Gone are the days when fancy schmancy gastronomical delights are all foodies talk about. That’s right, bugs and animal reproductive organs are slowly inching into the spotlight.
Can’t really say bon appetit here. But step aside bacon, here comes…
1. Urine-soaked eggs
“Tong Zi Dan” is a famous delicacy in Donyang County in the Zhejiang Province of eastern China. These eggs soaked in the urine of young boys (yes, you read that right), is believed to fend off ill-health. Vendors soak the eggs overnight in the urine they collect from local elementary schools.
Silkworms are a popular snack all over Korea. Street vendors usually steam or boil them.
Balut is a developing duck embryo that has been boiled alive in its shell. It’s a popular delicacy sold in the streets in the Philippines. You can also find balut in Cambodia and Vietnam.
4. Rocky mountain oysters
Don’t be fooled by the name. Rocky mountain oysters are actually bull testicles. They are fried in a batter of flour then seasoned with salt and pepper.
The grasshoppers are seasoned with salt, pepper, and chilli then fried in a big wok.
6. Korean penis fish
Another popular treat in Korea is the Korean penis fish (Urechis unicinctus) which they serve up raw with either salt or sesame seed oil. It’s up to you.
Yet another one from Korea is the sannakji. The dish is done by hacking off the tentacles of a baby octopus then serve them, still wriggling, to diners. Talk about choking hazard, right?
8. Scorpion on a stick
If you’re a thrill-seeking tourist, then this is a must-try if ever you’re in China. Scorpion on a stick is a snack in Beijing and in other cities in South East Asia.
9. Cobra heart
This one’s more of a drink. They slit the poor cobra open then place its still beating heart into a shot glass of the cobra’s own blood.
10. Breast milk ice cream
An ice-cream parlour in London created a buzz when they served ice cream made from human breast milk and called it Baby Gaga.
Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish made with minced sheep liver, heart, and lung mixed with oatmeal, salt and stock, onion, and other spices. It is then boiled in the sheep’s stomach or some artificial casing for a few hours.
12. Maggot cheese
Casu Marzu or maggot cheese is a traditional dish in the island of Sardinia. This delicacy is sheep’s milk cheese with live insect larvae. Apparently, the maggots are there to enhance the cheese’s flavor. But watch out, they tend to jump when they panic. I would too if someone tries to eat me alive.
13. Frogs legs
Grilled, fried, stewed, or baked – frogs legs has the texture of chicken with a faint taste of fish. Or so they say.
14. Deep fried starfish
Not really my kind of snack, but is apparently a popular treat in China. To eat a deep fried starfish, you have to break off a leg, peel open its skin, then bite into its green-colored meat.
15. Hen’s coxcomb
Coxcombs have been used in several dishes in Italy and France for centuries. They are used to make Cibreo, a popular sauce in Italy and a filling for profiteroles and vol au vents in France.
16. Fried brain sandwiches
Before Mad-cow disease entered the scene, fried brain sandwiches was a common item on the menus in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. The sandwiches are made from fried calves’ brain and sliced thinly on white bread. You can still find them in the Ohio River Valley, although they’re made into hamburgers now where the brains are coated in heavy batter then fried.
17. Pig’s brain omelette
Known in the Philippines as ‘tortang utak’, pig’s brain omelette as its name suggests, is raw pig’s brain diced and mixed with onions, carrots, aubergines, beaten in eggs and then pan-fried. You know, omelette!
18. Wasp crackers
This one’s pretty straightforward, it’s a biscuit filled with wasps.
19. Fried spider
Because spiders aren’t scary enough.
20. Sago grubs
Edible sago grubs are said to taste creamy when served raw. When cooked, they say it tastes just like bacon.
Fugu or pufferfish is a Japanese delicacy that has the potential to be deadly if not properly prepared. As such, only a handful of highly-trained chefs are allowed to prepare and serve fugu.
22. Witchetty grub
A member of the Australian bushmeat family, the witchetty grub is a staple among indigenous Australians living in the desert. They taste like almond when eaten raw.
Shirako is cod’s sperm sac. This soft and creamy treat can either be served deep fried or steamed.
Hakarl is native to Iceland. It is made by gutting a Basking shark or a Greenland then fermenting it to 2 – 4 months. Hakarl is often served in cubes on toothpicks and smells like ammonia.
25. Mopane worm
Mopane worms taste a lot like honey barbequed chicken. Well, that’s what they say. Traditionally, they are dried or smoked to preserve. The worms are rehydrated and cooked with chilli sauce and or tomato.
Crocodile meat is said to taste like a cross between crab and chicken and is considered a delicacy in many places around the globe.
Shiokara is a dish made up of pieces of meat from a selection of sea creatures. The dish is served raw in a brown, syrupy paste of their own fermented viscera.
Often referred to as insect caviar, escamole is a dish made up of ant larvae and is a delicacy in Mexican cuisine.
29. Dragon in the Flame of Desire
It’s a roasted yak’s penis. Dragon in the Flame of Desire is Guolizhuang Restaurant’s (Beijing) most popular dish.
30. Cockroach sushi
“Face your fears” is a thing of the past, it’s eat your fears now.