25 Strangest Foods From Around The World

What do fried brains, puffin hearts, and drunken shrimp have in common? They are all considered delicacies somewhere in the world. While most people probably do not consider the contents of their cookbooks too strange, to a foreigner your lunch could be the equivalent of a nightmare. So, before we dive into our culinary tour of the some pretty strange food from around the world, you should ask yourself how much you really want to know about the eating habits of your fellow humans. Here are 25 Strangest Foods From Around The World.

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Yin-Yang Fish


Also known as “dead and alive” fish, it originated in Taiwan but is now illegal to prepare. It has recently become popular in China after chefs figured out how to keep the fish alive as it is deep fried. Why would anyone do this? Supposedly to prove how fresh the fish is.




As far as brutality is concerned, this dish is hard to beat. It’s been banned in several countries, including Australia and Germany. First, a customer picks out the animal they would like to eat from a tank. The chef will then fillet it before their eyes without killing it. Then, it’s served on a plate with its sliced flesh on top for decoration and its heart still beating. Alternatively, you can have the already filleted fish returned to the aquarium where it will swim around until you are ready for seconds.


Yak Penis


Also known as “Dragon in the Flame of Desire,” this dish is famously served in the Guolizhuang Restaurant of Beijing. Although it may seem strange to Western minds, many Chinese believe that it is good for your health, kind of like spinach.




Nothing more than a fertilized duck embryo, it is boiled alive and the rest is up to you. Eaten in South East Asia, the Filipino word balut means “wrapped.”


Puffin Heart


The puffin is a species of Auk that inhabits the northern hemisphere. Its heart is considered a delicacy in Iceland. We spared you the picture, but next time you see a cute little puffin on the side of the road just try to imagine yourself snapping its neck and ripping out its innards. Heartless.

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Photo: 1. Richard Bartz, Papageitaucher Fratercula arctica, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 2. Marshall Astor from San Pedro, United States, Inside a Balut - Embryo and Yolk, CC BY-SA 2.0 , 3. Pixabay.com (Public Domain), 4. anonymous, Ikizukuri, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 5. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 6. City Foodsters, Fugu with cabbage, pork meat stock soup, kombu dashi (16231212653), CC BY 2.0 , 7. Biology Big Brother, Haggis neeps and tatties, CC BY 2.0 , 8. A. www.viajar24h.com, Skun spiders closeup, CC BY 2.0 , 9. 박家상민, Nakji-bokkeum, CC BY 4.0 , 10. Chaojoker, Khash, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 11. Carl Flisch, Dried flying lizards, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 12. yukari.papa, Eating tuna eyeball, CC BY 2.0 , 13. ComQuat, Mopane-Raupen gekocht, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 14. Shardan, Casu Marzu cheese, CC BY-SA 2.5 , 15. Jonathunder, ForkLutefisk, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 16. Cathy Dzerefos, Provincial Programme Manager: Limpopo Eco-Schools, Encosternum delegorguei harvesting 4, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 17. Wibowo Djatmiko (Wie146), Kopi luwak 090910-0075 lamb, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 18. Vincent Diamante from Los Angeles, CA, USA, Rocky mountain oysters, CC BY-SA 2.0 , 19. by LWY at flickr, Korean.cuisine-Sannakji.hoe-01, CC BY 2.0 , 20. Lapplaender, Surströmming, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE , 21. Laurel F, Drunken Shrimp (Fair Use: Illustrative Purposes Only), 22. stu_spivack, Bird's nest, XO sauce, CC BY-SA 2.0, 23. Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons, Hakarl near Bjarnahöfn in Iceland, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 24. WikipediaCommons.com (Public Domain), 25. Tim Schapker, Brain sandwiches, CC BY 2.0

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