It’s no secret that browsing the internet can bring you some strange results. And as a foreign food lover, my searches for new recipes can take me into some abnormal territory. So I’ve put together a list of some of the weirdest foods I’ve come across for you to learn about. Before you read on, I want to make one thing clear. These foods have been handed down from generation to generation in these cultures and sometimes they have religious and cultural reasons behind them. I would never make fun of foreign food because maybe they think my mac and cheese and ketchup is weird. Don’t knock it until you try it!
WARNING: Some of these foods on this list can be a little unsettling for those with a weak stomach. There are no pictures, but the descriptions could be pretty gross for many. Proceed at your own risk.
1. Casu Marzu
The name itself actually means “rotten cheese” and I think you can guess what the dish is. This is an Italian dish where a cheesemaker takes a mostly used cheese wheel and lays it outside. Cheese flies will lay their eggs inside the wheel and the hatching larvae will ferment the cheese. Now, what’s especially interesting about Casu Marzu is that it can be served either with or without the little white larvae. Bon appetit!
Escamoles were a delicacy of the Aztecs. What was it? Ant larvae! And they’re still eaten today. The most common preparation method is to fry them with some seasonings and a good helping of butter. It can be eaten like couscous or added to tacos and other dishes. But they are pricey since the culture still respects it’s Aztec delicacy status. So it’s a unique dish that could cost you a pretty penny.
You might have seen this Korean dish on your social media feed and not even realized it. The videos of this live octopus dish have become quite popular as the tentacles squirm and unfurl as the diners pick them up with chopsticks. You just have to be careful because, if a tentacle gets stuck in your throat, its wriggling motion could cause you to choke and could cause a lot of damage.
This dish is found more in Norway, Finland, and the surrounding countries. It is a blood pancake, which sounds a little gruesome. The cooks whip blood. Yes, whipped blood. You mix with butter, flour, an egg, and all the other usual run of the mill flapjack ingredients and voila! One blood pancake. The most common blood used is pig’s blood but there have been reports of cooks using their own blood and women have even used menstrual blood.
Last, but most definitely not least, is the most unique dish on this menu. It’s called Balut and it originated in the Phillipines. It’s also enjoyed in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. Will you try it in your home? You have to take an egg with a developing duck embryo inside. Yes, a live unhatched baby duck. You then boil it as is and eat it right out of the shell. This is not for the faint of heart, but those who eat it claim it’s a delicacy to be savored.
So, have you lost your stomach or found new inspiration? Comment below to tell me which of these dishes sounds the most interesting to you. And let me know about any other strange foreign foods you’ve read or heard about. Lastly, if you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it with your friends, family, and fellow foodies on Facebook or Twitter. The world of food never ceases to amaze me and I’m glad I get to share it with you. So pass it on!