Thursday, February 19, 2009

15 Strange Meals of the World

1. Balut - Embryo and Yolk

A balut is a fertilized duck (or chicken) egg with a nearly-developed embryo inside that is boiled and eaten in the shell. They are common, everyday food in some countries in Southeast Asia, such as in the Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac and considered a high-protein, hearty snack, balut are mostly sold by street vendors at night in the regions where they are available. They are often served with beer.

2. Deep-Fried Crickets

Crickets are eaten by humans in some African and Asian cultures, where they are often considered a delicacy. There have been movements to promote the eating of insects in Western countries because of high protein content, often with little success as most Western people are naturally repulsed by insects.

3. Deep-fried cockroaches

4. Pig Brain

5. Roasted Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs were originally domesticated for their meat in the Andes. It continues to be a major part of the diet in Peru and Bolivia, particularly in the Andes Mountains highlands; it is also eaten in some areas of Ecuador and Colombia. Because guinea pigs require much less room than traditional livestock and reproduce extremely quickly, they are a more profitable source of food and income than many traditional stock animals, such as pigs and cows; moreover, they can be raised in an urban environment.

Guinea pig 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. The animal may be served fried, broiled, or roasted

Peruvians consume an estimated 65 million guinea pigs each year, and the animal is so entrenched in the culture that one famous painting of the Last Supper in the main cathedral in Cusco shows Christ and the twelve disciples dining on guinea pig.

6. Silkworm kabobs

7. Deep-fried Scorpions

Fried scorpions are quite commonly seen on Asian markets. You can taste them in China, Thailand, Cambodia, Bangkok. Scorpions same as insects are high in protein and apparently consist of important fatty acids and vitamins.

Recipe: Scorpions on a bed of endives and herb cheese

Remove the stings and pincers from the scorpions. Marinate for 30 minutes in white wine, honey and lemon. Bake in a 250°C oven for 5 minutes. Stir-fry the endives, together with garlic, pepper and salt. Serve them hot on plates and add 50 g of herb cheese, allowing it to melt. Top each plate with a few scorpions.

8. Sannakji - Live Octopus Dish

The Korean delicacy sannakji, is very special dish, as the seafood isn’t quite dead. Live baby octopus are sliced up and seasoned with sesame oil. The tentacles are still squirming when this dish is served and, if not chewed carefully, the tiny suction cups can stick to the mouth and throat.

9. Deer placenta soup

10. Fried Tarantulas

There’s also mushrooms, flowers, black chicken, and deer tendon in the broth. The placenta bits where elastic but not rubbery. The portion is small, especially considering you’re paying 158 RMB (over 20 USD) for a small bowl.

Deer placenta is said to be good for — these guys are good at marketing! — male sexual performance, kidneys, women’s skin, people of all ages, and in all seasons. Hmmm. How can you continue life without it? No worries, you can order deer placenta in pills! You can read more about this dish on

11. Lamb Testicles

12. Bee larvae

13. Cazu Marzu

14. Ox Penis

15. Spotted Dick

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