Strange Foods Around The World
In honor of May 24 being Escargot Day, I've compiled a list of some other strange delicacies that are willing to be eaten by people all over the globe.
Some foods are delicacies simply because they are expensive -- however, escargot is delicious. Though it was strange, I've had the opportunity to taste it. Escargot is a prepared appetizer made out of a certain type of edible snail and plenty of tasty ingredients like garlic and butter. This dish has been a delicacy as far back as the Romans. The word escargot is actually the french word for snail.
Bird's Nest Soup
In China, many people will pay the incredibly high price for a bowl full of bird spit. Bird's nest soup is made from the nests of swiftlet birds who use their own spit to build nests. Every year people risk the hazardous cave conditions to harvest the valuable swiftlet nests. The nests are removed early enough to allow the birds to rebuild their homes in time for their eggs. Though the soup doesn't actually taste good, it is valued culturally and as a health food. Westerners like us can enjoy the much cheaper and tastier version.
Haggis is another strange delicacy I've had the opportunity to taste. It is, however, a little less tasty than escargot. A Scottish delicacy, this dish is the stomach, liver, brain and tongue of a sheep, and best served with bagpipes. More specifically, it is the liver, brain and tongue minced and stuffed into the stomach. It does taste good, but in Scotland, it's legendary. As the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns once said in "Address to A Haggis", "Aboon them a' ye tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm: Weel are ye wordy o' a grace".
Lutefisk is a Nordic dish made from whitefish, which is air-dried, and lye, which is the poisonous substance used to make soap. Not that the lye helps the flavor -- the lye makes it taste terrible, even after it has been rinsed thoroughly. It is said to be originally discovered by vikings who would probably just drink the lye itself. The point of the lye is to soak the fish after it been completely dried out for preservation. To be fair, lye is also used to preserve foods like mandarin oranges and green olives. But forget being fair -- lutefisk still sounds disgusting.
While lutefisk may make you throw up, a fugu fish could easily kill you. Thanks to its generous amounts of tetrodotoxin, eating the wrong part of these fish will put a permanent end to your vacation. Chefs allowed to prepare it must be trained thoroughly before they're allowed to cut out the bad parts perfectly in order to serve it. They must be incredibly trusted because plenty of people still order it in Japan.
In Vietnam, they like drinks with a bite. Drunk for "medicinal purposes", as medicinal as alcoholic beverages are. Entire snakes, sometimes accompanied by scorpions and other deadly creatures, are stuck in bottled filled with wine. It steeps for months and then is displayed for sale to brave customers. Many have a pink color to them, from the blood. This is something best left on the shelf for display purposes only.
Cabeza de Cabrito
"head of goat" is the head of a goat prepared in a most unappetizing way. The chef usually cuts the head from the top, but leaves the skull for you to eat the brains out of. It must be flavored well, because eating goop out of brain cavities does not sound like a delicacy to me. Oh, it is served with the tongue sticking out, which not surprisingly you get to eat as well.