10 Strangest Foods Eaten Around the World
What do fried brains, puffin hearts, and drunken shrimp have in common? They are all considered delicacies somewhere in the world. While most people probably do not consider the contents of their cookbooks too strange, to a foreigner your lunch could be the equivalent of a nightmare. Here are 10 of the strangest foods from around the world:
1. Puffin Heart
The puffin is a species of Auk that inhabits the northern hemisphere. Its heart is considered a delicacy in Iceland.
Nothing more than a fertilized duck embryo, it is boiled alive and the rest is up to you. Eaten in South East Asia, the Filipino word balut means “wrapped.”
It’s been banned in several countries, including Australia and Germany. First, a customer picks out the animal they would like to eat from a tank. The chef will then fillet it without killing it. Then, it’s served on a plate with its sliced flesh on top for decoration and its heart still beating.
4. Yin-Yang Fish
Also known as “dead and alive” fish, it originated in Taiwan but is now illegal to prepare. It has recently become popular in China after chefs figured out how to keep the fish alive as it is deep fried.
Fugu is Japanese for “pufferfish” and in case you didn’t know, they are poisonous. Japanese law strictly controls their preparation in restaurants and only highly trained chefs are allowed to handle them.
To make this Scottish meal, all you need is a sheep. First, take out the heart, liver, and lungs. Then boil them in the stomach for about three hours. Don’t forget the salt.
Considered a delicacy in Cambodia, it is said that fried tarantula first became popular during the food shortages under the Khmer Rouge regime. Afterwards though, the fried tarantulas stuck around and Cambodians today eat them like candy.
Very much like Sannakji, this time the octopus is eaten whole. The suckers on the octopus are known to stick to the tongue and mouth presenting a choking hazard. There are several deaths reported every year as a result.
The Farsi name of this dish literally translates to “head and hoof,” and for good reason, as these are the central ingredients used to prepare it. While the main ingredient is cow feet, the head and stomach also contribute.
10. Dried Lizards
In some Asian cultures, these are used for soup. Sometimes they are infused with alcohol to extract medicinal properties. The process, however, supposedly takes years.