Weirdest Dishes Around the World
The best part of travelling around the world is that you get to taste the local authentic food that you won’t find in your home country. Not only is this a delicious way to learn about the culture of that place but it also inspires you to try making it yourself, given that you have a little chef living in you. However, some dishes shows you the weirder side of a place and are the exact opposite of appetising. While you may not be willing to try these strange dishes out, it’s still fun to find and learn more about them.
The weird side of food touring
I’m a self-proclaimed foodie who likes to go on food tours to different countries. I’m always on the lookout for new food tour opportunities available through my UK Travel Agents because it’s a rather different way of travelling. On my many tours, I’ve discovered a number of weird dishes which will raise eyebrows for sure. From dishes made from bugs to downright rotten food considered a delicacy, here are the weirdest dishes from around the world:
Tuna eyeballs, Japan
Seafood is an important part of Japanese cuisine. While I’m okay with sushi and other delicious fish dishes, I’d rather not eat fish eyeballs. The Japanese believe that nothing should be wasted when it comes to Tuna. Because of this, Tuna eyes are plucked out and are available at local supermarkets. These dead staring orbs are then cooked, simply boiled or steamed and then seasoned with garlic and soy sauce. It’s said they kind of taste like squid although I’m not going to prove that statement right.
Balut, the Philippines
A rather gross dish as it consists of a fertilised duck egg… with the partly developed embryo inside. It is eaten along with the shell with salt, chilli and vinegar. Basically, you tap a hole on top to suck out any juices and then take a bite, shell, feathers and bones all included. If you’re curious just make sure to search it up on an empty stomach.
Crispy tarantulas, Cambodia
The much-feared Tarantula spider is considered scary, creepy and makes grown men run away. But I bet you never thought of it as “lunch”. This dish came in existence when the Khmer Rouge regime took over Cambodia. Their reign was difficult for the people and to fight starvation, this dish was invented because spiders were all they could find. However, they gained popularity and are served as deep-fried snacks now. Some say it tastes like crab.
White ant eggs soup, Laos
Yes, you read that right. This is by far the strangest soups found in the world. Locally known as Gaeng Kai Mot Daeng, this soup combines ant eggs and partial embryos of white ants. A few baby ants are also added to add sourness to the dish. If you’re still up to try it then let me tell you that it’s said that it tastes quite nice. Sharp, delicate, and a little like shrimp soup.
Jellied moose nose, Canada
While the nose isn’t the first edible part you may think of, some Canadians decided to experiment with it. This nasal gastronomical masterpiece is made by boiling it with onions and spices. Then all the hairs are removed and it’s cleaned. After that, it’s boiled again the sliced up. Then a thick broth is poured over it that sets into jelly and covers it. It honestly looks so bad that it’s a wonder that it’s an acceptable dish.
This strange dish sounds normal but the strange part is that it uses dog meat. Man’s best friend becomes man’s meal in this now rarely found the dish. This Korean soup is made using soup is made with spring onions, dandelions, a host of spices along with dog meat. It may be difficult to find today but was quite common at some point and popular with the older generation.
The name translates to “sleeping excrement” and it’s basically a gross fungus. Corn smut is a type of fungi that turns normal corn kernels into disfigured tumour-like growth. It’s covered with a weird white bluish-black layer making it seem like alien food. While most people would burn it in the incinerator, in Mexico, it’s a culinary delicacy. It’s said to have a very woody, earthy flavour but seriously why would anyone put some so rotten looking in their mouths?
Casu marzu, Italy
Also known as “rotten cheese”, it’s found in Sardinia. Made from Pecorino cheese that has gone bad, as in really, really bad. Larvae of cheese flies, also known as piophila casei, is added to the cheese where they hatch and live burrowed inside, consuming all the fats. This makes the cheese very moist and tongue-burning. While this sounds simply gross, it’s considered quite an expensive delicacy that one can eat with or without the squirming maggots.
Century egg, China
Basically a super rotten egg. This dish came to be when someone decided to eat a rotten egg and lived to tell the tale. These eggs are also known as pidan and are made by being covered in clay, ash and salt for months. By the time the process is complete, the yolk is dark green and has a sharp sulphur-like stink. Just hold your breath and gulp it down huh?