Would you eat a fried cricket smothered in special seasonings and sauces? How about a fried tarantula? Most people in the Western world would probably say “no”. But what if we were tell you that these two dishes are popular dishes in certain countries. And get this, some say that they are actually quite tasty! That’s not easy to wrap your mind around (at least not for us), but that’s just two of the 25 most bizarre cuisines on this list. Are you a food aficionado? See if you can brave some of these crazy dishes. We’re talking about foods our taste palates are completely foreign to! Some of these might make you laugh, others might make you cry, and then there are those that will leave you wondering about people, the world, and life. They say “don’t knock it until you try it”, but we’re going to be a bit rebellious on this one. How about you? If your friend were to say to you, “here try this______” would you do it? We hope not! These are 25 bizarre cuisines people actually enjoy eating.
Yin Yang fish
The Ying Yang fish is a sea food dish in which the fish is deep fried but remains alive after cooking. The dish is particularly popular in Taiwan and China. However, this dish has received condemnation and much criticism for its cruelty.
One of the best-known bush foods is also one of the more elusive. The grub is the larva of a moth and generally only found in central Australia.
They say that tuna eyeballs taste like squid and is considered quite tasty in Japan. The eyeballs also have Dha, a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid which is a major structural fat in the brain. So if you can get over the fact that your food is literally staring at you as it goes into your mouth and down your throat, tuna eyeballs are quite healthy for you.
A favorite in the Southwest United States, Southern-fried rattlesnake is said to taste a little like frog legs. Experts advise that before cooking the meat, you boil it off the bones. Then dip it in egg and cover it in seasoned salt mix, flour, and breadcrumbs.
Shirako is a Japanese delicacy that we are pretty sure will never become popular in the West. Why you may ask? Because Shirako is the sperm sack of a blowfish or cod (and the crowd goes “EEEEEW”). It’s reportedly very rich, buttery, and creamy…
Sannakji is the ultimate food dare for risk takers wandering through Korea. This delicacy consists of wriggling pieces of live baby octopus drizzled with sesame oil. After minimal preparation, it is served immediately and yep, in case you’ve wondered, there have been people who have choked to death from it.
In Hungary, when a pig is slaughtered the blood is fried with onions and served for breakfast on warm fresh bread.
This bizarre Mongolian dish is made with either a marmot or a goat, cooked in its own skin with hot stones in its stomach.
The entry title might be misleading as these eggs are not that old. Nevertheless, the so-called thousand-year-old egg from China is still made by preserving eggs in a mixture of ash, salt, quicklime, rice husks, and clay for several weeks or even months. As you can probably imagine, the dish’s stench is quite potent.
Kiviak is a traditional wintertime Inuit food from Greenland that is made of auks (a type of bird) preserved in the hollowed-out body of a seal for seven months. The bird ferments during this time, after which they are eaten for birthdays and weddings.
Jing leed is one of the most common insects for snacking in Thailand. They are 1.5 inch-long deep fried crickets seasoned in Golden Mountain sauce and pepper. Those who have tried these snacks say they’re delicious! Would you try one?
If you find these bizarre cuisines fascinating, feel free to check even more strange cuisines here.
This is not exactly disgusting or repulsing but it is one of the deadliest foods (and yet people continue to eat it…WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!). The intestines, ovaries, and liver of fugu, or blowfish as we call it in the United States, contain a poison called tetrodotoxin that is 1,200 times deadlier than cyanide. The toxin is so powerful that a lethal dose is smaller than the head of a pin, and a single fish has enough poison to kill thirty people.
Those who have had them claim they have the texture of chicken but taste like fish.
In most parts of the world the vast majority of people are either afraid of or disgusted by tarantulas; in Cambodia, however, they are a well-known specialty dish. They literally “burn them with fire”…and oil in this case.
Escamoles are the edible ant larvae from the roots of the Agave tequilana or mescal plant in Mexico and have been a popular dish in the region since the Aztecs. Despite being popular with locals they remain unpopular with the tourists.
Native to Malaysia and Indonesia, the durian is probably the most “divisive” fruit in the world. Some people either really like it or really don’t. Those who don’t like it have described the fruit’s taste as “completely rotten, mushy onions”. And then there’s the smell which has been described as “pig-s#$%, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock”. The odor is so potent that many hotels and public establishments in Southeast Asia have permanently banished the fruit from their properties.
Dragon in the Flame of Desire
It might sound somewhat impressive and maybe even exotic, but the fancy name disguises this dish’s true odd nature. The most infamous dish on the menu at Guolizhuang Restaurant in Beijing; the “Dragon in the Flame of Desire” is a roasted yak’s penis elaborately served on a large platter.
We all know crocodiles make great shoes and purses but in certain parts of the world such as Australia and Africa they also make a great dish…so they say. According to rumors they taste like a cross between chicken and crab.
Definitely not for the faint-hearted, the Cobra heart is a wild dish from the north part of Vietnam that involves the blood and still beating heart of a cobra (you read that right…the live heart of a cobra). The full meal involves the cobra heart dropped in a glass of blood and venom liquor, followed by a multi course meal made from the remains of the heart-less cobra.
Casu marzu (rotten cheese) is a traditional sheep’s milk cheese the locals make in Sardinia, Italy. The cheese makers set the cheese outside and allow cheese flies to lay eggs inside it. The larvae break down the cheese’s fats and ferment it. Needless to say, it’s unnecessary to clear those white worms from the cheese before consuming it since this cheese is literally full of them.
The term bushmeat refers to meat that comes from wild animals captured in developing regions of the world such as West Africa. This truly bizarre dish comes from a variety of wild animals including bats, rats, and monkeys among others, which are then smoked, dried, or salted.
Blodplättar is an interesting version of Swedish pancakes (called veriohukainen in Finland) made of pork blood, milk, rye flour, dark molasses, onion, and butter. What’s there not to love, right?
Bird’s Nest Soup
This Asian “delicacy” is made from the nest of the swiftlet bird which builds its nest out of its own gummy saliva. In other words, you are, in essence, eating bird saliva.
Beondegi are steamed or boiled silkworm pupae, which are then seasoned and eaten as a snack. Strangely, it is one of the most popular foods in Korean cuisine.
This popular Filipino food is a developed duck embryo boiled alive and eaten in its egg. The eighteen-day-old fertilized duck egg has revolted even the most daring foodies with its carnal textures, earning it lofty rankings on many a “most disgusting or strange food” list.