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Gastronomic Adventure: 30 Weirdest Foods To Try

Gastronomic adventure fried cockroach

Are you ready to take on a gastronomic adventure? These foods may not look so appetizing, but hey, don’t knock it till you try it! People actually eat these! It won’t hurt to try them at least once in your life. If you’re brave enough to try, you might be surprised by how good they actually taste. For the adventurous, this can be a culinary experience you’ve been craving for.

30. Century/Millennium eggs – China / Taiwan

Century / Millennium eggs aren’t really preserved that long. They are duck eggs cured in a mixture of ash, clay, salt and quicklime, preserved for weeks or several months. They have a really strong odor but they taste like normal hard-boiled egg.

Century Duck Eggs
photo from flickr

29. Bird’s nest soup – Asia

This soup is made from actual bird’s nest. The nest is made of bird saliva that hardens when exposed to air. It is believed that this soup possess medicinal properties that can aid in proper digestion and increase the libido. I guess that’s enough reason to convince you to try a bowl of this native delicacy.

Bird's Nest Soup
photo from flickr

28. Chicken feet – Asia

This is still weird for some who don’t like the texture and the feel of chicken feet in their mouth. It is quite common in different parts of the world. It is great with beer too.

Chicken's Feet
photo from flickr

27. Wasp crackers – Japan

They are crackers with wasps. I don’t get why they have to put wasps when they taste like regular sweet cookies. I think I’ll stick to chocolate chip cookies.

Gastronomic adventure wasp cracker from Japan

26. Betamax (Chicken blood) – Philippines

This is a coagulated blood of either chicken or pork. The blood is usually grilled and served on a stick. Great with vinegar.

Gastronomic adventure betamax from Philippines

25. Khash – Middle East, Europe and Turkey

This delicacy is pretty common during winter. It tastes like normal stewed beef soup but the parts of the cow used are its feet and head.

Gastronomic adventure khash from middle east

24. Tong Zi Dan (Virgin boy egg) – China

These are just normal eggs but boiled in the urine of teenage boys. This is a tradition in Dongyang, China, that every spring time, they collect urine from teenage boys and soak the eggs in it. They believe that the eggs decrease body heat, promote better blood circulation and just generally reinvigorate the body.

Gastronomic adventure Tong zi dan from China

23. Hakarl – Iceland

Hakarl is a dish made of sharks that are fermented for at least 2 months. It is a common Icelandic delicacy and can be found anywhere in the country. The strong foul odor makes this dish really hard to stomach.

Gastronomic adventure Hakarl from Iceland

22. Tuna eye – Japan

These eyeballs are common in Japan. We all eat fish. I guess what makes them weird is because they look creepy. They are usually stewed and taste like squid.

Gastronomic adventure tuna eyes from Japan

21. Haggis – Scotland

Haggis is sheep’s stomach stuffed with meat (heart, liver and lungs), and minced with garlic and onions. There are other recipes of Haggis. Try what you can stomach – no pun intended.

Gastronomic adventure Haggis from Scotland

Gastronomic adventure Haggis from Scotland

20. Jing leed (Crickets) – Thailand

This insect is a popular snack around the streets of Thailand. Like other edible bugs, it is crunchy.

Fried Cricket
photo from flickr

19. Witchetty grub – Australia

This wood eating larvae / moth can live for months inside Witchetty bush, and are usually found in the central parts of Australia. It can be eaten raw or cooked. The inside is a little juicy and tastes like scrambled egg, the skin tastes like crunchy chicken skin when cooked.

Witchetty grub - Australia
photo from flickr

18. Sago grubs – Asia

These larvae are popular in Asia particularly in Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo and New Guinea. They are cooked in sago flour and taste like bacon when cooked. You can also eat these raw. Fancy a stick of sago grubs?

Gastronomic adventure Sago grubs from Asia

17. Mopane worms – Southern Africa

These worms are popular in Southern Africa. They are big and juicy, and can also be eaten raw or cooked.

Mopane worms
photo from flickr

16. Beondegi – Korea

A popular korean streetfood snack. Beondegi or silkworm pupae are boiled and seasoned. They taste crunchy and nutty.

Gastronomic adventure Beondegi from Korea

15. Escamoles – Mexico

This dish is also called as insect caviar. Escamoles is a native delicacy popularized by the early Aztecs and now popular everywhere in Mexico.

Gastronomic adventure escamoles from Mexico

14. Stink bugs – Indonesia

These stink bugs are famous in Indonesia. They emit an odor that has the same power as onions. Hence, the name. They are usually boiled and they taste crunchy (like other bugs I have mentioned in this article).

Gastronomic adventure stink bugs

14, Sannakji – Korea

This is one of Korea’s most talked about food. Sannikji is a live octopus, dismembered, seasoned with sesame oil and eaten raw. It’s served fresh that the tentacles still move, which makes it a little dangerous to eat. The suction cups are still functioning and can potentially cause choking or death.

sannakji

13. Rocky mountain oysters – Canada 

They are not oysters. I repeat. They are not oysters! These are bull testicles. They are also commonly known as: Prairie oysters, cowboy caviar, calf fries, swinging beef and Montana tendergroins. There are several recipes and ways to cook these animal genitalia. They taste like regular chicken when fried.

Gastronomic adventure Rocky mountain oyster Gastronomic adventure rocky mountain oyster

12. Shiokara – Japan

Shiokara is made up of raw innards of mixed sea creatures. This is often eaten in one go and paired with a shot of alcohol.

Gastronomic adventure Shiokara from Japan

11. Fugu – Japan

Fugu is a poisonous fish. This dish can be lethal when not prepared properly. If you’re willing to risk your life just to try this dish, go ahead.

Gastronomic adventure fugu from japan

10. Fried cockroach – China

Chinese believe cockroaches have healing properties. The cockroaches are usually fried and they taste crunchy and a little juicy. They may not look appetizing but according to studies, they are more sanitary than pork.

Gastronomic adventure fried cockroach

9. Fried Brain Sandwhich – USA

It is made of calf’s brain, fried and chopped. This was popular before the spread of mad cow’s desease, but you can still find some restaurants that serve this dish.

Gastronomic adventure fried brain sandwhich from USA

8. Guinea pig – Peru

Various dishes of guinea pigs are served in the streets of Peru during the annual Guinea Pig Festival.

Gastronomic adventure fried guinea pig from peru

7. Balut (Duck embryo) – Philippines

This is perfect with beer or any alcohol. It’s a fertilized duck embryo boiled and eaten alive. The sauce and the yellow part taste great. It can be eaten as is or mixed with vinegar. The embryo is not for the faint hearted. It is nearly developed and very much alive. Sometimes it moves!

Gastronomic adventure balut from Philippines

6. Goat penis 

Those who have tried this penis on a stick, said they are rubbery. What is it with eating animal genitalia?They say that eating balls and penises can actually increase men’s libido and help them with other sexual concerns. Well, guys, indulge.

Gastronomic adventure goat penis

5. Casu Marzu – Italy

Casu Marzu is made up of sheep’s milk cheese with live maggots. This is made by allowing flies to lay eggs on top of the cheese.

Gastronomic adventure Casu Marzu Italy

4. Fried Tarantula – Cambodia

Okay, I’m a little arachnophobic. I don’t like them alive and I don’t want to eat them when they’re dead either. Just, No. However, for the dauntless, you can try these famous Cambodian delight. They are crunchy on the outside and a little gooey on the inside.

Gastronomic adventure fried tarantula Cambodia

3. Yak Penis – China

Yak penis is also known as “dragon in the flame of desire” and famously served at Guolizhuang Restaurant in Beijing along with other penises that you can actually eat. Chinese believe that yak penis is good for the health and has cosmetic benefits for women. They taste like spinach, but I’d rather eat spinach.

gastronomic adventure yak penis from China

2. Habu sake (Snake Wine) – Japan / Vietnam

This is popular in local pubs in Japan and Vietnam. A jar of habu sake is made of a live snake drowned in a bottle of alcohol. I don’t think I am that adventurous to drink this. So No, thank you.

Gastronomic adventure habu sake from Japan

1. Baby mice wine – China / Korea

This just made the top of this list. Why? Because it’s just gross and revolting! If you’re into rodents then go ahead and try it. I’ll pass.

Gastronomic adventure baby mice wine
photo from telegraph.com

Gastronomic adventure baby mice wine

 

These are only some of the weirdest foods from different parts of the world. There are actually more and they should be categorize by kind: Bugs, raw food, animal genitalias, rotten, poisonous, and of course, exremely revolting. Surely, people will discover new weird and stomach-turning dishes in the future. You can try them next time you travel to these countries. Obviously, Asia is one interesting continent to travel to if you’re looking for a real gastronomic adventure. Bon appétit!

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