One (of many) problems that I see with our modern diet is that it is not varied and the majority of the foods we consume contain similar (but boring) ingredients like processed grains, potatoes, sugars and vegetable oils.
Around the World…
Many cultures around the world have consumed a much more varied diet, including some very nourishing foods that many of us would find hard to stomach. For instance, have you ever tried:
- Baalut: A delicacy from the Philippines made by letting a fertilized chicken or duck egg incubate until it has developed feathers and then boiling the egg and eating. Also called “the treat with feet.”
- Escamoles: A treat from Mexico, Escamoles are giant ant eggs that are said to have a similar texture to cottage cheese.
- Hakarl: Fermented shark from Iceland.
- Drunken Shrimp: From China… the shrimp are shocked in a strong alcohol and eaten alive.
- Rocky Mountain Oysters: Popular in parts of the US, these are the testicles of young bulls and they are typically battered and fried before eating.
- Kopi Luwak: Perhaps the most expensive coffee in the world (often costing over $100/lb) it is made by coffee beans that have been ingested, digested and defecated by Civets (small animals native to Asia).
- Stink Bugs: Often consumed alive in Indonesia
- Casu Marzu: From Sardinia, this is a cheese made from sheep milk that contains live insect larvae.
- Tiet Kahn: A soup from Vietnam containing chicken gizzards and raw duck blood.
- Scorpion Soup: This soup from China contains scorpions – don’t worry, the cooking process is supposed to neutralize the venom.
- Mopane: From Africa, these caterpillars are dried and consumed.
- Tuna Eyeball: Often consumed in Japan- said to taste like Squid.
- Haggis: From Scotland- the stomach of a sheep is stuffed with oatmeal and steamed.
- A-ping: Fried tarantula from Cambodia
- Yak Penis: Eaten in China
Getting More Adventurous
While I don’t think I’m adventurous enough (yet) to try some of these foods, there are some foods that are considered unusual to many of us that are healthy and not that strange like organ meats, fermented foods and gelatin containing foods.
Even if it takes baby steps, consider adding foods like organ meats and fermented foods in to your diet. Compared to the list above, they actually seem pretty normal 🙂
The Strangest Food I’ve Eaten
Why the strangest food you’ve ever had? Before I turned my kitchen in to a science lab and started adding probiotic foods and drinks to my diet, I thought fermented foods were strange and wouldn’t touch them. For me at that point, just trying them would have been an adventure.
Fast forward a few years, and I can’t imagine my life without sauerkraut, water kefir, and kombucha, but I certainly used to think it was strange. Knowing what I know now about the health benefits of fermented foods, I’m certainly glad I started eating these “strange” foods.
Now, the honor for strangest food I’ve ever eaten would go to fried mealworms, though I don’t recommend them nearly as much as delicious fermented foods (though they are a good source of protein). Runners up include cricket, pickled pigs feet (eww) and alpaca cheese (strange).
What’s the strangest food you ever consumed?