And by pantry, I obviously mean “IKEA blåögd bookshelf that’s half super-crowded pantry and half summer clothes storage.” I really could have used the last few days to force-organize my apartment into more of a flow, where clothes aren’t necessarily stored in the kitchen, but…Louie on Netflix! All caught up.

The one place I did attempt to organize, once it was clear there was really, truly nothing else to do, was my store of canned food. I’ve only been in this apartment for a few months but I already have dusty cans and jars of the most random foodstuffs, the origins of most I haven’t a clue. Like those broken straw mushrooms. Do I really need to ask how these creepy-looking, waterlogged, metallic-tasting mushrooms, on top of all that, broke? Or are they named after broken straws, which is also a crappy name for a soggy canned mushroom?

Moving on. By the way, thank you for joining me this morning in the Studio of Many Sizes, a side effect of the spacial dysmorphia often developed by urban apartment dwellers trapped inside for whatever reason. I decided to poll my friends on the weirdest, oldest and/or most random things in their food storage areas. I can first report that literally nobody my age has a pantry yet. But here are some of the stranger things you might find in that designated region.

  • Canned asparagus spears
  • Green Ukrainian bouillon cubes which did not used to be green
  • “Like, four pounds of whole cloves” (copied that verbatim, following up on it later)
  • Hominy (belongs to a dude whose girlfriend’s name is Harmony, awh)
  • Cream of Toast soup (excellent Simpsons reference)
  • “Can olive oil go bad?”
  • Super-old forbidden rice (with the disclaimer “because it’s forbidden”)

And the “really?” award goes to…

A whole bone-in cooked chicken in a can, complete with illustrated label. This was discovered in an Asian food warehouse in LA and for obvious reasons has been kept but not opened.

So…all of you should be proud? I guess? Hit our Facebook page and tell us about your bizarre pantry discoveries. Hopefully it never comes down to eating our collective oddities, let’s keep those anthropological. Now back to that four pounds of cloves thing.

Read other What To Eat: Lunch columns on Food Republic