Whenever we book a ticket, pack our bags and start another traveling adventure, there is one question that’s constantly going to be on our minds. What is the food culture like in those parts of the world?
Whether we are familiar with the cuisine we will encounter in our travels or not, there are always some unknown dishes that will blow our minds, or make us think out loud questions such as: do they really eat those things?!
However, don’t judge too fast and keep your food options open! You might cringe when you first see, smell or taste certain dishes, but you never know when you might find a real delicacy that will make you never want to get back to your own food routine. OK, this is an exaggeration, but if you really are a true adventurer, you might want to try some of these unusual dishes that are scattered in different parts of the world.
So if you travel to Vietnam and feel like getting crunchy, make your way around the bustling streets and check out the stalls that are offering a large variety of bugs such as crickets, larvae, silk worms, or even tarantulas and scorpions. Well, they are not for the faint of heart, but if you close your eyes and think of them as popcorn or chips, maybe you could end up loving them!
Apparently eating raw is not enough for some people and definitely not for the Koreans, who are taking food to another level by having this dish called sannakji. It consists of small, live octopus bits that are cut into pieces and eaten while they’re still moving! Don’t forget to add some seasoning!
Even though its ingredients don’t seem very outlandish, its shape is pretty weird and not quite very enticing. Haggis is a popular pie / pudding from Scotland which looks like a small ball. The ingredients used for its filling are sheep’s pluck, minced with onion, oatmeal and spices and it cooked in an actual animal stomach!
Do you like caviar? Or the question would be, would you dare try “insect caviar”? Because that’s what escamoles is: larvae of ants harvested from some Mexican plants and then served as an exquisite delicacy. Their texture is buttery and nutty!
5. Casu Marzu
Italy is globally known for its amazing cuisine, based on pasta and of course, pizza. Who would have thought that, in this place, rich in gourmet food you could actually find a type of cheese that is rotten? Because maggots are squirming on the surface of the cheese, speeding up its fermentation. The result? A funny looking and pungent smelling cheese, which is banned in the EU!
Do you love eggs? What about duck? How about enjoying both of these at the same time? You can actually do that in the Philippines while you’re looking for some unique type of street food. Balut is a duck embryo, boiled alive and eaten in the shell. They say it goes well with beer, so what about a beer night out then?
Next time you go on a trip and feel like exploring the food culture, perhaps you can get a little bold and add some of these crazy dishes in your things to try!