Our differences and similarities make us, the human race, what we are. Food is no exception. While there are some truly incredible and tasty dishes all around the world that make us drool just by thinking about them, there are some that terrify us and make us think twice about what do we eat and consider it normal. From all of the bizarre street foods around the globe, here are the truly weirdest ones.
1. Deep-Fried Crickets
Crickets are eaten in some African and Asian cultures, and they are often considered a delicacy.
There have been movements to promote the eating of insects in Western countries because of high protein content.
Alas, those movements had little to no success. Deep fried crickets can be eaten as they are or they can be dipped in honey, for instance. The crispy and sweet combination never sounded so weird. Then again, honey is basically bee vomit.
2. Roasted Guinea Pig
If you had a pet guinea pig, you should skip this one. If you still have one, please step away from the cage.
Guinea pigs were originally domesticated for their meat in the Andes and they continue to be a major part the Peruvian and Bolivian diet, particularly in the Andes Mountains highlands.
Guinea pigs are also eaten in some areas of Ecuador and Colombia.
They are a more profitable source of food and income than many traditional stock animals, such as pigs and cows and they can be raised in an urban environment. This meat is high in protein and low in fat and cholesterol, and is described as being similar to rabbit and the dark meat of chicken. It can be served fried, broiled, or roasted.
3. Deep-Fried Scorpions
Step right up and have some fried scorpion! According to vendors who cook and sell deep-fried scorpions, frying them neutralizes their poison.
Ironically enough, the tail is the most nutritious part.
Scorpions are considered to be a precious ingredient, with medicinal values like reducing one’s pain and promoting the circulation.
Fried scorpions at the market come in both adult and baby varieties; the adult ones have a black glaze and the babies are smaller and more transparent. It is said that they taste like greasy popcorn with a buttery aftertaste. Some vendors top the delicacy with a bit of chili powder or melted herb cheese.
4. Stink Heads
Alaskan natives have traditionally used all parts of the fish, so naturally, the head isn’t an exception.
Stink heads are one of the traditional delicacies and they are just like what they sound like – fermented salmon heads.
The heads of salmons are buried in the ground in fermentation pits, put into plastic or wooden barrels, even plastic food storage bags, and left to let nature do its thing for a few weeks or more.
The preparation process is less about fermentation, however, and more about rot and decomposition. The dish is basically nothing but rotten salmon heads. The heads are then harvested and eaten as such. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
5. Deer Placenta Soup
In Shanghai, China, deer placenta soup is made from mushrooms, flowers, black chicken and deer tendon in a broth.
Deer placenta, the not-so-secret ingredient, is elastic making the dish chewy when eating it.
If you do not know exactly what a placenta is, here is the definition to make it even more appetizing.
Yes, placenta, the sac-shaped organ that attaches the embryo or fetus to the uterus during pregnancy in most mammals, which gets expelled after birth. Deer placenta is said to be good for male sexual performance, kidneys, women’s skin, and for people of all ages.
If you don’t want to eat the soup, you can always just order the pills.
Shirako in Japanese means “white children.” If that’s not a worthy hint, we don’t know what is.
Shirako refers to the sperm sacs of many different kinds of fish, like cod, angler fish or puffer fish.
They look like white miniature brains, and supposedly have a sweet, creamy, custardy taste. Think of this dish as the male equivalent of caviar.
Shirako can be made in many ways. It can be steamed, pan-fried or deep fried. Then again, who cares how it’s made; there is no way that any cooking technique will ever make you forget what exactly you are eating.
7. Jellied Moose Nose
Well, you can’t say that people aren’t creative.
Just when you think you’ve heard it all, here comes someone saying that some people eat noses, particularly jellied moose noses.
Nose isn’t exactly a choice cut, and it’s bizarre in more ways than one. Of course, that hasn’t stopped some adventurous human beings, Canadians in this case, from experimenting with nasal parts.
Jellied moose nose is made in a particular way: the noses are spiced up with onions and spices; the nose hair is removed, the nose is boiled again and then sliced and covered with a broth that sets into a jelly. Jellied moose nose. Yup. Welcome to planet Earth.
8. Fried Spider
This one definitely isn’t for people suffering from arachnophobia, but then again, maybe this is the right way to go to finally get rid of that nasty problem.
Fried spiders are a thing, ladies and gentlemen, and what a thing they are.
Fried spider is a regional delicacy popular in the Cambodian town of Skuon.
It’s prepared by marinating it in MSG (Monosodium glutamate – a common food additive), sugar and salt and then frying it in garlic.
It is said that it has more meat on it than a grasshopper, but it also has brown sludge in the abdomen. That sludge mainly consists of innards, eggs and excrement. Sounds delicious.
9. Chicken’s Feet
Chicken feet are eaten all over the world, FYI. Taking that under consideration, maybe it’s wrong saying that it’s weird… Then again, no, it’s definitely weird.
Chicken feet are mostly made of skin, which makes them a little gelatinous in texture.
If flavored properly, they are said to be incredibly tasty.
The only problem (apart from eating chicken feet) is that the bones can get on your nerves a bit, because they make the feet a bit difficult to eat. Towns and cities in China often have a range of markets selling just about any type and amount of food, including pig snout on a stick and roasted duck heads, so chicken feet don’t sound so bad when you think about it.
10. Dried Lizard
Dried lizard is one of the most popular dishes in Hong Kong. The best part of dried meat is that it offers health benefits in many different ways.
The lizards are actually not eaten but used to simmer in a pot for hours, so the taste can be released into the soup.
This dried lizard soup has many medicinal values. In some Asian cultures, dried lizards are sometimes infused with alcohol to extract medicinal properties.
This process supposedly takes years. Dried lizards are packed in couples, and you have to consume both genders together in the soup to get effective results. Interesting…
11. Stinky Tofu
Stinky tofu is originally from Taiwan but it’s also a popular dish in China and Indonesia.
Reportedly, is, without any doubt, one of the most pungent smelling, uniquely tasting foods anyone ever encountered.
Even the native Taiwanese have mixed feelings about their infamous dish.
The fermentation doesn’t have a fixed formula for starter bacteria, because of the regional and individual variations in manufacture and preparation all across Asia.
The traditional method for producing stinky tofu is to prepare a brine from fermented milk, vegetables, and meat. The brine can include dried shrimp, greens, bamboo shoots, and Chinese herbs and it’s fermentation can take up to several months.
12. Rats On A Stick
Corn on a cob, rats on a stick… it’s all the same. Considered to be the next form of kebab, the demand for rats on a stick is completely out of this world.
Eaten in Thailand, rats on a stick are popular because rats are a really cheap meat.
They are very easy to kill, and there are millions of them just running around the streets. Maybe rats on a stick are the next great thing, the dish that ends world hunger, and it would be incredibly stupid to make fun of this dish.
Then again, it’s a rat on a stick.
13. The Smiley
Have you ever eaten a face? This popular African street dish, known as “the smiley” consists of exactly that – a dead sheep’s smiley face.
The food gets its name from the set of teeth, displayed once the lips have been burnt off. Does it sound like we’re making this up?
The head gets charred on a barbeque, and sold with a litre of Coca Cola and a bread roll.
This dish is an integral part of township life and it can easily feed up to four incredibly hungry people. Reportedly, the brain and eyeballs are particularly tasty. Don’t judge before you try some. On the other hand, judge away.
14. Octopus Noodles
Some people sure like their food raw. In this case, raw means alive and kicking.
This Odori-don dish of Japan deserves its place on the weirdness charts because these noodles come with a live squid, still budging and dancing on your plate.
The squid is put upon some noodles, and no one initially notices that the squid is still alive until sauce is poured over the squid and it starts to moondance all across the plate of noodles.
This dish can be grabbed just about anywhere in Japan and eaten like it was just a slice of pizza. The thing is, pizza doesn’t usually bust a dying move when you pour ketchup on it.
Are in the mood for some boiled unborn baby chicks or ducklings? The Vietnamese people eat duck eggs when they are partially developed!
And when we say partially, we mean that it’s just a few feathers away from being the cute little yellow fluffy being known to all.
Considered as a fast food delicacy, embryo duck and chicken eggs are extremely nutritious.
They can easily be found in both restaurants and at street vendors, and are often served with beer. This 18-day-old fertilized duck egg has revolted even the most daring and adventurous people with its texture. This dish will definitely not be “instagrammed.”