Money and love make the world go round, but food makes the world spin a whole lot better. Since the dawn of man, our palates have been clamoring for the best and most filling food there is. Back then, there weren't many options and whatever man saw, man wanted to eat. Nowadays, food is an art form and dishes have since become the centerpieces of master chefs from around the globe.
The world is a huge melting pot filled with cuisines left and right. There are dishes to try out from all the continents, but there are some dishes that people should avoid at all costs.
Weird food finds and delicacies can be seen in all countries, and food connoisseurs do their best to try out these bizarre samplings for themselves. One of the most popular foodies who loves to try out bizarre foods is Andre Zimmern. Throughout his travels, he has come across good and bad bizarre foods. We've learned from his mistakes and we've figured out which bizarre dishes are best avoided. Here are 15 bizarre delicacies from around the globe we bet you couldn't eat.
15 Puffin Heart
For those not familiar with these cute little birds, puffins are creatures that somewhat resemble penguins. They have colorful beaks and these little guys are just very adorable. In Iceland, these guys are more than just animals to look at as they are a key ingredient in a dish that we're sure PETA won't be too happy to hear about.
In some parts of Iceland, puffin hearts are served at dinner tables. That literally is it. The heart of a puffin. Chef Gordon Ramsay ate a puffin heart during one of his shows and he received heavy backlash for it. The dish is still a traditional Icelandic dish, so Iceland tourists shouldn't be surprised if they are offered to try some of it.
14 Hákarl (Fermented Shark)
Fermented foods are the worst. They taste horrible and they smell just as bad. When it comes to fermented food, it isn't a contest about which is the best. It's a contest of which is most easy to stomach. Hákarl is definitely not the winner of that contest. Hákarl could very well be the worst fermented dish ever. It is both disgusting and deadly.
This dish originates from Iceland and is fermented shark. The meat of a Greenland shark is poisonous when fresh, so people will bury it underground and let it spoil for a few months. This dish is an attack on all senses and only the bravest dare to eat it. One will definitely gag upon taking a bite of hákarl.
13 Fugu - The Food That Could Actually Kill You If Served Wrong
Everyone loves sushi. Who knew eating raw fish could be delicious if done correctly? The Japanese love their sushi, and to them, it's more of an art form than food. There are a ton of fish used for making sushi and sashimi, but out of all them, the one the almost everyone avoids is fugu. This delicacy is avoided not because it's disgusting. It's avoided because it's pretty darn deadly.
Not every sushi chef in Japan can serve up fugu. Chefs who want to serve fugu must undergo a rigorous training process until they get certified. One wrong cut when serving fugu could potentially kill the customer. That's why those who eat fugu are given a waiver to sign. It's best to look for a chef's certificate first before eating fugu at a restaurant. It may sound rude but it could save a life.
12 Haggis - Not All Pudding Is Sweet
Chefs can get very resourceful with their main ingredients, and most chefs prefer it if all parts of an animal are put to good use instead of being discarded. This 'cook all, throw none' belief is probably one of the reasons why the Scottish delicacy, Haggis, was created. It's a rather popular meal, but that doesn't necessarily mean anyone wants to take a bite of it.
Haggis is described as a savory pudding and that sounds really nice, to be honest. However, this savory 'pudding' is made with the heart, liver, and lung of a sheep. The innards are minced and mixed with other ingredients such as oatmeal, onions, and other spices. To top it all off, the mixture is stuffed in the stomach of the sheep. It may sound rather disgusting, but Haggis is delicious according to those who've tasted it. But we'd rather have the other parts of the sheep.
11 Lutefisk - Fish Aged In A Corrosive Alkaline Substance
There's something about fish and aging we don't like. As compared to aged ham, aged fish just doesn't sound so appetizing. Aside from the smell, aged fish just tends to be very salty. Despite the not-so-warm reception of aged fish, there are still other willing to experiment with it. Out of all the aged fish dished one can eat, the one to avoid is probably Lutefisk.
Originating from Scandinavia, Lutefisk is stockfish that's been aged in lye. For those not familiar with lye, it's a corrosive alkaline substance. It's not safe for consumption, obviously. After the aging process, the stockfish needs to be bathed in cold water for a week. Anything less than that and the food is inedible. Lutefisk needs to be prepared by a person with knowledge in making the food, because it could turn deadly in the wrong hands.
10 Kopi Luwak - A Specialty Coffee Most Would Pass On
There's no other way to start the day than with a hot cup of coffee. Coffee is everyone's guilty pleasure and many can't start the day without it. Thanks to the wild demand for coffee each day, manufacturers experiment with what they can offer and what results is a wide array of coffee choices. Coffee connoisseurs know that if there's one coffee to drink before you die, it has to be Kopi Luwak.
Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee ever. It sells for $150 a pound! What makes Kopi Luwak so special? It's made with the help of a small mammal called Civets. Basically, Civets eat coffee beans and once these little guys poop out the beans, you get Kopi Luwak. This weird coffee is basically Civet poop, and people pay a hefty price for it. Enough about the price though, are people really into drinking coffee made from poop?
9 Sannakji - Octopus Tentacles So Fresh They Still Move
Food served raw isn't a rare sight anymore. There's sushi, sashimi, and even tartare. Often served cold, raw dishes are good starters to a full course meal. There is such a thing as "too raw", though. Korea's sannakji takes fresh and raw to a whole new level, and those who eat this octopus dish are left battling with their food once it enters their mouth.
Sannakji is freshly served octopus. So fresh, it's cut up in front of the customer and seasoned with sesame oil then and there. You'll begin seeing the extent of its freshness once it's served up and the tentacles begin moving on their own. Eating sannakji is a challenge. Customers must make sure to chew the tentacles properly because if they don't, there's a tendency for the suction cups of the octopus to stick to the throat when being swallowed.
8 Bird's Nest Soup
China is filled to the brim with odd food finds and many a food connoisseur consider China as the go-to spot for those looking for nice delicacies. Weird delicacies in China come in all forms. Thanks to their deep ties with their ancient practices, China's cuisine is very colorful. Among all the delicacies, one that stands out most is bird's nest soup.
True to its name, this soup is made from the nest of a bird. Not just any nest though. It's made from saliva nests that sit on top of tall trees. It's rather disgusting thinking about, but many say this dish is delicious and healthy. Another thing to know about bird's nest soup is that it's expensive. Saliva nests aren't easy to get and they aren't easy to come by either. If one does manage to order this soup, just forget that it's made with bird's saliva.
7 Ikizikuri - The Cruelest Form Of Fish Preparation
When it comes to eating raw fish, the most important factor that chefs have to consider is the freshness of the fish. Ikizikuri is one dish that takes freshness to another level. It's both cruel and disgusting and it should be condemned from all restaurants.
Eating Ikizikuri starts out with the customer picking out a fish from a tank. Then and there, the fish is filleted and served to the customer. The fish is still alive throughout this ordeal. In some cases, the fish is returned to the fish tank wherein it will swim until the customer wants to have seconds. Ikizikuri isn't actually a dish; it is a form of fish preparation wherein the fish is served alive. If this is what the fish has to go through, we'd rather pass.
6 Surströmming - The WORST Smelling Canned Fish Ever
Canned fish isn't a rare find. Canned sardines, canned tuna, canned mackerel, and so much more. There are tons of canned seafood out there and we love grabbing a spoon to gobble some up. Those who've heard of Surströmming, however, can testify that not all canned seafood is great. This canned northern Swedish fish tries to ward off would-be eaters with its foul smell. Those brave enough to push through despite the odor have our respect.
Surströmming could be one of the foulest smelling foods ever. When it ships, the cans swell up because of the fermentation process. Once opened, the nasty juices will most probably squirt out and the foul odor will begin filling the room. Those brave enough to eat this canned fish say that it's not that bad. It's just really salty and the odor is the worst part of the Surströmming experience.
5 Snake Parts
Snakes are some of the most feared animals on Earth. The thought of having these creatures slither in our skin makes us shiver with fear. Snakes are eaten in many parts of the world and, as many say, it tastes like chicken. Eating a snake is already extreme in itself, but unbeknownst to many, there are more extreme ways to eat certain parts of a snake.
In some Asian countries, snakes are hand-picked from a pit. The blood is actually served in a shot glass and with the snake's bile and the heart. It's treated like a shot of alcohol and customers drink it in one go. This is believed to be good for blood circulation and many consider snake blood, bile, and heart to be an aphrodisiac.
4 Yin-Yang Fish - A Dish Condemned Even In China
Yin-yang is commonly associated with good things. It's a symbol of how completely opposite things can be joined in harmony. It seems as though not all things associated with yin-yang is good. Coming from China and Taiwan is a fish dish called yin-yang fish. At first, one would think that the term yin-yang is added to the name of the dish because it achieves a perfect balance between flavors. Oh, how we wish that was the case.
Usually made with carp, yin-yang fish is a dish that's served both alive and dead. It is deep fried fish, but before cooking, the fish's head is wrapped in a wet cloth. Throughout the deep frying process, the fish is alive. It's a condemned dish in China and Taiwan, and it has since been removed from restaurants. However, if one really searches, he could come across this dish.
3 Kutti Pi Is Taboo Even In Its Country Of Origin
There are some foods that are too taboo for the dinner table, but people still opt to cook these dishes without hesitation. Coming from India is an ingredient that's often criticized by many, including those who reside in India. That ingredient is none other than Kutti Pi. Sounds like a cute delicacy at first, but there's so much more to this than meets the eye.
Kutti Pi is basically a fetus, usually from a goat or cow. This delicacy is commonly found in India and, even there, it's a hard find for those who want to eat it. It's a pretty taboo delicacy for obvious reasons. In India, buying Kutti Pi is frowned upon, so one must have an inside guy if he wants to try out this delicacy.
Duck embryo. That's what balut is. This delicacy originating from the Philippines is one of the most popular weird food finds ever. Countless shows like Fear Factor have made balut a part of their show. Once the shell is cracked, it's easy to see why people fear this food so much. Contrary to what it looks like, many claim that balut is delicious.
There's an actual duck embryo inside balut, and eating it is optional, but the full balut experience means eating it. While it's delicious, balut is high in cholesterol, so if one musters up the courage to eat one, it should be in moderation.
1 Casu Marzu - Cheese With A Side Of Maggots
Cheese is a well-loved food around the globe. There might not be a person alive who dislikes cheese, even those with lactose intolerance. The cheese-making process is long and hard, but the end result is an amazing block of goodness we'd love to put between bread, on our pizza, on our pasta, and so much more. There are various cheeses to eat, but for the daredevils, casu marzu is one not to skip out on.
Casu marzu literally translates to rotten/putrid cheese. It's a Sardinian sheep milk cheese that's served with a side of maggots. Instead of serving this cheese after being fermented, the makers will let the cheese sit to the point of decomposition, hence, the maggots. Dozens of testimonies say that casu marzu is really good, but we can't move past the maggots, honestly speaking. The worms aren't there for show; they are to be eaten as well. Some say that the maggots taste even better than the cheese itself. Gross!