Outrageous delicacies worth trying on your next trip
Can your stomach handle these unusual delicacies?
Each country has its own rituals and customs, especially when food is involved. Dishes considered a delicacy to some cultures might be unusual to others.
Fugu, Japan. Fugu or pufferfish is considered a delicacy in Japan despite it being poisonous. Its intestines, ovaries, and liver contain tetrodotoxin, and one pufferfish has enough of it to kill 30 people. Because of the risks involved, chefs must train for two or three years to receive a fugu-preparing license. The fish is usually sliced paper-thin and eaten raw, as sashimi. Those who have tried it say that it tastes a bit like chicken and its texture is gelatinous. If you are ever in Japan and want to try the dish yourself, make sure to see the chef ’s certificate before you order.
Tarantula, Cambodia. Poverty-stricken Cambodians during Khmer Rouge rule initially stumbled on this crunchy snack. Fried tarantulas, enjoyed by tourists and natives, is also a reminder of what the country has endured.
The tarantulas are deep fried in oil and seasoned with salt, sugar, and garlic. Depending on the way it is seasoned, it can be eaten as either a savory or sweet treat. The head and body of the spider contains a white meat, while the stomach consists of a brown paste of organs and eggs.
Snake wine, Vietnam. Known as a natural medicine, this wine is made by fermenting a cobra in a bottle of rice or grain liquor. Months of fermentation in the alcohol cancel out the snake’s poison, making the wine safe to drink. To enhance its flavor, herbs and spices can be infused. When it comes to its medicinal properties, snake wine can be used to treat health conditions like back pain and rheumatism. Ant Eggs, Thailand. Weaver ants, known for weaving leaves together to build a network of nests, are common insects in Thailand. These ants along with their eggs are used in a variety of Thai dishes such as soups and stir-fry. These insects munch on fruit-tree leaves making them taste of fresh lime. Because of their natural acidity, they can take the place of lemon juice or vinegar in some dishes. In Thailand, vendors sell these ant eggs in banana leaves as an on-the-go snack.
Termites, Namibia. At the beginning of the rainy season, when crops have yet to be produced and supplies are running low, locals of Africa turn to termites as another source of food. With the use of nets, they are harvested when they take flight during migration.
Before the termites are cooked, they are washed and their wings are removed. Once added to a pan, they are covered with boiling water. When the water has evaporated, butter is added and the termites are fried. Once they are slightly roasted, they taste of crunchy peanut butter.