Interesting places worldwide

29 of the World’s Weirdest Foods You Probably Do Not Know About

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Ever wondered what next to eat when you feel short on options? Below are some of the weirdest foods in the world you probably do not know about:

1. Hákarl – Iceland

 Hakarl, shattered shark tranches in warehouse at Bjarnarhoefn
Hakarl, shattered shark tranches in warehouse at Bjarnarhoefn

This food is associated with the people of Iceland. It basically is fermented basking shark which they claim to be an acquired taste. However, you may be among those who consider it to be a disgusting meal and a terrible thing to taste.

2. Bird’s Nest Soup – Southeast Asia

Edible bird's nest soup in a bowl
Edible bird’s nest soup in a bowl

It may surprise you to learn that the red nest variety of this meal costs up to $10,000 per bowl. The Chinese have been cooking with saliva nests for hundreds of years. They also use it in Bird’s Nest Soup which happens to rank among the most expensive foods in the world.

3. Vegemite (or Marmite) – Australia, New Zealand & UK

The iconic Australian spread vegemite on a slice of fresh bread
The iconic Australian spread vegemite on a slice of fresh bread

The slurry which you get at the bottom of a barrel after brewing beer is usually eaten with cheese or spread on toast. This sticky brown paste made from yeast extract has a concentrated, salty flavor that people either love or hate. Most breweries throw Marmite, or Vegemite as Australians know it, away.

4. Century Egg – China

Preserved egg, Century egg
Preserved egg, Century egg

The name of this food has nothing to do with the age of the egg, really, but how it is preserved. It tastes like hardboiled egg and smells strongly of ammonia and sulfur. Following its preservation in a mixture of clay, quicklime, and ash, the egg yolk either turns dark green or black and slimy while its white turns dark brown.

5. Shiokara – Japan

Ika No Shiokara (Salted Squid Guts), Japanese cuisine
Ika No Shiokara (Salted Squid Guts), Japanese cuisine

This dish is made of several pieces of meat taken from select sea creatures and served raw. It is served in the salted and fermented viscera of the various pieces of meat which is typically a brown and viscous paste. While some people enjoy it, you are probably thinking that it sounds bad.

6. Fried Starfish – China

Fried starfish as street food snack in Beijing, China
Fried starfish as street food snack in Beijing, China

You are served this food covered in hard and spiny armor, dry. When you peel the skin open, you find green-colored meat inside this food which is considered as a snack.

7. Kopi Luwak – Southeast Asia

Cup of Kopi Luwak, world's most expensive coffee from Bali, Indonesia
Cup of Kopi Luwak, world’s most expensive coffee from Bali, Indonesia

This variety of coffee is expensive considering that a pound does cost up to $150. It is made from coffee berry beans defecated on by small mammals found in Southeast Asia known as Civets.

8. Fried Scorpions – Vietnam, Thailand, China

Grilled and fried scorpions on sticks
Grilled and fried scorpions on sticks from Wangfujing Street, Beijing, China

If you can bridge your mind to the cultural gap, prepare to eat a deep-fried scorpion skewer. The dish can be considered as a form of fast food.

9. Black Pudding (Blood Sausage) – Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe

Tasty black pudding with onion and parsley
Tasty black pudding with onion and parsley

Although this food is pretty available on these four continents, not everyone finds it appealing. It involves cooking up congealed blood with different natural flavors like breadcrumbs and suet before stuffing it into a sausage skin.

10. Beondegi – South Korea

Beondegi (sikkworm pupae), Korean street food
Beondegi (silkworm pupae), Korean street food

This is silkworm which is boiled or steamed with light seasoning added to it. You can buy it from street vendors because it is a very popular snack.

11. Shirako – Japan

Madara Shirako served with vinegar sauce, Japanese cuisine
Madara Shirako served with vinegar sauce, Japanese cuisine

This food is the sperm sac of a cod. Shirako is creamy and soft when you taste it. You can decide to serve this animal’s reproductive organs steamed or deep fried.

12. Fried frog – Southeast Asia

Deep fried frog with traditional sauce in Thailand local area restaurant
Deep fried frog body, legs and skin with traditional sauce in Thailand local area restaurant

This is a common delicacy in this part of the world. They are said to taste like chicken and rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, potassium, and vitamin A.

13. Rocky Mountain Oysters – United States

Calf fries or Rocky Mountain Oysters cooking on a charcoal burner outdoors
Calf fries or Rocky Mountain Oysters cooking on a charcoal burner outdoors

Do not make the mistake that this food is made from oysters. They are actually made of bull testicles that are deep fried in a batter of flour, salt, and pepper.

14. Escargots à la Bourguignonne – France

Escargots de Bourgogne - Snails with herbs butter, gourmet dish
Escargots de Bourgogne – Snails with herbs butter, gourmet dish

This dish of snails made of garlic and herb flavors is said to be delicious. The snails can either be bought from a store, or you can use a canned one with good quality.

15. Jing Leed (Grasshoppers) – Thailand

Fried insect, Thailand famous street food
Fried insect, Thailand famous street food

In Thailand, grasshoppers are fried in a big wok and seasoned with salt, chili, and pepper powder. When you chew it, juice squirts out and it tastes very much like a hollow popcorn skin.

16. Raw horse meat sashimi – Japan

Raw Horse meat sashimi served with soy source, lettuce, ginger, and onions
Raw Horse meat sashimi served with soy source, lettuce, ginger, and onions

The Japanese began eating this dish in the late 1500s when there was a shortage of food. It is a pierced raw horse meat dish if you have the stomach for it.

17. Khash – Middle East, East Europe, and Turkey

Khash - dish of boiled cow's feet
Khash – dish of boiled cow’s feet

This dish is made with the feet and head of cows. It is a stewed dish which was once taken during the winter period as comfort food.

18. Balut – Philippines

Balut - boiled developing duck embryo is a special cuisine in Asia
Balut – boiled developing duck embryo is a special cuisine in Asia. It is very popular in Philippines, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

If you have the stomach for eating the embryo of a developing duck boiled in its shell, you can easily get Balut on the streets of Philippines. It is typically served with beers.

19. Crocodile – Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia

Fried crocodile meat on the barbeque for sale to tourists in Vietnam
Fried crocodile meat on the barbeque for sale to tourists in Vietnam

Crocodile meat is common in most parts of the world and tastes both like a crab and a chicken. In areas where this is considered a delicacy, crocodile is usually farmed.

20. Escamoles – Mexico

Ant eggs on banana leaf
Ant eggs on banana leaf

Mexicans harvest ant larvae from Agave plant roots to prepare this delicacy. This dish which is also known as ‘insect caviar’ is said to taste like butter which is a little bit nutty.

21. Bushmeat – Africa

Wild meat restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya
Wild meat restaurant in Kenya | Attila JANDI / Shutterstock.com

This is the preparation of dishes with all manner of animals from apes, giraffes to lemurs. There is a risk of catching Ebola, but it is a delicacy in most countries of Africa.

22. Sago Delight (Red Palm Weevil Larvae)– Southeast Asia

Sago beetle fried in pan. Popular food in Southern Thailand
Sago beetle fried in pan. Popular food in Southern Thailand

You have a choice of eating sago grubs raw or cook. Typically, it is seasoned and flavored when cooked and tastes like bacon if you are brave to taste it.

23. Guinea Pig – South America

Traditional delicious food of South America, Roasted Guinea Pig
Traditional delicious food of South America, Roasted Guinea Pig (cuy), Ecuador

The flavor of guinea pig is said to resemble that of a rabbit. More often than not they are roasted and served whole or in a casserole.

24. Pickled Egg – UK

Pickled Eggs, cucumbers and onions in a British Fish and Chip shop counter
Pickled Eggs, cucumbers and onions in a British Fish and Chip shop counter

The name reveals so much about this dish. After hard-boiling an egg, it is put in a jar of vinegar where it is left to go cold. The egg’s yolk gets uncomfortably sour as the vinegar penetrates right into it.

25. Fried Tarantula – Cambodia

Fried tarantula in the city known as
Fried tarantula in the city known as “Spiderville” in Cambodia | Melie Nasr / Shutterstock.com

This is a regional delicacy in Cambodia which adventurous tourists take as a snack when they pass through this town. Deep fried tarantulas are often rolled in garlic or sugar.

26. Tripe – Many parts of the world

Fried pig's tripe, Chinese dish
Fried pig’s tripe, Chinese dish

This dish made of the stomach linings of various animals is typically served with various sauces. You may prefer onions to accompany it.

27. Fugu – Japan

Japanese Fugu Sashimi (Puffer Fish)
Japanese Fugu Sashimi (Puffer Fish)

Make sure you take this dish when it is prepared by a chef who knows how to prepare it to perfection. If not done properly, this little delicacy is said to be deadly.

28. Surstromming – Sweden

Close up of herring fillet, out of a surstromming can
Close up of herring fillet, out of a surstromming can

This Baltic sea herring is usually fermented with the right amount of salt to prevent it from rotten. If you come across one that is timed with brine, be sure to open outside because of its pungent aroma.

29. Haggis – Scotland

Carved haggis showing the internal texture of the savory offal mixture
Carved haggis showing the internal texture of the savory offal mixture

It is the preparation of the heart, liver, and lungs of a sheep. After mincing and mixing it with onions, suet, and oatmeal, Haggis is seasoned with salt and spices which is cooked inside the stomach of the sheep.

These dishes may not sound appealing to you, but they are delicacies taken in various parts of the world.

 

Have you tried any of these weird foods? Do you have suggestions or something to add? Don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below.
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