Bizarre Culinary Choices From Around The Globe

Bizarre Culinary Choices From Around The Globe

Here you will find a small sampling of bizarre or odd things that people eat from around the world. Now every culture tends to invent or savor food that is weird or disgusting – but only to those ‘outsiders’ from other parts of the globe. Many of these culinary delights are very normal to the locals and probably have been passed down from generation to generation. However, most of us here in America, as well as Canada and Great Britain, consider these strange foods as abnormal or disgusting and give many of us a ‘gag-reflex’ to even look at them, let alone to see or smell them up close. If you’re weak-of-heart or easily upset, you may not want to view the pictures below – You have been warned!

Ortolan Bunting

ortolan-buntingOnly 16 centimeters in length, this pretty songbird has a striking yellow body with a greenish-gray head. The Ortolan has a special mention in Larousse Gastromonique, the world famous French food gospel. Though it is illegal to sell these little birdies, it isn’t against the law to relish them. Traditionally the bird is caught and kept in a cage for about four days, where it is overfed to make it three times its size. After stuffing it to the brim, the Ortolan is drowned in cognac and roasted to make it crunchy.

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Sugar Ants and Kangaroo Tail

sugar-antThe home of the Great Barrier Reef, great surfing and snorkeling, the home of Koala Bears and Kangaroos – That is what comes to mind when thinking of the land down-under, Australia. But did you know that Australians absolutely delight to gulping down sugar ants and kangaroo tails? Known to taste like sugary candies, these ants are often eaten during special occasions in Aussie land. A recent report by Greenpeace suggested that eating kangaroo meat will help Australia in controlling its carbon footprint. In addition, it is considered to be a delicious ‘superfood’. Now all you need to do is muster up some courage…

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Canned Monkey Meat

monkey-meatJudging by the evolution theory (if that is your belief), eating our ancestors may not sound like the best idea. But that doesn’t stop Africans from having canned monkey meat every now and then. Some eateries in Africa, also dish out smoked monkey meat in various sauces; tomato sauce, peanut sauce, etc. Take your pick – Mmmmmm!

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Calf Brains

calf-brainsIf you thought kangaroo’s tail was weird – this one will blow your mind! Savored in France and Mexico, baby cow brains  (aka calf brains) can be labeled a very controversial dish. A lot of locals refrain from trying it out because they fear getting the infamous “Mad Cow Disease”.

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Horse Meat

horse-meat-packagedIf you happen to be a horse-lover or if riding a galloping horse is one of your favorite hobbies, then you probably are not going to like this one. Horse meat is actually lean and delicious. Served all over Europe, this one definitely gets thumbs up.

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Here are a few more images from around the world…..

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Still craving more?

Here’s another post to check out with more tasty  bites –

10 Most Unusual Foods In The World For Adventurous Appetites

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10 Most Unusual Foods In The World For Adventurous Appetites

Hungry? Craving Something Different?

How about some Durian, Witchetty Grubs, Sannakji, Lutefisk or Pig’s Blood Cake?

bugsStrictly for Adventurous Appetites…

Let Your Taste Buds Run Wild…

Here are a few more Incredible Edibles…

If you ever have the opportunity at some point to travel abroad, part of the fun and adventure is experiencing something new and enjoying local culture and cuisine. With that being said, even the most daring explorer and purveyor of the best the local culture has to offer may draw the line when it comes to taste testing certain foods.

The issue may extend far beyond the price of a certain local delicacy, rather visually seeing or smelling certain foods may be enough to turn your head or experience a “gag-reflex”. Perhaps you may even gather enough “gumption” from within to take a little nibble before making your mind up. Either way, here you will find a list of 10 of the world’s most unusual foods, in no particular order other than alphabetically by country. Please don’t take this as a personal endorsement as I would hate to become responsible for the after-effects. 🙂

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1st) – Australia >>> Witchetty Grubs –

grubsThese high-in-protein, white snacks are in actuality the larvae of moths and an important insect food of the desert, once considered a staple in the diets of some Aborigines. These are edible either raw or lightly cooked in hot ashes, they are sought out as a high-protein food by Indigenous Australians. The raw “witchetty” (meaning hooked stick) grub tastes like almonds and when cooked the skin becomes crisp like roast chicken while the inside becomes light yellow, like a fried egg.

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2nd) – France >>> Pigeon (Squab) –

Squab_at_French_restaurantThe term “Squab” is the meat from a young domestic pigeon. The meat is dark, very lean, tender, fine-grained and is rich in protein, minerals and vitamins. While considered a dirty street animal by many, this poultry dish is an expensive and much-loved delicacy that graces the plates of some of the country’s finest restaurants. Considered to have a robust flavor, it still struggles to gain culinary acceptance in much of the world.

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3rd) – Italy >>> Donkey

donkey-meat

The Italian name for “Donkey” is “asino” or “asinello” and the various regions have different ways of preparing donkey meat, with which they make stews or even salami. Sliced and eaten much like prosciutto, this sandwich meat can be found — and accidentally ordered — rather easily in the country’s bars. In different regions of Italy they might call it by another name in the local dialect, so you would not be able to recognize it on menus… or at the local butcher.

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4th) – Malaysia >>> Durian –

durian_fruitSome Malaysian hotels put up signs banning the Durian. The ultra-strong aroma of this spiky fruit may turn off tourists, but many Malaysians love its doughy taste. Durian Fruit can best be described as having a succulent, creamy filling but smelling like stinky socks… but don’t let that dissuade you from trying it.

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5th) – Norway >>> Lutefisk –

lutefiskA traditional dish (made from dried whitefish) of the Nordic countries, this gummy fish marinated in lye, takes days to prepare and is described as one of the most vile-tasting foodstuffs ever created. In spite of this less-than-tasty reputation, it remains hugely popular in this part of the world.

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6th) – South Africa >>> Ostrich –

ostrich-meatLow in cholesterol and considered healthier than other meats, the ostrich is becoming more and more popular all over the world. It is lower in fat grams per serving compared to chicken and turkey, and much lower in fat and cholesterol than beef. Everything from ostrich burgers to omelets made from the bird’s eggs are turning up on menus.

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7th) – South Korea >>> Live Octopus (Sannakji)  –

octopus-SannakjiSannakji is the native term for live baby octopus. Unlike calamari which is dead and still, octopus in South Korea often arrives at the table alive and moving. The tentacles are slice up, seasoned with sesame oil, and delivered to your plate still squirming. If you think you’re up to the challenge – Beware – If you don’t chew it up carefully, those tiny suction cups can stick to your mouth or throat. Connoisseurs of the dish say it’s best to eat it quickly.

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8th) – Taiwan >>> Pig’s Blood Cake (Ti-hoeh-koe) –

pigs_blood_cakeIn Taiwan, pig’s blood cake is a very common local favorite that is eaten just like ice cream. It is commonly dipped in ground peanuts and served on a wooden stick. Easily found at street markets, it’s a sweet treat made from pig’s blood and sticky rice. It can be found also in local resteraunts served fried or steamed as a snack or cooked in a hot pot.

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9th) – Uganda >>> Grasshopper –

grasshoppers-friedCaught during the rainy season, they can be eaten either cooked or raw. Grasshoppers, full of minerals, proteins, fats and vitamins, are a perennial favorite and relished as a local delicacy. Sold with or without wings and legs, they are easily found at the local markets. The locals catch these insects at dusk, place them in water for 24 hours after which they fry, boil or add them to soups. They can even be eaten raw as snacks, however visitors are discouraged from doing so because there is a risk of contracting tape worms.

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10th) – Vietnam >>> Snake Wine –

snake-wineSaid to have medicinal properties, this strong cocktail is best downed quickly. Not only is it made from snake blood, it’s bottled with a snake inside and occasionally other creatures, like scorpions. There are two varieties of snake wine… 1st) Steeped – A large venomous snake can be placed into a glass jar of rice wine, often with many smaller snakes, turtles, insects, or birds, and left to steep for many months. The wine is then drunk as a restorative in small shots… 2nd) Mixed – Body fluids of snake are mixed into wine and consumed immediately in the form of a shot. Snake blood wine is prepared by slicing a snake along its belly and draining its blood into a mixing vat with rice wine or grain alcohol. Snake bile wine is done through a similar method by using the contents of the gall bladder.

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SURPRISE BONUS >>> South Korea >>> Beondegi –

BeondegiBeondegi 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.

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Still Hungry??

Here’s another post to check out with a few more tasty bites –

Bizarre Culinary Choices From Around The Globe

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