What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten? For me it was a plate of deep-fried ants, served during the Songkran festival in Chiang-Mai, Thailand. It was a stinking hot day, we’d been running around for hours in what felt like a city-wide water-fight, and after a while we headed to a restaurant for some much-needed fuel. Read more about amazing experiences!
The ants came as an appetizer, washed down with plenty of Chang: I didn’t think about it too much at the time, I was so hungry I was just throwing down these golden, crispy little things by the handful, but thinking back, yeah, that was kind of strange. Still, they do say that before long insects could be a staple part of Western diets, so better get used to the idea.
Here’s 10 more unusual foods, have you ever tried any of these?
Balut is a duck embryo, aged about two-to-three weeks. It’s boiled and eaten in the shell, and you can taste the crunch of tiny beak and feet. No feathers yet though thankfully. The thought of this one actually makes me physically ill, but it’s a delicacy in countries such as Laos and Cambodia, and in the Philippines where some street food vendors actually serve it raw.
2. Rocky Mountain Oysters
Oysters? In the mountains? Doesn’t sound right does it. That’s because Rocky Mountain Oysters aren’t actually oysters. They’re deep-fried bull testicles, a favourite among cowboys and often served at rodeo events in the USA. You’re going to need a lot of beer to wash the taste of that out of your mouth.
This fruit is common throughout South East Asia – it’s very divisive: some people, mostly the locals, find it delicious, but others think it smells like raw sewage. It’s odour is in fact so powerful that in some places you’re banned from taking it on public transport or into hotels. It’s said to have amazing health benefits, but experts advise that eating it while drinking beer is a seriously bad idea, as it can lead to severe bloating and discomfort. You have been warned…
A former British civil servant called Arthur Boyt made a habit of pulling his car over every time he saw a dead animal on the road, and cooking it for his dinner when he got home. In 50 years of doing so, he claims he never got ill once, even when the meat was green with age. He wrote a book about his experiences, including recipes, and told the story of how he once even cooked an unfortunate labrador, found without a collar, and how it tasted quite similar to lamb.
Probably the most famous restaurant in Kenya, possibly even one of Africa’s best-known eating establishments, the Carnivore Restaurant offers what’s known as a “Beast of a Feast”. Enter past the smoking barbecue pits that slowly cook giant skewers of meat, and your waiter will bring you a menu that features ostrich, giraffe and even crocodile, amongst more standard fare. Definitely a meal you won’t forget in a hurry!
6. Sheep Brains
Not so long ago, eating sheep brains was relatively common in the UK, as it was cheap and brought some nutritional benefit. After the panic over Mad Cow Disease though it has vanished from diets. But you can still eat the brains of sheep, as well as pigs, cows, horses, goats and chickens, in countries such as Turkey, China, India and Bangladesh. It’s considered quite a delicacy in some parts.
Fugu, Japanese for pufferfish, is quite well-known, because of its deadly reputation. Parts of the fish, particularly the liver, are toxic, so great care is needed during preparation. Every year dozens of people are hospitalised, and several die, after making an error. One of its most famous victims of course was Homer Simpson, who spent an entire night once thinking he’d been poisoned.
8. Fried Tarantulas
Most people would, at the first mention of a tarantula on the table, flee a restaurant in an act of self-preservation. as a bite from one of these furry eight-legged critters can cause severe health problems. That’s not the case in Cambodia however, where they are often fried, with a chili and lime dressing. Most creepy of all, when served on the plate, there they are, stood crouched on on all eight legs, as if about to pounce. Yek..
This Korean delicacy is another Asian food that present considerable danger to anyone that eats it, not from poison though, but from choking. Sannakji is live octopus. That’s Live octopus. They chop it up, and while the tentacles are still moving, you scarf it down.
10. Tong Zi Dan
We have a winner. The weirdest food, certainly that I can think of, is Tong Zi Dan, a Chinese delicacy usually found only in the province of Dongyang, in the east of the country. These are boiled chicken eggs. What’s strange about that? It’s what they’re boiled in. Not water, but the urine of prepubescent virgin boys. Street vendors pay the boys to take a whizz in a bucket, then boil the eggs all day in the liquid, before serving. And they don’t even come with soldiers.