Ever wonder what do people in other countries eat? What could be totally weird for us to eat could be a luxurious delicacy for others — and the other way around. Here are 101 of the strangest foods around the world and maybe after reading this list, you can agree that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
1. Stargazy Pie (Pie with fish looking up) – England
A traditional pie from Mousehole (pronounced Mouzul) in Cornwall in honor of a fisherman who had fished alone during a stormy weather.
2. Drunken Shrimp – China
No cooking required, just fresh-water shrimps stunned in “baijiu” (strong liquor).
3. Bushmeat – Africa
Bushmeat, also known as wild meat or game meat, is meat from non-domesticated animals hunted for food in tropical forests. Infected bushmeat was believed to be the cause of the 2014 Ebola breakout in West Africa.
4. Airag – Mongolia
Airag is a kind of fermented mare’s milk known to have significant health benefits. It contains alcohol.
5. Monkey Brains – China, Africa, and South Asia
Monkey brains were said to taste mushy and metallic. You might want to get drunk first before trying out a bite for the first time.
6. Wasp Crackers – Japan
These crackers can be bought in the Japanese town of Omachi just 100 miles outside of Tokyo.
7. Ant Eggs Soup – Laos
The eggs from soldier ants are separated in a bucket of water and later cooked with fish or beef with vegetables. The eggs have a soggy puffed rice texture.
8. Lutefisk – Norway
A traditional dish of some Nordic countries, the Lutefisk is an aged stockfish or dried whitefish treated with lye.
9. Stinkheads – Alaska, United States
Maybe this dish has deserved its name “Stinkheads” for these are King salmon heads buried in the ground in fermentation pits, put into plastic or wooden barrels and left for a few weeks or more before they are ready to eat.
10. Kangaroo Meat – Australia
Kangaroo meat is thought to taste like a cross between venison and buffalo meat.
11. Akutaq (Eskimo Ice Cream) – Alaska
Eskimo ice cream can sound sweet and creamy but it isn’t. It is made up of reindeer fat, seal oil, freshly fallen snow, berries and ground fish.
12. Haggis – Scotland
Haggis is sheep’s stomach stuffed with sheep’s liver, lungs and heart, onions, oatmeal, and other spices. This is simmered for three hours.
13. Beondegi – Korea
Beondegi are steamed or boiled silkworm pupae seasoned and eaten as a snack. It is said to taste like a mixture of raw chestnuts, cooked soy beans and mushrooms or a wet bark from a tree.
14. Turtle Soup – China, Singapore and United States
Savory and gamy, turtle soup is known to be a tasty treat and a traditional Chinese dish especially eaten after pregnancy. Veal is used when making mock turtle soup.
15. Balut – Philippines
Balut is a developing duck embryo, boiled alive and eaten whole from its shell. It tastes like a regular boiled egg with duck broth and an extra crunch inside from the half-formed duckling’s bones.
16. Casu Marzu – Italy
Casu Marzu is sheep milk cheese… with thousands of wriggling maggots. The live maggots indicate that this cheese is good to eat.
17. Deep-fried Tarantula – Cambodia
These hairy creatures can be at least worth the try for they are thought to taste like spareribs, with expected spider eggs and excrement inside.
18. Baby Mice Wine – China and Korea
The baby mice wine is said to be packed with health benefits, but it might be only good for those who like the taste of raw gasoline.
19. Cherry Blossom Meat – Japan
The cherry blossom meat is sold during the cherry blossom season, but it isn’t the pink flower that is served but rather the pink flesh of raw horse meat. In other words, you’ll get a dish of horse sashimi.
20. Grasshoppers– Thailand and Mexico
Depends on how they are marinated and fried, grasshoppers can taste like crispy chicken, old raisins, or just a crunchy insect flavored with oil.
21. Jumiles – Mexico
Spicy, intense and tastes like picante, jumiles or stink bugs are often enjoyed ground and mixed with salsa.
22. Shirako – Japan
If you can have caviar or female fish eggs, then you can try out a male fish’s sperm sacs a.k.a. Shirako.
23. Blodplättar – Sweden and Finland
Similar to black pudding, Blodplättar is a thinner and crispier version made by whipping pork blood with milk, flour and seasoning, cooked in a frying pan like pancakes.
24. Escargots à la bourguignonne – France
Escargots could be already the most popular among the rest included in this list but these cooked land snails deserve to be mentioned.
25. Bird’s Nest Soup – Southeast Asia
Not really made out of an actual bird’s nest, the so-called “nest” is in fact bird’s dried and hardened saliva. It is believed to have medicinal properties.
26. Sannakji – Korea
Sannakji is simply freshly killed octopus chopped to small wriggly bits. You dip them in sauce, eat, let those bits move for a moment and done!
27. Fruit Bat Soup – Guam, Micronesia and Africa
Fruit bats are boiled with ginger and onion, served and eaten just like any other soup. Africa’s version is blamed to be one of the causes of Ebola in Guinea.
28. Damamian (Rotten pork) – Taiwan
It’s a rare dish by Taiwanaese aborigines made by raw pork, rice and salt fermented in a jar or pot for 30 days.
29. Century Egg – China
It doesn’t really take a century or a millennium to preserve this egg. These eggs are preserved in an saline solution until its ph is raised to a safe level giving it a dark color.
30. Cockscombs – Italy and France
These red fleshy parts on rooster’s heads are enjoyed as garnish or additional ingredients for sauces.
31. Soup Number Five – Philippines
Make sure you know what soup you’re ordering because if it’s number 5, it surely is a tasty broth of bull’s penis and testicles.
32. Dragon in the Flame of Desire – China
After trying a bull’s penis why not fly to China and try a yak’s penis. It is known to be good for the skin.
33. Zaza-Mushi – Japan
Available in jars and cans sold in retail shops, zaza-mushi or stonefly larvae are often cooked with sugar and soy sauce.
34. Dragonfly – Indonesia and China
Dragonflies are fried or boiled and they simply taste like soft-shell crabs.
35. Locust – Israel
A swarm of locusts started to feast on the crops of southern Israel and guess what, they took the blessing and these only kosher insects are now a delicacy.
36. Crocodile Meat – Australia, Southeast Asia and Africa
Crocodile meat contains high protein and low fat. The taste might differ depending on how you cook it like grilling and frying.
37. Tuna Eyeballs – Japan
These eyeballs can be easily bought from the local supermarkets in Japan but its quite an acquired taste for some. Just boil and season, and you can start eating the eyeball’s fish fat and muscles that tastes like hard-boiled eggs or squid.
38. Tong Zi Dan (Virgin boy eggs) – Dongyang, China
These eggs are boiled in the urine of boys, preferably under the age of 10. Yep.
39. Rocky Mountain Oysters – United Sates
These oysters are peeled, coated in flour and deep-fried. Oh wait, they’re not real oysters — they’re the testicles of bull calves.
40. Dog Meat – Korea, China and Vietnam
Eating dog meat is controversial and this being included on the list might even drive others mad. Dog meat when eaten without the thought of eating something that came from a dog (the pet) can give you an impression of eating something comparable to a cross of beef and mutton.
41. Sago Delight – Southeast Asia
Sago delight or fried sago worms are surprisingly tasty like sweet shrimps.
42. Cobra Heart – Vietnam
Enjoy cobra heart along with a glass of cobra blood and venom mixed with rice vodka. Go ahead, eat, and drink it up without leaving a drop.
43. Mopane Worms – Southern Africa
Mopane worms can be eaten dry like potato chips or cooked and drenched in sauce. These worms contain three times the amount of protein as beef.
44. Jellied Moose Nose – Alaska (United States)
Boil the moose nose with onion, garlic, spices and vinegar. Discard the bones and cartilages. Slice and you’ll get layers of white and red meat ready to be served.
45. Kiviak – Greenland
Kiviak is a traditional Inuit food made by stuffing Auks (birds) in a hollowed-out body cavity of a seal, sealed with seal grease and covered with large rock pile for 3-18 months.
46. Huitlacoche (Corn smut) – Mexico
Huitlacoche is a fungus which grows naturally on ears of corn usually used in crepes, quesadillas, or tacos. It also known as corn truffle.
47. Puffin Heart – Iceland
A puffin is skinned and its heart is pulled out and eaten raw. The taste is like a fishier version of chicken or duck.
48. Hákarl – Iceland
Known as the “Shark from hell”, Hakarl is shark meat dried in the wind until the skin seals the meat inside which then will undergo fermentation. The dry skin can be removed after three months and the meat is all ready to be served.
49. Smalahove (Sheep’s head) – Norway
With its brain removed, the sheep’s head is soaked in water and salted for preservation. It is then smoked and boiled or steamed to loosen the meat from the cheek bone. The sheep’s head is served with potatoes, fat and mashed swede.
50. Termites – Kenya
The termites eaten in Kenya aren’t the ones that you see munching on wooden cupboards.These local termites are either eaten live or fried.
51. Muktuk (Frozen whale skin and blubber) – Greenland
Muktuk is skin and blubber of the bowhead whale that is sliced, salted, and eaten raw. The taste could be similar to fresh coconut or fried eggs.
52. Raw Blood Soup – Vietnam
Known as tiet canh in Vietnam, the soup is entirely made of goose, duck and even pig blood that is put in the fridge and then served chilled with herbs and chopped peanuts.
53. Shiokara – Japan
Ika no Shiokara, as they call it in Japan, are fermented squid guts mixed with the squid’s gastric juices and seasoned with a bit of miso, salt, soy sauce, sake, red pepper, and yuzu peel.
54. Escamoles – Mexico
Escamoles are edible larvae and pupae of ants harvested from the roots of the Agave tequilana or Agave americana plants in Mexico. These are often pan-fried with butter and spices and can be found in tacos or omelettes. They have a poppy texture and slight nutty taste.
55. Yin-yang Fish – Taiwan and China
Yin-yang fish is deep-fried fish that remains alive after cooking. This is now prohibited in Taiwan.
56. Water Bugs – Thailand
Known as maeng da in Thailand, these bugs are mostly extracted and added to chili-based sauces. They can also be boiled and deep-fried.
57. Shark Fin Soup – China
Shark fin soup is a luxurious dish often served at special occasions like weddings and banquets. Even though it’s a traditional dish, the sales of shark fin has declined rapidly as young Chinese become environmentally conscious and the government’s anti-corruption campaign discourages showy banquets and conspicuous consumption.
58. Waxworms – Asia
Waxworms are usually sauteed or roasted. The taste is said to be a cross between a pine nut and an enoki mushroom.
59. Steak Tartare – France
It is a meat dish made from minced raw beef — yes, it should be raw. It is often served with onions, capers, seasonings and topped with a raw egg yolk.
60. Crickets – Mexico, Thailand, Cambodia
Crickets are eaten fried, sauteed, boiled, and roasted. You can actually do a lot with crickets. There are even cricket burgers available in New York.
61. Starfish – China
The starfish’s hard outer shell is broken and there you’ll find the meat inside which was thought to have a texture between toothpaste and ground beef.
62. Spam – United States
The classic variety of Spam is made up of this number one ingredient: chopped pork shoulder meat.
63. Stink Bugs – Africa
Can be eaten live or cooked, stink bugs often give off an apple flavor to sauces. These bugs are also known to have analgesic and tranquilizing properties.
64. Palolo Worms – Pacific Islands
The worms are traditionally eaten alive, fried in butter or baked in breadfruit leaves in an umu (earth oven).
65. Scorpion – Thailand and China
It was said that frying scorpions can neutralize the venom and the tail is its nutritious part. Fried scorpions have a taste similar to greasy, buttery popcorn.
66. Whale Meat – Japan, United States, Canada, Greenland, Norway, Iceland
Each country has their own take in cooking whale meat. It can be boiled and served with potatoes, fermented, or eaten raw.
67. Walking Stick – Asia and Papua New Guinea
Walking sticks are actually insects and the taste is somewhat leafy.
68. Frog Legs – France, Southeast Asia and other
Often fried, frog legs taste mild and flaky. The taste can be compared to a cross between chicken breast, shrimp and crab.
69. Earthworms – Vietnam
Earthworms are first prepared by placing them in flour or cornmeal to purge out all the dirt and replace their system with something more palatable. Then, these earthworms can be cooked by boiling them first before using in any recipe.
70. Tripe – All Over the World
Though it may not be strange anymore because almost the whole world eats it, tripe is in fact a type of edible offal found in stomachs from various farm animals.
71. Bear Paw – China
It is believed that consuming bear paws will acquire the strength and vigor of a bear. It can be stewed, steamed, or used in soups. The taste is similar to pork, smooth and soft but not as greasy.
72. Fugu – Japan
Fugu or blowfish is luxurious delicacy in Japan. Fugu is served often as sashimi but it can also be deep-fried, baked, or used in salads. Chefs need to go undergo training to receive a fugu-preparing license because this fish contain a poison that is 1,200 times deadlier than cyanide.
73. Snake Wine – China and Vietnam
If you don’t want to risk having a beating cobra heart in your throat then maybe a shot of snake wine can be for you. The ethanol in the rice wine where the snake is soaked in kills the venom. Drinking a shot is believed to boost one’s virility.
74. Cockroaches – China
Cockroaches (American cockroaches) in China are ground and stuffed in pills and advertised as a cure for stomach, heart, and liver ailments. But if you wanna eat it, these insects are fried twice and when eaten they could be similar to an overcooked french fry with a weird aftertaste.
75. Pillbugs (Woodlice)
Pills bugs are actually crustaceans that are prepared by putting them in a plastic bag for 24 hours to empty out their guts. After that, they can be cooked straight into the boiling water. It tastes like a tiny shrimp.
76. Mealworms – Southeast Asia
Mealworms contain about 25% protein and 12% fat. When toasted, they can taste like roasted nuts or seeds.
77. Midge Fly – East Africa
These flies (also called Blind Mosquitoes) are pressed into solid blocks to make a food called Kunga Cake.
78. Witchetty Grub – Australia
The grub can be eaten raw or cooked in hot pan until brown or inform of soup. The taste was said to be comparable to fried egg with a nutty flavor.
79. Salo – Ukraine
Salo is mainly pork fat that can be eaten in different ways: smoked, cooked, or raw. If eaten raw, it is first dipped in salt and finished with a shot of samagon or vodka.
80. Khash – Middle East, East Europe and Turkey
A delicacy often enjoyed as a festive winter meal, Khash is a dish made by boiling cow’s feet. It is eaten with a flatbread called lavash and shots of vodka.
81. Marmite or Vegemite – UK, New Zealand, Australia
Marmite and Vegemite are both yeast extracts that gives off a concentrated umami flavor. It can be mixed in sauces, flavoring meat, or just use as a savory spread.
82. Guinea Pig – South America
Called cuyes in Spanish, Guinea pigs can be grilled and deep fried. It can be eaten from head to toe, and the taste is similar to an oily and tender combination of pork and rabbit.
83. Sompopos (Flying Ant) – Guatemala
Flying ant queens are collected and roasted on a clay griddle with salt and lime juice. Sompopos taste like buttery pork rinds.
84. Southern Fried Rattlesnake – United States
Rattlesnakes, when properly prepared, can be a good substitute for beef, pork, and chicken. Its meat has a unique and light flavor.
85. Nsenene – Uganda
Nsenene (long-horned grasshoppers) is a delicacy in Uganda. They can be fried with their own fat and flavored with onions, boiled or sun-dried.
86. Centipede – China
Centipedes are fried to a crisp and skewered. It can taste like dried spaghetti noodles or nothing at all.
87. Surstromming – Sweden
Surstromming is fermented Baltic sea herring. It is often wrapped in buttered tunnbröd, a type of sweetened flat bread, with slices of almond potatoes and diced onion. It is popular for its pungent smell.
88. Cat Meat – East Asia
Particularly in China, cat meat can be turned into meatballs served with soup. Cat meat is also known to be eaten in some parts of Peru and Switzerland.
Hornworms are starved or fed with green peppers before they can be eaten. The hornworms’ flavor is like a combination of tomatoes, shrimp, and crab.
90. Scorpion Soup – China
Scorpion soup is known to be eaten to ease rheumatism. The scorpions have a woody taste and should be eaten whole.
91. Dung Beetle – India
Dung beetles live in fresh cow dung but when used for cooking, they are first cleaned by removing their abdomens. Then, they are dehydrated, seasoned, and cooked often with pork and vegetables.
92. Stinky Tofu – Taiwan
Stinky tofu is fermented tofu that can be deep-fried, stewed, steamed, or even eaten raw. The name already suggests that the smell is quite unforgettable.
93. Black Pudding (Blood Sausage) – Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe
Black pudding is a type of blood sausage generally made of pig’s blood mixed with steel-cut oatmeal used as thickener.
94. Cow Blood and Milk – Kenya and Tanzania
Raw cow’s blood and milk are mixed and used as a ritual drink during special occasions. The blood is obtained by cutting the cow’s jugular artery which allows blood-letting without killing the animal.
95. Cicada – US, Japan, Thailand, and Malaysia
Cicadas are usually tasteless but can be delicious when mixed with other flavors. They are usually deep-fried but can also be roasted and boiled together with spices.
96. Chicken’s Feet – East Asia, Caribbean, South America and South Africa
There are several ways to cook chicken’s feet which is often served as a beer snack or main dish. It can be marinated in soy sauce and black beans in China, breaded and fried in Mexico, used in soup in Jamaica, or skewered and grilled like barbecue in the Philippines.
97. Fly Pupae
Fly pupae can be parboiled and fried. They are crunchy and have a rich flavor similar to blood pudding.
98. Field Rats – Northern China, Mexico
Field rats aren’t the ones you often see lurking in sewers. They live in the countryside, eating grains and seeds planted on farms. They can be boiled in soup, grilled, or mixed in a stew.
99. Tamilok (Wood Worm) – Philippines
Tamilok or wood worm isn’t actually a worm but a mollusk found inside rotting mangrove. It is slimy, fat and long but it tastes like oysters.
100. Mosquito Eggs – Mexico
Mosquito eggs are first dried then roasted. They can be wrapped in tortillas and served with a squeeze of lime or lemon.
101. Dried Lizards – China
Dried lizards aren’t eaten but used for additional taste in soup. It is known for its health benefits like stamina increase, weigh loss, and protection from fever and other ailments.