Mark Twain once said, “When one has tasted it, he knows what the angels eat.” However, I suspect he was unaware of these unusual delicacies; knowing them might have made him think differently. Here’s an assorted list of bizarre foods, more fitting for beasts yet astonishingly consumed by humans.
Mexico is home to the giant black Liometopum ants that nest in the root systems of the maguey and agave plants. This dish might be among the safest, tastiest, and priciest, but remember, it’s ant larvae! Harvesting is notably tricky since the ants are venomous and appear to hold grudges against human intruders. They’re often served in tacos with guacamole, renowned for their buttery and slightly nutty flavour.
This dish is best enjoyed outdoors—far from your home. The Scandinavian delicacy consists of tinned fermented fish, notorious for its overpowering smell. Usually, surstromming is served on an open sandwich with fish, boiled potatoes, diced onions, and either sour cream or crème fraiche.
We’re talking about the very blood that flows through living beings. Various cultures consume meat paired with blood, sausages being one such example. The Finnish and Swedish include blood in their pancakes, known as Blodplätter or Veriohukainen in Finnish. While these cultures bake the blood with the pancakes, raw blood soup (tiet cahn) is a Vietnamese breakfast dish. Prepared from either geese’s or pig’s fresh blood, it’s served congealed with chopped herbs.
Hoe in Korean cuisine refers to raw food dishes, and among the most famous is Sannakji. It’s a plate of freshly chopped live octopus seasoned with sesame oil. And it’s so fresh that the octopus pieces might still squirm on your plate. Beware, as many have choked while trying to eat this dish.
6. Live Cobra Heart (Vietnam)
Tabloids once highlighted Gordon Ramsey and Anthony Bourdain devouring a cobra’s beating heart. Suddenly, many wanted to brave this unsettling dish on live television. Consumed primarily for believed power and virility attributes, the cobra is selected, killed, and its heart served immediately with blood.
5. Casu Marzu
Italy, renowned for its culinary delights, is also the birthplace of the world’s most decomposed edible cheese. Casu Marzu is sheep’s milk cheese infested intentionally by the “cheese fly,” resulting in a maggot-filled cheese. Eye protection is recommended due to jumping larvae. Consuming it carries a risk of digestive issues.
Japan offers some of the world’s most exotic foods, including the potentially lethal fugu or pufferfish. Containing deadly tetrodotoxin, if prepared correctly, it offers a unique tingling sensation. However, any mistakes can result in paralysis and death.
Fans of ducks and eggs might recoil at this Filipino dish. Balut is a fertilized egg with a partly formed embryo inside, boiled alive. Eating it involves crunching on beak, feathers, and fragile bones.
Described by Anthony Bourdain as “the single worst, most disgusting, and terrible tasting thing,” Hakarl is fermented basking shark from Iceland. Its potent ammonia scent contrasts its sweet and nutty flavour, often causing involuntary gagging among first-timers.
1. Sour Toe Cocktail
In Dawson City’s Sourdough Saloon, amidst Northern Canada’s scenic wilderness, there’s a cocktail featuring a human toe! Stemming from a frostbitten trapper’s found toe in 1973, this drink mixes strong spirits with a mummified toe, offering an experience like no other.
Our world is a vast tapestry of cultures and traditions, and food is a testament to that diversity. Whether you’re an adventurous eater or prefer sticking to your comfort foods, it’s undeniably fascinating to learn about these exotic delicacies. Would you dare to try any of these on your next travel?
If you’re a culinary daredevil or just curious about world cuisines, share this list with your friends and challenge them to try one of these dishes. Better yet, tell us which one you’d be brave enough to taste in the comments below!