Fancy yourself as a foodie? Well yeah, duh. But how many of these global dishes could you stomach?
Tuna eyeballs, Japan
Tuna, sure … But tuna eyeballs? Not so sure. Found in most Japanese stores, these local delicacies can be brought for less than a pound. Boiled or steamed and seasoned with a little soy sauce or garlic they are said to taste a little like squid … With the added benefit of improving your eye vision.
It may look like some type of macaroon lentil, but don’t be fooled by this aesthetically pleasing dish. The native Central Mexican delicacy is in fact ant larvae, or insect caviar. Harvested from plant roots, the escamoles are usually pan-fried with butter and spices, found in the likes of Mexican omelettes and tacos.
Balut, the Philippines
Bault is a fertilised duck egg that is boiled alive and eaten from the shell, garnished with salt, chilli and vinegar – yum? For anyone with real high gag reflexes, the traditional way to eat this south east Asian speciality is to tap a hole into the top of the shell and gulp down the liquid before chomping down the insides. Tempted…
Puffin Heart, Iceland
These incredibly cute birds are unfortunately an edible Icelandic delicacy which can be smoked, boiled in milk, grilled or fried. And if this isn’t enough for all you adventurous eaters out there, you can take it one step further by eating puffin heart.
Crispy tarantulas, Cambodia
Yes this is a thing and yes you can have it for lunch. But this isn’t some kind of Bear Grills survival food, tarantulas are actually a delicacy in Cambodia, with one large tarantula being sold for $1, which in comparison to the $6 a day minimum wage is a pretty steep price to pay. Served as a deep fried snack they are said to taste a little like crab.
Your eyes are not deceiving you; this Western Norwegian dish is indeed made from a sheep head. Traditionally eaten before Christmas, the dish is salted, steamed for a few hours and served with potatoes.
Century eggs, China
No this Chinese delicacy is not preserved for a thousand years, however it is buried in ash, salt, quicklime and mud for a few weeks or even months. The jelly like blue yolk is peeled, sliced and comes complete with a strong cheesy / sulphur / ammonia like scent, traditionally served as an appetiser along with pickled ginger or with congee (thin soup) for breakfast.
Don’t be misled by this fairly normal looking dish. Yes it may look like your regular noodles in a katsu-like sauce, but this Japanese dish is in fact marine animal pieces in a sauce of heavily fermented viscera aka – organs. Considered something of an acquired taste even for native Japanese, this is often gulped down and followed with a shot of straight whisky. We wonder why …
Witchetty grub, Australia
Straight out the outback, Witchetty Bush is one of the best known Australian bush foods, traditionally eaten by Aborigines. The grub is the larva of a moth which can be found in the root system of the Witchetty Bush or Bloodwood Tree and contains vital nutrients and vitamins to help you on your health hype.
Casu marzu, Italy
At least we can rely on the Italians for some tasty food right? Well casu marzu, aka rotten cheese, begs to differ. Made from Pecorino (parmesan) gone seriously wrong, the Pecorino is left to sit out with the intent for flies to lay eggs in the cheese, breaking down the cheese fats to create a softer cheese. The maggot filled Pecorino cheese is served in the shape of a tongue-burning delicacy. Oh Italy, why?
Swarms of locusts have been known to inundate Israel and what better way to eradicate them than by eating them? The deep-fried insects are covered in chocolate and are said to go down an absolute storm…
This North Korean soup contains ingredients including green onions, perilla leaves, dandelions, spices, seed powder andddd dog meat. The supposedly health-giving soup isn’t so popular amongst the younger Korean generations, scarcely found on Korean menus. However the dog meat based dish is still eaten by the older folk.
Snake Wine, South East Asia
What better way to wash down all these yummy dishes then with a glass of wine, right? Snake wine that is. Made by steeping a snake in rice wine or mixing snake bodily fluids such as blood with alcohol, this beverage can be found in countries including China and Vietnam.