Weird And Wonderful Food Delicacies From Around The World
From fried guinea pig and cat-poo coffee beans to live octopus and birds' saliva soup, see our pick of the most weird and wonderful 'gourmet' delicacies from around the globe. Maybe wait until you've had your lunch though.
Bizarre Food Delicacies From Around The World
Cambodia: Fried Tarantula
These eight legged, crispy spiders are a tasty treat in Cambodia, with hundreds of deep fried spiders being sold as snacks. The tarantulas are fried whole - legs, fangs, eyes and all. The black arachnids are found locally in the nearby jungle and only cost a few cents to buy.
Iceland: Svid (Boiled Sheep's Head)
Looks tasty eh? This dish is made from a sheep's head, which is burned to get the hair and outer grizzle off then the head, and then cracked open for the brains to be removed. It is then boiled. The head can also be pureed and turned into a jam, also known as 'headcheese'. The tongue and jaw are the most popular parts of the head to eat and when served you can still see the facial features and even the sheep's eyes.
Peru: Fried Guinea Pig
If you're a pet lover, you might want to look away now... Known as Cuy in South America, fired guinea pigs are a specialty in particular parts of Peru. They are usually fried on a stick, or as part of a Peruvian dish called pachamanca, where they use hot stones to cook the meat.
USA: Scorpian Suckers
Although they have been around for years as novelty gifts, these insect lollipops are actually eaten in southwest America and Mexico. Once you've eaten the lollipop around the insect, the scorpian can be eaten.
Korea: Live Octopus
The 'Sannakji' dish, or live octopus, kills six people in Korea a year and yet it doesn't stop them ordering it in restaurants. A raw, live octopus is quickly chopped into pieces, while still alive, and put on the plate still wriggling. The reason it's dangerous is because its tentacles are still active and if they aren't swallowed quickly, they hit the side of the throat and can choke you to death...
Phillipines: Fertilised Chicken Eggs
A delicacy from the Phillipines, Balut eggs are fertilised eggs which are boiled just before they are due to hatch. So effectively, it is a boiled chicken foetus around 17 to 21 days old, depending on preference (the older they are, the more likely you'll see developing beaks, claws or bones). Balut eggs are a common Filipino snack - just like a hotdog in the US.
Indonesia: Cat Poo Coffee Beans
These coffee bean-looking things are in fact the world's most expensive gourmet coffee beans. Why? Because it's actually made from cat excrement. The Luwak, which is an Indonesian cat-like creature, eats ripe coffee beans but their system can't digest them. Therefore, they excrete them whole and then the Kopi Luwak is born! These cost $120 to $300 a pound.
China: Bird's Nest Soup
If you thought a bird's nest soup would be full of twigs and leaves, think again. Also known as the 'Caviar of the East', this gelatinous soup contains the saliva of a bird. Yes, you heard right. This soup costs between $30 to $100 per bowl and is believed to be a good source of protein, minerals and be a good aphrodisiac. If you can stomach it that is.
Mexico: Insect Larvae Caviar
This risotto rice-looking dish is actually swarming with the larvae of ants. Nicknamed 'Insect Caviar' in Mexico, the escamoles are usually served in a taco with quacomole.
Sardinia: Decomposed Cheese
This seemingly innocent-looking cheese is a soft, Casu Marzu Sardinian cheese made with sheep milk. The twist? It has been left to ferment and decompose and is in fact full of cheese-fly larvae and translucent maggots. The maggots burrow through the cheese, sucking out the cheese making it soft.
Japan: Blow Fish Sushi
This infamous dish is not only a weird delicacy, but an extremely dangerous one at that. Fugu blow fish skin contains deadly tetrodotoxin toxins which can paralyse or asphyxiate a human if it's not cooked correctly. Chefs in Japan require a license to cook them as it involves a strict procedure of removing the poisonous skin.
Iceland: Sheep's Liver Sausage
Made from sheep innards, this Icelandic dish comes in two forms, either as a black blood pudding or a white liver sausage. The name of the sausage, 'Slatur' means slaughter and is covered in lard and sewn up inside of a sheep's stomach and then boiled. It can also be pickled in milk whey.