Strangest Foods Around the World

The culinary scene is not the same without the smelly fermented fish, the offal soup, roasted guinea pigs and many other weird edibles.  These are considered delicacies from their origins although many people find them hard to swallow– literally.  Here are some of the strangest foods that may make you curious or cringe.  Warning:  this is not for the weak of stomach.

Surely everybody loves cheese.   But one may think twice if the cheese is covered with tiny live worms.  In Sardinia, Italy, the traditional casu marzu is eaten with hundreds of live insect larvae.  The larvae is actually introduced into pecorino cheese and allowed to ferment longer. The cheese becomes very soft as the larvae feeds on it and let it pass through their digestive system.  That technically makes the cheese a big piece of insect poop.

Maybe arachnids can entice you because unlike the moving organisms in casu marzu, these tarantulas in Cambodia are cooked.  The locals love fried spiders and it’s a specialty snack that has become popular with tourists.  The tarantulas are about the size of an adult palm which is pretty scary at first sight.  It has a crispy exterior with a little amount of meat in the head and body. The taste is described as bland, that’s why it is tossed with MSG and some garlic.

The next dish justifies the definition of weird food as it will squirm and it seems to be escaping from your mouth.  Sannakji is chopped young octopus which dipped in Korean traditional chili sauce before popping them it in your mouth.  They’re chopped but this food is not quite dead yet.  The tentacles will still wriggle in your mouth and the small cups will suction onto your teeth and tongue.  The Koreans have remedied the feeling of having live food in your mouth—something that not everyone wants to experience – by downing the tentacles with swallows of the traditional alcoholic drink called soju.

Speaking of alcohol, you’re going to need one after you get a clear picture what balut is.  This food could be blamed to the high population rate in the Philippines as it is said to be an aphrodisiac.  Yes, blame it on the strange dish.  It’s a boiled duck egg with half-formed embryo.  When it is opened the baby duck would still be intact lying next to the equally cooked yolk.  Some people don’t eat the baby duck but most people love it, saying it tastes like chicken—with bones and all its parts.

Article publié pour la première fois le 15/04/2013

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