If a bacon sarnie just isn't cutting it and you fancy something more exotic, how about sinking your teeth into some raw whale blubber? If that doesn't quite float your boat, don't worry, there's always a crispy tarantula. If you're hungry now, you won't be by the end of this article. From chicken feet to tuna eyeballs: here are the 10 weirdest dishes to satisfy the most daring of palates.
Here are 10 of the weirdest dishes to try on your travels :-
1) Crispy tarantula.
Origin : Cambodia
If the eight-legged creatures are your worst nightmare, then it's debatable whether this option is good for you. In Cambodia, don't miss the opportunity to munch on the local delicacy of a deep-fried tarantula. Apparently the taste is actually quite bearable – think of a cross between chicken and cod (just with eight hairy legs attached).
2) Sheep eyeball juice.
If you ever needed an alcohol deterrent, this is it. In Mongolia, the traditional hangover cure is a glass full of tomato juice, vinegar and sheep eyeballs. It's loaded with vitamins and exceptionally nutritious for you, however perhaps the main headache "cure"that will abandon you, will ultimately lead to you to feel more wiped out than when you began.
3) Maggot-infected cheese.
If you like ripe Stiltonor a cheeky wedge of Gorgonzola, then you might just enjoy this one. Casu Marza is a decomposed soft sheep milk cheese that is home to the cheese fly larvae. When you order the dish, you'll be able to see the insects moving, but be careful not to disturb them too much when you nudge the plate as they can launch themselves 15 centimetres in the air if aggravated (before being eaten of course).
4) Century egg.
You'll need a strong stomach to handle this one, hundred (or even a thousand) year-old eggs which are black inside and are usually preserved for several months in a mixture of clay, ash and lime. They have a strong stench of ammonia and sulphur, so if you're after a pungent, preserved delicacy, this is the one for you.
Known as fugu in Japan, the pufferfish is so dangerous that it can kill you. Nearly all pufferfish contain a poison known as tetrodotoxin, which can kill thirty people in one hit and there's no known antidote. People still eat puffer fishthough and put their lives in the hands of specially trained chefs who are taught how to remove the poison. Let's hope your chef has a steady hand.
6) Seahorses, starfish and scorpions on a stick.
You need to be very brave to get your jaw around this one. In China, they serve all sorts of things on a stick including sea horses and starfish. Be careful with the scorpions though as you'll notice they're so fresh that some of them are still moving.
7) Developing duck foetus (balut).
This one takes a boiled egg a step too far. Also known as 'the egg with the legs', there will be nowhere to dip your soldiers here. The egg contains an 18 day-old fertilised bird that still has its feathers, beak and bones - Crunchy!
8) Dried lizard.
Origin : Hong Kong
These are crunchy, crispy, but you won't get much flavour out of them. Dried lizards are a popular street-side snack and are often used in soup too. Sometimes they are even infused in alcohol and are believed to have medicinal properties such as being an energy booster, cold cure and even a weight loss aid.
9) Live octopus.
Origin : South Korea
Sannakji is a dish that will slither down your throat – literally. In South Korea, the food is so fresh, they serve octopus live on a plate with sesame seeds and sesame oil. Just be careful because the active suction cups can grip on to the roof of your mouth or throat and become a choking hazard. Probably best to stick to the calamari.
10) Giant tuna eyeball.
Origin : Japan
Like sushi? Well how about an eyeball? Pop to a local Japanese supermarket and you may just find a large tuna eyeball looking back up at you. It's very fatty and surrounded by severed eye muscles, so definitely not for the squeamish.
Vexed with someone? Now you know how to take your revenge! Share and ruin the victim's meal tonight. Sincerely apologies for doing the same!
About the Author :-
Anurag Sengupta is a budding chef from IHM, Pusa, New Delhi. A travel food, foodie, and a very passionate social critic, Anurag is one of our most talented and oldest members. He leads the Travel and Food department of ExPRESS MAGAZINE. Also he apologises for ruining your dinner tonight. Have a happy meal!