Looking at food from a cultural standpoint makes it easy to assume that what one person thinks of as a delicacy might look like a waking nightmare to another. For Foodies, the idea of eating disgusting foods isn’t a detractor. But sometimes, trusting the word of another person can be tough when the look of the delicacy says ‘yuk’ more than ‘yum’. Keep an open mind as you get a look at some of the world’s most disgusting foods.
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Casu Marzu (Maggot Cheese)
From a distance, this looks like cheesy goodness that’s ready to be devoured. Unfortunately, the closer one gets, the more likely it is that they’ll see something wriggling inside. This Sardinian delicacy is produced by fly larvae. Yeah, it’s like that, but if you close your eyes it’s said to be very tasty.
Credit: The Duckery
A lot of people have eaten duck or duck eggs, but it feels safe to say that not a lot of people have toyed with anything like this. Usually sprinkled with seasoning to give it slightly more taste, this disgusting, or delightful (personal taste and all that) is said to be an experience one wouldn’t forget. Some might try to though.
Credit: Yum China
Pidan (Century Egg)
Yes, it looks disgusting, especially since it’s not a gemstone or a mineral, but an egg that was preserved in clay, quicklime, ash, salt, and rice hulls for weeks or even months. Even the sound of a ‘century’ egg makes a lot of people want to seal their lips and their eyes shut to avoid looking at it. But somehow, this delicacy has a strange, cheesy flavor, or at least that’s what the bravest foodies say.
It’s not tough to applaud the attempt to use every part of the animal. But it takes a brave individual to look at an animal’s backside and think ‘yum’. Of course, it could speak to a food shortage, but that still sounds extreme.
Credit: Angiola Harry
People eat snakes, that’s not the odd part about this dish. It’s the fact that the heart is still fresh and beating when it’s consumed. Add a shot of rice wine to this delicacy and it feels more like a dare than a culinary delight. Hey, when boredom strikes, innovation can come from anywhere.
Credit: Pierre Gui
A lot of people might think of tequila when it comes to consuming worms, especially in various regions of Mexico. But the added protein that can be experienced with this disgusting street treat sounds horrible, no matter that the worms are cleaned and boiled. Could you keep your cool if you saw a crispy worm protruding from your pretzel?
Credit: Commonplace Fun Facts
Baby Mice Wine
Plenty of drinks have something floating in them, be it for harmless decoration or purposeful flavor. Rarely is it seen that a dozen or more tiny mammals are floating at the bottom, and that’s probably for the best. It’s true that advocates for this disgusting drink state that it can remedy asthma or even liver diseases. But seriously, are you willing to watch those tiny bodies floating toward your glass with each pour?
Credit: NZ Steve
Spiders are creepy enough when they’re alive, they don’t look any less creepy when they’re dead. The mere thought of crunching into an arachnid, especially one the size of a tarantula, is enough to make a lot of people run for the hills. But in China and other parts of the world, it’s a pleasing street treat. Hey, some people enjoy churros, this is only a little crunchier. Right?
Rocky Mountain Oysters
Credit: Taste Atlas
It’s kind of amazing that a lot of people still don’t know what a rocky mountain oyster is, but the reaction is usually the same. If you find yourself inland, miles away from the nearest oyster bed, you might want to ask what these are. Then again, the less you know, the tastier it could be.
Fruit Bat Soup
The people in Palau must know something we don’t since the mere sight of a fruit bat is enough to cause gooseflesh to rise on the arms of a lot of people. But for one reason or another, fruit bat soup is a delicacy. It sounds harmless, but the disgusting part is that the bat is set in the soup intact, dead, and cooked to be certain, but still intact. Yeah, let that image sink in.
Credit: Campervan Reykjavik
It doesn’t look that bad, does it? As a traditional Icelandic dish this delicacy appears to be something that everyone might like. But fermenting anything, especially if one knows the fermentation process, produces a wrinkled nose from many people. The idea that this dish smells like ammonia and tastes like fishy cheese is odd for certain and might test the mettle of anyone but a foodie.
Nope, it’s not another name for a chocolate Payday bar. Known as ‘civet coffee’, Kopi Luwak is aptly named since the beans are harvested from, ahem, civet leavings after they’ve consumed the coffee berries the seeds are bound in. Let’s face it, one way or another animal feces has something to do with a lot of what humans consume, but this is the type of direct source that might make even the most devout coffee lover gag a little. Of course, it’s tough to know if it would be due to the source or the cost.
Seriously, these things look like Graboid babies from the movie Tremors. But these critters, which are found in coconuts (hence the name) are kind of tasty. As disgusting foods go, it’s a big ‘nuh-uh’ from a lot of people. But the most daring foodies would no doubt take a bite.
Credit: Sushi Girl Wiki
A creature such as a pufferfish, which has poison running all through its body, has a wonderful defense mechanism that keeps wary predators from consuming it. But it would appear that there are chefs who can prepare this deadly fish without delivering its natural toxin to the consumer. After that, all it takes is someone brave enough and willing to trust in the chef. Piece of cake, er, sushi, right? So, if you’re the kind of diner who likes a side of adrenaline with your sashimi, Fugu is the dish for you.
Credit: Gastro Obscura
Plenty of people can’t stand to eat octopus in the first place, and that’s when it’s dead and unmoving. This dish, which is made from a baby octopus and served immediately after its demise, is bound to unnerve even the most dedicated foodies. Not only are the pieces still squirming, the suckers can adhere to lips, faces, or throats on the way down. Only one question remains after that when thinking about this disgusting food. How’s your gag reflex?