10 Weirdest Foods in the World

Posted Sep 9th 2010 01:07 PMUpdated Sep 9th 2010 01:08 PM



kin0be, flickr

One of the greatest joys of traveling is sampling the local delicacies. But what if that delicacy isn't so...delicate? From insects to intestines, these 10 dishes are perfect for channeling your inner Andrew Zimmern. They do take a strong stomach, though -- and a strong mind.


Haggis; Biology Big Brother, flickr

1. Haggis
Every Scottish family has their own recipe for haggis and pubs and restaurants around the country have their own variations as well. No matter where you get it, the main ingredients will be a sheep's pluck: heart, liver and lungs. After the organs are mixed with onion, oatmeal, spices, and salt, the dish is then stuffed inside the sheep's stomach and cooked for three hours.

2. Maggot Cheese
This Sardinian cheese is known locally as casu marzu and is famous for the fly larvae found inside. That's right, there are maggots. In the cheese. Usually made from sheep's milk, the cheese ferments as a result of the digestive action of the larvae. While some people clear the bugs out before eating, it is traditionally served with the larvae still inside.

3. Bird's Nest Soup
Think of this as like the Chinese version of mom's chicken soup. It is made using the nests of cave swifts -- the nests are held together by bird saliva, which gives it a unique texture. Since nests are high in nutrients, the soup is said to be the cure for what ails you. Besides boosting the immune system, it's also thought to help with digestion, sexual prowess, asthma, and concentration.

Thousand Year Egg

Thousand-Year Eggs; laughlin, flickr

4. Thousand-Year Eggs
It doesn't actually take a thousand years to prepare the eggs, but it can take several months. To make this Chinese dish, duck or chicken eggs are preserved in clay and ash with a mixture of salt, lime, and rice straw. When the process is complete, the yolk becomes a dark green substance with a strong sulfur and ammonia smell and the egg whites turn dark brown and jelly-like.

5. Muktuk
Muktuk is an Eskimo dish of frozen whale skin and blubber that is usually made from the bowhead whale. It is traditionally eaten raw, though it can also be served diced, breaded, and deep fried or even pickled. Muktuk can be found all over Alaska's Inuit communities during the summer and fall whaling season.


Fugu; Claudia~~~~, flickr

6. Fugu
Otherwise known as puffer fish, fugu is one of the world's deadliest dishes. The fish contains a neurotoxin that can cause paralysis and even death. Yet it's still one of the greatest sushi delicacies in Japan. Only licensed cooks are allowed to prepare it after strict training that has to be done in Japan. The fish is carefully sliced to remove the poisonous organs and skin. If you want to take a chance on fugu, it is best eaten in the winter when the fish are caught fresh.

7. Tarantulas
Fried tarantulas are a delicacy in Cambodia and women walk around with large trays and sell sacks of spiders for just a dollar. Pull the legs off and eat two at a time. Not everyone eats the sack at the end, though. It holds the web as well as the heart and eggs and can be a bit...chewy.

8. Rocky Mountain Oysters
The North American dish, sometimes called prairie oysters, is made of buffalo or bull testicles. After being flattened, the testicles are deep fried and served up hot. The best place to find them is at festivals in states heavy with ranchers or cattlemen. The "World's Largest Rocky Mountain Oyster Feed" takes place in June at Eagle Fun Days in Eagle, Idaho.


Balut; kin0be, flickr

9. Balut
Commonly sold in the Philippines, Balut is a fertilized duck egg with a nearly developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in its shell. The broth surrounding the embryo is sipped before the shell is peeled and the yolk and young chick are eaten. Vendors often sell balut in buckets of sand (used to retain warmth) with salt on the side.

10. Sannakji
This Korean octopus dish can be served two ways. The most adventurous dig into the whole octopus live, while others eat it freshly deceased (either way the creature will continue to squirm). Be aware that the tentacles will stick to everything, including the your throat -- choking is a major hazard. The very chewy dish is not overly flavorful, but it does give new meaning to the term fresh food.

Filed Under: Weird, Food + Drink

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lots of complaints. im also disgusted or scared on eating some of these delicacies, but what can we do humans love to explore things out. INFACT how would you know that your steak is edible to eat when no curious man learned how to cook it? how would you know that the apple you eat is delicious? would you just grab a thing and eat it? thats how it is just live with it. vegetarians....? LEAVES TREESS everything in this world has a life.. go eat SAND and MUD maybe it wont complain of being killed. makes a GREAT DINNER for vegetarians think so? These pople are not stupid they are just curious and you are just afraid to see the world. Have a bite of yourself so no one will compain. HOWS THAT?

October 10 2011 at 10:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

sue: why is fish any different than, meat?

January 22 2011 at 5:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Whitney Simmons

.......uh....cool and gross at the same time. Interesting what people eat, but I don't know if I would try it.

December 16 2010 at 3:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just so you know, u guys are not in this world who live in this earth. Its how it is for hundreds and hundreds of years. Its u who never been outside the country or worst and sadly most individual refuse to learn or explore different cultures. People are afraid of the unknown and its normal. And do you know that We Americans are the most boring food eaters in the world. Don't hate people for what they eat. Stop looking from within and don't be afraid to learn other cultures. You will learn to accept human as human. What i meant is you don't have to eat them but respect different cultures. Have you ever heard the commonly use term most foreigners refer to us, " You Americans" lol

December 15 2010 at 11:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

thousand year egg?? Shoot i need to get some more of this eggs. Its my favorite. Just had my last one 3 days ago and the only way to get this is i have to drive 100miles to Atlanta to get it. If you can find oriental supermarkets, they will likely sell them. Been eating them for 30 years of my life since childhood. Sure im proud of it and i don't show it off eating them here. Its an acquired taste but almost all asians eat them. Not american asian tho. they are spoil.

December 15 2010 at 10:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Andy's comment

Agree. The best description i can give is this : "savory cheese"

February 05 2015 at 9:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Zahid Khan

they eat that because they are Non Muslims. but this is Very disgusting.

October 07 2010 at 8:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jasmine, you ignorant fool! Lack of education is why other countries are eating what they eat, and you're so glad to be an american because of that??? Do you even understand what you write? Somebody fry a brain and feed her... Unbelievable!

October 04 2010 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Balut is NOT supposed to look like that. That one is already too old.

September 22 2010 at 9:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Erica's comment

actually they're graded according to age. this one looks like an 18-day old one.

February 05 2015 at 9:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Goes to show the lack of Education these other countries have to be eating such gross things. Which makes me glad to be an American. Grant it, some of these so called Chef's get out of hand by cooking grass hoppers, or spider cupcakes, You will never see me eat that crap.. I rather eat vegetables and sand, than eat that nasty gross disgusting crap.

September 12 2010 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i know many people who eat live junebugs. they say they taste just like cashews

September 12 2010 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply