Do you take fancy in the strange and bizarre? Are you a foodie with a taste for the foreign? Well, the world has loads of weird and wonderful meals for you to sink your teeth into. Countries across the globe have diets that are also worlds apart from ours. Each country takes pride in their local foods and often, what is a regular meal for them is an unbelievably unique dish for us. From nutritional benefit to eccentric flavours, these dishes offer something distinct with every bite. So, what are you waiting for? Get on a plane and go give some peculiar dishes a try.
Challenge your palate with any of these global cuisines. Be warned, they are not for the faint of heart and only the strongest stomachs will survive to share the stories.
1. Deep-Fried Spiders, Cambodia
These aren’t your regular house spiders. Across Cambodia, you’ll find a variety of restaurants and stalls serving deep-fried tarantulas. The origin of this delicacy is not a positive one. Starving Cambodians suffering under the Khmer Regime first ate spiders as a source of nourishment. However, the idea became popular since then and the uncanny inclusion of deep-fried spiders as a meal can typically be traced back to the town of Skuon. These large spiders are deep-fried in garlic oil until they have a delightfully crunchy exterior and satisfyingly gooey interior. The dish is packed with protein and is often served to hungry travellers looking for a midday sustenance snack. They are said to taste like crab. Would you be brave enough to give them a go?
2. Escamoles, Mexico
While it may look like a grain or cooked oats, Escamoles is most definitely not. Escamoles, or what the Mexicans refer to as insect caviar, is the larvae of a venomous species of ants. Therefore, retrieving the larvae is no walk in the park and this may contribute to the lengthy love of the food. The origin of this delicacy dates back to the Aztecs. The larvae are harvested from agave plants – the same plants used to produce tequila. Escamoles are most commonly consumed as a filling for tacos or breakfast dishes and are said to have a nutty flavour and cottage cheese-like texture. Escamoles is one of the many insect-based cuisines found in Mexico.
3. Airag, Mongolia
Airag, most commonly known as Mare’s Milk, is probably one of the stranger milk varieties. This horse-sourced milk is fermented to form a kind of beer that is typically drunk by Mongolians. The beer is low in alcohol and high in nutrients. It is especially beneficial as a source of nutrition for those who are lactose intolerant. The production of Airag requires a tremendous amount of skill and for this reason, it remains a rarer product than cow’s milk.
4. Shirako, Japan
This dish is aptly named Shikaro, or “White Children” because it is quite literally the sperm sacs (or Milt) of cod, anglerfish, or puffer fish. The small sacs stick together to form what looks like a miniature brain. The delicacy is served either raw or cooked and even the Japanese consider it an acquired taste. This dish shouldn’t come as a major surprise, as many of us are already aware of what caviar is.
5. Balut, The Philippines
Only read on if you are a very adventurous eater. While eggs are a staple in most American diets, the Filipinos have managed to create an extremely acquired way to consume them. Balut refers to the method by which a partially developed duck embryo, still inside the egg, is boiled alive and then eaten out of the shell (through a hole in the top) with vinegar, chilli, and garlic. The entire contents are consumed; the liquid, wings, beak, and everything. This food is commonly found on the streets of the Philippines and generally served with a cold beer. I’m not sure I could stomach this one myself – and I hate to think of a duck embryo being boiled alive!
Before you go, remember that your stomach is not accustomed to them and may react to the foods that you try. Stow away your supplements when you travel to minimise the risk of health setbacks. To ensure your health is in check before you dig in, check out Authority Reports for many insightful healthy living tips. They also provide concise reviews of the best supplements on the market to help you stay ahead of your health game when travelling the globe.
The world is wonderfully large, with many cultures and cuisines to tuck into on your travels. If you’re a self-proclaimed adventurous eater and have a bucket list of strange delicacies from across the globe, then you may want to give one of these wacky meals a try. Be sure to snap a shot of the moment and shock your fellow foodies!
Comment below with the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten on your travels!