Unusual Foods Eaten Around the World That Will Make Your Stomach Churn

Koreans Eat Sannakji, or Live Octopus Sannakji, a Korean dish made of live octopus, is low in fat and calories but high in protein The dish… Alexander Gabriel - April 22, 2023

When it comes to food, there’s no denying that humans can be pretty adventurous. From bizarre flavor combinations to unusual ingredients, there’s a whole world of weird and wonderful foods out there to explore. While some dishes may seem familiar and even comforting, others can be downright unusual. Across the globe, different cultures have their own unique and sometimes shocking culinary traditions. These traditions range from insect snacks to animal organs and everything in between. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or just curious about the strange and unexpected, the following culinary facts are a sure journey through some of the most interesting and unusual foods from around the world.

Modern Farmer

Many Asian Countries Eat Fertilized Duck Eggs

Eating fertilized duck eggs is a culinary tradition in many Southeast Asian countries. The process involves incubating a fertilized duck egg for around 18 days until the embryo inside develops. The eggs are boiled or steamed and are served with a variety of condiments, such as salt, chili, and vinegar. While some might find the idea of consuming a partially-formed duckling unsettling, balut eggs are loved in these cultures. Balut is a good source of protein, fat, and various vitamins and minerals such as calcium and iron. It is also relatively high in cholesterol and sodium. Its unique flavor and texture have garnered a devoted following even among those who are initially hesitant to try it. For many people, eating balut is not just a culinary experience, but a way to connect with their cultural heritage.

Polana Polish Food Online

Blood Pudding is a Traditional Dish in Many European Countries

Blood pudding is a type of sausage made by cooking animal blood with a filler, such as meat, fat, bread, or oatmeal. The mixture is then stuffed into a casing, which can be made of natural materials like intestine or synthetic ones like collagen. These casings are then cooked by boiling, frying, or baking. The resulting sausage is dark, rich, and savory. Blood pudding has a distinctive texture that can range from smooth and creamy to crumbly and grainy. The texture depends on the ingredients and preparation method. Blood pudding is a popular dish in many parts of Europe. It is a good source of iron, protein, and B vitamins. It also has a low glycemic index and contains antioxidants, which can help protect the body against damage from free radicals. However, due to its high fat and cholesterol content, it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. It is especially important in countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, and Spain. It is often served as part of a hearty breakfast or a traditional meal.

Orange Smile

Koreans Eat Sannakji, or Live Octopus

Sannakji, a Korean dish made of live octopus, is low in fat and calories but high in protein The dish is prepared by cutting the tentacles of a live octopus into small bite-sized pieces. It is then served raw on a plate, often accompanied by a variety of condiments like sesame oil, soy sauce, or wasabi. The experience of eating sannakji is unique. The tentacles are still squirming and wriggling on the plate, making it a challenging dish to eat. Diners have to be careful not to choke on the pieces. The tentacles can cling to the inside of the mouth or throat due to their suction cups. Around six people die each year from consuming sannakji.

Wallacea Coffee

The World’s Most Expensive Coffee is Made from Beans Excreted by the Civet

Kopi luwak, also known as civet coffee, is considered the world’s most expensive coffee, with prices ranging from $100 to $600 per pound. This rare and highly sought-after coffee is made from the beans that have been partially digested and excreted by the Asian palm civet, a small mammal native to Southeast Asia. The civet selects only the ripest coffee cherries, eats them, and then excretes the undigested beans, which are then collected, cleaned, roasted, and brewed to create a unique and highly aromatic coffee with a smooth and rich flavor. Coffee has been linked to various health benefits, including improved cognitive function, a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, and a lower risk of liver diseases such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. Additionally, coffee contains antioxidants and may have protective effects against Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The high cost of kopi luwak is due to its limited availability and labor-intensive production process. Kopi luwak has also been criticized for the inhumane treatment of civets in some production facilities, leading to a decline in its popularity in recent years.

Daily Mail

Japanese Delicacy, Fugu, is the Poisonous Puffer Fish

Eating fugu, or pufferfish, is a thrilling and risky culinary experience. This poisonous fish, which can be deadly if not prepared properly, is a delicacy in Japan, where skilled chefs undergo years of rigorous training to obtain a license to serve it. Fugu sashimi, thinly sliced raw fish served with soy sauce and other condiments, is the most popular preparation method, but the fish can also be served in hotpot, grilled, or deep-fried. The excitement of eating fugu comes from the knowledge that the tiniest mistake in preparation can be fatal, as the fish contains tetrodotoxin, a potent neurotoxin that can cause paralysis and death within minutes. Fugu is highly sought-after and considered a symbol of Japanese culinary expertise, and those who dare to try it often describe it as a uniquely delicious and unforgettable experience.


Eating Insects Provides Many Cultures with a Tasty and Protein Filled Snack

For many cultures around the world, eating insects is a common and even beloved culinary tradition. From crunchy fried grasshoppers in Mexico to tangy red ant chutney in India, insects are a rich source of protein and nutrients that have sustained human diets for centuries. For adventurous foodies, eating insects offers a unique and exciting culinary experience. The texture, flavor, and appearance of different bugs can vary widely. Some insects are sweet and nutty, while others are bitter or sour, and some are enjoyed whole, while others are ground into a fine powder or paste. Eating insects also has environmental benefits, as it is a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional meat sources, with lower greenhouse gas emissions and land use requirements.

Fine Dining Lovers

Fermented Shark Hákarl is a National Dish from Iceland

Fermented shark, or Hákarl, is a traditional Icelandic dish that is made from the meat of the Greenland shark. The preparation of Hákarl involves burying the shark meat in a shallow pit and letting it ferment for several months, during which time it develops a strong and pungent ammonia smell that can be overpowering to some. Once the fermentation process is complete, the shark meat is cut into small cubes and served as a delicacy, often accompanied by a shot of strong Icelandic schnapps called Brennivín. Hákarl is a challenging dish to eat, with a rubbery texture and a taste that can be described as both sour and fishy. Fermented shark is high in protein but also very high in sodium and may contain toxic levels of ammonia. Its nutritional value is limited due to the fermentation process and potential health risks. Despite its strong smell and taste, Hákarl is enjoyed by many locals and the tourists who are brave enough to try it.

Insect Caviar is a Popular Dish in Mexico

Escamoles are a traditional Mexican delicacy made from the larvae of the giant black ant known as the Liometopum apiculatum. The ants are collected from their nests in the ground, and the larvae are carefully extracted and cleaned before being cooked. Insect larvae are a good source of protein, healthy fats, and various micronutrients such as iron and vitamin B12. These larvae are considered a culinary delicacy in Mexico, with a texture that is often compared to that of cottage cheese and a flavor that is described as nutty and buttery. The black ant larvae are most commonly served as a filling for tacos, omelets, or quesadillas, and are often accompanied by guacamole or other condiments. Escamoles are a popular dish in Mexican cuisine, and their unique taste and texture make them a must-try for anyone looking to expand their palate.

Malone Post

Casu Marzu, the Sardinian Maggot Cheese

Casu marzu, also known as Sardinian maggot cheese, is a traditional Italian cheese that is intentionally infested with live insect larvae. The larvae are introduced into the cheese as it ages, and they feed on the cheese, creating a fermentation process that gives the cheese a soft, creamy texture and a distinct pungent flavor. Casu marzu is often described as an acquired taste, with a strong, tangy flavor and a texture that can be quite liquidy due to the presence of the larvae. The cheese is typically consumed by spreading it on bread or crackers, but care must be taken to remove any live larvae before eating, as they can jump up to several inches in the air and can pose a choking hazard. Although casu marzu is banned in multiple European countries, it remains a beloved cheese.

Pinoy Recipe

Japan Eats the Sperm Sacs of Male Cod

Shirako is a Japanese food made from the milt, or sperm, of male fish, typically cod or anglerfish. The dish is most commonly served raw, either on its own or as a topping for sushi. The cod sperm has a creamy, custard-like texture and a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Fish sperm is a good source of high-quality protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants, which may have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Additionally, some studies suggest that fish sperm may have potential benefits for male fertility and may help to reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Shirako is considered a high-end ingredient in Japanese cuisine. This food is often served as a seasonal delicacy during the winter months. While some diners may be put off by the idea of consuming fish sperm, shirako is a popular dish among seafood lovers and traveling foodies who appreciate its unique texture and subtle taste. Although shirako has niche appeal, it remains a celebrated ingredient in traditional Japanese cuisine.

Roaring Earth

Fried Spiders are Quite Popular in Cambodia

Fried spiders, also known as a-ping, are a popular treat in Cambodia. These tarantulas are sure to make your taste buds tingle with excitement. These crunchy, eight-legged snacks are made by marinating tarantulas in a mixture of sugar, salt, and garlic. The spiders are then deep-fried until they are crispy and golden brown. While the idea of eating spiders may be daunting to some, those who are brave enough to try them are rewarded with a unique flavor and texture that is hard to replicate. Fried spiders are often sold by street vendors in Cambodia and are a popular snack among locals and tourists alike. If you’re feeling adventurous and looking to expand your palate, be sure to give fried spiders a try and experience the thrill of biting into these crunchy, flavorful arachnids. There is currently no scientific evidence to support any health benefits of eating spiders, and some species may even be toxic or carry harmful parasites, so it is not recommended to consume them.


Canada Enjoys Jellied Moose Nose

Jellied moose nose is a traditional Canadian dish that may sound unusual at first, but is actually a beloved food staple in many parts of the country. The dish is particularly popular in indigenous communities in Canada. To make this dish, the nose of a moose is cleaned, boiled, and simmered for hours until the meat is tender and falls off the bone. The meat is then sliced and mixed with broth, herbs, and spices, before being set in a gelatin mold to create a jiggly, jellied texture. Jellied moose nose is often served at traditional Canadian feasts and is considered a true delight in many rural communities. There is no evidence to suggest that it has any specific health benefits beyond its potential as a source of protein and other nutrients. If you’re looking to try something truly unique and quintessentially Canadian, give jellied moose nose a try and discover the unexpected pleasure of this gelatinous dish.

Courthouse News Service

Fermented Herring is Loved in Sweden

Surströmming is a pungent, fermented herring dish that is a traditional food in Sweden, although it’s not for the faint of heart or those with a sensitive nose. The herring is caught in the Baltic Sea, and then fermented for several months in a salted brine. This creates a strong, pungent odor that is often described as a cross between rotten eggs and vinegar. Herrings are a good source of high-quality protein, healthy fats, and essential micronutrients such as vitamin D and selenium, which are important for bone health and immune function. Herrings contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to various health benefits such as reducing inflammation and improving heart health. The dish is typically with flatbread and potatoes. It is often eaten outdoors due to the strong smell it produces. Surströmming has a surprisingly mild flavor. However, the dish is also controversial and has been banned from some public places due to its strong smell. If you decide to try surströmming, be prepared for a strong and unforgettable taste experience.


American Westerners Love Oysters that Are Not Really Oysters

Rocky Mountain oysters are a popular food in some parts of the United States, particularly in the West. Contrary to their name, these “oysters” are not seafood, but rather bull testicles, typically from beef cattle. The testicles have been peeled, breaded, and deep-fried. While the idea of eating bull testicles may be off-putting to some, those who have tried Rocky Mountain oysters swear by their rich, meaty flavor and tender texture. They have a mild, slightly nutty flavor and are enjoyed by many meat lovers. The dish is often served as an appetizer or snack at bars or summer festivals. Rocky mountain oysters are typically accompanied by a variety of dipping sauces like chili sauce, Tobasco, or cocktail sauce. They are often served alongside other traditional foods like barbecue and corn on the cob. Rocky Mountain oysters are a good source of protein and some micronutrients.


Fish Heads and Tails Protude from Stargazy Pie

Stargazy pie is a unique and visually stunning dish that hails from the coastal town of Mousehole in Cornwall, England. The dish features a filling of fish, usually pilchards, arranged so that their heads and tails protrude from the crust. This gives the impression they are gazing up at the stars. The pie is then baked until the crust is golden brown and flaky. Stargazy is often served as part of traditional Cornish celebrations. Though it has quite an unusual appearance, stargazy pie is a delicious and satisfying dish that has a rich and savory flavor that seafood lovers are sure to enjoy. The combination of fresh fish, savory pie crust, and the unique visual presentation of the dish makes stargazy pie a truly memorable experience that is not to be missed. Stargazy pie is a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and various micronutrients such as iron and vitamin B12, which are important for overall health and well-being.


Australia Enjoys Eating Large Larvae of Moths

The Witchetty grub is the edible larvae of several species of cossid moths that are found in Australia. Moth larvae are a good source of protein, healthy fats, and various micronutrients such as calcium and magnesium. They contain high levels of chitin, a fiber-like substance that may have prebiotic effects on gut health. The most commonly consumed species are the larvae of the Endoxyla leucomochla moth. Witchetty grubs are a traditional food source for Aboriginal Australians, who have been eating them for thousands of years. They are typically eaten raw or lightly cooked and have a nutty, buttery flavor. The texture is often described as creamy, with a slightly crunchy exterior. To prepare Witchetty grubs, they are typically harvested from the roots of various native trees, such as the witchetty bush, and then lightly roasted over an open fire or coals. The outer skin is then peeled away to reveal the soft, creamy interior. They can also be eaten raw, although this is less common.

Travel Channel

Fermented Fish Heads are Delicious to Many Alaskans

Stinkheads are a traditional Alaskan food that are made by fermenting fish heads in a specialized way. The fish used to make stinkheads are typically salmon, although other fish species can also be used. The heads are removed from the fish and buried in the ground for several weeks, sometimes up to a few months. The fish heads undergo a process of fermentation. During the fermentation process, bacteria break down the fish heads and produce acids and other compounds that give stinkheads their distinctive flavor and smell. When the heads are dug up, they are cleaned and the flesh is separated from the bones. The flesh is then consumed, often raw or lightly cooked, with the skin and bones discarded. Stinkheads are a good source of protein, healthy fats, and various micronutrients such as vitamin D and selenium, which are important for bone health and immune function. However, due to their strong odor and potential bacterial contamination, they should be consumed with caution and in moderation.

Red House Spice

Months Long Preserved Eggs in China

Century egg, also known as thousand-year egg, is a Chinese delicacy made by preserving duck, chicken, or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice straw for several weeks or months. The eggs are not actually preserved for a thousand years. The name refers to the traditional method of preserving the eggs, which dates back over 500 years. The egg white turns brown and translucent, while the yolk becomes a dark green or gray color. The eggs develop a pungent aroma that some describe as similar to ammonia. Chinese century eggs are a good source of protein, healthy fats, and various micronutrients such as iron and selenium. Century eggs are a popular ingredient in many Chinese dishes and are often served as a side dish or as a topping for congee (a type of rice porridge). They are also used in salads, dumplings, and other dishes.

Forager Chef

Mexican Corn Fungus Is Added to Many Dishes

Huitlacoche is a Mexican food made from a type of fungus that grows on corn kernels. It is also known as “corn smut” or “Mexican truffle.” The fungus infects the corn kernels, causing them to swell and turn black with a blue-gray tinge. This creates a mass of spores that resembles a mushroom or truffle. The taste of huitlacoche has been described as earthy, smoky, and slightly sweet. It has a texture similar to that of mushrooms. It is often used in traditional Mexican dishes, such as tamales, quesadillas, and soups. Huitlacoche is prized for its unique flavor and texture. This corn fungus has been consumed by indigenous peoples in Mexico for centuries and has gained popularity in recent years as a gourmet ingredient. It is also believed to have some health benefits, as it is high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants.

Geographical Magazine

Chinese Alcoholic Beverage with Infused Snakes

Chinese snake wine is a traditional medicinal drink that has been consumed in China and other Southeast Asian countries for centuries. The wine is made by steeping venomous snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol for several months. The venom in the snakes is believed to have medicinal properties. It is thought to be beneficial for various health issues, such as joint pain, circulation problems, and rheumatism. Some Chinese also believe that snake wine can increase virility and cure impotence. The tradition of drinking snake wine dates back to ancient China. It was believed to have been used by emperors as a medicine and aphrodisiac. Today, snake wine is still sold in many traditional Chinese medicine shops. Snake wine is also served in some restaurants and bars as a novelty drink.


Where Did We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:…/traditional-chinese-medicine-what-you-need-to-know…axonomy/Cossidae…/everything-you-need-to-know-about-casu-marzu-the-maggot-cheese…/how-insects-positively-impact-climate-change