What’s your favourite food? A straightforward question which will probably gather straightforward answers. Now imagine telling someone from the otherside of the world what you favourite food is and you’d be surprised if they reacted with an upturned nose and a nauseous look. Yet that is exactly how many of us would react if we learned of some of the more unusual delicacies from around the world. Probably even more so if we were in the foreign country, the unfamiliar dish was placed in front of us, and lots of expectant faces were waiting for you to try a bite…anyway I digress. Here is the list – bon appétit!
1. Criadillas, Spain
Image source - zomgfood
What is this tasty looking treat? Some crispy prawn tempura? Some of the finest chicken nuggets Captain Birdeye can dish up? Wrong on all counts. This, my friends, is Criadillas…or what we would understand to be deep fried bull’s testicles! So this is what gives the matador’s of Spain their bravery…or their cojones…literally.
2. Scorpions, China
Image source - smallworldbeauty
I would be too chicken to eat this but it seems a lot more tourists are braver than me because during the Beijing Olympics in 2008 this crunchy little street snack became hugely popular. The poison in the bugs is completely neutralised once they are thrown into the boiling oil – alive! My expert opinion on the matter: those tourists must have all been drunk.
3. Casu Marzu, Italy
Image source - listverse
“Archibald, I have imported some of the finest cheese from Italy to enjoy with our port tonight. It’s called Casu Marzu and is simply delicious. How do they make it you ask? Good question sir. They get hold of some of the finest Pecarino cheese, wait a long time until it is way past fermentation until it’s practically decomposed, then they fill it with insect larvae to break down the fat which…Archibald, are you being sick on my carpet?”
4. Tarantula, Cambodia
Image source - radio.rai
If you are an arachnophobe then look away now. If you have already passed out as soon as you saw the picture then please accept my apologies as soon as you have regained consciousness. For the rest of you intrigued by this tasty looking giant spider, then make sure you visit Cambodia where you can treat yourself to a whole-fried hairy, eight-legged tarantula. Just remember to remind your friends that your new nickname should be “Spider-Man”.
5. Balut, Phillipines
Image source - Wikipedia
Another Asian delicacy, Balut is a fertilised chicken or duck egg with a partially-developed embryo. It is then boiled and sucked out of the shell. Poor little chick. This “tasty” little snack is believed to be an aphrodisiac but if someone suggested to me to try this in order to get my libido going then I think I’d have to pass.
6. Hákarl, Iceland
Image source - Wikipedia
This image may look like something out of a horror film but don’t worry, it’s not. It’s simply fermented shark meat known as Hákarl, which is the finest meal you’ll get in Iceland. The meat, normally coming from Greenland or basking shark, is cured with a particular fermentation process and then hung up for 4-5 months. Wikipedia quotes this dish as having a very particular ammonia-rich smell and fishy taste, similar to Jewish deli whitefish or very strong cheese. Random!
7. Seal Flipper Pie, Canada
Image source - highestfive
This doesn’t look so bad right? Just looks like an overstuffed Cornish pasty. Well, would you think twice about tucking in if you found out it was made from a seal’s flipper? Traditionally eaten at Easter time, I wondered what this delicacy tasted like. One website described it as “slow-cooked beef…and a slight marine flavour.” Fishy beef…no thanks.
8. Century Egg, China
Image source - Wikipedia
What is this magnificent looking thing, you ask, that so resembles some kind of precious stone? This is century egg, also known as thousand-year-old egg, which is consumed in China. Take a normal chicken, duck or quail egg and preserve it in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, lime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months, and this is the result. The egg yolk turns green and the odour is described as smelling of sulphur. Nice.
9. Yak’s Penis, China
Image source - Activity pit
Yes that humongous thing on the bed of lettuce is the tackle of a yak, which is another strange delicacy in China. The locals refer to it exotically as “Dragon in the Flame of Desire”. Why, I don’t know. But no matter how much of a fancy name they want to give or smart they make their waiter’s dress would I ever be tempted to dig in. The Chinese also believe that it is also very good for your skin…I’ll stick to the moisturiser thanks.
10. Bat Paste, Thailand
Image source - Toptenz
Ok so we discovered earlier how you can earn yourself the nickname “Spider-Man”. If that didn’t appeal to you though then why not become known as “Bat-Man?” If interested then take note now: first bag yourself a live bat; next throw it into a pot of boilding milk, ignoring its screams; once cooked (the recipe does not say how to tell when cooked so go figure) dice up the bat into fine pieces; mix with some herbs and spices (does not specify again so have a guess at what would work with bat meat); mash into a paste and then serve…can someone now pass me the sickbag please!