10 weird and wonderful foods around the world

by - 04:31


The British public loves food. Many TV shows focus on delightful dishes, including The Great British Bake Off and previous programmes such as Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook. Elsewhere, Heston Blumenthal’s Michelin-starred restaurants have become well known due to their exquisite foods and extravagant presentation. 

But, while that likes of steak, potato and vegetables may be staple additions to dinner plates across the nation, many global ‘delicacies’ wouldn’t be considered ‘the norm’ in the UK. Here, with seed potatoes suppliers, Suttons, we head off on a culinary journey around the world to find obscure local favourites:

Wasp crackers


This Asian ‘treat’ certainly wouldn’t, well, ‘fly’ off the shelves at British supermarkets. Replacing chocolate chips with wasps to make up a snacking biscuit may seem an odd decision, but folk in Japan seem to enjoy it…

Haggis


While this is well known on our shores, far away countries aren’t as keen on the dish. The minced-up sheep’s heart, liver and lungs is mixed with onions, suet and oatmeal before being seasoned with salt and spices and cooked traditionally inside the animal’s stomach is a delicacy north of the border. However, ask any tourist and they may not be so enthusiastic!  

Century eggs


If you’re a stickler to use-by dates, it may be worth avoiding this offering. While it hasn’t been sat for 100 years as the name suggests, this Chinese dish sees the egg preserved for a few months so that it turns the yolk a rather unappetizing dark green, with the white turning brown. 

Rocky Mountain oysters


You may be forgiven for wondering why oysters have made this list. Well, these ‘oysters’ are actually bull testicles; deep-fried bull testicles at that! Apparently, it was a favourite for the American West’s cowboys and they can now be found at festivals across the country. Bon appetite! 

Fried spiders


A delicacy in Cambodia, this is certainly something that is an acquired taste! According to Clive Graham-Ranger’s book looking at the country’s top tables, the Romdeng restaurant in Phnom Penh serves this in over 200 dishes each week.

Surstromming


For those that aren’t ‘in the know’ surstromming is a Swedish feast of sour and fermented herring. However, if you are to try it, don’t open the tin indoors. The pungent odour is so strong that the Swedes generally munch on this snack outside. 

Tiger Nuts


These ‘nuts’ were originally cultivated in Ancient Egypt. They are actually the root of the chufa sedge plant. Often soaked in warm water before being devoured, the tiger nut’s sweet and nutty flavour helps Spanish people make horchata – a sugary and milky drink that’s a good milk substitute for those who are vegan or lactose intolerant.

Casu Marzu


A Sardinian speciality that you wouldn’t expect – maggot cheese. Yep, you read that right! This sheep’s milk cheese contains live insect larvae, or in other words, maggots. It’s said that, when disturbed, the maggots can leap into their air, meaning diners often have to cover their food to avoid the maggots escaping. It’s actually an illegal cheese and is often called the world’s most dangerous cheese due to its obvious health implications. If, for some reason, you want to try it, you’ll not be able to find it anywhere but the black market these days.  

Kohlrabi


Labelled as one of the world’s healthiest foods, kohlrabi is a relative of wild cabbage. So, why is it not better known? It’s most commonly on the menu in India and pretty much all of the plant is edible meaning there’s very little waste. 

Nopales


When you hear about edible plants, you normally wouldn’t think of the cactus. However, in Mexico, the succulent flesh of the nopales is edible – once the spines have been peeled off! It’s often used as a vegetarian alternative for tacos. 

Of course, there are many more favourites that could have had a place the list, including as frog’s legs in France and chicken’s feet in China. However, it’s clear that where we are brought up can greatly alter our taste buds. Next time you’re on holiday, why not check with the locals what their speciality dish is and try out their cuisine? 

Sources



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