10 Weirdest Food in the World
10. Animal Brain
Monkey brain is considered as a cure for impotence, which led to over-hunting for a time in Indonesia. It is served in China and other parts of the world. There have been rumors that it is being served raw and directly out of a dead (and sometimes alive) monkey’s skull.
Normally served in the US, fried-brain sandwich is made up of calves’ brain between slices of bread. It became famous in the 1880’s in Missouri, until mad cow disease became a concern. In 2004, serving brains from cows 30 months was no longer legal. Calf brain is also a delicacy in some parts of Europe and Mexico where they are eaten in tacos and quesadillas.
Escamoles are ant larvae harvested from the roots of the tequila producing plant, Agave. It is also referred to as insect caviar in Mexico. According to them, Escamoles have the consistency of cottage cheese, and a buttery and slightly nutty taste.
Chef Anthony Bourdain was once quoted saying that Hákarl was “the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing” he ever ate. Hákarl is a local delicacy from Iceland made of Greenland shark or sleeper shark, cured and fermented by hanging for four to five months. It is generally rotten shark readily available in Icelandic stores.
7. Live Octopus
In Korea, they serve live octopus called nakji. It is still moving when served and must be eaten whole. There’s also sannakji, which are just the tentacles of the live octopus. As it is still relatively alive when served, the suctions in the tentacles are still active so special care must be taken when eating as it may cause choking.
6. Rocky Mountain Oysters
Don’t be fooled. These are not oysters. They are bull calf testicles that are often peeled, coated with flour, pepper and salt, and deep-fried. Sometimes called as calf fries, it is a popular delicacy in the American West.
5. Kopi Luwak
Popularly known as civet coffee, these are coffee berries that are eaten and defecated by a kind of cat called Asian Palm Civet. Kopi Luwak is one of the most expensive coffees around the world, priced at about US$100 – US$600 per pound.
CasuMarzu, which literally means rotten cheese in Italian, is a Sardinian sheep milk cheese popular for having live insect larvae in it. Cheese fly eggs, which later turns into maggots, helps the fermentation process of the milk to make it cheese.
3. Tuna Eyeball
Tuna eyeballs are cheap and are readily available in Japanese grocery stores for about US$1 per piece. It is normally seasoned and boiled before serving.
Fugu or pufferfish is a native Japanese delicacy, which apparently is very poisonous. There is a specific law in Japan that only qualified chefs are allowed to handle and serve them. Fugu is normally served as sashimi and chirinabe or hot pot dish.
Balut is a common streetfood in the Philippines, but can also be found in Southeast Asian countries such as Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. It is fertilized duck embryo, which are boiled alive, and eaten in the shell. Balut has been featured on many reality TV shows as part of their eating challenge, such as Fear Factor, Hell’s Kitchen and Survivor.