Top 10 exotic foods from around the world – And where you can find them

Casu Marzu

If you thought that Italian cuisine was all about pasta and pizzas, you are mistaken. This dish right here is a synonym for exotic foods for some, disgusting to others, and yet a tasty tradition for many Italians.

Casu Marzu is actually a sheep milk-cheese with live larvae inside. They use the larvae in order to decompose the cheese and give it a soft and unique taste in the process. Italians have no problem seeing worms dangling from their cheese, and eat it regularly, but are you up for the challenge?

Haggis

We move on to Scotland to see what uniquely exotic foods we can find there. The most bizarre food that they eat over there is haggis. They prepare this delicacy using the heart, lung and liver of the sheep, and make a pudding out of it. Then they add some spices and chopped onion, and to top it all off, they cook it in the sheep’s stomach. It might not sound appealing to you, but they swear it tastes quite nice.

Century eggs

A quite popular and liked dish in China are the century eggs. They are either chicken, duck or quail eggs that have been covered in clay salt and ashes, and left to sit for months before consumption. In that time the eggs decompose and obtain a jelly-like texture. After a few months they are ready to be served straight on a plate and brought to you.

You need to prepare yourself for the strong odor the eggs will have, if you do decide to give them a try. Many try them simply because they are on the list of the world’s most exotic foods, and would always make for a fun story to tell their friends.

Exotic foods, or not – we are not sure we could ever stomach them.

Wasp crackers

Next time you’re in Japan, rather than eating rice crackers, why not try something new. If you don’t get disgusted easily and would like to give something new and bizarre a taste, then you should maybe give these crackers a try. The crackers are made with wasps that are actually grown for human consumption only.

The way they prepare the crackers is they catch the wasps, boil them to death, dry them and mix them in with the dough. Imagine chocolate chip cookies, but instead of chocolate chip you have wasps. The thing that differentiates these cookies from other cookies on the market is that they are extremely cheap. That’s why they have become quite a sensation on the Japanese market.

Balut

Balut is a specialty in the Philippines and Portugal. It’s actually a 17 to 21-day old duck embryo, served in its shell. They are most commonly served with beer, and most often sold as street food. The way you eat a balut is you first pierce the duck egg and drink the liquid that’s inside, then you remove the shell and eat the whole duck embryo.

If you are up for a good food adventure, but these dishes are not quite to your taste, then you might want to check out these destinations in stead. Note: be prepared to spend a fortune though. What you’ll see here are some of the most expensive foods from around the world.

Durian

This exotic Chinese fruit looks quite tasty and sweet, but in reality it smells, tastes bad, and leaves your mouth smelling like a “sewer” as some have said. Many have actually described its smell as a mix of vomit, sewers, rotten eggs, and rotting flesh. The fruit smells so bad that it’s actually banned from all airports worldwide, and many hotel restaurants throughout Asia.

Monkey brains

In some Asian countries, including Chana, monkey brains are a normal part of a menu. Although it may sound and seem disturbing to you, monkey brains are not at all a controversial topic in China. They serve and eat them both raw and cooked with some spices.

Experts say that eating this dish can lead to some very dangerous health risks. Some actually believe that it could even lead to cannibalism. Others are simply used to the dish, and find nothing wrong with eating it.

Live cobra heart

exotic foods - Vietnam - cobra heartIf you’re ever in Vietnam, you’ll probably have the chance to give some of their specialties a try. You can ask your tour guide where you can find snake restaurants that serve this dish and they’ll be able to show you where to go. You might not be able to find these restaurants on your own, since they don’t really advertise themselves.

Once you’ve found a restaurant you need to decide if you’ve got the guts to go in, and if you’re actually prepared, and would like to try something like this. If you do decide to go in, be prepared to see many more animals than cobras.

Those restaurants keep a lot of caged animals for you to choose from. That’s why it’s horrific and bizarre for most people to go in. When you go in the room full of snakes, you’ll have the option to choose which cobra’s heart you’d like to eat. The rest is up them.

As you wait patiently at your seat, you can order some of their other specialties, like: lizards, scorpions and other snakes, usually served in rice liquor. After you get a taste of their appetizers they’ll serve the still beating heart of the cobra you chose earlier. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, you might want to grab a ticket to Vietnam.

Bear claw

exotic foods - China - bear clawEven though many animals’ rights activist are fighting against this age old tradition, bear claws seem to still be considered a delicacy in China. The practice of farming bears for their meat, and bile has been forbidden and banned in many countries.

Nevertheless, their fate is still quite gruesome in some. Bears that are farmed for such purposes are not only used for their meat, but for their bile as well. They keep them in very inhumane conditions. They live out their lives chained and locked in cages.

You can find this Chinese dish in rare restaurants. Some chefs go through great efforts to get their hands on some bear claw. That’s because bears have been classed as endangered, making it illegal for chefs to prepare this dish.

Fried tarantula

exotic foods - Cambodia - fried tarantulaGiant tarantulas are a specialty in Cambodia. They are a delicacy that sells for $1 for one, which is a lot, having in mind that the minimum wage in Cambodia is $6 a day. They mostly sell these fried tarantulas as street food. You can also find them near busy tourist areas.

You can find many other types of fried spiders and insects on the streets of Cambodia. Tourists go crazy for them. They love to get an instagrammable souvenir from their trip and their adventure, and that’s exactly why they love these types of foods.

About the author

Marija Krstova is a blogger and content writer. She writes about health & wellness, fitness & nutrition, travel, gaming, lifestyle and more. When she’s not writing, you can find her travelling, playing with her dogs or enjoying a sunny day at the park.

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