Foods Around The World: Bizarre To Some, Normal To Others

Now if you’re planning on travelling to other countries, one way of assimilating with the culture is trying their local food. Yes, you can eat at your hotel’s restaurant and try the local delicacies there, but in most cases, they are the tamed and classy versions of a country’s local fare. If you really want to feel the vibe of the place, go to where the locals go. Ask around where the best restaurant or food cart or café is, and the locals will definitely point you to where the best food places are. Locals will even be more welcoming if you tell them you want to try what they eat. You may even be offered beer, or a local liquor, good company and good conversation.

Some tourist may want to know upfront what they are eating, while some prefer to know what’s in the food after they have eaten it. Some people can easily adjust, others don’t. Some business travellers face culinary and social dilemmas when visiting foreign countries. They don’t want to insult their host or lose a business deal if they find the food served not appealing. A common tip from doctors who specialise in travel medicine is to eat something cooked or steaming. Most likely it’s free of bacteria and will surely be edible. It’s also good if the food is prepared in a sanitary fashion and it is also wise to eat lightly at first.

15 Bizarre Foods Of The World

So let’s get to know some of the “bizarre foods” the world has to offer. You never know, you may be served one of these dishes one day.

1. Chicken Feet

Considering that chicken feet are eaten in many places, it seems unfair to think of this as weird. Still, it’s mostly skin, tendons and a little gelatinous in texture. If cooked properly it can be as tender as a top steak and pretty tasty when flavoured properly. The toes and the bones may get on your nerves for a while, but if paired with beer, it just tastes like… well, chicken.

2. Haggis

Scotland is famous for Sean Connery, scotch whisky, kilts and haggis. A sheep’s liver, lungs and heart are minced mixed with onions, suet, oatmeal and seasoned with salt and other spices. The mixture is cooked inside the sheep’s stomach for a few hours. The stomach is cut when the dish is served. Waft on the steaming haggis and eat it with gusto.

3. Century Egg

Although the name may be misleading, the eggs are not stored for 100 years but for 100 days. The eggs are preserved in a mixture of clay quicklime and ash. The yolk turns dark green or black and the egg white will turn to a translucent dark brown jelly. It looks nasty but it tastes just like a normal hard boiled egg. Best eaten with congee.

4. Fried Brain Sandwich

Brains have been eaten in many cultures, so it’s not that gross. If you’re in a zombie mode, then a fried brain sandwich is for you. This dish is popular in the Central US and still is being served to many central states. Brains!

5. Balut

A 17-day developing duck embryo is boiled in its shell. It may seem harsh and looks unappealing, but this food is a popular snack in the Philippines. It’s best eaten when hot with salt and vinegar and washed down with an ice-cold beer. It can also be served deep-fried, sizzling or adobo style.

6. Khash

A dish that is made up of cows head and feet and stewed slowly to give it a rich taste. Traditionally, this dish is a winter comfort food, but it is now considered a delicacy.

7. Soup N0.5

Another Philippine beer chow staple. Some may think that this soup name was derived from having 5 main ingredients but it’s not. The soup’s main ingredients are bull’s testicles and bull penis. Slow cooked until tender and then sliced into small pieces. Served in a bowl with its soup, with a wedge of lime or kalamansi.

8. Fried Tarantula

This is a Cambodian delicacy and it’s an acquired taste. These fried tarantulas are deep-fried and served with lime and a black pepper dip. People who have tried these critters said that it taste like crabs.

9. Hakarl

Specifically eaten and served in Iceland. It is a rotting carcass of a basking shark. The meat is buried in a shallow pit and pressed with stones to drain out the poisonous internal fluids to make it safe to eat. After that, the meat is hung out to dry for a few months before being cut into strips and then served. If you’re into a strong fishy flavour and ammonia-rich dishes, then you must try this.

10. Fried Grasshoppers or Jing Leed

A popular Thai snack, these fried grasshoppers are seasoned with salt, chilli and pepper powder before cooking. It tastes like popcorn! Although it may be a little icky to some, they are a good source of protein.

11. Wasp Crackers

A cookie filled with wasps. This is a popular snack in Japan. Instead of chocolate chips in your cookie, you have cooked and crispy wasps. But you have to be careful of their stingers. Good luck to your tongue.

12. Kopi Luwak

If you have seen the movie “The Bucket List”, this is what Jack Nicholson’s character is talking about to Morgan Freeman’s character. Kopi Luwak or civet coffee is one of the most expensive coffee varieties in the world which can reach up to $150/pound. It is made from coffee berry beans that have been defecated by the Asian palm civet. The beans are then cleaned and sun-dried, then toasted and grounded for consumption.

13. Deep Fried Guinea Pig

This dish originated in South America and is now a common favourite in the 5 boroughs of New York City. Originally it was served roasted but many people prefer it to be deep-fried to add more flavour.

13. Fried Rattlesnake

The deadly rattlesnake is eaten in the Southwest United States. This deadly snake can be deep-fried, roasted, grilled or can be made into sausages.

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14. Vegemite

Aussies and Kiwis always have Vegemite on their toast. Vegemite is made from yeast extracts found in the bottom of the barrels of beer breweries. This sticky brown paste has a concentrated salty flavor that is normally eaten on toast or with cheese.

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15. Dinuguan 

Another Filipino dish. Also called blood stew, it is a savory stew of meat and offal simmered in vinegar, chili, garlic, rich, spicy and dark gravy of pig blood. Best served hot with rice or baguette.

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These are just some of the foods that you may find strange. If you have tried one not in this list, tell us your story. Bon apetit!


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