You probably wont want to read this at lunch time
We all do it; go on holiday and watch in horror as one of the locals eats something we find disgusting. But with different cultures come different foods – and none are more ‘different’ than this lot! Here’s our run down of the 18 most disgusting dishes from around the world.
1. Balut – Philippines/ Cambodia
Balut is a delicacy in the Philippines and other East Asian countries. It’s a fertilised duck egg with a partially grown embryo inside. The duckling is boiled alive in its shell and then seasoned with salt, chilli and vinegar. The broth surrounding the embryo is sipped from the egg before it is peeled and the yolk and young chick are devoured.
2. Sannakji – Korea
Among many other strange things, Koreans regularly tuck into nakji: live octopus cut into small pieces. Remarkably, the octopus pieces stay ‘alive’ for a long time, so it can be eaten slowly and still be wriggling by the last mouthful. Check out this video…
3. Casu Murzu – Sardinia
Think stilton smells bad? Well, Casu Murzu cheese smells so bad that it comes with a warning. But the smell is the least of your so worries when it comes to Casu Murzu. Italian’s let the larvae of cheese flies (yes, cheese flies) hatch inside and burrow around, eating and digesting the fats. Once the maggots are done, they’re left with a seriously pongy, seriously strong cheese – eaten with or without maggots!
4. Thousand year old egg – China
Ever cracked a rotten egg? Well, instead of throwing it away, imagine covering it with salt, ash and a bit of clay and then leaving it for few months! Yep, that’s a thousand year old egg. The end result is a dark green, egg shaped snack with a serious aroma that the Chinese pay good money for.
5. Smalahove – Norway
Smalahove is a traditional Western Norwegian dish of boiled sheep’s head. Originally it was eaten before Christmas, but it is now eaten more frequently. I struggle to see why!
6. Tuna eyeballs – Japan
No explanation needed with this one; it’s exactly what it says on the tin. In defense of the Japanese, they eat pretty much every part of the tuna – so why waste the eye. It’s amazing how big a tuna’s eye is.
7. Cocks combe – France/Italy
You know that flappy red bit of flesh on a chicken’s head that looks like a small, red rubber glove? Some Italians eat that!
8. Fruit bat soup – Micronesia
Fruit bat soup is made by putting a live fruit bat in a boiling hot broth. Once the bat has cooked, they chop it up and eat it immediately. Eaten only a small group of people on the tiny islands of Micronesia; fruit bat soup is frowned upon by many of the locals.
9. Ox penis – China
I love oxtail soup; it’s one of my favourite foods. Ox cock soup? Not so keen! Eaten in China to help with manliness, Ox penis is a common dish that can be bought in supermarkets.
10. Insects, worms & frogs – Asia/South & Central America
Eaten all over Asia and in South and Central America: insects, worms and frogs can be bought in bags from food stalls on the side of the road. Cooked and seasoned in lots of different spices and flavours, insects are one of the most widely eaten disgusting dishes on the list. Maybe we’re missing a trick?
11. Escamoles – Mexico
Escamoles are the larvae of a venomous ant species that lay their eggs in maguey plants in Mexico. The larvae are then harvested and eaten in tacos. Yes, venomous ant egg tacos!
12. Shirako– Japan
Back to Japan; Shirako, in Japanese, means ‘white children’ but is actually the sperm of cod, angler fish or puffer fish.
13. Fried tarantula – Cambodia
Another simple one to work out; friend tarantula is deep friend tarantula and a popular snack in Cambodia. It’s also a very popular with tourists.
14. Jellied moose nose – Alaska
Take the upper jaw bone of an Alaskan moose and boil with onions, vegetables and a few spices. Leave to cool. Remove hairs. Make a gelatin mix with the broth and add the moose nose meat. Leave to set. You now have jellied moose nose.
15. Huitlacoche– Mexico
If you allow corn to be overtaken by a fungus called ‘corn smut’, the fungus will transform the kernel into blue-black tumor like growths that smell as strong as they taste. Most people would throw it away (3 weeks ago); but not the Mexicans. Mexicans love it!
16. Hakarl– Iceland
Hakarl is the national dish of Iceland. Take a Greenland sleeper shark; bury it in sand for a couple of months. Dig it up, cover it in salt and then hang it up to dry for a further two-three months. Harkarl is strong; very strong!
17. Stargazy pie–Cornwall, UK
Fish pie! Yum! How about fish pie with whole fish and their heads sticking out of the pastry? Didn’t think so. It would probably be funny if it wasn’t real.