Out­ra­geous del­i­ca­cies worth try­ing on your next trip

Can your stom­ach han­dle th­ese un­usual del­i­ca­cies?

Red Magazine - - Editor's Note | Contents - WORDS TISHA RAMIREZ

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.

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