From fertilized duck eggs in the Philippines to fermented shark in Iceland, the world has some truly bizarre culinary creations. While some of these may be considered delicacies in their respective cultures, others might make your stomach turn. This list of ten strange foods from around the world includes dishes like escamoles, ant larvae also known as “insect caviar” in Mexico, jellied moose nose in Canada, and rocky mountain oysters, deep-fried bull, pig, or sheep testicles, in the western United States. These unusual foods might not be for everyone, but they certainly showcase the diversity of global cuisine and the ingenuity of humans in making use of every part of an animal.
10 Bizarre Foods From Around the World That You Wouldn’t Dare to Try
Food is a universal language that connects people from all over the world. Each culture has its unique cuisine that reflects its history, traditions, and tastes. However, not all culinary creations are equal, and some might leave you scratching your head in disbelief. Here is a list of ten bizarre foods from around the world that you wouldn’t dare to try.
1. Balut, Philippines
Balut is a popular street food in the Philippines that might make your stomach turn. It is essentially a fertilized duck egg that is boiled and eaten with a pinch of salt and vinegar. The dish is notorious for its crunchy beak, bones, and feather texture, and some say it tastes like chicken broth.
2. Hákarl, Iceland
Hákarl is a fermented shark dish that is considered a delicacy in Iceland. It is made from Greenlandic shark that is buried underground for 6-12 weeks to ferment and then hung to dry for four to five months. The result is a pungent, ammonia-flavored shark meat that is an acquired taste.
3. Escamoles, Mexico
Escamoles are ant larvae that are often referred to as “insect caviar” in Mexico. They are harvested from the roots of the agave and maguey plants and cooked with butter and herbs. The dish has a nutty, buttery flavor and a crunchy texture.
4. Fried Tarantulas, Cambodia
Deep-fried tarantulas are a popular snack in Cambodia that locals believe to have medicinal properties. The spiders are marinated in a mixture of sugar, salt, and MSG before being deep-fried until crispy. The legs are crunchy, and the body has a gooey texture.
5. Shirako, Japan
Shirako is a Japanese delicacy made of male fish genitalia, usually from cod, anglerfish, or pufferfish. The dish is eaten raw or lightly cooked with soy sauce and ponzu. The texture is creamy, similar to custard or poached egg yolk.
6. Jellied Moose Nose, Canada
Jellied moose nose is an old Canadian dish that is not for the faint-hearted. It is a whole moose nose that is boiled, stripped of its flesh, and jellied. The dish is typically served cold, sliced thin, and garnished with onions and vinegar. The flavor is said to be a mix of pickling spice and gelatin.
7. Fried Brain Sandwich, USA
The fried brain sandwich is a southern US delicacy made of deep-fried calf or pig brain, served between two slices of bread. The dish was popular during the Great Depression when people had to use every part of an animal to survive. The flavor is described as creamy and nutty.
8. Century Egg, China
Century egg, also known as thousand-year egg, is a Chinese delicacy made by preserving duck, chicken, or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice straw for several months to several years. The result is a pungent, ammonia-smelling egg with a gelatinous texture and a dark brown color.
9. Casu Marzu, Italy
Casu marzu, also known as maggot cheese, is a traditional Sardinian cheese made from sheep milk. What makes it bizarre is that it is intentionally infested with cheese flies to make it ferment and decompose. The larvae eat the cheese, giving it a creamy texture with a strong, pungent flavor.
10. Rocky Mountain Oysters, USA
Rocky Mountain oysters, also known as prairie oysters or calf fries, are a western US delicacy made of deep-fried bull, pig, or sheep testicles. The dish is often served with cocktail sauce or ranch dressing. The flavor is said to be similar to chicken, but the texture is chewy and tough.
These ten bizarre foods from around the world might not appeal to everyone’s taste buds, but they showcase the diversity of culinary traditions and the creativity of human beings in using every part of an animal. Whether you consider them a delicacy or a nightmare, they are worth exploring to expand your culinary knowledge and challenge your comfort zone.