Guest Blogger: Colton Davis
While you might be able to find gourmet cuisine scattered throughout the world, you’ll also come across a bevy of less appealing dishes which’ll make your stomach turn. Let’s take a journey through the culinary sphere, as we explore six of the world’s strangest foods you won’t want to try in a hurry.
1) Shirako - Japan
This Japanese delicacy literally translates to “white children” in the native tongue. This somewhat ambiguous name becomes a little clearer when you learn the primary ingredient is the sperm sac of cod, angler fish or puffer fish.
These little blobs look more like brains than anything else, and are said to have the consistency and taste of butter once you bite into them. Shirako has become something of a cult icon in recent times, leading to many YouTubers trying it and raising awareness of the controversial nibble.
2) Jellied Moose Nose – Canada
When it comes the more Northern terrains of Canada, ensuring you get every last morsel of nutrition from your food can sometimes be a necessity. That’s clearly what led to the creation of the rather unappealing delicacy of jellied moose nose.
It’s exactly as it sounds, with the nose first boiled with onions and spices before the hair is removed and it’s boiled again. Next it’s sliced into thin strips, before being covered with a broth that has the consistency of gloop. Certainly not one for the fussy eaters out there.
3) Casu Marzu – Italy
This is one of the grimmest things we’ve ever heard – but is amazingly considered something of a delicacy on the Italian island of Sardinia. The primary ingredient in this delightful mix? Maggots.
Yes, you read that correctly. For some ungodly reason Sardinians have developed a soft spot for cheese which is teeming with maggot larvae. Distressingly, some of these bugs have been known to leap as high as 15cm, according to 1Cover. They also, perhaps unsurprisingly, leave a very strong aftertaste.
4) Huitaloche – Mexico
We’re not sure who first picked up a diseased corn husk and decided they’d like to see what it tasted like; but whoever it was seems to have started a trend in Mexico.
Huitaloche is created when the fungus known as corn smut attaches itself to kernels. This corrupts the corn, causing it to expand like a tumour and grow blue and black fungi spores. Sounds delicious, right?
This interesting recipe is said to have a woody and earthy flavour which the locals love. We wouldn’t advise the addition of mould to your system, however. Just as a kicker, the name itself translates to “sleeping excrement”. Yum.
5) Airag – Mongolia
At first, airag doesn’t sound too bad – it’s Mongolian horse milk. However, it’s milk with a grimace-worthy twist. Once the horse has been milked, the liquid is left in the sun for about a week, which makes it ferment and creates a sour taste with a slight fizz.
6) Balut – Philippines
Have you ever fancied chomping down on a partly developed duck egg? No, us neither. However, for some reason this has become a national delicacy in the Philippines. A fertilised duck egg is boiled, before the shell is carefully removed.
Salt, chilli and vinegar is then added the mix. When eating Balut, expect to crunch down on the bones of the duckling. Distressingly, it wouldn’t have been that far from hatching before the cooking process began. As such, it’s little shock Balut is considered one of the least ethical foods in the world.
Fancy trying any of these dishes for yourself in the future? Don’t. Alright, you can do whatever you like – but we wouldn’t recommend chowing down on any of them if you want to avoid an upset tummy.
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We have been immensely blessed with many opportunities to see various parts of the world. We live an average, working life in Cambridge, MA but through our many opportunities have developed a passion to see the world. Our goal is to share with other desiring travelers different tips and experiences from around the world as we begin to check them off our bucket list. If anything, we hope to provide a little sense of motivation and adventure to those wishing to embark on their own journey!
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