Food is a basic necessity for human beings. However we are adventurous creatures and will try to eat just about anything . Here is a list of the top ten weirdest foods eaten around the world:
Birds Nest Soup (China)
When you think of a bird’s nest, the first thing that comes to mind is twigs and leaves. But the Swiftlets make their nests out of their saliva, which has a unique, gelatinous and rubbery texture. These nests can be harvested only during their breeding time which is around three times a year. Collecting them is an arduous task which involves slippery and nimble climbing skills which adds to its price tag.
Fried Tarantulas (Cambodia)
There are people who are terrified of spiders. And there are people who eat spiders. Eww. The tarantula spider is one such creature that is plucked out straight from its burrow and pan fried with a bit of garlic and salt. They are quite inexpensive and were discovered by the Cambodians during the brutal days of the Khmer Rouge rule. It is now considered a delicacy by tourists who come from far and wide.
Puffer Fish (Japan)
This is a delicacy in Japan but you have to be extremely careful and meticulous when preparing this meal. The insides of this fish contain the poisonous toxin “tondrotoxin” which is more than 1200 times stronger than cyanide. Only licensed expert chefs are allowed to prepare this delicacy.
This is a unique two-in-one delicacy in that you get to eat the duck as well as the egg in a single mouthful. This is a fertilized egg which is boiled just as they are about to hatch. The yolk oozes out along with the fetus. An older egg may even have claws and a beak too. In the Philippines this is as popular as hot dogs in the United States, and people usually eat it with beer along with a pinch of salt, lemon juice and pepper.
Casa Marzu (Sardinia)
This is cheese but with a massive difference – it is riddled with live insect larvae. Let that sink in for a moment. The word “Casa Marzu” actually means rotten cheese. It is also referred to commonly as maggot cheese. This food has been banned now but still banned items have greater value as they are available in the clandestine black markets in Sardinia and Italy. It has to be eaten when the maggots are alive as dead maggots can prove toxic. It’s generally good practice not to eat anything infested with maggots either way.
This is fermented Baltic herring and is found in supermarkets all over the world. The herring is caught in the spring season just at the time it begins to spawn and is fermented in barrels for about two months before being tinned, using just enough salt to prevent rotting. When opened the can lets out a strong and overwhelming fishy odor, bad enough to the point where it is normally eaten outdoors. In fact, it smells so bad that a Japanese study ranked it as one of the most putrid food smells in the world. Despite that, its usually eaten with bread and boiled potatoes.
Sannakji / Live Octopus (Korea)
This Korean cuisine called “Sannakji” is made from a literal live octopus. The octopus is cut into pieces whilst still alive and seasoned with sesame oil and served immediately with the tentacles still squirming in the plate. The tentacles can stick to the insides of your mouth and it is truly a “battle royale” to be able to push the food down your palate.
Kopi Luwak (Indonesia)
Coffee drinkers should love this (probably). This coffee seed is actually extracted from the excrement of an Indonesian cat known as the Luwak. This cat eats only coffee cherries and the undigested beans are excreted and are then collected to brew one of the most expensive coffee cup in the world. The stomach acids and the enzymes perform the fermentation of the beans which gives it its characteristic aroma.
Puffin Heart (Iceland)
This bird is also known as “the clown of the ocean” or the “sea parrot”. This adorable bird is found in the seas around Iceland and has been a source of sustenance for the Icelanders for generations. These birds are usually eaten raw by breaking their heads and skinning them. They can also be smoked, grilled or pan fried.
Snake Wine (Vietnam)
To prepare this Vietnamese delicacy, a venomous snake is drowned in a bottle of rice wine and left for many months to let the poison dissolve in the wine. This is used for medicinal purposes too. The wine acquires a pinkish color due to the blood of the snake. It is alternately made by slicing the belly of a snake and letting it drain into the wine and served immediately.