What may be rare or luxurious and pleasing to eat for some may be weird to others. Countries all over the world are known for their unique delicacies. These are feasted on by locals and tourists who attempt to experience the culture of wherever they visit. Some of the foods are referred to as “extreme dining” to many outsiders who may think that the ingredients used and the method of preparation are unorthodox. Here are five weird delicacies that you are sure to find in many parts of the world.
Balut is a delicacy usually enjoyed by people in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. To put it bluntly, balut is a fertilized duck egg. A fertilized egg about seventeen to twenty-one days that has not hatched with a fetus is boiled. The egg is then cracked, the broth is sipped, the shell is removed completely and the yolk and fetus is eaten. The bones of the embryo are soft enough to be chewed and swallowed whole. It is usually served with salt, lemon juice, black pepper and coriander or some prefer having it with vinegar with chilies. It is a good source of protein and calcium.
Haggis is quite popular in Scotland. It is a savory pudding made from sheep’s pluck which is the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep. This is minced with onion, oatmeal, spices, suet, salt and stock. Traditionally, it is placed in the sheep’s stomach before boiling. Today, there are artificial casings that can be used. Beef can also be used to make haggis. While this may sound unpleasant it is actually considered a culinary masterpiece. Haggis was banned in the United States in 1971 as the food standard agency prohibits sheep lungs.
Hearing and thinking of locusts often sends chills down the spines of many people. Locusts have been feared throughout history as they have been associated with plagues which devastated societies, devouring crops and causing severe damage to agriculture. Well, in Israel locusts are a delicacy. They help to eradicate these pests while consuming them. The locusts are deep fried and covered with chocolate. Many refer to this as a biblical plague to modern day protein. Locusts are kosher, that is, their preparation and sale do meet strict Jewish dietary laws.
4. Casu Marzu
On the Italian island of Sardinia, casu marzu which is a maggot-infested sheep milk cheese is revered. In 2009, this cheese was proclaimed by the Guinness World Record as the world’s most dangerous cheese. While it is illegal, it is still consumed. Pecorino cheese is left exposed so that cheese flies can lay eggs in its cracks. The eggs hatch and the larvae get into the cheese, break down the protein and form the product into a soft creamy cheese. The top of the cheese is removed and the creamy delicacy is scooped out and consumed.
Sannakji is a raw dish made from nakji which is a small octopus species served in Korea. The octopuses are cut into small pieces, drizzled with sesame oil and served immediately. The tentacles move and squirm on the plate as a result of nerve activity. The first challenge with eating this is to get the tentacles off the chopsticks. In the mouth, the octopus tries to suction to the teeth, the tongue and the roof of the mouth. It must be thoroughly chewed to ensure that the suction cups do not get stuck in the throat for obvious reasons. The locals call it a “party in your mouth.”
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