Extreme Foods of the World

Top 25: The strangest food from around the world

What do fried brains, deadhead hearts and drunken shrimp have in common? They are all considered a gourmet delicacy in many different countries around the world. Most people don’t consider their recipe book strange, but to a foreigner, your breakfast or lunch may seem like a nightmare in reality. Ahead of you is a virtual culinary tour of some pretty outlandish menus that are popular in many different parts of the world. Perhaps some of these dishes will shock you!

25. Fried Brain Sandwich Photo: Tim Schapker

In the past, this was quite a popular dish in the central U.S. states until the country faced the problem of mad cow disease. Locals still eat these sandwiches, but U.S. law now prohibits the use of cow brains older than 30 months for this dish.

24. Escamoles Photo: WikipediaCommons.com

The larvae of giant black ants collected from the roots of the agave tree are considered a delicacy in Mexico. They are sometimes even called the caviar of insects. It is said that this treat tastes a bit like nut butter.

23. Haukarl

Photo: Chris 73 /Wikimedia Commons

This dish can be tasted in Iceland, where shark jerky is considered a gourmet treat. Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain once called haukarl the worst, most disgusting and horrible-tasting food he has ever tasted. We’ll take his word for it…

22. Bird’s Nest Soup Photo: stu_spivack

For centuries, the Chinese have cooked bird’s nests in their kitchens, most often adding them to traditional soups. Not any nest is good for this dish, but the one that was made by a bird of the Salangana tribe, because its saliva is edible for humans. There are several recipes for this platter, but in any case this dish is ranked among the most expensive on the planet. The red nest soup can cost up to 10 thousand dollars a serving!

21. Drunken shrimp Photo: Laurel F

This is not a joke or a bar name, but a very real Chinese dish, quite popular in some parts of the country. You eat the shrimp alive, but first you soak it in hard liquor. In the United States they also marinate shrimp in alcohol, but they do not neglect the thermal treatment of this seafood, which cannot be said about the Asians with their love for raw food.

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20. Surströmming Photo: Lapplaender

This Swedish dish is especially revered in the north. You are looking at canned Baltic herring, but don’t confuse it with regular canned herring. During transport and storage of these cans, they sometimes even explode due to the continued fermentation process of the fish in them. In a recent study, the Japanese found that surströmming emits the most putrid smell of any dish in the world. It is probably not for nothing that these canned foods are recommended to be eaten only outdoors…

19. Sannakchi Photo: LWY / flickr

Like many other oriental treats, this dish is served raw. Very raw. The chef dismembers a small octopus right in front of your eyes, sprinkles it with sesame seeds and flavors it with sesame oil. All the while, the cephalopod keeps moving its tentacles, sliding across the plate as the customer tries to grab it with chopsticks. There are even several cases of death due to sannakchi asphyxiation.

18. Rocky Mountain oysters Photo: Vincent Diamante / Los Angeles, CA, USA

This dish was invented in North America, and it is not made from oysters. The oysters are actually bullock testicles, peeled from the skin, chopped into pieces and fried. Salt, pepper, ketchup?

17. Kopi Luwak Photo: Wibowo Djatmiko (Wie146)

This is one of the most expensive coffees in the world, and it costs an average of $300 a kilo. This coffee is made from coffee beans digested and excreted by small Malay palm martens living in Southeast Asia. The exuded beans are cleaned of feces, dried in the sun, and roasted for further transport and sale.

16. Brown marbled murrelet Photo: Cathy Dzerefos

In Indonesia, the locals just love these little bugs. They say that the bugs taste like bitter sunflower seeds without salt. To fully appreciate this snack, it is customary to chew it slowly…

15. Lutefisk Photo: Jonathunder

In Scandinavia this delicacy is made from cod, molva or pollack soaked in an alkaline solution of caustic soda. You soak the fish in caustic soda for a few days, after which you need to leave the cod soaked in cold water for a week before it is safe to eat.

14. Kasu martsu Photo: Shardan

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This dish was invented in Sardinia. Basically, you’re looking at pecorino (sheep’s milk cheese) with live larvae of the cheese fly Piophila casei. The size of these larvae does not exceed 8 millimeters in length, but when in danger, they can jump up to 15 centimeters in height! Bon appetit…

13. Caterpillars of the species Gonimbrasia belina or mopane worms Photo: ComQuat

These caterpillars prefer to crawl through mopane trees and for a huge number of Africans this is a real delicacy. An important advantage of the dish is that mopane worms are an excellent source of protein. They are boiled, fried, smoked, and dried to a crispy snack.

12. Tuna eyeballs Photo: yukari.papa

This is a fairly inexpensive product. You can find tuna eyeballs in almost any Japanese store, where the price is about $1. In taste, fish eyes are compared to squid, and this time the dish is no longer served raw, but necessarily boiled. Don’t forget the sauces.

11. Dried lizards Photo: Carl Flisch

In some Asian cultures these lizards are used for soup. Sometimes they are alcoholized to be used for medicinal purposes. In this case, the process of bringing the lizard to the right condition takes years…

10. Hash Photo: Chaojoker

From Farsi (language) the name of this dish literally translates as “head and hoof,” and it is well deserved, because these ingredients are the main component of khash. Nowadays, it is necessary to have cow hoofs in hash, and the head and the stomach are added according to the discretion of the cook.

9. Nakchi

Very similar to sannakchi. The only difference is that this time we are talking about a whole octopus, that is, it is not cut into pieces. Like some of the other dishes in this selection, there are risks associated with nakchi. The suckers on the octopus’s tentacles sometimes stick to the tongue and throat of foodies, often threatening to choke. In Asia, knowing how to properly eat nakchi is a real art and not an easy skill. Every year people die from this dish…

8. A-ping Photo: www.viajar24h.com

In Cambodia, this spooky dish is considered a real delicacy. It is said that a-ping (fried tarantulas) gained its current popularity during the Khmer Rouge regime. However, even after the expulsion of Pol Pot (Pol Pat, the leader of the Khmer Rouge) fried tarantulas remained one of the favorite treats of Cambodians. Today, locals eat a-pignas like candy.

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7. Haggis Photo: Biology Big Brother

All you need to make this Scottish dish is a lamb. First the heart, liver and lungs are taken out and then these giblets are cooked in the stomach of the slaughtered animal for about 3 hours. Don’t forget the onions and salt!

6. Fugu Photo: City Foodsters

In Japanese, the word fugu translates to dogfish, and in case you didn’t know, these puffer fish are very poisonous creatures. For the same reason, Japanese authorities strictly control the procedure for preparing the dangerous dish in all restaurants in the country, and only highly qualified chefs are allowed to take such orders. This fish is so dangerous that there have been known cases of fatalities due to someone cooking fugu right in their home kitchen without knowing all the precautions.

5. Yin-yang fish Photo: WikipediaCommons.com

Also called “dead and live” fish, this dish comes from Taiwan, where it has since been officially banned. Recently, yin-yang fish has become popular in China – after local chefs figured out how to keep the fish alive and well-cooked at the same time. Why strive for it at all? Probably to emphasize the freshness of the seafood…

4. ikizikuri Photo: anonymous

Speaking of brutality, this seafood dish doesn’t lack for it. It is even officially banned in several countries, including Australia and Germany. First, the customer chooses an animal he wants to taste. Then the chef carves the unfortunate creature alive right in front of the customer. On the plate, the fish (squid, octopus or shrimp) is put open, cut into pieces and with its heart still beating. Sometimes such a fish is returned to the aquarium, where it floats for a few seconds until it gives up its last breath, and then it is returned to the customer’s plate.

3. Yak penis Photo: Pixabay.com

The more romantic name for this delicacy sounds roughly like “dragon in the flames of desire,” and it is considered a signature dish at the Beijing-based Guolizhuang restaurant chain. For foreigners, eating animal genitalia may seem strange, but in China people believe it is a very healthy food, almost like spinach.

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Balut Photo: Marshall Astor / San Pedro, USA

You simply take a duck egg with an already formed chick with beak, feathers, and cartilage and cook it alive… This dish is beloved in Southeast Asia and the Philippines, where its name translates roughly to “wrapped.”

1. The Heart of the Atlantic Blunt Photo: Richard Bartz

The tupik is a seabird of the tern family that lives in the northern hemisphere, mostly in the European part of the hemisphere. The heart of this bird is considered a delicacy in Iceland. However, nowadays it is not so easy to order this dish, because the Atlantic puffins have been listed in the Red Book and need to be protected as a vulnerable species.

The most extreme food of the peoples of the world

The most extreme food of the peoples of the world

Incredible Facts

Different peoples have great images pictured in their minds when they say “delicacy,” from fresh and crispy locusts to hard-boiled eggs boiled in urine. However, the world is constantly changing, so ideas about what is acceptable to eat and what is not are also changing.

Recently, UN officials urged people to reconsider and start eating bugs because they are full of fiber and protein.

On many food forums now, for example, there are heated discussions about why we shouldn’t start eating horses on a large scale, since we easily eat cows and other similar mammals.

Here are 18 amazing photos of the most extreme meals from around the world. It turns out that Europeans and Westerners are extremely picky when it comes to what ends up on their plate, which cannot be said about representatives of other countries.

Unusual Food

This photograph shows a Peruvian woman throwing a frog, which has been skinned, into a blender. Some Peruvians believe that frog juice or “de-ran extract” is a powerful aphrodisiac.

A butcher in Bolivia cuts up a sheep’s head. Sheep’s head soup is a very popular dish in this country.

A worker cuts up a roasted cat in the technical room of a restaurant in Cote d’Ivoire. Cat meat is considered a traditional food in many countries in Africa and Asia.

Turtle meat sold at a market in a port city in Nicaragua. How much does such a delicacy cost? About $1.10 for half a kilogram.

This is a photo of a cobra hamburger being prepared at a restaurant in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. About 1,000 cobras make their way to Central and East Java each week, and their meat sells for about $1, 15 per cobra.

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A woman in Al Jazeera, Sudan, cooks a dish of camel liver. From 1996 to 2002, Sudan processed an estimated 72,000 to 81,000 tons of camel meat annually.

The slaughtered dogs are ready for sale in Duong Noi, a small village in Vietnam. Dog meat dishes are very common in East Asia.

In Canh Nau, Vietnam, rats were once eaten in case of extreme hunger, but now they are eaten as a special dish that is prepared at the end of each lunar calendar.

A woman in Langui, Peru, prepares a guinea pig for use in creating one of the gourmet dishes. Guinea pig is a gourmet food in many parts of South America.

Snake meat is a fundamental component of one of the soups in China. Moreover, snake meat is a traditional component of many regional cuisines and is believed to be very healthy in China.

In Taiwan, cobra eggs and embryos are eaten to maintain good health (pictured are eggs from a snake farm in southern Taiwan).

A Chinese woman eats a dish of bovine and canine penises at a restaurant in Beijing, which has more than 30 dishes based on animal penises on its menu. In China, animal penises are believed to have medicinal properties.

Strange dishes

Restaurants in Madagascar serve lemur dishes. Many endangered lemur species are mercilessly killed by poachers, mainly because of the lack of appropriate law and security on the island due to the recent coup.

Eggs cooked in boys’ urine are a springtime snack in Dongyang, Zhejiang province in China.

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In Cambodia’s Kampong Cham province, a vendor sells spiders to people at a bus stop. Ten crispy spiders sprinkled with garlic cost $2.

In Lahore, Pakistan, men line up for Siri Paya, a traditional breakfast dish made with goat’s head and feet.

In a restaurant in Barichara, Colombia, a particularly large ant sauce called Culonas is in high demand.

A man in Saudi Arabia eats a species of uromastix lizard. It is believed that the blood of this reptile treats various diseases and strengthens the body. In Middle Eastern countries, these small reptiles are often caught with the help of service dogs and used to prepare various delicacies.

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