What the F…ood?? – The 10 Most Unusual Foods That I Would (Not) Try

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My parents are from Malaysia, which is located in Asia, which has some of the wackiest food on the planet (sorry but it's true). This means that I've already tried some pretty unusual things, from rotten tofu (it's completely black) to bird's nest (yes, the one that's made from the bird's spit dried into strings...)!

However, I've seen some even more unusual things to eat (although, whether you could call them edible would depend on your personal food preferences) mentioned here and there. So I thought I'd make a roundup to delight and disgust all of you, and if I ever come across any on my list, I'll happily update you on my unique experience.

The 10 most unusual foods that I would (not) like to try!

Just a warning: Maybe you don't want to be eating while reading this.

Source of images: Wikimedia Commons

10. Haggis (Scotland)

Haggis_pakora
Image by Aymatth2 on Wikimedia Commons

This one is still relatively tame. According to Wikipedia, haggis is made of sheep's liver, heart, and lungs (mmmmh!), stuffed into its stomach. Yep, it's basically one big ball of cooked sheep's innards.

Visit Scotland's website states:

As strange as haggis may sound, the end result is a culinary masterpiece. Meaty, oaty, fiery and moist, haggis makes a scrumptious meal. 

I'll take your word for it for now!

9. Huitlacoche (Mexico)

Huitlacoche_en_Soriana_Oaxaca_Mexico.cropped
Image by Jatlas1 on Wikimedia

Mouldy corn? Looks worse than it probably tastes, because after all, we in Europe eat mouldy things too, like blue cheese. I think I'd be up for tasting this if I saw other people eating it!

Nevertheless, the word huitlacoche apparently translates to something like "sleeping excrement", which doesn't exactly inspire confidence, right?



8. Tuna Eyeballs (Japan)

TunaEyes_b

No, just no. The idea of eating eyes really freaks me out. I imagine it being very squishy... The fact that they're fish eyes makes it even worse! They're so bulging and they stare at you!

I'm weirded out even writing about it.

7. Guinea Pig (Latin America)

roasted guinea pig

I don't know about this one. On one hand, it's a regular animal like the others we consume, on the other hand, I own a hamster, and it's just too close of a relative for comfort.

A journalist from the BBC said this about her experience:

Delicious. The marinade and slow roasting process, involving regular basting, had given it a tasty crackling-like skin, while the dark gamey meat was rich and oily, not unlike rabbit.

Some of my friends have tried guinea pig on their travels and have said that it tastes ok. Let me know if you've tried it and how it was!

6. Fugu (Japan)

fugu

Here's a dish that might not disgust you, but might actually kill you. One innocent-enough-looking pufferfish contains enough poison to kill 30 people, and the amount of poison it takes to kill one person fits on a pinhead. Reassuring, right?

I'm not sure I'd risk my life to try a local delicacy, but hey, I've done crazy things before...

5. Casu marzu (Italy)

casu marzu
Image by Shardan on Wikimedia

This isn't just any stinky cheese. This cheese contains insect larvae. Yep, you read that right. This is cheese WITH MAGGOTS. I love cheese, but I'm not sure I'd love it with maggots in it... 🙁

4. Balut (Philippines)

balut

Getting to the more disgusting things now. Balut is a developing duck embryo (still in the egg) that's boiled alive before consumption. I don't want to eat babies!! I wouldn't be able to look at its little face and gobble it down... 

Nope, nope, and nope.

3. Hakarl (Iceland)

hakarl

Hakarl is rotten shark meat. 

This poor guy describes his experience:

So what does hákarl taste like? Some say the flavor is similar to the taste of broken dreams. But seriously, the hype is larger than the truth. Yes, it was a struggle to keep the shark down in the presence of fiercely nationalistic Icelanders, but when I tried it, the hákarl was actually somewhat sweet and initially there isn’t much taste . . . it’s the aftertaste that lingers pungently.

I'm usually not averse to trying strong-smelling food, but seeing as even Anthony Bourdain claimed that it was "the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing", I'm not so sure about this one.

2. Tarantula (Cambodia)

fried tarantula

The idea of eating insects bothers me. I know that it's all down to conditioning and that it's actually completely fine, but I can't get over it. Especially the idea of consuming a tarantula gives me creeps to no end. 

This is what someone who experienced it first hand said:

 It takes like digested insects – not like chicken, as the waiter had promised. It’s not disgusting but neither is it a particularly enjoyable sensation. The more I chew it, the more it turns into a hardened little ball.



1. Rocky Mountain Oysters (USA)

rocky mountain oysters

You guessed it. Not oysters. In fact, these bad boys are... testicles. See, I told you not to eat while reading this.

These bull-calf testicles are peeled, flattened, fried, and then served to you for your absolute eating pleasure. 

This guy says:

In the end, Rocky Mountain oysters are mostly like scallops in consistency, without the briny taste, and not any more off-putting than, say, a corndog. 

So at least that sounds okay. Apparently, there are even testicle festivals! Bon appetit!

Even so, I'm not sure I'd go for it. In this case, it's more the idea of what I'm eating than the taste that would put me off, I guess.

We have arrived at the end of my list *phew*. I find all these foods fascinating and a little bit disgusting at the same time. Who knows whether I would muster up the courage to try them someday.

Excuse me while I go feel a little nauseous for a bit.

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Helene is a lifestyle blogger whose goal is to inspire others to live their life to the fullest. She loves dancing, and she would love to see as much of the world as possible!

22 Comments

  1. Travelquartz
    October 8, 2017

    Being a vegetarian it was some task for me to go through the series but I really appreciate the details shared and were curious to know more about these food options, but food is the choice, I bet it is a most sought delicacy for many and I respect that 🙂 I feel tarantula stole the show 😀

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      October 8, 2017

      Apart from some humour and fascination the main point was to raise awareness about these different food options, and the fact that what some of us might find disgusting isn’t for others, so you got the point!?? haha the tarantula is pretty up there, yes?

      Reply
  2. Alex
    October 8, 2017

    Oh gosh some of these are insane! I love haggis (honestly tastes a lot better than it sounds) and I tried the fermented shark (it was horrendous!)

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      October 8, 2017

      Yeah writing the post gave me a little nausea:P Oh gosh, I can only imagine the smell, and it would probably be enough to make me vomit (I don’t have a strong stomach for smells)…

      Reply
  3. lexieanimetravel
    October 8, 2017

    Woah this is the most unusual topic I’ve ever encountered, and it makes me laugh that “Balut” in is the list, well I have tasted it and it was delicious (10 days embryo), the most horrible for me would be blue cheese, I cannot (my nose are sensitive) I can’t afford smelly food. Hakarl and tarantula plus those mouldy and cheese larvae are not for me 🙂

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      October 8, 2017

      Wow that’s so interesting! I’m not sure whether I could bring myself to have Balut?? I love blue cheese! The smellier the better haha! But it’s probably a different story if there are insects involved…

      Reply
  4. Kimberly Kruty
    October 9, 2017

    Oh my goshhhhhhh, I love this so I know what not to try lol. I’m not sure if I would eat any of these things to be honest, except MAYBE Haggis. I have heard Balut is pretty good but I dont know if I could stomach it.

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      October 9, 2017

      Same! I think I’d have to be feeling really brave and adventurous that particular day haha!

      Reply
  5. Tyra
    October 9, 2017

    Although it took me a while to get to the bottom of this post because I was in utter shock lol, it’s fascinating to me that others enjoy eating this and it’s normal. I love bleu cheese, but only on burgers and as a dip for wings, so I probably wouldn’t be able to handle cheese with maggots. I like trying new foods, but I admit I’m a scaredy cat for the unusual. This was an amusing post?

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      October 9, 2017

      Thanks! I really like blue cheese too! Maybe I’d go for the mouldy corn because it’s kind of similar!

      Reply
  6. Heraa
    October 9, 2017

    I don’t think i would be ever trying any of these. I might get sick just by watching them. People have it that they can just eat anything. I am amazed.

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      October 9, 2017

      I’m not sure whether I would! I think I’d have to see it in front of me to decide!

      Reply
  7. Aditi
    October 9, 2017

    Awesome! Now this more like my kinda post -something I’d love to try! 🙂 I might be a little reluctant to have the tuna eyeballs at first.. and maybe even the tarantulas. Wonder how they’d be.. tee hee 😉

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      October 9, 2017

      I know, I saw your post and was like “great minds”, haha! Probably crunchy for the tarantulas and squishy for tuna eyeballs!!?

      Reply
  8. Michael
    October 9, 2017

    I bet they are all delicacies in their country of origin. I would pass on the Rocky Mountain Oysters but wouldn’t mind trying the Haggis. I have never tried Haggis even though I have been to Scotland numerous times.

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      October 9, 2017

      They definitely are! The disgust is just how we’ve been conditioned… I would also like to try Haggis, I’ve heard from many of my friends that it’s delicious!

      Reply
  9. Rahat Arora
    October 9, 2017

    After seeing this I think thank god I am Vegetarian and will never ever in my list to order this food

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      October 9, 2017

      Hahahahaha fair enough!

      Reply
  10. DTG
    October 9, 2017

    OMG what Ann interesting list of different foods, I have heard of some of them and have only tried 1 o your list which was haggis and it was awful. I don’t think I will be trying any of the rest in the near future LOL, even if I was starving.

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      October 10, 2017

      Hahahahaha I’m not sure I would, either!

      Reply
  11. Noel
    October 10, 2017

    Being from the Philippines. I love balut. I can never have enough of it (except if the
    Cholesterol levels are telling me to stop). But I’m always intrigued with the pufferfish. And with the kind of skills required to remove the poison, it has to be very expensive. Interesting how people would pay high for a dish that may kill them if not properly prepared.

    Reply
    1. Helene Choo
      October 10, 2017

      I know, it’s like thrillseeking to the maximum!! And super interesting about Balut! Thanks for sharing your perspective??

      Reply

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