Let’s take a culinary tour around the world and find out what are the weirdest foods our fellow humans like to eat. From fried spiders to bull’s testicles, these are some of the world’s weird foods.
1.Snake Wine, South-east Asia
This popular beverage is believed to have important restorative properties in countries including China and Vietnam. It can either me made by steeping a snake in rice wine, or by mixing snake body fluids, such as blood, with the alcohol
2. Century Eggs, China
If you discovered a rotten egg, would you eat it? Someone in ancient China did, lived to tell the tale and now it’s an established delicacy. The eggs (also known as hundred-year eggs or pidan) are covered in clay, ash and salt for months, by which time the yolk is dark green or even black and stinks of sulphur. Mmmm!
3. Fugu, Japan
This little delicacy has the potential to be deadly if prepared incorrectly. As such, only chefs that have been drilled to perfection are allowed to handle the serving of the pufferfish. Still, it’s said to make one mean little sashimi dish.
4. Witchetty Grub, Australia
This was one of the staples of Indigenous Australians in the desert. These can either be eaten raw, when it tastes like almonds, or lightly cooked, where its skin crisps like roast chicken and its insides take on the look and consistency of scrambled egg.
5. Shirako, Japan
It is a fancy name given to an animal’s reproductive organs, Shirako is essentially a cod’s sperm sac. Apparently soft and creamy to taste you can have it served up steamed or deep fried.
6. Escamoles, Mexico
Ant larvae harvested from the roots of the agave plant, these are considered to be a delicacy in Mexico. In fact, they are sometimes even referred to as “insect caviar.” It is said that they taste like butter but slightly nutty.
7. Black Ivory Coffee
Black Ivory coffee is one of the world’s most expensive brews, at about $1100 per kilogram. For that price, you can expect your coffee to have a smooth, full taste and perhaps a slight earthy hint of elephant dung. Yes, this coffee is made from beans eaten by Thai elephants and then plucked from their droppings. Coffee anyone??
8. Hákarl in Iceland
The worst tasting foods are the fermented, spoiled ones like Hákarl. Made from the Greenland shark, the meat is poisonous when fresh, so in order to eat it, the shark is first beheaded, buried underground in a shallow pit and covered with sand and stones and left to spoil for two to three months, then it is cut into strips and hung out to dry for several more months before serving. First-time tasters are advised to hold their nose and try not to gag
9. Tuna Eyeballs, Japan
Fairly cheap, these can be found in most Japanese grocery stores. To cook, simply boil or steam, and season with garlic or soy sauce. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it tastes a little like squid.
10. Balut, Philippines
This fertilised duck egg, with its partly developed embryo inside, is boiled alive and then eaten from the shell with salt, chilli and vinegar. You’re supposed to tap a hole in the top of the shell, sup the savoury liquid and then crunch down the rest of what’s inside – feathers, bones and all.
11. Casu Marzu, Italy
Known as “rotten cheese”, Sardinia’s casu marzu is made from Pecorino that has gone bad – really bad. The larvae of cheese flies are added to the Pecorino, hatching inside, burrowing around and digesting the fats. The result is a weeping, tongue-burning delicacy that you can eat with or without the maggots.
12. Crispy tarantulas, Cambodia
Few people would look at a tarantula and think “lunch”, so it’s perhaps no surprise that these spiders were first eaten by Cambodians starving under the Khmer Rouge regime. Bizarrely, they became popular and are now served as a deep-fried snack throughout the country. Apparently, they taste a bit like crab.
13. Drunken Shrimp, China
A popular dish in parts of china where the shrimp are eaten alive but stunned in a strong liquor prior to consumption. This recipe is also popular in parts of the United States but it includes an intermediary step known as “cooking”.
14. Surstromming, Sweden
Baltic Sea herring fermented with just enough salt used to prevent it from rotting. Mainly found tinned in brine these days, when opened it releases such a pungent aroma that it usually needs to be eaten outside. Sounds delightful.
15. Rocky Mountain Oysters, United States
Despite the name, these aren’t actually oysters at all. No, they are bull testicles deep in a batter of flour, pepper and salt. Done for breeding purposes rather than specifically for culinary reasons, I guess it’s good they use a part of the animal that would otherwise be wasted.
16. Stinkbugs, Africa
Used to flavour stews or eaten on their own, Africans love these little stinkers. Supposedly though, they taste like bitter sunflower seeds without the salt. Chew quickly.