What’s weird to one person might be a delicacy to another. Like anything else in life, our food preferences are shaped by the culture we grew up in. In some countries, bugs and snails and other creepy crawlies are considered to be delicacies, while just the idea of eating something like that in the west will send a shiver down most people’s spines. But to most people’s surprise they’re actually really good. Here are five foods that are really delicious in their own strange way.
Back in the 1980s, escargot was a huge industry that racked up $300 million at the height of its popularity. Its demand has since dwindled a bit but not fully, as there are still people who crave it. Escargot used to be slathered in a butter and garlic sauce and was occasionally served with a piece of bread. Apparently, the texture is kind of chewy, a little hard, but still quite tasty. Word advice: not all species of snail are edible. So if you want to whip up some escargot yourself, then get helix pomatia or apple snails.
2. Bone Marrow
Looks like dogs have the right idea when they’re munching down on bones. It must be that tasty bone marrow they’re after. Chefs from all over the world will scoop out the center of beef bones for that rich, yellow marrow, season it, roast it, then serve it with bread or alone. Sounds weird but bone marrow is actually really healthy due to the high levels of protein, collagen and vitamin B12. The only downside is that it’s quite pricey. You’re better off purchasing some bones at the butcher and following a YouTube recipe.
3. Fried Grasshoppers (Chapulines)
Many people turn up their nose at the thought of eating bugs and insects but will happily indulge in some shrimp, crab and lobster with no worries. They’re basically underwater bugs so grasshoppers shouldn’t be that big a deal. Though in Mexico, fried grasshoppers are all the rage where they are often served with chili and lime or even made into tacos or into an Oaxacan-style “pizza” known as a tlayuda. Fried grasshoppers are also a great source of protein and don’t negatively impact the environment like the meat industry.
4. Pickled Herring
It isn’t only cucumbers that receive the pickled treatment. Just about anything can be pickled – including herring. This fish is a great source of fatty acids, which are known to improve the texture of one’s skin. One of the most common brands of pickled herring is by Vita and it comes in a large jar that’s been filled with sour cream, onions and chunks of fish. At first glance, it appears quite off-putting but actually has a delicious, tangy taste and is often paired with water crackers.
5. Kishke (Stuffed Derma)
Even though it’s known as stuffed derma or skin, kishke (which translates as guts) is technically stuffed cow or sheep intestines, that’s like a sort of sausage. It is one of the most popular meals in Jewish culture and can be found in practically any Jewish deli. As mentioned earlier, kishke is stuffed animal intestines that are encased with a filling made of flour, onion, matzo meal, various spices, schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) or chicken or goose – basically whatever is available at the moment.
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