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Top 10 Weirdest Foods From Around the World

1. Balut from Philippines

Image Credit: Marshall Astor

Top on our list is the famous street food that originated in the Philippines, Balut (BAH-loot ), also spelled as Balot. Balut is a fertilized duck egg that is commonly sold in the Philippines. Balut was introduced to the country by the Chinese around 1885, and since then, it has been a part of the Filipino culture; locals would say that your trip to the Philippines will be complete if you have tried eating this exotic street food Balut. The length of its incubation usually ranges from 14 to 21 days, depending on its local preferences before the egg is boiled for 30 minutes. For an avid Balut eater, they say the younger the egg, the better because it is more tender than the three-week-old egg.

It may look like an ordinary egg, but when you cracked it open, you can see that this is not just a regular egg. You can actually see inside a semi-developed embryo. To season the egg, some might add salt, chili, or vinegar mixture.

Balut is believed to be an aphrodisiac that may be the reason why this popular food in the Philippines is mostly sold during night time. Although it is not scientifically proven, the sure thing is Balut is a good source of protein and calcium, according to the nutritionist. It may be a cheap source of protein and calcium, but not everyone has a stronger stomach. Some might try while closing their eyes if they cannot withstand seeing the unborn duckling.

Have you tried this famous street food in the Philippines? If not, then you have all the chance to do so since it is already sold in some countries or just include it in your bucket list if you plan to visit the Philippines.

Here are Interesting Facts about Philippines.

2. Fried Tarantula from Cambodia

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Afraid of spiders? Then come and visit Cambodia, particularly in the town of Skuon. It is a place known for selling fried spiders. They have made unappetizing species such as the spider into a gnarled and crispy husk delicacy. It has been a tradition way back the Khmer Rouge rule, where they say that due to the desperation of food shortage, locals started to eat fried spiders.

These spiders belong to the species of Tarantula called “a-ping” in Khmer and were also named as Thai Zebra Tarantula by one travel book. These species were labelled as edible spiders for more than a hundred years and are about the size of a human palm. The spider is gently boiled in salted water before frying. The taste has been described like eating between a chicken and cod. The food is recognized for its contrasting textures and delicate flavour. The legs and the head contain crab-like meat inside, and its abdomen, however, contains brown paste textures containing its organ or possibly its eggs inside.

It may be a recent phenomenon that started perhaps in the late 1990s in Cambodia. This dish might be coming under a serious threat. Cambodia is under the risk of high deforestation since 1990, and we all know that spiders live exclusively on the forest floor. The destruction of the forests caused the existence of these spiders to plummet. So, if any one of you still wants to taste this exotic food, come and visit Cambodia before it’s too late.

Here are Interesting Facts about Cambodia.

3. Haggis from Scotland

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Another unusual food on our list is the HAGGIS, the national dish of Scotland. This dish is a savory pudding composed of Sheep’s pluck- the heart, liver, and lungs - minced with onions, spices, and oatmeal. This is traditionally cooked encased in the animal stomach, or now often it is done in an artificial casing. It may not appeal to some, but Haggis has an excellent texture and delicious flavor.

Many countries have produced similar dishes like Haggis, but the standardized recipes are typically from Scottish. Food writer Allan Davidson suggests that Haggis was “born of necessity, as a way to utilize the least expensive cuts of meat and the innards as well.”

As exciting as it may sound, would you believe that this dish was used in a sport called haggis hurling? This sport involves throwing a haggis as far as possible. Lorne Coltart achieved the world record for hurling as far as 217 ft (66 m) last June 11, 2011. Will you try eating this unusual dish or just want to try your luck at haggis hurling?

Here are Interesting Facts about Scotland.

4. Hákarl from Iceland

Image Credit: Chris 73

Joining in our list is a national food from Iceland, Hakarl. It is a dish that uses Greenland shark meat that was buried, rotten, and fermented before consumption. Since Greenland shark is known to be poisonous while fresh, they have to undergo fermentation process and hung to dry for four to five months. It has a robust ammonia-rich smell like that of some cleaning products and a fishy taste.

Some would say that Hakarl is not for people who have faint of hearts. The smell alone can make people gag. It is advised to all first-time eaters to pinch their nose during their first bite since the scent is much stronger than it tastes. It is often eaten with brennivín, Iceland’s signature alcoholic drink.

Hakarl comes into two varieties: Soft and white skyrhákarl from the body has a cheesy texture, and the reddish meat glerhákarl from the belly is chewier. The traditional method of preparing Hakarl is possible to witness when you visit Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum.

If you have the guts to try this peculiar food, then might as well give it a shot and challenge your friends. The first one to spat it out loses the game.

Here are Interesting Facts about Iceland.

5. Fugu from Japan

Image Credit: Suguri F

Any fish lover? Then try Fugu from Japan. But wait, it may be as simple as it sounds, this dish can be lethal if not cautiously prepared. Fugu or Pufferfish in modern Chinese must be carefully prepared to remove toxic parts and to avoid contaminating the meat.

In Japan, the fugu preparation is strictly controlled. Only chefs have trained for more than three years under vigorous training can prepare the meal. Incidents of accidental death were recorded due to the domestic preparation of the meal. Fugu is served as sashimi or chirinabe. They say that the liver part is the tastiest, but since it is the most poisonous part, serving this organ was banned in Japan in 1984.

Since then, Fugu has become a famous dish in Japan and remarkably the notorious one. Not just in Japan but also its neighboring countries such as China and other parts of SouthEast Asia.

Are you still interested in eating this fish or perhaps curious to know how many people have accidentally died while eating it?

Here are Interesting Facts about Japan.

6. Bird’s Nest Soup from China

Image Credit: Robert Staudhammer

Ever wonder what are the most expensive animal products consumed by humans are? One of them is the edible bird’s nest in China, created by edible-nest Swiftlet or other swiftlets using solidified saliva. Edible bird’s nest is very expensive in China due to its rarity and high nutritional value, as well as its flavor.

The Edible bird’s nest is popularly used in bird’s nest soup, a delicacy in the Chinese culture. It has been used in Chinese cooking for more than 400 years. Bird’s nest is also used as an ingredient to other dishes. The nests were believed to be rich in nutrients; that is why in China, where mostly everyone is health-conscious, it is highly prized.

The edible nest usually comes in white color, and some also exist in a red version, which is called the “blood” nest. The prices of the nest vary depending on its shape and color; it can cost up to $3,000 per pound ($ 6,600/kg). Bird’s nest is not only found in China but also in some parts of Southeast Asia. Indonesia is the largest producer of Birds nest in its region.

You can either try eating this healthy food or why not try to be an Edible Bird farmer. Aside from eating a healthy diet, you can earn a living due to its rarity and value.

Here are Interesting Facts about China.

7. Casu Marzu from Italy

Image Credit: Shardan

For all cheese lovers, have you tried eating Casu Marzu of Italy? Then let me brief you with this peculiar food. Casu Marzu literally means rotten cheese. Yes, you have read it right! It is traditional Sardinian sheep milk that contains live maggots.

The process involves leaving the tough outer skin of the whole Pecorino cheese open to allow the cheese fly lays its eggs. A female fly can lay up to 500 eggs at a time when these eggs hatch and the larvae begin to eat through the cheese. The acid from its digestive system breaks down the cheese fats and makes its texture very soft and ready for consumption. It is also best served with strong red wine like cannonau.

To some, eating live maggots is a disgusting thing. But according to Sardinian aficionados, it is unsafe to eat Casu Marzu if the maggots have died. Due to some health concerns, Casu Marzu is banned from European Union food-hygiene health regulations. It is said that larvae can possibly survive in the human intestine and would result in Pseudomyiasis, a parasitic infestation of the body.

Will you still try? Or definitely say pass?

Here are Interesting Facts about Italy.

8. Rocky Mountain oysters from Canada

Image Credit: Vincent Diamante

Looking for some unique appetizers? Well, Rocky Mountain oysters or meatballs, also known as prairie oysters in Canada is on the list. It is a dish made of bull testicles. After being skinned, coated in flour, with salt and pepper, it is then ready for a deep-fried. The recipe is served in some parts of Canada wherein cattle ranching and castration of young male animals are common. Castration is an animal practice that serves a variety of purposes, such as controlled breeding and temperament alteration.

Other countries such as Spain and Mexico have their version of Rocky Mountain oysters. It is commonly found in Festivals or other public venues. It is also considered as an aphrodisiac food.

If you find this appetizer weird, then you have to be careful because some people might prank you, serving you this food being unaware where these “oysters” come from.

Here are Interesting Facts about Canada.

9. Escamoles From Mexico

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Haven’t moved on from Casu Marzu? Here’s another edible larvae and pupae of ants from Mexico, which is called Escamoles. It is commonly consumed in Mexico and its surrounding areas. It is a native dish of Mexico way back the Aztecs age. From the Maguey plants, these light-colored eggs are harvested and fried. Escamoles can be found in tacos and omelets or served alone. It tastes buttery and nutty like those of the cottage cheese.

Want to try this pre-Hispanic insect food?

Here are Interesting Facts about Mexico.

10. Escargots from France

Image Credit: Craig Hatfield

Have you tried eating a snail? Then perhaps you have already tried eating Escargot, a delicacy made from cooked edible snails. They are often served as food starters or appetizers and consumed by French People. This menu item is commonly referred to as snails in British English.

Not all land snails are edible to cooked because some of them are too small to prepare, which would make it difficult to cook. The snails are killed and removed from its shell before cooking with garlic butter, chicken stock, or wine before it is placed again into its shells. It is then served with butter and sauce.

Snails are naturally high in protein and low in fat content. Snail shells were found during archaeological excavation, suggesting that is dish was already present during the prehistoric time. It may seem to some that this dish is very exotic, but mind you, Romans called it an elite food as noted in the writings of Pliny. Until now, Escargot is still commonly served during cocktail parties and other formal occasions, it is also served in fancy restaurants in France. To those who have tried, Escargot is sophisticatedly delicious.

Here are Interesting Facts about France.