky stuff.
We found out there are actually many ways in which animal blood is prepared and served as food around the world. Pig's blood is mixed into sausages in France, Germany, and several other countries. Cow blood is included in dishes in many parts of Asia. In Taipei, they even down snake blood as a source of protein.
We researched many such recipes and came up with a unique plan for making
our Fear Factor meatballs. We would cook the blood, stuff it inside pig
intestines, and tie off the ends of the casing to create gross little balls.
As with most cooking projects, it took a little experimentation in order to get things just right. Many of the blood balls tended to split as they were being poached. And it took a test batch or two to realize that we'd need extra fresh blood to ensure the best results.
For the "spaghetti," we ordered 1000's of night crawlers from a bait company. They came in big cardboard boxes filled with peat moss and required hours of rinsing to get all the dirt off them. Of course, even after the rinsing marathon, there was still plenty of dirt and digested dirt (a/k/a worm poop) on the contestants' plates.
The good news for the contestants was that they wouldn't have to eat any worms; the bad news was that they'd have to dig their blood meatballs out of the writhing plate of worms using only their mouths.
Gross doesn't even begin to describe the action on this stunt. The sight of somebody desperately trying to swallow down a mouth full of coagulated blood and hog casing while their face is covered in worm slime is a tough image to shake. Chances are you'll never again be able to think of spaghetti and meatballs in quite the same way.
by Rich Brown