People love food. It should come as no surprise, then, that there are many TV shows dedicated to food. Indeed, food can be delicious as well as entertaining: baking contests, competitions to see who is the better chef, touring different restaurants, and of course, watching people eat foods that are deemed really, really, really disgusting.
As such, many shows travel around the world to compare “delicacies.” It can be lots of fun to try foods from different cultures. You never know what delicious meal you will find. Sometimes, however, the foods may not look or sound very appealing. Foods that are considered delicacies to some people may seem, well, revolting to others.
There is a long list of bizarre foods and strange dishes that can be found around the world. Of course, you can’t judge a dish until you’ve tried it for yourself. Or can you? Though many try to keep an open mind, what you’re about to read may seriously churn your stomach and force you to think (no matter how open minded you think you are) that these foods are just gross or even cruel.
The following is a list of 10 of the most bizarre and grossest delicacies. If you are currently eating, you may want to stop for a while before you read on (or at least keep a bucket handy, just in case).
10 Tuna Eyeballs
Giant stewed eyeballs in Japan are considered by some to be a delicacy. Naturally, that “some” is very few people. Tuna eyeballs are definitely not your average meal and there is a reason why they are apparently very cheap.
In Japanese restaurants, it is considered to be for people with “rare tastes.” However, some people swear that they are delicious. As the pupils and eye sockets of the eyes are hard, you are only supposed to eat the part of the eye that becomes gelatinous goo after having been stewed for hours.
9 Casu Marzu
Casu Marzu is a traditional Sardinian cheese that is known as “maggot cheese”. It is prepared in a similar way to pecorino, a cheese made from goat’s milk. After the cheese is prepared, a hole is cut into it and it is taken outside for flies to lay eggs in it. Upon hatching, the eggs will turn into maggots, which, after eating the cheese, secrete digested fats, proteins and sugars.
The cheese must be eaten while the maggots are still alive. The problem is that the maggots do not like to be disturbed (or eaten) and will jump out of the cheese at a distance of up to six inches. How horrifying must it be if one lands in your eye...
8 Deer Penis
Deer penis is one of the many delicacies served in the Guolizhuang Restaurant in Beijing. Though it may sound repulsive, it should not be surprising. According to one of the waitresses working at the restaurant, the Chinese have been eating animal penises for thousands of years.
Apparently, animal reproductive organs are a natural cure for kidney and erectile problems. However, for the medicine to take effect, penises have to be eaten regularly - isn’t that lovely. Deer blood and hearts supposedly also help cure erectile dysfunction, working within half an hour of consumption and having no side effects.
7 Sheep Head
Sheep head is a South African delicacy. It is also becoming increasingly popular throughout the country. Here is how to prepare a delicious sheep head. First, you must remove the flesh and the brain. Next, you must dice the meat, add curry spices and cook it. Sheep’s head apparently makes for an excellent, hearty stew.
The best part of the head is supposedly the ears and they eyes, which are apparently chewy. The intestines are also considered to be among the most delicious parts of the sheep.
6 Squirrel Brains
In Kentucky, squirrel brains are considered a regional delicacy. In the late 1990s, however, doctors issued a warning not to eat squirrel brains as they may contain a variant of mad cow disease. Kentucky had found 11 cases of squirrel brain with mad cow disease: all of the infected individuals were regular squirrel brain eaters.
Mad cow disease is, of course, very dangerous: more than half of the diagnosed squirrel brain-eating patients were deemed terminally ill. So if you are an avid strange food eater, you may want to skip this challenge if you’re in Kentucky.
5 Bat Paste
In Thailand, bat paste is considered a great delicacy. Yes, bats: those adorable nocturnal, sometimes rabies-infected creatures. To prepare this dish, you must first catch a live bat. Upon catching the bat, you then have to dunk it in in boiling milk - the poor creature.
The cooking time depends on the size of the animal, but ideally, you want the bat to become soft enough to easily mash into a paste. Add you favourite herbs and spices to the mix. The result will be a sort of batty stew. Voilà, you have bat paste.
4 Hot Vit Lon (Soft Boiled Fetal Duck)
Hot vit lon is a Vietnamese delicacy: fertilized duck eggs that are between 16 to 20 days old. Contrary to popular belief, fetal duck eggs are not used as an aphrodisiac but to regain strength after pregnancy.
Depending on the age of the egg, the inside may contain bone, beak or feathers, but they are usually eaten before the egg becomes that old. Hot vit lon is not only popular in Vietnam, but also in the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos and China. The taste? That depends on what kind of duck egg it is. The best-tasting are supposedly Muscovy ducks.
Stinkheads are an acquired taste, and considered a delicacy among the Yupik people of southwest Alaska. Stinkheads are fish heads that have been left to ferment in the ground for weeks. The most popular fish used to prepare stinkheads is King salmon.
The preparation is very simple. Put the fish head and its insides in a plastic bag (or traditionally, a barrel) and bury it. Return weeks later when the fish will be thoroughly fermented. Never mind the horrid stench and dig in. Though it may seem strange, the ancient Romans actually had a similar delicacy that involved leaving the fish out in the sun instead of burying it.
2 Moose Nose
Moose nose is considered a delicacy by many northern First Nations peoples. A large part of some Northern peoples’ diet is wild game. The moose’s nose is actually considered a “choice food.” Hunters often give their elders moose noses as gifts.
To prepare moose nose, you must first build a fire. Rotate the moose nose for approximately 60 minutes, to singe all of the hair. Next, cut off any remaining hair and skin. You can then either cook the meat in a slow cooker and eat it as a stew or eat the meat in slices, seasoning with salt and pepper.
1 Human Fetus
That is correct, eating an unborn child in China is, in some cases, considered a delicacy. Corrupt medical staffs terminate healthy pregnancies to sell the corpses. In some cases, the fetuses are refrigerated and dried with a medical microwave, to then be crushed into a powder and put into capsules with herbs.
In other cases, reports indicate the human infant flesh is eaten directly. The eating of human fetuses is not a new practice: in 1995, an undercover reporter went to a hospital in Shenzhen and asked for a fetus. The doctor said they were out of stock but to come back later. When the reporter returned, the doctor offered her 10 free fetuses.