Admittedly, I am not a food connoisseur. I do enjoy trying cultural and ethnic dishes when I travel but food is not the reason I travel. I have a fascination with culture, people, history, and museums. Quite honestly, I have an incredibly difficult time spending a lot of money on food, both home and abroad, no matter how good it is.
So why do I have a post on food? For many people, food is one of the main experiences of traveling. So while I am no expert, here is a great post from Switched on Media about some bizarre foods from around the world.
Weird and bizarre foods from around the world
Are you hungry? Perhaps it’s lunchtime when you’re reading this. Depending on where you are in the world, you might be eating very different things for your midday meal. In China, you could be settling down to a live skinned frog. Or if you’re in Laos, you might be craving some blood bouillon.
Trying new and interesting foods while overseas is one of the most exciting parts of the travel experience. It could be relatively safe cuisine, such as French cheese when in Paris, or a kangaroo burger or vegemite toast in Australia. But it can also be more extreme. If you’re feeling adventurous, one of the best ways to get to know and understand a different culture is through its unique food.
Get your iron stomach prepared, and make sure you’re hungry! Here are a few of the most weird and strange food choices for you to sample on your travels.
1. Balut – Bird Fetus (Philippines). Balut is essentially a half-hatched chicken egg, meaning that it has been fertilized for 15-16 days. To eat it, just open it up and plop the incomplete chicken fetus into your mouth. You’ll be able to feel the feet, eyeballs, blood vessels and feathers through the skin of the chick. This one’s not for the faint-hearted! It’s a favored Filipino snack.
2. Beating snake heart (Vietnam). Only the bravest of the brave attempt this dish. First of all, you choose your snake. Then, the handler cuts the snake’s neck for the blood, empties the bile, and then takes out the still-beating heart. Usually, the snake’s blood and bile is mixed with rice wine and served in shot glasses, as an aperitif before the beating heart is taken in one gulp. Rumor has it that it still-beating heart can be felt as it goes down your windpipe!
3. Monkey brains (Indonesia) – Most monkey body parts are considered a delicacy in Indonesia. Whether this is their brains, or deep-fried monkey toes, you’ll look at these furry friends with new eyes when in Indonesia!
4. Bat skewers (Burma). If you’re hungry on the streets of Burma, then you might like to try a bat skewer. The bats are skewered then roasted over a flame. Delicious and nutritious!
5. Haggis (Scotland). This traditional Scottish dish is a kind of savory sausage that is cooked in the casing of a sheep’s intestine. The heart, liver and lungs of a sheep, mixed up with onion, oatmeal and other spices and stock simmers in the sheep’s stomach for up to three hours. Then it’s ready to go!
6. Fried Crickets and Tarantulas (Cambodia) – in most Asian countries, fried bugs are a common street side snack. On the pavements of Cambodia, you’ll be able to pick up fried crickets and tarantulas to sate your appetite! (Although you may need something to wash them down with).
Everyone’s definition of ‘weird’ is different. For the Scottish, Haggis is a beloved traditional meal. In Australia, however, the Scottish may find it bizarre to step off flights to Brisbane in Australia and eat kangaroo meat or beetroot on their burgers.
It’s all part of the experience! What are the most bizarre foods you’ve tried in a foreign country?
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