10 Unusual Food Delicacies From Around the World
I actually tried #1 and #4 lol.
1. Birds Nest Soup, China
You wouldn’t necessarily think a birds nest would be edible, but the Chinese use Swifts’ nests to make this soup, known as the ‘Caviar of the East’. Right now you’re probably imagining a nest made out of twigs and leaves, but Swiftlets make their nests predominantly out of saliva.
2. Fried Tarantulas, Cambodia
The eensy weensy spider climbed up the water spout…if you suffer from arachnophobia you probably don’t want to try eating these eight-legged monsters. They’re not tiny little house spiders, they’re great big tarantulas and you can buy them from street vendors in Skuon.
3. Puffer Fish, Japan
You’ve got to be careful with this delicacy or you might end up in the morgue. The deadly Puffer fish, or fugu, is the ultimate delicacy in Japan even though its skin and insides contain the poisonous toxin tetrodotoxin, which is 1,250 times stronger than cyanide.
4. Fertilized Eggs (Balut), The Philippines
This Filippino dish, called Balut, isn’t unlike a chocolate Kinder Surprise, these eggs harbor a surprise, although it’s not a plastic toy, but rather a chance to eat your chicken and your egg at the same time.
Fertilized eggs are boiled just before they’re due to hatch, so your yolk oozes out followed by… a chicken (or duck) fetus. They are cooked when the fetus is anywhere from 17 days to 21 days depending on your preference, although when the egg is older the fetus begins to have a beak, claws, bones, and feathers.
5. Maggot Cheese, Sardinia
This Sardinian cheese is riddled with insect larvae. “Casu Marzu” means ‘rotten cheese’ and is most commonly referred to as ‘maggot cheese.’ It’s now been banned for health reasons but can still be found for sale on the black market in Sardinia and other parts of Italy.
6. Surstromming, Sweden
The herring is caught in spring when it is just about to spawn and is fermented in barrels for one to two months before it is tinned where the fermentation continues for several months. The cans often bulge during shipping and storage because of the continued fermentation process.
7. Live Octopus, Korea
Sannakji is a raw dish consisting of live octopus typical in Korea. Live octopus is cut into pieces, lightly seasoned with sesame oil and served immediately, the tentacles still squirming on the plate.
Eating live octopus is a serious challenge. Beyond the mental challenge of trying to get your head round eating something that’s still alive, but there’s the physical difficulty of fighting with your food, as the tentacles stick to any surface they touch.
8. Excrement Coffee, Indonesia
You might want to think twice if someone offers you a cup of this coffee when you pop round to their house in Indonesia, or maybe not. Kopi Luwak is the rarest, most expensive gourmet coffee in the world. Sounds divine right? It’s actually made from the excrements of an Indonesian cat-like creature called the Luwak.
9. Puffin Heart, Iceland
Sometimes referred to as the ‘clown of the ocean’ or ‘sea parrot’, the puffin, with its colourful beak and clumsy behavior, is considered an adorable bird. The sight of a puffin flapping its wings and jumping from a cliff to generate enough lift to become airborne is enough to make anyone go ‘aaaah’.
In Iceland, however, these seabirds have been a source of sustenance for Icelanders on the islands for centuries.
10. Snake Wine, Vietnam
Fancy a different sort of wine? A bouquet of reptile with some notes of venom perhaps? Snake wine is rice wine bottled with a venomous snake. It has a slightly pink colour like a nice rose because of the snake blood in there. It’s believed to have medicinal purposes’, but is probably more useful as a conversation piece than anything else.