*Some images may be uncomfortable to some, so proceed at your own discretion.
You’ve got picky eaters, non-picky ones, and the downright adventurous eaters. We’ve compiled this list to help you eat your way through the world with the oddest, questionably delicious and sometimes completely bizarre foods from around the globe. Bon Appétit!
1) Surströmming, Sweden
Surströmming is the Swedish name for soured herring. It is basically fermented Baltic Sea Herring sold in tin cans that once opened gives off such a pungent aroma that it usually needs to be eaten outside.
2) Birds Nest Soup, East Asia
Given the name, you’d think that this soup would be made from twigs and leaves. This dish, however, involves the Swiftlet- a type of bird that builds its nest with its own saliva which gummifies once it’s exposed to air. The nests are then harvested from often dangerous cliffs to make this luxurious and expensive delicacy.
3) Escamoles, Mexico
Escamoles, also known as“insect caviar”, is a dish made of the edible larvae and pupae of ants. Normally eaten in a taco or an omelette, it is said to have the consistency of cottage cheese with a buttery, nutty taste.
4) Kopi Luwak, Indonesia
Kopi Luwak is perhaps one of the most expensive coffees in the world. What sets it apart from your regular countertop coffee is before the beans are roasted, they are eaten, digested and defecated by an animal called the civet. The civet’s enzymes and partial fermentation in its gut give the beans an intense but delicate flavour with no aftertaste. Don’t worry, a thorough wash is part of the preparation process!
5) A-Ping, Cambodia
Next time you’re feeling adventurous in Cambodia, you should definitely try a popular street dish called the A-Ping(fried spiders). The specially picked spiders are coated in seasoning, then fried in garlic oil until crispy!
6) Chaprah, India
One of the main side dishes of a tribe in Chhattisgarh, India, is the Chaprah, or Red Ant Chutney. Red ants, along with eggs are collected from nests, crushed, then dried. The dry chutney is then prepared by adding salt, sweeteners, ginger, coriander and chilies. The formic acid found in the ants paired with the seasonings give this dish a very pungent and hot flavour, and is often said to contain medicinal properties!
7) Century Egg, China
To make these Century Eggs, duck, quail, or chicken eggs are added into a vat in a mixture of strong black tea, lime, salt and freshly burned wood ashes. They are left to soak anywhere from seven weeks to five months—not for a century as the name implies. Striking to look at, and maybe even more striking to smell, these obsidian gems are definitely an acquired taste with a strong ammonia-sulfur-like odour.
8) Beondegi, South Korea
Beondegi is a street food found in Busan, South Korea. These silkworm pupa snacks are said to be salty and crunchy on the outside(like popcorn!) and soft on the inside(definitely not like popcorn) Like most things on this list, it’s said to be a delicious, healthy treat once you shake off the initial jitters of eating pupae.
10) Stargazy Pie, England
The Stargazy Pie is an odd-looking invention. Heads of sardines poking out of a shortcrust pie lid, and a wafting aroma of a buttery sea. This intriguing looking bed of star-gazing fish is a savoury dish of meat, hard-boiled eggs, and custard usually served around Christmas time.
10) Wasp Cookies, Japan
Sometimes surprise is biting into a chocolate chip cookie and realising that they are in fact raisins—other times it’s realising that it’s neither of the two, but actually a bunch of crispy wasps. These wasp crackers are sweet with a slightly savoury taste and according to certain sources, wasps contain the highest percentage of protein of any edible insect— a whopping 81% to be exact!