The Strangest Food I Ever Ate…

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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.

If you’re new to foods like organ meats, I’d suggest trying something like this Liver and Onion with Bacon Recipe and Sauerkraut is an easy fermented food to try.

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?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


21 responses to “The Strangest Food I Ever Ate…”

  1. Michele Avatar

    I had to laugh as I was reading some of these posts because many of these ‘odd’ items are common foods down here in Florida, others were just plain gross and I had to cover my eyes. I grew up eating gator, squid, octopus, conch, escargot, frog legs, and turtle, and whatever we could scavenge, we lived off the land (no I’m not old). But, we also lived way out in the boonies and my dad worked at a zoo, so we at a bunch of odd things, like snake, wildabeast. I couldn’ t get into the organ meats though, always thought liver and heart tasted gross, couldn’t bring myself to try the brain or tongue or eyes, though my grandfather loved them, I still enjoy eating the gizzards, when the arthritis in my jaw isn’t bothering me too much. Same with fermented foods, I don’t like the way they taste, can’t really get into sauerkraut, pickled eggs and such, I do enjoy pickles and do like the kombucha now that I’ve tried it; still haven’t got my son or husband to drink them.

  2. Megan Avatar

    Grasshopper that came special for my vegetarian friend’s birthday atop a piece of sushi. Deep fried, very delicious. Probably wouldn’t have eaten it without the sushi and whatever wonderful orange-y sauce they drizzled on it.

    Cricket bars! So good!! Crickets are cooked and ground into flour and made into delicious protein bars. I highly recommend…

    Octopus…very chewy.

    Baby squid, again with sushi and plum sauce…a nice switch up from the regular California roll..although I definitely suggest getting something refreshingly normal to alternate bites with 🙂

    Kitfu..spelling almost definitely wrong… a raw beef, heavily spiced dish I had in Ethiopia. Didn’t know it was raw until after I ate it. Loved it!

  3. Elizabeth Avatar

    Hi Kate,
    I have recently started my journey into the world of fermentation – so far only variations on ginger ale, and some sauerkraut, which is not ready yet. The soda’s are a HUGE hit with my family and friends! Because of my families love for pickled eggs made with vinegar and spices, I am researching how to make fermented pickled eggs. I have found a few videos and recipe’s, but was eager to see if you had a recipe for fermented eggs, and I don’t see one. Have you made them, and is there a recipe on your site that I missed in my search?
    New Bern, NC

  4. Shaunda Avatar

    Blood Pudding- I think it’s coagulated cows blood mixed with some herbs and spices, put into cows intestines and boiled..basically a sausage. It is actually quite tasty but one bite was enough before mind over matter kicked in and the thought of what I was actually was too much, good, but too much. I would possibly give it another go if I had the chance…it could be one of those acquired tastes 🙂

  5. Jenny Avatar

    The strangest food I ever ate was broth made with chicken feet and internal organs. I know most people don’t think that’s too strange but for a recovering vegetarian it is!

  6. Olivia Avatar

    I guess I’m not too adventurous, but have come a long way since I now eat kraut and kvass and pickles. Probably the strangest thing so far is eating the kefir grains.

  7. CarolM Avatar

    I think maybe headcheese is the oddest, it was a regular on my grandpaerents Sunday table.
     To anyone who doesn’t know it is pickled brains.

  8. Soccy Avatar

    Strangest food I ever ate was first eaten in Mexico as a kid. I had Menudo which has tripe, which I loved. And also cow brain and tongue tacos. Funny, I don’t find them so strange anymore b

  9. Matthew Stiles Avatar
    Matthew Stiles

    Strangest food? Limburger cheese, get past the smell and give it a go, it tastes pretty good.

  10. Greta Avatar

    I haven’t eaten too many strange foods since my whole foods journey started a few months ago, but I think Kombucha is probably the weirdest.  A SCOBY is just… strange.  It was hard to drink at first, but after just a few days I started to love it!  

  11. kellie Avatar

    …its funny, now that i started reading your blog, my perspective on what is ‘strange’ (and what is food for that matter) has shifted so dramatically that my strange radar really goes off for alot of things i used to eat as a “super healthy” vegetarian 😉 …things like cheetos, tofu, seitan, and and power bars – seriously … what is that stuff?? strange!!

  12. Jane Avatar

    Strangest food for me was probably frog legs. When I first started dating my future husband, he took me frog gigging on our second date. We then took the frogs to his grandparents house and fried ’em up! Other odd foods I have eaten is head cheese (made from the whole pigs head). You can even see bits of eyeball in it. Also pickled pigs feet. Never tried these but there is a beer store near us that sells pickled lamb’s tongues.

  13. Cecilia Powers Avatar
    Cecilia Powers

    i didn’t eat it, but on Sardegna, (island west of Rome) they make a cheese that has maggots with it, the maggots eat the cheese, then regergetate and continue the process, and you actually eat the maggots and their byproducts, as part of the cheese.

  14. Michelle Connelly Avatar
    Michelle Connelly

    The strangest foods I’ve ever eaten were grubs, big ones. Witchetty grubs are these huge white-ish larvae that are roughly the length of your pointer finger and about as big around as your thumb. When roasted, one kind tasted like creamed corn and another kind tasted like creamed bacon…but neither in a pleasant way for me! The pointy feet and crispy shell are creepy as heck! The other one I had looked like a large seed, just about a centimeter & a half across, that you break open and lick the goopy inside out of. It was sweet with a bitter tang and turned out to be WASP larvae…ick!! Yup, good times in the Australian outback!

  15. Kate M. Avatar

    Strangest food I’ve ever eaten?  There have been a couple of things that deserve to be on that list, but my top pick is definitely cockscombs, a dish I tried at dim sum one Sunday.  Very strange texture.

  16. Amy Avatar

    I had a hard time coming up with something that I’ve eaten that I felt was strange. Kombucha, sauerkraut, fermented salsas/mustard/ketchup/mayo, kefir… they all seem normal to me now. I do remember that I thought the texture of paneer was so very strange!

  17. theresa gianna Avatar
    theresa gianna

    strangest food…gosh, i’m not sure. i tried kimchi this summer, which was delicious, and strange for me because i’ve ever so defiantly claimed to hate cabbage. i also started experimenting with making water kefir sodas — my family certainly thought they were strange. alligator, maybe? (which is pretty good. chewy, but good.)

  18. Sarah Laughlin Avatar
    Sarah Laughlin

    The strangest food I ever ate was an extremely spicy curry with no beat–just bones with marrow and fat. I was a guest and did my best to enjoy it but it was hard for me to stomach. That was before I learned how good the marrow is for you. 

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