One thing I’ve learned in traveling to over 50 countries (see bucket list places) is that people have very different tastes when it comes to food. The weirder ones are always described as a ‘delicacy’. I think this actually translates to ‘you probably won’t like this food’. Here is a celebration of some of the weirdest foods I have ever encountered.
How many have you eaten?
10. Tarantula, Cambodia
That’s right. They actually eat these things. Served in Skuon, about 75kms from the capital, these fried spiders known as A-ping are about the size of the palm of your hand. Enough to give most people nightmares, these bad boys are readily available and cheap to boot. Get them while they’re hot!
9. Kopi Luwak, Malaysia
Yep. Also known as Civet Coffee, this taste treat is made after Asia Palm Civet cats digest and yep, poop out the digested seeds of the coffee berries. So if you fancy drinking poop coffee, give it a whirl. It’s actually very tasty and very expensive too.
8. Hot pot Toad, Chengdu, China
I had the pleasure of living in this great city for a while. This dish however, isn’t the most appealing looking dish I saw whilst there. Hot pot is a bubbling soup made in a big pot and kept bubbling at your table. You put in differing ingredients and eat them as they’re ready. In Chengdu they throw these toads in and BANG! There you have it, Hot pot toad, China style.
7. Turtle, China
I was once served this at a Chinese banquet, where I was a guest of honor and had no choice but to sample this dish that is considered a ‘delicacy’. Enough said.
6. Stinky Tofu, Hong Kong
Not just a clever name. This Tofu really does stink and Good Golly Miss Molly, it packs a hell of a punch on the old taste buds too. Stinky Tofu is simply fermented Tofu and unlike cheese there is no standard method for the fermentation process. I personally think it’s a competition on who can make it smell the most.
5. Snake, Vietnam
Yep, another one for Asia. You can drink its blood, eat its fried skin, have its flesh BBQ style, in a stir fry, spring rolls, soup or a number of other ways. Either way, none of it goes to waste. The cherry on the top is when they offer you its heart to eat, apparently its an honor. Pass!
4. Fugu, Japan
Fugu means pufferfish in Japanese. It can be lethal of not prepared correctly due to the tetrodotoxin it contains. It is the only food the Emperor of Japan is forbidden to eat. Russian Roulette with your food? Rather not, thanks.
3. Baby Mice Wine, Korea
Where do you start with this one? What’s wrong with a good old fashioned beer? And who thought of this anyway? It’s apparently a health tonic and tastes like raw gasoline. Anyone for some shots?
2. Casu Marzu, Italy
Um yep. This one is a little more than the average Joe could handle. We are talking fermented sheep milk cheese, purposely infested by the ‘cheese fly’ and has maggots (live insect larvae). If you’re looking to impress your friends with your strong stomach, then get into this bad boy.
1. Balut, Philippines
Taking gross to a whole new level. This is the much talked about duck fetus that is hard boiled and ready to digest. You get it at varying ages and varying levels of pure crunchiness. Not one for the faint hearted or those with high blood pressure, as these little time bombs contain oodles of cholesterol.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?