What Klingon Gagh Is Really Made Of

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"Star Trek" is truly a phenomenon among fandoms. The TV show-turned-movie series has lasted for over half a century, beginning in 1966 (three years before a human first set foot on the moon, per Nasa) and lasting through numerous incarnations and generation after generation right up through the present day, with Season 2 of Picard coming soon to a streaming service near you.

While even the smallest of fandoms spawn fan-generated fiction and artwork, few fans have gone to such lengths as the one who created the "The Klingon Dictionary: The Official Guide to Klingon Words and Phrases." It's an entire lexicon complete with a pronunciation guide and rules of grammar that are based around the language spoken by what is perhaps "Star Trek"'s most famous (or infamous) fictional race (via Amazon). While the Klingons were originally rather one-dimensional antagonists, they evolved over the course of the various series to the point where Lieutenant Commander Worf wears a Starfleet uniform and serves with distinction aboard the Enterprise. While Worfie is really rather adorable for a big bad warrior, he might not make for the best dinner companion. We may have come to know and love the Klingons, but it's going to be tough to embrace their culinary traditions ... particularly those involving the dreadful dish known as gagh.

Gagh just might make you gag

Although "gagh" is really pronounced as "gawk," you might be tempted to say the word as if it was spelled g-a-g. While Klingon cuisine involves a number of dubious-sounding specialties – including pipius claw, bok-rat liver, and targ heart (via Vice) – the grossest dish of all is the gag-worthy gagh, which the Star Trek Database says is made from serpent worms. The worms can be boiled; however, the Klingon preference is to serve them still writhing. There are actually 51 different types of gagh, some making use of different worms while others involve alternate methods of worm preparation. Gagh recipes also involve different degrees of mouthfeel, as Filden gagh squirms its way down your throat while Torgud gagh is more wriggly. As for Meshta gagh, well, these worms can jump.

While certain brave souls, among them Enterprise captains Picard and Riker, have learned to enjoy (or at least tolerate) gagh, most among our species would probably prefer to give it a miss. When Riker offers the dish to Dr. Pulaski, during a meal celebrating an officer exchange program that will see him transferring to a Klingon ship, she recoiled in disgust. "I've never heard of a Klingon starving to death on his own vessel," she tells him, adding "but you might" (via Twice Cooked).

Star Trek fans get creative with homemade gagh

Like to try gagh for yourself? You won't be boldly going where no Trekkie (or Trekker, if you prefer) has gone before. Luckily, gagh for humans need not involve digging up any actual earthworms, which are totally not the same thing as space worms anyway. Vice says that some have resorted to gummy worms, while the "Star Trek Cookbook" includes a gagh recipe consisting of udon noodles in sesame dressing and soy sauce. The Klingon Assault Group supplies a vegan version of gagh made from beet greens, but the most elaborate gagh recipe this side of Kronos (or Qo'noS) may be the one created by Twice Cooked food writer Adam Zolkover.

As part of a 2014 fundraising event, Zolkover cooked a vegetarian "Star Trek"-themed feast for 9 people. His idea for plant-based gagh involved savory gummy worms, something he created from a mushroom/kelp broth thickened with agar and molded inside bendy straws. He served these "worms" dressed with sesame oil and resting on a bed of seaweed salad, and said of the flavor, "You'll be surprised how good they taste for a thing that looks so perfectly, science-fictiony vile." The banquet guests seemed to agree, with one posting on Facebook, "the Gagh hit the uncanny valley. Adam Zolkover absolutely got the jiggly wriggling worms just right!" And yes, Zolkover did post the recipe in case you're dying to recreate this Klingon delicacy for yourself.