When you create your ultimate travel bucket list, do you stick to simply listing out the cities, and perhaps adding some of their most iconic sights? Or do you dig a little deeper and add some of the most traditional things to do, see and eat? Why not challenge yourself even further by adding a little bit of edible adventure to your next travel experience.
1. Alligator (United States)
Both in the past and present times, you can find alligator food to sample in the Southern states, specifically in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Texas. It is considered to be a healthy alternative to red meat, with a taste similar to fish or chicken. If you want to take it up a notch, you might also want to try alligator eggs.
2. Ants Egg Soup (Laos, Thailand)
If you happen to be visiting Laos or Thailand, here is one weird food that you’ll want to try to get a full feel of their cuisine! The ant eggs are likened to be protein rich, full of minerals and sweet in flavor. There are a couple of dishes, especially in Northern Thailand, where ants’ eggs are used, ants egg soup being one of the most popular.
3. Basashi Raw Horse Meat (Japan)
Once you’ve tried raw fish and raw beef, you may be ready to progress to this strange food which is a dish specialty in Japan’s Kumamoto region. Much like sashimi (raw fish) and raw beef in Eastern Asia, raw horse meat is often served on a “bed” of leaves, with soy sauce to dip it in. To make your culinary experience complete, or easier to digest, maybe order some sake to go with this dish?
4. Bird Nest Soup (Southeast Asia)
You can’t use just any bird’s nest to create this strange dish; they’re specifically created from edible nest swiftlets. Bird nest soup is considered an expensive and luxurious delicacy, and you might have to make your way to a high-end restaurant to find it on the menu. Besides Southeast Asia, this is a dish that can be found in the Southern parts of China as well.
5. Beondegi (South Korea)
Made of silkworm pupae, beondegi is a common and popular snack sold by street vendors all around South Korea. It’s typically served steamed or boiled, and occasionally they’ll be served as a side dish in a fish restaurant. Some liken its taste similar to nuts as they can be quite crunchy.
6. Blood Sausage aka Blood Pudding (United Kingdom, Ireland)
Blood sausage is made from various meats and mixed with fresh blood which gives it a distinctive dark color. Many countries actually have their own version of blood sausage. In the UK and Ireland, it is called black pudding rather than blood sausage, because of its high consistency of oatmeal mixed with pig blood. You can eat it in a variety of different ways, either grilled, fried or boiled, and it’s actually part of a traditional full breakfast.
7. Camel Burger (Somalia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan)
It’s exactly what you think it is: a juicy burger, but with beef replaced by camel meat! If you visit one of the countries where it’s commonly served, you’ll probably find it served with similar toppings and sides as any other burger would be. Camel meat is considered to taste meatier than your regular beef, so for that alone it’s a great weird food to try out.
8. Chicken Feet (Asia)
Chicken feet is a dish that can be found in several different regions of Asia, cooked in diverse ways depending on where you’re eating it. In China, for example, it’s served as a bar snack, in a soup or even as a main dish. In Korea, it’s typically made as spicy as it can get, popular to be eaten together with some strong alcohol. It can be found at Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong, known as one of the cheapest Michelin starred restaurant in the world!
9. Baby Eel (Spain)
Did you know that baby eels are actually one of the most expensive foods in Spain? It wasn’t originally so, and they were a quite common dish in the Basque Country, but they’ve since become more a luxury than a commodity. There are a couple of different ways that you can use baby eels in a dish, but one of the most typical of them is to just spice it up with some garlic and oil.
10. Haggis (Scotland)
For the Scottish, haggis is a national food they might not blink at the thought of eating. But the rest of us may shutter upon hearing it’s not just any kind of savory pudding, but one specifically cooked with a mix of sheep’s liver, heart, and lungs. And yet, it’s not a meal experience you’ll want to pass up!
11. Escargot (France, India, Italy)
These land snails are another dish on this weird list that, while a bit strange, probably isn’t one you’re hearing about for the first time. But did you know that France isn’t the only place where it’s custom to eat them? They’re most typically served as an appetizer – or, as an hors d’oeuvre, as the French like to say.
12. Frogs Legs (France)
This is a rather popular French dish, made of frog legs that are often prepared with butter, garlic, and parsley sauce. First, you’ll have to dip them into flour, of course! You’ll likely end up liking this dish quite a lot, so don’t shy away from trying it.
13. Stargazey Pie (England)
Initially, this pie, native to England’s Cornwall, doesn’t sound so strange: it’s made of baked pilchards mixed with eggs and potatoes, with a pastry crust on top. And then you’ll notice the fish heads peeking out of the crust, seemingly gazing upward, hence the name. Whether you’ll find this amusing or disgusting, the dish could be delicious either way.
14. Scorpion (Southeast Asia, China)
Although scorpions are known to be poisonous, in China and Southeast Asia they’ve found ways to cook it to make it safe for eating. So, while eating a scorpion sounds like a cool thing to do, remember to only try it out in a trusted location. Your options for scorpion won’t be scarce, especially not in China where it’s a common street food.
15. Tripe (Worldwide)
Another dish that is eaten worldwide, although may not be as commonly known, is tripe. It is a type of edible lining from various different farm animals’ stomachs. Because of how tough this meat is, it’s usually cooked by boiling or stewing to get its texture chewier for eating, typically added into soups, stews, and sausages.