Everyone can agree that food is an important part of culture. Not only is cooking considered an art form, but food is also key to our survival. Because of cultural differences, food looks wildly different depending on where you are. Whether you’re an adventurous eater or just morbidly curious, here are 50 crazy foods from around the world.
#50 – Guinea Pig
It may feel wrong to eat Guinea Pig in North America, but it’s a South American delicacy. It’s usually served roasted whole or in a casserole and it’s said to taste like rabbit.
#49 – Crocodile
Here’s another animal that Americans never think about eating! Crocodile is a delicacy in Australia, Southeast Asia and Africa. It supposedly tastes like a cross between crab and chicken.
#48 – Kangaroo
Kangaroo is a staple meat for indigenous Australians. It’s served in a variety of ways including steak, sausages and burgers.
#47 – Frog Legs
The back end of a frog that’s baked, fried or stewed. It has the texture of chicken and a faint taste of fish.
#46 – Cherry Blossom Meat
“Cherry Blossom Meat” is the nickname given to this Japanese style of sushi. It’s really just raw horse meat served either by itself or on top of rice.
#45 – Steak Tartare
This famous French dish is comprised of raw beef seasoned with onions, capers and worcester sauce. There’s also a raw egg that sits in the middle. Bon appetit?
#44 – Bird’s Nest Soup
Bird’s nest soup is exactly what it sounds like. The Japanese swiftlet bird makes its nest out of gummy saliva which turns solid when exposed to air. The nest is then boiled into a soup. Many people die each year attempting to take these nests from the sides of cliffs.
#43 – Pickled Egg
Pickled eggs are popular in the UK and the US. Just leave a hardboiled egg in a jar of vinegar and you’ve got yourself some sour pickled eggs.
#42 – Marmite
Marmite, also known as vegemite, is simply yeast extract. It’s found in the bottom of brew barrels and has a concentrated salty taste that people spread on toast and cheese.
#41 – Mopane Worms
These big, fat, juicy worms are found in South Africa. They’re typically dried or smoked and then re-hydrated to be cooked with tomato chili sauce. They apparently taste like honey barbequed chicken.
#40 – Stink Bugs
Stinkbugs are common in America, but not as an appetizer. These crunchy little bugs taste like apple and are typically boiled.
#39 – Sago Delight
Sago delight is a creamy pudding dish made from the sago grubs of Southeast Asia. The grubs taste creamy when raw and like bacon when cooked.
#38 – Witchetty Grub
Another staple in the indigenous Australian cookbook. It can either be eaten raw for an almond taste or cooked for a scrambled egg taste.
#37 – Fried Spider
Fried spider is a Cambodian delicacy. It’s prepared by marinating it in MSG, sugar and salt and then frying it in garlic. You don’t want to eat the abdomen; it’s full of innards, eggs and excrement.
#36 – Wasp Crackers
A wafer thin cracker or cookie that’s filled with yummy wasps. This popular Japanese snack is usually stinger-free, but there have been several tongue-related injuries in the past.
#35 – Jing Leed
Jing leed is a big pile of grasshoppers seasoned with salt, pepper and chili. They’re typically fried together in a big wok. The skin tastes like popcorn but the insides are juicy.
#34 – Shiokara
This Japanese dish is made from a variety of sea creatures served in a brown paste of their own salted and fermented viscera. Oh, and it’s raw too.
#33 – Stinkheads
An Alaskan dish that involves fermenting the heads of king salmon. After the fermentation, you bury the heads for a few weeks, mash it into mush and eat it.
#32 – Surstromming
More fermented fish! This time it comes in a can and has a smelly odor so pungent that it needs to be opened outside.
#31 – Spam
Most Americans are familiar with spam but that doesn’t make it any less weird or gross. Spam is “supposedly” made from chopped pork shoulder, ham and potato starch. It continues to be a mystery to the rest of the world.
#30 – Khash
A big pot of stew boiled with cows feet and head. It’s a delicacy in the Middle East, Europe and Turkey.
#29 – Tripe
This snack is found all over the world. It may look like some dried-out sea creature, but it’s actually the stomach lining of various different animals.
#28 – Haggis
This famous Scottish dish is now known worldwide thanks to a host of different movies set in Scotland. Haggis is a savory pudding containing sheep’s offal, suet and oatmeal wrapped in a cow’s stomach.
#27 – Chicken’s Feet
Chicken is a staple meat anywhere you go, but we usually don’t eat the feet. It’s mostly made of skin, giving it a gelatinous texture.
#26 – Locusts
Whenever Israel suffers from a locust infestation, the popular way to get rid of them is by cooking and eating them. They’re usually either deep-fried or dipped in chocolate.
#25 – Stargazy Pie
Stargazy pie is an English dish made with baked pilchards, eggs and potatoes covered in a pastry crust. The fish are always set up so that they stare into the sky, hence the name.
#24 – Salo
Salo is a Ukranian dish that’s literally just the fat of meat. It’s cut into slabs, smoked and left in a cool cellar for a year. There’s even a Ukranian festival of lard to celebrate it.
#23 – Century Egg
Century eggs are eggs covered in clay, ash and salt. Then they’re left for months until the yolk is dark green and stinks of sulphur. They seem rotten but they’re a Chinese delicacy.
#22 – Hakarl
To make this Icelandic favorite, first gut and behead a Greenland shark. Then place it in a shallow hole and cover it with sand and stones. Leave it for two to three months before cutting it into strips and serving.
#21 – Muktuk
Muktuk is a Greenland delicacy made from frozen whale skin and blubber. The skin tastes like hazelnuts and the fat is tough and chewy.
#20 – Casu Marzu
A fancy Italian pecorino cheese that’s gone bad. Cheese fly larvae are added to burrow in and digest the fats.
#19 – Airag
You’ve never had alcohol like this before. Airag is a popular Mongolian drink that consists of fermented horse milk. It’s a fizzy, sour alcoholic drink that’s usually served in a bowl.
#18 – Huitlacoche
Corn smut is a fungus that covers regular corn with moldy blue spores. Most cultures throw this corn away, but it’s a delicacy in Mexico for it’s “earthy tones”.
#17 – Boshintang
This is one of the few dishes that isn’t usually sold today and that’s because it’s made with dog meat. It’s a classic Korean soup made with spring onions, dandelions, mushrooms and dog. Older generations still swear by it but most people have turned away from it.
#16 – Jellied Moose Nose
Another dish that is exactly what it sounds like. This is an odd Canadian dish made by boiling and jellying moose nose with onions and spices.
#15 – White Ant Eggs Soup
Known as “gaeng kai mot daeng” in Laos, this soup is made from a mixture of ant eggs and partial white ant embryos. Some baby ants are also added in for a little bit of sourness.
#14 – Crispy Tarantulas
These Cambodian spiders were first eaten out of necessity under the Khmer Rouge regime by the poor. Now they’ve evolved into a common snack. They supposedly taste like crab.
#13 – Balut
This dish from the Philippines is a fertilised duck egg with the embryo still inside. It’s prepared with salt, chili and vinegar. You’re supposed to tap a hole in the top of the shell, suck the liquid out and then crunch down on the rest of the bird’s feathers and bones.
#12 – Tuna Eyeballs
Every part of the tuna is used in Japan, including the eyes! Just boil or steam the eyeballs and season them with garlic and soy sauce. It supposedly tastes a bit like squid.
#11 – Shirako
Shirako is the Japanese name for this dish meaning, “white children”. Shirako is made from the sperm sacs of either cod, angler fish or puffer fish. They look like tiny brains and taste like custard.
#10 – Smorrebrod
Smorrebrod is a traditional Danish open-faced sandwich. Cold cuts, fish, cheese and garnishes are layered on top of a dense rye bread. This dish is a popular lunch item in Denmark. Smorrebrod will occasionally contain weirder toppings such as pickled eggs and pork-liver paste.
#9 – Akutaq
Akutaq is an Alaskan dessert also known as “Eskimo ice cream”. Whipped fat is mixed with berries, fish, roots and animal oil. Some variations contain tallow of caribou, moose, walrus and seal. Other variations contain snow, which gave the dish its nickname.
#8 – Pineapple Sandwich
Hailing from South Africa, the pineapple sandwich is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a grilled sandwich with pineapple, ham, lettuce, tomatoes and other veggies. While it may not sound too far out, the thought of sweet pineapple on a salty ham sandwich is enough to turn most people away.
#7 – Black Pudding
Black pudding isn’t actually pudding at all! This snack found in England, Ireland and Sweden is a black blood sausage made from either pork blood, pork fat or beef suet. It also contains oatmeal and barley groats. It is believed to be one of the oldest forms of sausage.
#6 – Fugu
Fugu is the Japanese name for “Pufferfish” and is considered a dangerous delicacy. In Japan, chefs have to go through at least three or four years of training before they’re allowed to serve fugu. The poisonous pufferfish is usually prepared as sushi or sashimi. Some traditionalists believe the liver to be the tastiest part, but it’s also the deadliest. Fugu liver was banned in 1984 due to domestic accidents that lead to multiple deaths.
#5 – Blodplattar
These Scandinavian pancakes may look plain enough, but don’t let that fool you. Common in Finland, Sweden and Norway, blodplattar is a special type of pancake made from whipped blood, lingonberries and reindeer meat. Its similar to black pudding but thinner and crispier.
#4 – Ghoulal
Ghoulal is a Moroccan dish that is essentially snail soup. This popular meal is made by boiling snails with a whole gambit of different earthy Moroccan spices. It’s very common to see this soup being sold in towns and street markets.
#3 – Beondegi
Beondegi is a Korean street food made with the pupa of silkworms. The larvae are either boiled or steamed and served in a paper cup. This snack is a favorite amongst Korean street vendors.
#2 – Escamoles
Escamoles is another dish made from the pupa of insects. These ant larvae have been eaten in Mexico since the Aztec age. They’re said to taste buttery and nutty with a texture similar to cottage cheese.
#1 – Koolickles
Koolickles. Pickles marinated in Kool-Aid. Yes, this is an actual thing. These crimes against nature hail from Delta, Mississipi and are a southern favorite. It’s hard to imagine this tasting good, but southern fans swear by it.