The world is diverse and consists of people from a variety of cultures and backgrounds so, it’s very common for people to be unaware of the different cuisine or street food of a country they have never been to. Tastes and preferences in food can also be subjective, however, there are certain delicacies that take it the extra mile and definitely are not for the faint of heart. These are 12 of the most bizarre foods seen across the globe.
1) Balut – Philippines
Balut is an 11-day-old fertilised duck egg with a partly developed embryo inside, which was boiled alive. They are then eaten with salt, chilli and sugar. The method of eating Balut is to break a hole in the top of the egg and sip the broth out of it, then eat the rest in one go. Inside, you will find feathers and bones as well which are meant to be swallowed, and give the food texture.
2) Fried Tarantula – Cambodia
In Cambodia, fried tarantulas are a delicacy, the spiders are marinated in sugar and salt, and then they get pan-fried in garlic to crispy perfection. Apparently, they taste similar to crab, and are popular for their abdomen area, because it contains the innards and eggs of the spider which tend to be more meaty and juicy.
3) Jellied Moose Nose – Canada
First, the nose is cut off from the moose. Then, it is boiled up with onions and spices. After removing the hair, it is boiled again after which it is sliced and covered with a broth that sets into a jelly. This is one dish where everyone’s opinion differs, and is largley eaten by Canadians only.
4) Rat – Vietnam, China, Thailand and Laos
Rat is a widely eaten delicacy in South-East Asia. These rats are often found on Padi fields and rice plantations and are thought to be much cleaner than those that are found in the cities, around dustbins and drains. These rats are skinned and then grilled, steamed or fried depending on the customer’s preference. Rat is often thought of to be very tasty, and some even say that it tastes better than beef, pork or chicken.
5) Maggot Cheese – Sardinia
This is largely considered to be one of the most disgusting cheeses in the world. It is produced by taking Italian pecorino cheese and allowing maggots to breed in it. However, making it is considered a fine culinary art. This cheese is illegal in Italy but can still be found being sold by black market peddlers across Italy. It apparently tastes just as you would imagine, the strong pungent taste of cheese, but with plump maggots jumping out of it.
6) Bull’s Penis – China
Many Chinese people believe that consuming animal genitals increases male potency, and help a woman’s skin to be clear and radiant. Bull Penis is one such example. The chef will boil the penis alongside Sichuan peppers. The penis apparently tastes bland, but its texture is rubbery and soft, reminiscent of tofu.
7) Witchety Grub (Large White Moth Larvae) – Australia
The witchetty grub has played an important role in the diet of indigenous people in Australia for centuries. These critters are the larvae of moths, and apparently have a pleasant taste, reminiscent of almonds when eaten raw. When cooked, the light crispy skin has been compared to roast chicken, while the innards have been likened to scrambled eggs.
8) Raw Alive Monkey Brain – China
Raw alive monkey brain is an expensive dish. The chef will often put the live monkey beneath a table with its head poking up through a hole, the customers can then eat its brains while the monkey screams.
9) Smalahove (Sheep’s Head) – Norway
Sheep’s head has been a traditional delicacy in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe.They come in soups, as well as a smoked variety.They can be served with or without brains, but the prized parts are the eyeballs and tongue.
10) Boshintang (Dog Meat Soup)-Korea
This Korean soup is made with a variety of different ingredients, but the primary one stands out – Dog. The soup has been claimed to improve virility. The meat is boiled with vegetables and spices. The dish has a long history with Korean culture, but recently has been criticised by animal rights activists and dog lovers
11) Tiet Canh (Blood Pudding) – Vietnam
Tiet canh is a traditional dish made out of blood and cooked meat in northern Vietnamese cuisine. It is often made out of raw duck blood and duck meat, but it can also be made with raw pig or goat blood. Many foreigners and locals alike have died because of consuming this dish, but it still considered traditional and is also favoured by those who drink alcohol.
12) Bat Paste – Thailand
Bat Paste, is a dish where a live bat is caught and put into a vat of boiling water or milk. It can then be chopped up and made into a pulpy paste with Thai herbs and spices. It can even be made into a soup. Bats are largely considered to be notorious disease carriers so please be careful when venturing down this rabbit hole.
In conclusion, there are many weird and wonderful delicacies out there. These foods may peak the interests of the adventurer in you, but you should always be precautious of what you consume while overseas, and get proper guidance on the risks involved.