5 Of The Strangest Culinary Delights From Around The World

In our own countries, we enjoy a huge variety of food. Many people prefer a good portion of mac and cheese, whilst others may be pizza aficionados. Others may prefer the offerings from their local chinese or mexican takeaway, but the simple fact is there is so much great food to choose from.

Yet, believe it or not, there are some people who to say the very least are a little bit more than what you might call adventurous when it comes to cuisine. These are the types of people who will have a go at eating absolutely anything. Nothing that looks remotely edible holds any fear for these voracious predators, but listed below are a few things that may make them stop and think twice before they begin the assault on their taste buds.

And what you need to keep in mind – many of the locals to where these cuisines originate from actually enjoy eating them!

1. Fugu, Japan

Image:  Mayu ;P (Flickr)

Image:  Chris 73 (Wikipedia)

If there’s one food you really don’t want to try preparing at home, this is it, as the consequences could be fatal – the skin and organs of fugu have the capability to asphyxiate humans if it is not prepared properly.

Chefs in Japanese restaurants who prepare this dish by removing said skin and organs are allowed to do so only after completing the rigorous training that is strictly controlled by the law. Despite the obvious dangers attributed to this fish, it has gained such notoriety that it is by far one of the most celebrated dish in the Japan.

2. Sannakji, Korea

Image:  mmmyoso (Flickr)

Image:  LWY (Wikipedia)

If, like most people, you prefer the contents of your dinner plate to be stationary, this is definitely not the dish for you. For those people brave enough to tackle sannakji, it is an octopus that while still alive, is cut up into pieces, seasoned and then served to be eaten as it is writhing about on your plate.

The danger is that if you don’t chew it properly, the tentacle cups can attach and possibly wedge themselves in your throat, causing you to choke.

3. Casu Marzu, Italy

Image:  Skunk Funks (Flickr)

Image:  Shardan (Wikipedia)

This treat from Italy is reported to be best taken with a good strong red wine and initially, sounds fine – it’s a traditional soft cheese made from the milk of Sardinian sheep that is popular right across Sardinia.

However, the reason it’s on this list is that the cheese is left to ferment to the point of decomposition with the help of cheese fly larvae.  These maggots spend time sucking out the fat before it’s served up for human consumption.

4. Century Egg, China

Image:  benchilada (Flickr)

Image:  umami

Eggs are very popular item of food right around the world, largely because they are so versatile – you can have them fried, hard boiled, poached or scrambled. Yet as soon as they reach their ‘best by’ date, most people throw them out.

Except in certain parts of China, where the eggs – normally from a chicken or duck – are preserved for several months in a mixture of rice husks, salt, clay, ash and lime until they are cooked. When the shell is finally removed, the egg white is no longer white, but a dark brown and the yolk, as well as smelling of ammonia, has gone from a lovely sunny yellow to a very dark green.

5. Balut, Asia

Image:  photozou.jp

Image:  Marshall Astor (Wikipedia)

Arguably the most shocking food on this list, somewhat unbelievably, a balut is a partly incubated – usually for around 17 days – fertilized duck embryo that is quite literally boiled alive and eaten from the shell.  To make it even worse, in some parts of Asia, the embryo is left to fertilize for longer, so the duck’s bones are developed enough for them to be felt in the mouth.

As revolting as it may seem, balut is sold as a tasty, high protein snack by street vendors in everywhere from the Philipines to Cambodia and is thought to have aphrodisiacal qualities.

Join the discussion

  • All these locations would likely be repelled by homemade macaroni and cheese or hot apple pie with homemade vanilla ice cream on top. 🙂

    • That’s a very interesting point – these foods may seem repulsive to many, but anything ‘slightly quirky’ that seems relatively normal to others can be completely digesting to others!

  • Now, go and tell people overthere that we eat: frog legs, snales, fermented milk (yogurt, cheese), fruit (wine), and yeasted grains (beer)… Not to mention salami. Or carpaccio…

  • I like only few of these food items they are really amezing but unluckly yet i have not been tasted all of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!