One person’s trash could be another’s treasure, and similarly, what you might find cringe-worthy, could be a prized delicacy in another part of the world. While there are certain generic factors like geographical location, availability, culture, religion, lifestyle etc that shape eating habits of a given community, there’s a great deal of innovation involved as well! So if you thought that the world’s best job was that of a food critic (figuring all you need to do is to travel and eat!), you might want to reframe your opinion after taking a look at these 9 exotic foods from around the world!
Bear Claw Stew: Just when you thought the Chinese couldn’t get any weirder with their palates, here’s one that tops the list! Bear Claw Stew ranks amongst the most expensive and rare delicacies, strictly available in A-list restaurants. If you’re intending to sample some of it, you better hurry. Owing to cruelty towards bears, this dish has drawn the ire of animal rights activists, and will soon go off all menus!
A Beating Cobra’s Heart: If you’re heading on a Vietnamese Holiday, brace yourself for the most exotic food experience of your life! Not only is the cobra’s heart devoured raw, it’s also eaten while still faintly pumping (out a freshly-killed cobra) and washed with cobra’s blood. It’s strongly believed that consuming it this way can make you extremely powerful. Are ‘budding Voldermorts’ listening?
Grilled Giraffe Meat: An African Safari is largely incomplete if you haven’t treated your taste buds to Grilled Giraffe Meat at a restaurant in Cape Town! Considered as popular ‘game meat’, this delicacy boast of a somewhat sweetish taste, intense flavor and chewy texture.
Escamoles: Turns out, Mexico is not just famous for Tortillas and Jalapeno Peppers, but also for putting insect larvae on your plate! What might appear to be harmless white beans (if it’s being referred to as Escamoles) are actually giant ant eggs (large black ants belonging to the Lipometum Species); should you be bold enough to try it out, you’re in for a smooth, buttery taste!
Casu Marzu: If you consider Italian cuisine, the world basically comprises of two kinds of people- cheese lovers and non-cheese lovers. For the former, nothing can be too smelly or gross. But Casu Marzu takes it to an all new level, comprising of fermented cheese (made of sheep milk) made to sit for days at a stretch, till it becomes larvae-infested, and is relished in entirety- cheese with larvae and eggs!
Fugu Fish: The Japanese penchant for fish is something that we’re all pretty much aware of. But devouring the prickly thorn-covered Fugu Fish is nothing short of an act of bravery, considering how lethally poisonous it is! Its constituent Tetrodotoxin can kill you in 3 to 4 seconds, and it takes the handiwork of culinary genius to make its delicious flesh poison-free and palatable!
Kopi Luwak: Here’s an unforgettable treat for coffee-lovers! The world’s most expensive coffee beans involve partial processing with the help of an animal’s digestive tract! Yes, it’s true; the super-expensive Kopi Luwak beans are sourced from the coffee berries that are fed and excreted by the Asian Palm Civet or Toddy Cat! While you can easily place an online order for this choicest coffee, you’ll find the best quality being locally sold in the islands of Java, Sumatra and Bali!
Czernina: Now isn’t ‘Czernina’ such a beautiful-sounding name? Well, what it actually refers to, is ‘Duck Blood Soup’, a traditional Polish delicacy that dates back to the medieval age. Should duck blood be unavailable for some reason, one could also substitute it with the blood of the rabbit, pig or hen!
Cow’s Tongue: Beef Tongue is a prized culinary delight, and is especially known for its rich fat content, which is relished raw in sandwiches, hors-d’oeuvres, burritos etc, or boiled and served with horseradish sauce or in a vinaigrette salad! Across the US, Canada, Mexico, UK and even Russia, the cow’s tongue is chomped upon with much ardor, while the Alberta Province in Canada remains the largest exporter till date!