It’s hard to believe but there are some things that we eat in the UK that the rest of the world can only look at in horror. For example there’s haggis, so memorably described by The Simpsons’ Groundskeeper Willie as “Chopped heart and lungs boiled in a wee sheep’s stomach! Tastes as good as it sounds!” Ugh!! Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? Or then there’s Marmite which, to the untrained palate, might just taste like the waste products from the brewing industry with some added sugar. Although some Brits are absolutely addicted to this and would consider Marmite tastier than Nutella!
But compared with these six examples from around the world of things that people willingly put into their mouths, our own edible eccentricities become boringly mainstream.
The 100 Year Old Egg
This Chinese delicacy may not actually be a century old but it sure does taste like it Honestly. Basically, it’s an egg that’s been preserved in ash, clay and quicklime for a few months, at least until the yellow yolk turns black and the white goes brown. The overwhelming aroma is one of ammonia with undertones of sulphur so if you ever think about including one in a hangover-curing fry-up like the ones listed on Deliveroo, maybe it’s time to reconsider.
Over in Japan, the Japanese liven up the traditional cracker by adding some digger wasps into the mix. Although eating insects is said to be a solution that scientists are seriously considering to address world hunger, this certainly does seem a step too far considering the strong sting the live wasps are said to have.
All the way from Sardinia, this sheep’s cheese could be the perfect accompaniment to the wasp crackers. That’s because within its creamy recesses there are hundreds of little maggots that are said to enhance the flavour. For an extra element of danger, the maggots are start jumping out when they are in a panic.
You literally are taking your life in your hands when you tuck into a plate of fugu from Japan. The highly toxic pufferfish can only be prepared by highly trained chefs who have to ensure that none of its internal organs come into contact with the flesh as it is prepared for sushi. That’s because they contain a toxin 1,000 times more powerful than potassium cyanide. Craziness!
A less deadly, but equally unappetising, fishy treat comes from Iceland in the form of hákarl. It’s a basking shark that’s buried for a few moths till the poisonous fluids have drained from its body. Then it’s hung up to dry for a little while longer before being cut into strips and served. It might not be life threatening but it’s surely enough to make you consider sticking to cod and chips instead.
Deep Fried Rattlesnake
A big favourite in the south western states of America. The rattlesnake meat is boiled off the bone before being coated in breadcrumbs, flour and salt and being put in the deep frier. It’s supposed to taste a little like frog’s legs, so you can draw your own conclusions.
So there you have it. Six tasty treats from around the world that most of us surely hope never to experience. There are many more we could mention, as well as drinks to accompany them including yak butter tea and seagull wine, but however strong you think your stomach may be we doubt it would be up to the experience!