One of my favorite parts of travel is trying new foods.
Each culture has it’s own kinds of food, and some of them can be quite strange! Often, the only way to find these foods is to travel to their native country, a fact which only makes them all the more interesting. Once you’ve found them, the next step is convincing yourself to put the meal in your mouth. Is it really worth the bragging rights? I almost always decide it is. “Almost” being the operative word.
Over the past few years and countries, these are a few of the strangest foods I’ve worked up the nerve to try:
This is by far the wackiest food I’ve ever put in my mouth. I almost couldn’t do it! As the chicken head hovered dangerously close to my mouth, Elisha gave me a few sage words of wisdom. “You know Hannah,” he told me. “As Master Yoda once so famously stated, ‘Do or do not, there is no try!’ ” I noticed he had no intention of eating one himself. Ah well. He’s always been wiser than me.
The chicken’s head is almost entirely bone, gristle, and a thick layer of soggy fat. I manage to choke down a few bites before giving up. Trying something doesn’t mean I have to finish it, right? This “delicacy” is served all over Asia and can sometimes be found in Central America. I tried it in Chaing Mai, Thailand.
These little wood-eating bugs can be found all over the world. They are not, however, eaten all over the world. I first tried them in the jungles of Belize. My brothers were there watching, as well as a few other tourists, so when our guide offered me a live termite, there was no room for squeamishness. Without hesitation, I popped one into my mouth. “The trick is to bite it before it bites you.” our guide instructed me.
Surprisingly, termites are unexpectedly delicious!
After you get over the fact that there is a live bug wriggling inside your mouth, you can enjoy the interesting flavor it provides. Imagine a mix between carrots and mint, and a satisfyingly crunchy texture!
This fruit is known worldwide for it’s horrifying stink and unique shape. About the size of a large balloon, it is covered with many sharp spikes. The edible part of the fruit, which can be found beneath it’s spiny exterior, is a pale yellow. It has a distinct flavor, which could be compared to a mix of pineapple and banana. You may want to plug your nose as you try it, or the stench might ruin your appetite! Did you know durian fruit is banned on airplanes and public transport because of it’s smell?
I will never be a fan of these bouncy little bugs. Whether fried, shish kebabed, or hopping around in their natural state, I avoid them when possible. But at my brother Gabe’s insistence, I agreed to try just one fried grasshopper while we were in Northern Mexico.
My advice to you: never, ever, under any circumstances, put one of these in your mouth. It doesn’t matter how much garlic and grease they’ve smeared on it, it will never be enough. Gabe, however, loves them, and crunches them up whenever he can, in my presence if possible. He’s always loved to make me gag!
Once again, something Gabe loves, and I do not. Whole fish, skewered with a stick, and roasted over a fire until the skin is black and crispy. While these are edible, if there’s another option, I choose it. They are definitely worth a try though. Fish kebabs have a very different flavor than traditional American fish and chips!
These are just a few of the weird foods I’ve tried recently. There are many, many more strange “delicacies” out there for the intrepid traveler to try, and I intend to have a decent share of them!
See what another traveler has to say about bizarre foods around the world!