20 Weirdest Food Consumed Around the World

Singaporeans take pride in their food, even in Durian, a fruit unique to South East Asian that carries a pungent (or some say aroma) smell. There are so many strange food around the world where some may savour and others cringe at. How many from this list would you dare to try?

Casu Marzu

Where: Sardinia, Italy

What:  Sheep milk cheese notable for containing live insect larvae. These larvae are deliberately introduced to the cheese, promoting an advanced level of fermentation and breaking down of the cheese’s fats The texture of the cheese becomes very soft, with some liquid (called lagrima, from Latin for “tear”) seeping out. The larvae themselves appear as translucent white worms, about 8 millimetres (0.3 in) long.When disturbed, the larvae can launch themselves for distances up to 15 centimetres (6 in). Some people clear the larvae from the cheese before consuming while others do not.

Casu_Marzu_cheese

photo credit: Wikipedia

Balut

Where: Commonly in Phillippines

What: A Balut or Balot is a developing duck embryo that is boiled alive and eaten in the shell. It is commonly sold as streetfood in the Philipines. They are common food in countries in Southeast Asia, such as Laos (khai look ໄຂ່ລູກ in Lao, Cambodia (pong tia koon ពងទាកូន in Cambodian) and Vietnam (trứng vịt lộn or hột vịt lộn in Vietnamese). They are often served with beer. Think I’ll be happy with just the beer.

Inside_a_Balut_-_Embryo_and_Yolk

photo credit: Wikipedia

Criadillas (Rocky Mountain Oysters)

Where: Western America and Canada

What: They are basically bull calf testicles. Sometimes pig or sheep testicles are used. Deep-fry or boil them.

512px-Criadillas_de_Choto-_Madrid

photo credits: Wikipedia

Shirako

Where: Japan

What: Fish semen, commonly from the cod fish.

589301

photo credits: lunch.com

Kiviak

Where: Greenland

What: A traditional wintertime Inuit food from Greenland that is made of auks preserved in the hollowed-out body of a seal. Around 500 auks are put into the seal skin intact, including beaks, feet and feathers, before as much air as possible is removed from the seal skin, which is then sewn up and sealed with grease, with a large rock placed on top to keep the air content low. Over the course of seven months, the birds ferment, and are then eaten during the Greenlandic winter, particularly on birthdays and weddings

Kiviak

photo credits: Wikipedia

Haggis

Where: Scotland

What: Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs; minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach and simmered for approximately three hours. Most modern commercial haggis is prepared in a sausage casing rather than an actual stomach.

photo credits: Wikipedia

Pacha (Khash)

Where: Iraq

What: Boiled sheep’s head, this is a traditional dish Armenia, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq, Georgia, Bulgaria and Turkey. Formerly a nutritious winter food, it is now considered a delicacy, and is enjoyed as a festive winter meal, usually by a company of men who sit around in a table, early in the morning.

sheepshead1

Surströmming

Where: Sweden

What: Don’t be fooled by it’s outlook, some have dubbed it the worst food ever.  Surströmming is fermented Baltic herring and is a staple of traditional northern Swedish cuisine. The herring used for surströmming are caught just prior to spawning. The fermentation starts from a lactic acid enzyme in the spine of the fish, and so the fermentation is by autolysis; together with bacteria, pungent smelling acids are formed in the fish such as propionic acid, butyric acid and acetic acid. Hydrogen sulphide is also produced.

Fugu (Pufferfish)

Where: Japan

What: The reason why this is on the list is because it is lethally poisonous due to its tetrodotoxin; therefore, it must be carefully prepared to remove toxic parts and to avoid contaminating the meat. People have died after eating Fugu.

589302

photo credits: lunch.com

Sannakji

Where: Korea

What: It is octopus that has been cut into small pieces and served immediately, usually lightly seasoned with sesame and sesame oil. The octopus pieces are usually still squirming on the plate. It can also be served whole. As the suction cups are still alive, extra precaution should be taken when eating this. I’ve personally tried this before because the Korean lady that owned the restaurant told me that it wouldn’t feel like I’ve been to Korea if I don’t try it. I feel conned. It really does stick to your tongue and has a weird texture.

Beondegi

Where: Korea

What: Beondegi (Korean: 번데기) are a popular snack food in Korean cuisine. Literally meaning “chrysalis” or “pupa” in Korean, Beondegi are steamed or boiled silkworm pupae which are seasoned and eaten as a snack. Beondegi are often served by street vendors, as well as in restaurants and drinking establishments. They are also sold in cans in grocery stores and convenience stores, but they must be boiled in water before serving.

800px-Silkworm_snack

Escamoles

Where: Mexico

What: Escamoles are the larvae of ants of the genus Liometopum. They are harvested from the roots of the Agave tequilana (tequila) or Agave americana (maguey—mezcal) plants in Mexicoescamoles are considered a delicacy and are sometimes referred to as “insect caviar”. They have a cottage cheese-like consistency and a buttery, yet slightly nutty, taste. You might want to pick your tacos carefully when in Mexico.

Escamoles02

Hakari

Where: Iceland

What: Hákarl or kæstur hákarl (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈhauːkʰadl̥]) (Icelandic for “shark”) is a food from Iceland consisting of a Greenland shark or sleeper shark (Somniosus microcephalus) which has been cured with a particular fermentation process and hung to dry for four to five months. Hákarl is often referred to as an acquired taste and has a very particular ammonia-rich smell and fishy taste.

Hakarl_near_Bjarnahöfn_in_Iceland

Baby Mice Wine

Where: China/Korea

What: Literally wine made from baby mice. To make baby mice wine, stuff rodents no more than three days old into a bottle of rice wine and let stew for a year. The tonic is believed to be an all-purpose cure for everything from asthma to liver disease.

Baby-Mice-Wine

photo credit: Weburbanist.com

Black Ivory Coffee

Where: Thailand

What: You might have heard of the special weasel coffee. The black ivory coffee is the same concept, just that it is coffee made from beans secreted out of elephants who have digested the coffee beans they consumed. Yeap, very grim I know. According to Wikipedia “Black Ivory coffee has been described as “very smooth without the bitterness of regular coffee” and is among the world’s most expensive coffees”. Think I’ll pass.

kaffee-liebe-geht-durch-den-elefantenmagen-41-43986976

Tepa (Stinkheads)

Where: Alaska

What: Tepa is fermented fish heads and is a traditional delicacy in Alaska, where no part of the fish is wasted. A customary way of preparing them is to place fish heads and guts in a wooden barrel, cover it with burlap, and bury it in the ground for about a week. For a short while in modern times, plastic bags and buckets replaced the barrel. The name gives you a clue about the unusual aroma which is a result of the fish decomposing.

balut_2537790k

Mopane

Where: Many parts in African continent

What: The mopane worm is a caterpillar. It is enjoyed by many as a delicacy in some parts of Southern Africa and considered a bush food in others. It apparent has very high nutritious level and some regard it as truly delicious.

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Cat Meat Hot Pot

Where: China

What: It is basically like a type of stew and the chinese love to put all kinds of meat into the stew and cook it together. In this case, it is the cat (meow).

Fried Brain Burger

Where: Ohio, USA

What: As the name suggest, it is a burger or sandwich made from sliced calves brains. However as brains from cows over 30 months old at slaughter are no longer permitted in human food in the United States (Hefling, 2004). Some restaurants have taken to serving pigs’ brains instead of cows’ brains due to BSE concerns. But as pigs’ brains are substantially smaller than cows’ brains, the amount of preparation required for each sandwich increases. Each brain must be cleaned before being sliced and pigs’ brains produce fewer slices.

fried brain burger

Tuna Eye

Where: Japan

What: For those who know, the tuna has pretty big eyes. Some say it taste like squid. To cook it, simply boil it and lightly season to taste. I’m not sure if I would enjoy eating something that is staring at me all the time.

squid-eye_feelsru

So there you have it, a compilation of the world’s weirdest food. I’m pretty sure there are many more out there, and some might even argue that this isn’t weird at all (like how I refuse to put Century Eggs, Durian and Chicken feet in the list as I really enjoy them!)

I stole most of my facts online (largely from Wikipedia) and I’ve never tried any of them apart from Sannakji. Feel free to correct any information (or add any to the list) in the comment section! As for now, I certainly hope I didn’t ruin your appetite.

Bon Appetit.

Peace & Love,

Eileen x

Peregrinate with me

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