My mums hubby just got back from East Timor, where he is doing good with the VSA. He has many awesome and interesting stories about his Timorese shenanigans, and the hernia that has inconveniently brought him home for surgery. However, the story that captivated me the most was his tale of coffee from a possums bum.
Apparently, this is the most fabulous coffee ever. It's personally selected for the discerning coffee connoisseur by a possum-like creature called a Luwak, whom allegedly have a fine nose for the most superior beans at the perfect stage of ripeness. They like to eat them. Then they poo them out in a bundle and some poor, underpaid sucker gets the job of cleaning them up. I see you can also buy uncleaned beans, but I doubt customs would be too happy to let them into the country, even if I was game to try a 'clean your own' experience.
What boggles me is thinking about the genesis of this product. I imagine a guy (or maybe a woman.. no, a guy) walking through the forest. Stepping in some Luwak poo, he looks at his foot and says 'wow, that's the best coffee bean in the known universe!'. How many other gourmet products are just waiting to be discovered in animal poo. Possibly this is a very untapped market.
edit: and guess what??? Just to gross reader Chris H out even further, I have agreed to try the kopi luwak beans through my coffee machine tomorrow. I found out tonight over dinner that said hubby of my mama has returned with a cool 1kg of aforementioned possum poo beans. I shall report presently.