Aussie markets opened a little higher this morning, bouncing back from yesterday’s disappointing run which saw the benchmark fall by around 1.0% and everyone’s spirits falling by something closer to 5.0%.

However, there’s a spring in the market’s step, which saw the ASX 200 climb 0.3% in the first half hour of trade. The upward trend continued, happily, with the market peaking at +0.95% as we tuck into lunch.

Honestly, though… any sort of rise this morning would have been a welcome one, because watching yesterday’s slow crawl down the value graph unfold was enough to make you sick.

Which brings us to today’s new item, for which I offer something of an advance apology, as there’s a solid chance that I’m about to ruin your own lunch completely, thanks to the Good People at Taste Atlas, who have revealed the 50 Worst-Rated Dishes in the World.

Obviously, I don’t have the time, space nor inclination to republish the entire epically epicurean essay – so here are some of the highlights (with one or two 100 Worst-Rated Dishes in the World scattered around the rest of today’s Lunch Wrap, like a garnish of randomly distributed nuggets of stomach-turning filth).

Among the highlights are the delightfully playful French dish known as Tête de veau (Head of the veal), a dish thought to have been ‘borrowed’ from the British, who celebrated the decapitation of King Charles I in 1649 by taking the head of a young cow and boiling it for hours and hours until the meat was tender and the skin and subcutaneous fats turned to a gelatinous goo.

Aussie ‘cuisine’ gets a look in on the list: coming in at Number 33 are the lollies we know as Musk Sticks… those horrifying pink sugar-extrusions that smell like the heady aromas of a 1980s nightclub, and taste exactly like the sweet, sweet schadenfreude of watching a billionaire’s increasingly erratic fall from grace.

From Scotland, we get number 11 on the list: the humble deep fried pizza, also known as “Away ya daft wee bastard” in the local dialect.

It is just like a normal pizza, except rather than being slid into a kitchen-friendly crematorium oven, the whole thing gets drowned in the same boiling oil that’s just been used to crisp up a fillet of aquatic unmentionables.

The pizza itself is most likely extremely tasty, but after a lengthy soak in the fryer, the entire thing turns into one of the most calorically dense foodstuffs on the planet, capable of hardening a man’s arteries from across the room.

Legend has it that the Scots invented whisky just to make deep fried pizza appealing, and palatable.

The top spot on the list is something truly special, and it comes all the way from Iceland, where the local delicacy is – and I must be blunt, here – appallingly gross.

It’s called Hákarl, probably because that’s exactly the sort of sound most people make when they put this in their mouth – cough, gag and vomit reflex noises all rolled into one easy-to-make noise.

That’s because it is made from cured Greenland shark, monsters of the deep that are believed to live for upwards of 200 years, provided the people of Iceland don’t catch them to make this abomination of a dish.

It’s not the kind of dish for any impatient chef to prepare. The shark is butchered, and the flesh is then fermented for about three months, before being hung and left to cure and age for another five months on top of that.

It is then cut into cubes and served on toothpicks, so that diners may enjoy the taste of a cat pissing on their tongue, thanks to the unspeakably high concentrations of ammonia it contains.

It, like many “local delicacies” that are so ferociously bizarre they amount to being aggressively violated in the mouth, requires industrial quantities of brennivin (the Icelandic variant of moonshine) to be palatable, through the simple expedience of obliterating every single tastebud it can find on its way to destroying your liver.

You’re welcome, and bon appetit!



It’s been a solid start to the day for the markets here in Oz, with the ASX benchmark climbing through +0.8% on its way towards the lunching hour.

The market is somewhat tremulous, though. We’re deep into earnings season at the moment, and investors are bracing for reports from some of the Aussie market’s big guns, including NAB, Telstra, Whitehaven, and Newcrest.

Across the sectors, Consumer Discretionary is leading the charge, most likely off the back of a surprise increase in retail spending and some solid results from individual players in the sector.

It’s climbed 2.32% so far today, and it’s got Telcos (+1.89%), InfoTech (+1.82%) and Industrials (+1.28%) in hot pursuit, while Consumer Staples has added +1.19%.

The poor performer for the day so far is the Energy sector, which is down 0.85%, and Utilities is coming in flat, at -0.02%.

There are some Big Players adding Big Value this morning, most notably visual comms mob Orora (ASX:ORA), which is up 12.9% on the back of a reported sales revenue of $2,264.5 million (up 13.9%) and NPAT of $108.1 million (up 7.8%) for HY23.

Also climbing fast this morning is Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL), with its HY23 showing an enormous drop in revenue, thanks to its boom-time Covid-19 revenue stream drying up, now that we’re done panicking about catching the Creeping Death from someone on the bus.

So – that’s the bad news – but the good news (and the reason Sonic’s up 11% this morning) is that its net profit for HY23 is “an amazing 50% higher than in the most recent pre-pandemic comparable period, being H1 FY 2020”, according to Sonic CEO, Dr Colin Goldschmidt.

And also in the news (and it’s been a while since they’ve gotten a mention) is Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA). The Large Cap miner that swings harder than a hot tub full of hedonists is on the upswing today, rising 5.5% before lunch.

Losing a lot of ground today, however, is AMP (ASX:AMP) after it released its FY22 results, and the first line tells the story investors appear to have swallowed: AMP’s NPAT has slumped to $184 million, from $280 million the previous year.

AMP’s trading price is down 13% already, and taking the kind of licking you’d expect from one of Germany’s entries on the Worst Rated Dishes list: Zungenwurst.

It’s a German blood sausage that is liberally studded with huge chunks of pickled bovine tongue… just the thing to have you licking your lips, except that it’s been used to lick something else’s gross, moist lips already.



In the US overnight, the market was buoyed by a surge in … *checks notes* … travel stocks. Whether that’s a sign of an economy on the mend, or simply a result of the surge of people desperately looking for a way out of Ohio to escape the shocking ecological disaster unfolding there is anyone’s guess.

The rise was led by the likes of Airbnb, which surged 13% on news that it had beaten its earnings estimates by a considerable margin, and can now afford to pay the ridiculously high “cleaning fee” it owes for the time the company spent in a weird 1-bedroom / 6 bathroom basement apartment in Queens over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Earlybird Eddy Sunarto reports that it looks like the US economy will have a solid first quarter as retail sales jumped the most in two years in January.

Spending in all 13 basket categories surveyed rose, led by motor vehicles sales, furniture and restaurants. In addition to the strong retail sales, US factories output also rose 1% in January, the most in nearly a year.

US Treasury yields rose after the data came out as traders put on more bets that the Fed will take rates even higher.

“The data-dependent Fed is seeing its case for more ongoing rate increases get bolstered after both inflation accelerated, and as retail sales rebound sharply in January,” said Oanda analyst, Edward Moya.

It’s about as safe a bet that any investor could hope for – largely because every time anyone from the US Fed opens their mouth, it’s to say something along the lines of “There Will Be More Interest Rate Hikes. Do Not Say We Didn’t Warn You”.

Big news for the people who make the enormous planes that fly directly over my house and make it hard to hear the telly sometimes: Air India has placed a massive order for 250 Airbus and 220 Boeing jets – the largest commercial aircraft deal in history.

The good news is that Air India’s parent company Tata – makers of some of the most woeful offroad and light commercial vehicles I have ever driven –  has agreed to allow the airliner manufacturers to stick with their traditional engine makers, such as Rolls Royce, which will vastly lessen the chances of bits of them falling off every few minutes.

In Japan, the Nikkei has risen 0.43% on news that one of its more notably terrible dishes also made the Food Atlas list.

Coming in at Number 27 on the list is the delightfully racist-sound Naporitan – it’s basically what you’d expect from a traditional Italian Napolitan pasta dish, except that the Japanese twist on the dish is that once it’s been prepared the usual way, the whole shebang gets tossed into a wok and flash-fried. Looks great, tastes gross and has a highly unpleasant mouthfeel.

In China, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng is also heading north, up 0.97% while Shanghai seems to be stubbornly refusing to get out of bed, frantically smashing the snooze button to be up 0.1% in very early trade.

In crypto, Bitcoin is soaring. The last time I remember mentioning its price, it was because it had finally risen through the US$22,000 mark – and this morning, it’s cranked its way through US$24,000.

That’s a huge jump – something in the order of 9.3% over the past 24 hours – and it’s happened at the same time as the US Dollar was rising, which is for some reason quite perplexing.

It’s almost as perplexing as Number 42 on the list, Ireland’s “vegetable roll” which – despite it’s name – is made of 99.9% meat, shaped into a large sausage, cut into thick slices and fried in a pan.

That name makes about as much sense to me as this whole Computer Money thing that everyone’s super-interested in… but luckily, Rob “Mystery Bag” Badman knows what’s up – and you can read his epic explanations over at Mooners & Shakers.



Here are the best performing ASX small cap stocks for February 16 [intraday]:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
MAT Matsa Resources 0.054 46% 37,449,363 $15,244,171
RVS Revasum 0.235 42% 1,162,857 $17,476,248
GLV Global Oil & Gas 0.002 33% 1,000,398 $5,143,205
MTL Mantle Minerals Ltd 0.0025 25% 296,681 $10,691,210
CSX Cleanspace Holdings 0.65 23% 34,562 $40,820,347
GAS State GAS Limited 0.25 22% 202,800 $46,090,623
NNL Nordic Nickel 0.375 21% 96,914 $18,122,601
W2V Way2Vatltd 0.018 20% 255,384 $3,302,278
GPR Geopacific Resources 0.024 20% 2,289,154 $10,423,822
PIL Peppermint Inv Ltd 0.006 20% 2,343,536 $10,189,284
WOO Wooboard Tech Ltd 0.006 20% 1,256,373 $1,149,774
ZEU Zeus Resources Ltd 0.025 19% 13,935,342 $9,204,300
GFN Gefen Int 0.047 18% 70,000 $2,724,005
AHN Athena Resources 0.007 17% 4,545,680 $6,422,805
ICN Icon Energy Limited 0.014 17% 45,677 $9,216,164
CCA Change Financial Ltd 0.059 16% 1,060,788 $26,181,431
AGR Aguia Res Ltd 0.052 16% 1,050,422 $18,043,157
NUH Nuheara Limited 0.225 15% 328,306 $30,030,606
ORA Orora Limited 3.325 15% 4,926,614 $2,451,520,191
GNM Great Northern 0.004 14% 3,047,387 $5,981,678
TMB Tambourah Metals 0.12 14% 120,102 $4,325,223
TI1 Tombador Iron 0.024 14% 141,000 $44,876,630
PHO Phosco Ltd 0.105 14% 85,000 $25,246,028
CMP Compumedics Limited 0.205 14% 50,799 $31,889,331
BOT Botanix Pharma Ltd 0.076 13% 2,461,921 $79,561,232
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In Small Caps news, there’s been a sudden and somewhat inexplicable surge in interest for Revasum (ASX:RVS), which was nowhere to be seen on the winners list at 11am, but right at the top with a 45% jump on absolutely no news at all.

Far more easily explained is Matsa Resources (ASX:MAT), after the digger told the market that it’s drilled into some very tasty intercepts at its Lake Carey gold project in WA’s northern Goldfields, which bode well for the company to achieve its goal of hitting the magic Million Ounce mark.

The results include:

  • 14m at 2.87g/t Au from 130m (23FNRC010)
  • 19m at 3.77g/t Au from 100m (23FNRC011) incl. 14m at 4.59g/t from 100m
  • 16m at 1.44g/t Au from 88m (23FNRC012)
  • 4m at 3.32g/t Au from 110m (23FNRC013); and,
  • 11m at 1.21g/t Au from 67m (23FNRC014).

It’s little wonder that Matsa’s into the Good Stuff again – the Carey gold project has some solid nearology working wonders for the explorer, given that it’s sitting cheek-by-jowl among multi-million ounce monsters like the Sunrise Dam and Wallaby gold mines.

Speaking of jowls, anyone hungry for a truly horrifying meat experience couldn’t possibly go past Number 34 on the Worst Dish list.

Called Kuzu Kelle, this Turkish odyssey of the senses involves another entire head. This time it involves baking an entire sheep’s scone until the juicy, tender meat simply falls off the skull at the lightest touch of the chef’s gentle tongs.

It’s best consumed while still steaming hot, under the baleful glare of the sheep’s baked eyes, staring deep into your soul as you chew on the flesh that’s been torn from its cheeks.

Also in the news, Nordic Nickel (ASX:NNL) is climbing again, adding 22.5% on slim volume, while State Gas (ASX:GAS) is up 22% on news that its Rougemont-2 vertical well and Rougemont-3 lateral wells have hit 50,000 cubic feet of production during testing.



Here are the most-worst performing ASX small cap stocks for February 16 [intraday]:

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Code Company Price % Volume Market Cap
ARE Argonaut Resources 0.002 -33% 27,374 $19,085,614
EGG Enero Group Ltd 2.37 -20% 283,548 $275,379,511
CLE Cyclone Metals 0.002 -20% 430,000 $15,441,842
TMZ Thomson Res Ltd 0.008 -20% 7,043,800 $8,699,510
CLZ Classic Min Ltd 0.005 -17% 87,892,677 $6,907,962
L1M Lightning Minerals 0.18 -16% 650,796 $8,013,319
REM Remsense Technologies 0.105 -16% 133,083 $4,557,697
ALM Alma Metals Ltd 0.011 -15% 408,605 $11,882,010
MIO Macarthur Minerals 0.14 -15% 154,122 $27,332,826
AMP AMP Limited 1.1375 -13% 25,327,142 $3,986,513,434
OM1 Omnia Metals Group 0.275 -13% 10,550,141 $9,338,273
AYT Austin Metals Ltd 0.007 -13% 10,379 $8,126,997
GTG Genetic Technologies 0.0035 -13% 100,000 $46,166,633
FLX Felix Group 0.14 -13% 94,731 $25,075,154
MBK Metal Bank Ltd 0.021 -13% 314,824 $6,635,652
LER Leaf Res Ltd 0.015 -12% 264,815 $30,770,661
M2M Mt Malcolm Mines 0.056 -11% 87,839 $3,923,388
HCT Holista CollTech Ltd 0.016 -11% 112,083 $5,018,401
TAS Tasman Resources Ltd 0.008 -11% 51,750 $6,040,648
TKL Traka Resources 0.008 -11% 900,000 $6,504,971
JAL Jameson Resources 0.072 -11% 84,090 $31,712,399
MMI Metro Mining Ltd 0.0125 -11% 32,047,737 $61,093,615
NMR Native Mineral Res 0.07 -10% 117,670 $9,370,821
AVM Advance Metals Ltd 0.009 -10% 312,500 $5,800,441
BEX Bikeexchange Ltd 0.009 -10% 722,222 $9,318,432
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And, just because I feel like mentioning this as a last-minute amuse bouche before you pop out to find something to eat, Number 5 on the Worst Dish list is something I can personally attest to earning its ranking.

The city of Skuon in Cambodia is infested with massive spiders, which look like deadly funnel-webs but apparently are nowhere near as venomous – which is probably why the locals there have taken to capturing them, deep-frying them whole and then popping them on a stick, to eat like an 8-legged lollipop.

The flavour has been described as something like “a cross between chicken and fish”, but my own diary notes from my journey through Cambodia describe the taste more succinctly: “f–king horrible”.

Enjoy your day.