This Is Trevor Noah’s Hilariously Gross Description of What It’s Like to Eat a Goat’s Eye

Trevor Noah grew up in South Africa, so his experiences as a child were slightly different from those of us that grew up in the U.S. Take food, for example. Noah has described what some people consider to be some pretty strange foods that he grew up eating regularly. And as we already know, he has no qualms about describing things other people would consider gross or embarrassing. As you might expect, when Noah sits down to discuss food, he can offer some amusing descriptions of the traditional South African cuisine. 

Trevor Noah describes eating a goat’s eye

Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah | Matthew Simmons/Getty Images

In a YouTube Hot Ones interview, while sitting at a table, and eating increasingly spicy hot wings, Noah was asked: “For the uninitiated, how do you describe the gastronomical experience of eating a goat’s eye?” 

“Imagine a bouncing ball,” Noah answered. “Imagine taking a bouncing ball and putting it into your mouth and biting it really hard. But then it pops and explodes and all the snot from a child’s nose is in your mouth. That’s what eating a goats eye is like.”

Unfortunately, his answer leaves us with so many more questions. Why was he eating a goats eye? Is this a regular thing in South Africa? We’re assuming it must be since the interviewer felt the need to ask him about it. But after Noah answered, the interviewer quickly moved on to the next question, so there was no opportunity for Noah to expand on his answer. 

Trevor Noah has eaten a goat’s head

Noah may have provided a bit more insight into why he was eating goat’s eye, in an interview with Good Morning America. He tells the group that eating goat’s head is a regular thing where he comes from. From this information, we can probably assume that if he’s eating goat’s head, eating the eye is probably just part of the experience. 

Why was he talking about goat’s head? It all started with tacos. Noah described an experience he had after moving to the states. His friend asked him if he wanted to go get tacos. Noah responded that he didn’t know what that was, and his friend was shocked. “You’ve never had tacos?” his friend asked. 

“His mind was blown,” Noah said. “And I was like, ‘But why would I have tacos?’ then I said, ‘Have you ever had goat’s head?’ and he was like, ‘Why would I have goat’s head?’ and I’m like, “Yeah, but that’s my point. Why would I eat tacos?’

“Slightly different from the goat’s head,” the woman interviewing him interjected, “but I understand.”

“No, but it’s not!” Noah insisted. “It’s exactly the same. Where I’m from, we have eaten many goat’s heads. We call them smileys, and the reason we call them that is because when you eat the goat’s head, it looks like it’s any other part of the animal. But by the time you’re done eating them, it looks like it’s smiling at you on the plate.”

What is a smiley?

Hearing Noah describe the food he ate as a child, in his home country of South Africa, made us curious. So, we did a little research into smileys, and it’s true. According to World Travel Buzz, they really do eat goat’s and sheep’s head, including the eyes and brain. It’s cooked over a fire, and the heat causes the lips to pull back and form a smile. Hence, the word, smiley

For the adventurous, looking for a new experience, eating a goat’s head may be right up your alley. But, we’ll probably just stick with tacos.