Food is probably one of those things which binds people from all over the world together. Before every vacation, planning the places to visit is just one part of the trip, but the major part is the delicacies that you plan to try out. With the obvious diversity in culture, customs and life, the food also varies from one part of the world to another. Here we bring to you the 12 most exotic dishes from all around the world, most of which you wouldn’t believe exist and is relished by many!
A signature Ecuadorian dish, served with avocado, potatoes and hominy, Hornado is made by slow roasting a whole pig overnight. Ordering this dish in a small shop will give you the experience of watching your chef choose your meat by reaching out into the hog’s body cavity. The chef then cracks off some salty, crunchy pork rind – the skin right off the pork, before preparing the dish. Depending on the local taste, additions like sweet corn, toasted corn and a sour salad of lettuce and tomatoes is added to it. During the long hours of the oven, the star garnish of the dish – crunchy pig skin, develops on its own. The most interesting part of the dish is its cost, barely $3!
11) Fried Taran tulas
A delicacy of Combodia, tarantulas are a species of spiders of the size of a human palm. Tossed in a mixture of MSG, sugar and salt, which is then added to fried, crushed Garlic cloves until fragrant. The identification of cooked tarantulas is the fact that the legs are almost completely stiff and the abdomen contents are not too runny. Some call this bland, others a delicacy, while others like the crispy exterior and soft core. Unsure of how this dish came into the everyday snack, people believe it was out of desperation due to lack of food resources. But this dish surely is an attraction for tourists passing Cambodian town of Skuon.
Derived from the Malay-indonesian language with duri meaning spikes, this fruit is a large sized, formidable thorn covered one. With colors ranging from husk green to brown, the fruit grows as large as 30cms long at times. What ensures that this seemingly harmless fruit makes it to this list of exotic food around the world, is its strong, distinctive odour which penetrates out even when the husk is intact. The odour is described as so pungent that people compare it with that of raw onions, turpentine and even rotten sewage. So if you see a fruit that smells as bad as the leaking drain, you know it’s the Durian!
Scotland and Britain utilizes more than just the flesh and meat of the sheep. This national dish of Scotland is made of using sheep pluck which is generally discarded. Parts like lungs, heart and liver is steamed, minced and cooked with onions, turnips and potatoes to be eaten as breakfast. The sheep stomach is stuffed with offal which is mixed with suet, oatmeal and seasoning, post which the stomach is stitched and boiled for over three hours.
8) Padang food
If you thought beef was the only part of a cow used as food, you haven’t tried the Padang cuisine. Cuisine of the people from Sumatra, it is known for its preparation rich in coconut milk, rice and spicy chilli sauce. But the exotic section of this cuisine is what is added beyond the rice. Some of these dishes are – Gulai Cancang cow internal organs, Gulai Tunjang, foot tendons, Gulai Babek cow tripes, Gulai Iso cow intestines filled with eggs and tofu, Gulai Limpo cow spleen, Gulai Ati cow liver, Gulai Otak cow brain, Gulai Sumsum cow bone marrow Gulai Gajeboh cow fat, Paru Goreng fried cow lung and Kerupuk Jangek cow’s skin.
Well, the Icelanders are not afraid of sharks at all! Hakarl is a national dish of Iceland made of fermented shark meat. This is one of those dishes which never uses fresh meat as fresh shark meat contains a high percentage of urea and trimethylamine oxide, making it poisonous. Hence the meat is allowed to decay and ferment by hanging it for four to five months. Someone trying this out for the first time is advised to pinch their nose to avoid a gag reflex due to the extreme ammonia taste.
6) Slow Cooker Exotic Mushroom Soup
This exotic soup is one of those dishes which Vegans prefer as a stable source of nutrition. Popular Thai soup has mushrooms as its basic ingredient. Cooked with coconut oil, white wine and non dairy milk, it is generally served piping hot. Generally the mushrooms are soaked in white wine over night to ensure they are tender and juicy. The soup is seasoned with dried tarragon leaves, ground sea salt and black pepper. It is generally kept less spicy but can be tweaked to preference.
5) Stuffed Camel
Listed as the world’s largest single menu dish in the world in Guinness Book of World Records, this is a delicacy found in feasts and weddings in Dubai. The insides of the camel is scraped out without tearing the exterior. This is then stuffed with sheeps or lambs which are in turn stuffed with chicken, and the chicken with fish. So it has possibly all the types of meat that you can imagine. Cooked in an oven till the skin is crisp brown, the camel is then served on a silver platter. The entire process takes around 24 hours!
If you thought the list of alive species being eaten is over, you were wrong! The Filipinos relish an egg very different from the ones that we do. A balut is a developing embryo of a duck egg which is fertilized but not completely. This egg is boiled and then eaten. The shelled egg is served as a dish, which is peeled first partially. The egg broth is first sipped out of the egg, and then it is completely peeled. It exposes a semi-developed chick, depending on the age of the egg. Depending on the dish, an egg of a particular age is chosen. Generally served with beer, this is another exotic street food.
3) Awan Bangwi
Awan Bangwi, mainly made up of coarse, long grained rice, is a specialty of the local cuisine of Tripura. Guria rice is preferred for this dish. The main ingredients include rich chunks of garlic, cashew pieces, long bodied sultanas and ginger gratings mixed to form a cake. Being lightly seasoned and vegetarian, it tastes wonderfully delicious with any meal of the day. The best thing about Awan Bangwi is that it comes wrapped in the fragrant Lairu that enhances the taste even more!
Another addition to the list of “eaten-live” dishes is Sannakaji – a Korean delicacy. Made of small octopus, this dish is eaten raw. The octopus is cut into small pieces, lightly seasoned and served when alive. This makes the eater see those little places squirming over the plate. Sometimes, the whole, live baby octopus is also served. Due to small suction pumps on arms of the octopus, the dish poses a choking hazard if it gets stuck in the throat. Even without those suction pumps, most of us wouldn’t be able to get this down our throats!
1) Live beating heart of a Cobra
Are you afraid of a cobra? Well, no, if you are Vietnamese. Vietnamese people believe that consuming this dish enhances virility in males. As the customer gets to choose the cobra he wants to consume, the shorter, thicker and most ferocious ones are preferred. An incision is made on the cobra’s body, all its blood is drained, mixed with rice wine or vodka and served as a drink. The heart is located, removed and served while it is still beating! Its not just the heart and the blood, the bile and venom is also extracted and consumed. Venom, when administered intravenously kills you but consumed the normal way, your stomach processes it like any other liquid!
This was our list of most exotic foods around the world! Indeed the taste that people relish around the world vary greatly, and we also have food connoisseurs who try out all the variety! Well, which one of these you want to experiment with, we leave it to you! Happy eating!