- 16 weird foods of the world
- 1. Shirako, Japan
- 2. Tuna eyeballs, Japan
- 3. Balut, the Philippines
- 4. Crispy tarantulas, Cambodia
- 5. White ant eggs soup, Laos
- 6. Jellied moose nose, Canada
- 7. Boshintang, Korea
- 8. Huitlacoche, Mexico
- 9. Airag, Mongolia
- 10. Casu marzu, Italy
- 11. Muktuk, Greenland
- 12. Hakarl, Iceland
- 13. Century egg, China
- 14. Salo, Ukraine
- 15. Stargazey Pie, England
- 16. Locusts, Israel
- 15 of the Weirdest Foods in South America You Have to Try
- This Will Give You The Creeps: 12 Most Weird Foods People Actually Eat
16 weird foods of the world
Reckon you’ve got a strong stomach? You might reconsider once you’ve seen these… From cheese maggots to rotten eggs, these are some of the world’s weird foods.
1. Shirako, Japan
As euphemisms go, this one’s a corker: shirako in Japanese means “white children” but refers to the sperm sacs of either cod, angler fish or puffer fish. Looking like white blobs of goo or miniature brains, they are said to have a sweet custardy taste.
2. Tuna eyeballs, Japan
It’s waste not want not when it comes to tuna in Japan; even the eyes are plucked out and served up cheap in supermarkets. To cook, simply boil or steam, and season with garlic or soy sauce. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it tastes a little like squid.
3. Balut, the Philippines
This fertilised duck egg, with its partly developed embryo inside, is boiled alive and then eaten from the shell with salt, chilli and vinegar. You’re supposed to tap a hole in the top of the shell, sup the savoury liquid and then crunch down the rest of what’s inside – feathers, bones and all. Bleurgh.
4. Crispy tarantulas, Cambodia
Few people would look at a tarantula and think “lunch”, so it’s perhaps no surprise that these spiders were first eaten by Cambodians starving under the Khmer Rouge regime. Bizarrely, they became popular and are now served as a deep-fried snack throughout the country. Apparently they taste a bit like crab.
5. White ant eggs soup, Laos
One of the world’s more unusual soups, Gaeng Kai Mot Daeng combines a mixture of ant eggs and partial embryos from the white ant, plus a few baby ants to add sourness. If your stomach can handle it, the flavour is supposedly quite tasty: sharp and delicate, and a little like shrimp.
6. Jellied moose nose, Canada
Nose isn’t exactly a choice cut, but that hasn’t stopped some adventurous Canadians from experimenting with nasal gastronomy by boiling them up with onions and spices, removing the hair, boiling again, then slicing and covering with a broth that sets into a jelly. It certainly looks as bad as it sounds.
© Ivan Azimov 007/
7. Boshintang, Korea
This supposedly health-giving Korean soup is made with spring onions, dandelions, a host of spices and one infamous ingredient: dog meat. Though you will struggle to find it on menus today, it’s still popular with the older generation and generally agreed to taste better than it smells.
8. Huitlacoche, Mexico
Corn smut is a fungus that turns normal corn kernels into tumour-like growths covered in blue-black spores. To most people that’s a diseased corncob that needs to be thrown out; to the Mexicans, it’s a culinary speciality. They call it huitlacoche (“sleeping excrement”) and enjoy the woody, earthy flavour of the fungus.
9. Airag, Mongolia
Glass of fermented horse milk, anyone? In Mongolia, this isn’t an unusual offer at all. They make a kind of beer called airag by taking a mare’s milk and letting it ferment into a fizzy, sour and slightly alcoholic liquid. It’s traditionally served chilled in a bowl-shaped cup; dregs are supposed to be poured back into the main container.
10. Casu marzu, Italy
Known as “rotten cheese”, Sardinia’s casu marzu is made from Pecorino that has gone bad – really bad. The larvae of cheese flies (piophila casei) are added to the Pecorino, hatching inside, burrowing around and digesting the fats. The result is a weeping, tongue-burning delicacy that you can eat with or without the maggots.
Cube of “Casu marzu” on a sheet of “Pane carasau”, a thin crisp sardinian bread © Paolo Certo/
11. Muktuk, Greenland
A traditional Inuit meal of frozen whale skin and blubber, muktuk is normally served either raw or pickled. It looks a little bit like licorice allsorts and has several layers: the skin (which apparently tastes like hazelnuts), the fat (chewy) and the protective layer in between (even more chewy). Don’t eat if wearing dentures.
12. Hakarl, Iceland
How anyone conceived of this dish is a mystery. To prepare: first gut and behead a Greenland shark, place in a shallow grave and cover with sand and stones. Leave for two to three months, then cut into strips and dry for several more months before serving: first-time tasters are advised to hold their nose and try not to gag.
© IAM photography/
13. Century egg, China
If you discovered a rotten egg, would you eat it? Someone in ancient China did, lived to tell the tale and now it’s an established delicacy. The eggs (also known as hundred-year eggs or pidan) are covered in clay, ash and salt for months, by which time the yolk is dark green and stinks of sulphur. Mmmm!
© YANGYANG FANG/
14. Salo, Ukraine
Many advocate keeping the fat on meat, but the Ukrainians decided to go one step further and just eat the fat on its own. Usually it’s made into slabs, smoked and left in a cool cellar for a year before being eaten sliced thinly with rye bread. Ukrainians love it so much they even have a festival of lard to celebrate it.
15. Stargazey Pie, England
A pie with fish that stare at the sky: Stargazey originates from the Cornish village of Mousehole in England, and is served on Tom Bawcock’s Eve (23rd December). According to legend, this heroic sixteenth-century sailor rowed out one December evening in high storms and returned with a catch big enough to feed the starving residents.
16. Locusts, Israel
Israel has of late been suffering from a plague of locusts, but fortunately this is the only insect to be considered Kosher, so Israelis have been eradicating the pests in a unique way: by eating them. Deep-fried and chocolate-covered locusts are apparently going down a storm (no pun intended).
© Louis Ortiz/
Top image: Century egg, China © YANGYANG FANG/
15 of the Weirdest Foods in South America You Have to Try
Written by: Vicky Philpott
Backpacking is all about new experiences. Some of those can be amazing and others a little weird but you’re usually glad you tried them. It’s the same when it comes to food.
Sure, you’ll find some tasty ‘normal’ foods to try in South America, but the fun comes when you start trying an appetiser or two a few degrees outside of your comfort zone.
Here are the unique and bizarre dishes you have to try on a South American trip, whether you actually want to or not. Consider it a story to tell the grandkids when they won’t eat their fish fingers.
It’s important to start the day with a good breakfast. Back home that might mean a hearty helping of porridge or a slice of toast, but in Bogota it’s changua.
This brekkie fave is a big bowl of all the usual breakfast items you’re used to… but mixed together. That’s the milk, eggs and, a stale piece of bread. Why feed it to the birds when you can have the hard slice yourself?
Goat stomach (Buchada)
This Brazilian dish is a staple in the northern state of Ceara. Like a creepier cousin of haggis, the goat stomach is stuffed with a few more baby goat organs then mixed with blood before it’s cooked. Kind of like that bird in a bird in a bird thing everyone was talking about for Christmas a few years ago, but a little billy goat instead.
If you had one as a pet you may want to skip ahead. In Peru, they rear the cuy guinea pig purely to be eaten. Once they’re big enough, guinea pigs are served whole, head and all, on a plate accompanied with a side of veg.
Tacos with a twist. In Oaxaca you mix up your meats with guacamole and add a dash of salsa, except that instead of chicken or pork, Oaxacans stuff the shells with grasshoppers.
Sticking with the twisted taco theme, some Mexicans like to add a little fungus to their shells. You could be excused for thinking that fungus was only something found on feet, but in Mexico you’ll see it on corn. The black and rotting cobs are then served up as Mexican delicacies and used as a taco filler.
Nothing beats a good platter of brie, camembert and stilton, and in Nicaragua they feel the same way. The only difference is, if you’re served up this particular platter in the Central American country expect to see a maggot or two making their way through the middle. Cheese worms are a delicacy here.
Coracao de Frango
You won’t find this one on the menu at Nando’s: chicken hearts. Don’t be surprised if you’re offered up a fistful of seasoned chicken hearts for a casual snack in Brazil – could be time to learn the Portuguese for ‘no thanks’.
Anticuchos de Corazon
Why only stick to chicken hearts when there are cow hearts too? In Peru they serve these skewered along with a boiled potato and hot sauce. Saturday night kebab – Peruvian style
Sopa de Mondongo
Tomato soup, chicken soup, boring – how about tripe soup? This Colombian dish is popular in Bogota where beef tripe is mixed with sausage and veg and served as the ultimate belly warmer.
This Uruguayan treat sounds much like a cake grandma would make. It’s got sugar, raisins and a bit of nutmeg, but instead of making a fruit loaf, in Uruguay they then add blood to the mix. This makes a sweet sausage that’s apparently the ideal barbecue dessert.
Cazuela de llama
Just a regular wholesome stew, this Argentinian dish swaps out more traditional meats for llama. If you’re watching the waistline as you travel this is actually a good option – llama is a whole lot leaner than other meats.
Not just ants, big booty ants. Minus the heads, wings and pincers, hormigas culona ants are frequently served as a crunchy, salty snack in Colombia.
When it comes to snails the French aren’t the only ones who enjoy cooking the slimy creatures. In Chile, snails are in season during the summer and are usually found caked in mayo and served in a salad.
Ubre asada is a classic Chilean dish, literally meaning ‘chargrilled udder’. Minus the milk the cow’s udder has a spongy texture and a subtle flavour said to really hit the spot.
Wash all these scrummy dishes down with a South American beer, aka corn and saliva. This particular beer is made by men who chew up a load of corn and then spit it out. The soggy kernels are then left to ferment before they’re used to brew up a glass of the good stuff.
This Will Give You The Creeps: 12 Most Weird Foods People Actually Eat
Some people are fearless when it comes to what they’ll put into their mouth, but then again, food is all about being adventurous, right? How far would you go to explore? Here’s a list of the most intriguing eats from every corner of the globe. Some of them might make you wriggle in your seat – you’ve been warned.
1. Fancy a Fried Spider? We’ll Pass!
Tarantula belongs to the family of spiders. Fried tarantula is a regional delicacy in Cambodia. It is believed that the scarcity of food in the villages of Cambodia led to consumption of spiders.
Fried spiders are popularly eaten in Cambodia. Photo Credit: Imgur.com
2. Blood Soup
Chicken, duck or pig blood is popularly consumed in places like Shanghai, Poland, Philippines, Korea, Singapore etc. The famous Korean blood soup is made with ox blood and is often used as a hangover cure. Now, that’s what we call a bloody good meal!
Ox blood soup is a Korean delicacy. Photo Credit: Pinterest
3. Duck EmbryoBalut is a duck embryo which is still developing. It is boiled alive and eaten in the shell. It is a popular street food in the Philippines.
4. Century Eggs
The hint lies in the name. This Chinese delicacy is made by preserving duck, chicken or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls for several weeks and sometimes even months – not for centuries as the name implies. The mixture turns the egg yolk into a dark green colour substance and imparts a strong smell. According to folklore, it derives its name from the fact that it has existed for centuries and was perhaps discovered during the Ming Dynasty in China.
(Also read: 5 Most Shocking Egg Delicacies)
5. Fruit Bat Soup
No, this is not a Halloween joke. Considered as one of the most eerie mammals, bats are popularly consumed in various Asian and Pacific Rim countries. The fruit bat soup is commonly eaten in Palau. Fruit bats are considered to be a delicacy and are known to have a flavour similar to that of chicken.
6. Ox Tongue
Ox tongue is very high in fat and is eaten across the world. Interestingly, roast tongue is also a Goan delicacy.
(Also read: 8 Bizarre Foods Indians Eat)
7. Live Octopus
Sannakji is a raw Korean dish that consists of a live octopus, cut into small pieces and served immediately. The bite-size pieces are usually still writhing on the plate while the person consumes them.
8. Scorpion Lollipops
These treats are definitely not for the faint-hearted. With a variety of flavours to choose from, whole scorpions are skillfully encased in these candies. Dangerously sweet! These are believed to have been invented by Larry Peterman, founder of Hotlix Candy, back in the 1990s and today they offer a variety of insect-filled treats. Interestingly, the scorpions are baked before being set in translucent, flavoured syrup.
(Also read: 10 Totally Bizarre Restaurants in the World)
9. Sheep’s Head
Smalahove is a Western Norwegian dish made from a sheep’s head. It is traditionally eaten before Christmas. The entire head is boiled or steamed for a couple of hours and then served with a few sides.
10. Snake Wine
An alcoholic beverage produced by infusing whole snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol. It can be found in China, Vietnam and throughout Southeast Asia.
11. Tuna Eye Balls
Eaten in China and Japan are the eye balls of the tuna fish. To enjoy its delicate flavour, they are simply boiled and seasoned.
12. Crocodile Paws
CommentsA favourite in Hong Kong, Singapore and China, this dish looks huge on that plate with the crocodile paw, claws and skin all together. It tastes somewhat like chicken leaving a soft and gelatinous feel on your palate.
How many of these would you dare to try?