Culture & Technology

The Strangest Food in the World vol.1

Fried water beetles 2

European and american tourists are fairly picky about the food they consume and perceive with distrust any exotic dishes, especially if they are products which we define as ”disgusting”. For us as it is completely normal to eat chicken sandwich, but probably less Westerners would have lunch every day with roasted grasshoppers sauce ladybugs. If you visit any Eastern or African country, or an exotic island in the Pacific will probably be enticed by the fragrant dishes offered on the streets. Often, however, even if you like the dish, probably you will not be impressed if you know what it is cooked from. So you have two options – do not ask what you eat or ask in advance to know what you are getting. See some strange foods that locals can buy from the street and eat with pleasure, but the european and american stomach may not like it.

And not to forget the important fact that the hygiene of the street is rarely good enough, follow a few rules – choose places where local people go to eat; Prefer to cook the dishes in front of you, rather than sitting for hours under the scorching tropical sun; Avoid dairy products, uncooked fruits and vegetables and shellfish in areas with high heat; Do not drink doubtful water; Пrefer well cooked food, not undercooked.

Fried water beetles – Bangkok, Thailand

Fried water beetles 2


Locals claim that cooked water beetles are great source of protein, and they are crispy and delicious. They can be bought almost everywhere in Thailand, among stands of fried grasshoppers, crickets, mantids. Giant water bugs are a challenge for foreigners, as they are 7-8 inches in length and look like giant cockroaches. Local fry them in oil and spices, and crunch it as chips. Beetles are sometimes added in chili pastas, nam phrik and in many Thai dishes. This means that if you hate this dish on the street, it does not mean that you haven’t eaten it in the form of spicy chili.

Hot dogs from venison – Alaska

Hot dogs from venison in Alaska 2



Indeed meat in hot dogs is not only reindeer, as it was too dry people mix it with beef and pork. Many are sold during the racing with dog in March. Hot dogs are hot dish for cold northern days. Experts say they are more delicious than the standard hot dog, especially topped with mustard and onions. Moreover, many Europeans are aware that in hot dogs in Europe probably has ingredients much more disgusting than those in Alaska


Biltong – South Africa

Biltong 2


The dish was introduced by the Dutch that colonized South Africa. It is a dried meat from exotic animals such as ostriches and antelopes. Packages sold in stores in the country, like ours sausage.

Biltong snack with chilly paper


Meat soak in advance in cider or malt vinegar, rub with spices and dries. Streaks are salty, dry and elastic when chewing.


ABC – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


air batu campur ABC 4


The dish’s name comes from the abbreviation ”air batu campur”, ie ”mix of water and stone”. Traditional dish for the heat in Malaysia. ABC represents grated ice, mixed with milk, palm sugar, roasted nuts, even vegetables. To the dish can be added a local supplement called cincau, created by boiling the leaves of the herb cognate of the mint that local describe with iodine taste.


Salty tea with yak butter – Lhasa, Tibet

Salty tea with yak butter


Most Westerners imagine tea with honey or sugar, but in Tibet they drink it salty. And to be even more unconventional for European tastes, they added in the liquid fat piece of yak grease. Tibetan tea is called po chai and is made from black tea leaves. Local typically consume several cups a day, because it is a source of calories, warms the body and protects lips from cracking because of the fat.


Salty tea with yak butter 3


The higher you climb, the greater the amount of fat is placed in the beverage. According to Tibetan tradition tea for guests is filling in after each sip.


Bread with algae – Swansea, Wales

Bread with algae - Swansea, Wales


While it does not look like a bread, this dish called Welsh bara lawr, made from algae porphyra are traditional Welsh cuisine. The Algae thrive along the shores of Peninsula Gouar and are boiled for several hours to form a gelatinous paste.


Bread with algae - Swansea, Wales 2


People mix it with some oatmeal and are fried. If you expect breakfast in Wales like sausage or fried eggs, it is good to be aware that you will probably get seaweed bread with bacon and mussels.


Roast guinea pig – Ottawa, Ecuador


If you have grown children as guinea pigs for pets, avoid walking around the markets in Ecuador. There is a huge chance there to see the dish, which is very common in the region, roasted guinea pig, cooked whole. Connoisseurs say that the meat tastes like duck, but for many people information about what animals they eat would be sufficient to refrain from trying the food.


Balut- Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam



Even if you haven’t bred ducks, this traditional Asian dish will probably seem pretty disgusting. Ballou is widespread gastronomic pleasure that can be bought on the streets of the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is made of two weeks “unborn” duck with rudimentary feathers, beak and claws, cooked as a soup into the egg. Dead in shell swimming in a whitish liquid that is collected in a rounded hollow portion of the egg. The dish is cheaper and preferred by locals and it is considered an aphrodisiac. Local people eat the solid part and drink the liquid.



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