Your stomach sometimes shrinks when you see which exotic dishes you can get served in restaurants, eatery, or hotels. For Scots, a sheep’s stomach is a real delicacy, and the Chinese do not shy away from a portion of monkey brains, preferably as fresh as possible.
There is no shortage of weird and outlandish dishes in faraway places, which require a good dose of courage to leave them exposed to your taste buds. Here you will find an overview of the most bizarre exotic dishes in the world.
Most bizarre exotic dishes in the world
1. Shirako dish
The Japanese are known for their passion for exotic food, and they eat (almost) everything there. In a restaurant, you can also order Shirako or the sperm of a fish. It is a filled semen bag, for example, cod or monkfish. With the appearance of pink mini embryos under the mucus, you will gag when you see it, so close your eyes when you eat it. But it seems to be very tasty.
The Japanese often order the soft and creamy dish as a snack at a bar, so an excellent place to mist yourself before slipping a piece of Shirako between your teeth. The delicacy can be served hot or cold and means ‘white children.’ It is best to eat sushi with it.
2. Brain sandwich
In a brain sandwich, calves’ brains are fried, sliced, and then placed on a sandwich. The brain is a bit mushy and doesn’t have much flavor. A lot of hot sauce is then used to flavor the dish. In St. Louis, the United States, the dish eaten until Mad Cow Disease broke out. The brains still eat in El Salvador and Mexico. Here they are processed in tacos and burritos.
3. Casu Marzu
A special cheesecake is found in Sardinia, Italy. This cake is the home of living larvae. They deliberately added so that cheese fats broke down to a certain level. The microscopic, translucent worms can jump up to half a meter, so be careful not to let the bugs get into your hair if you want to take a bite of this pie.
Hákarl is a Greenland shark that has ferment for five months. It tastes – literally – like rotten fish, and even if you don’t manage to swallow the first piece, the awful taste lingers in your mouth. The smell, in particular, already scares many. The months-long fermentation process has given the shark a strong ammonia smell as if you had to put a bottle of cleaning solution to your mouth.
Inhabitants of Iceland eat it a lot during festivities and take it with them on a picnic among the snowy mountains, where they eat the shark as if it were paprika chips. Iceland is a lovely country to visit but be warned if you want to try the Hákarl.
5. Rocky Mountain Oysters
When you see the name of this cuisine, you probably immediately think of oysters. But what’s so strange about oysters? Well, the Rocky Mountain Oysters are bull or boar testicles.
They are widely consumed in the United States and Canada. The testicles are peeled, boiled, rolled in flour, and fried.
They then serve with a cocktail sauce. It doesn’t look like testicles in the end, so it is beautiful to taste them if you don’t know it.
6. Mopane worm
They are not fond of eating insects in the West, but they feast on the mopane worm in southern Africa. The worm has such bright colors that you wonder how you could ever get it in your mouth, but in countries like South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe, the animal is big business. The worms can eat straight from the hand, fried and crunchy like chips, or boiled and soaked in sauce.
For example, you can fry the mopane worms with tomatoes, onions, and garlic, but no cooking method disguises the black head of the dingy, gray body. The caterpillars are very nutritious. Some travelers love it; others find the worms taste like rubber and are barely chewable.
Balut widely consumes in the Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam. It is a fertilized egg of a duck or chicken with a nearly developed embryo. It is sold a lot on the street, and people love it. It just doesn’t look delicious. Balut seems to taste like egg, but many people will not try it as soon as they see the dish.
8. Stuffed camel
Stuffed camel often serves at traditional Arab sheik weddings. The dish is a bit like the Russian matryoshka dolls, where a petite beauty is in a giant doll, and it is in an even larger doll, and so on. In this meal, rice or egg puts in the fish; the fish goes into the chicken, it goes back into a lamb, and then it goes into a camel.
9. Fried tarantulas
We mainly know tarantulas as those giant and hairy tarantulas that you do not want to be around. However, in Cambodia, this scary spider is seen as a delicacy called A-Ping. The spiders are extracted from the ground in the jungle, fried in frying oil, and sold as street food. The treat has a crispy crust and is soft in the middle. The legs contain hardly any meat, while the head and body consist of soft white flesh. The abdomen includes a brown paste comprised of organs, possibly with eggs and feces.
Fugu is a dish for the real daredevil. It is a Japanese fish dish with poisonous pufferfish. The poison from this fish is deadly, and only specially trained chefs can make the dish. If the cook doesn’t do this right, you can’t retell the dinner.
11. Rujak Cingur
Rajah Cingur is a traditional dish in the Indonesian province of East Java. The inhabitants of the capital Surabaya mouths water when they think about this delicious meal. It doesn’t look so bad on a plate: a salad of cucumber, mango, and a piece of meat in a kind of satay sauce. The beef tastes soft and crispy until you come across pieces of cartilage.
When you consider that Cingur means ‘mouth’ in Javanese, you already know in which direction to look it. The meat is the nose of a cow! Just keep chewing and don’t overthink what you eat. If you want to prepare the cow’s nose yourself: first remove the skin, boil gently, bake and cut into pieces of 2 centimeters.
Haggis is a typical dish from Scotland, where a sheep’s stomach or bovine intestine fills with small pieces of lung, liver, heart, suet, and oatmeal. It doesn’t sound perfect, but the dish is served every year at ‘Burns Supper,’ a traditional dinner on January 25 in Scotland, celebrating the birthday of national poet Robert Burns, who wrote an ode to Haggis. The dish serves to the accompaniment of bagpipe music.