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10 Strange Delicacies from Around the World

As the old adage states, “Different strokes for different folks”.  All of us have different tastes when it comes to our culinary preferences.  Some are more different than others.  What some people find appealing, others find unimaginable.  Some preferences are not the same as a vegetarian having an aversion to meat.  Some will make us wide eyed, or make our stomachs quiver.  Often we find that if we give food a chance that we are not accustomed to we actually like it.  Some of the things on this list would most likely never be eaten voluntarily.

  • Ikizukuri, or breathing fish is just as unappetizing as it sounds.  This would have to be the freshest fish in the world.  It is a delicacy in Japan.  You are seated in front of an aquarium which the chef allows the diner to select a fish from.  The fish is then gutted and some of the skin is removed.  The trick is to cut the fish so that the it does not die.  The fish is then placed on a platter on top of ice with the heart still beating.


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  • Kopi Luwak, or excrement coffee.  Yes, excrement as in waste.  It is famed as being the most expensive coffee in the world. This coffee is made from feces from partially digested coffee beans defecated out of a civet.  A civet has a long tail like a monkey, stripes or spots on its body, and face markings like that of a raccoon. It is found in Southeast Asia and parts of Africa.  The digestive enzymes remove some of the acidity and makes the coffee smoother.

Kopi Luwak

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  • Bashashi.  Sounds like some type of sushi huh? Nope.  It is raw horse meat.  However, it is consumed both raw and cooked.  It is also referred to as cherry blossom meat.  It is widely consumed in Japan.  Upwards of 7,500 tons are consumed annually.  A large portion of this number is by tourists, but it is also served in private homes and specialty restaurants.

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  • Haggis.  This is a Scottish delicacy and if you live in the United States you may have to go there to enjoy it.  That is if you are adventurous enough to try it.  It has been banned in the United States since 1971 due to the American government banning the importation of certain products from Scotland.  The dish is comprised of heart, liver, and lungs of a sheep.  It was minced with oatmeal, onion stock, and spices.  It is all soaked in stock and boiled in sausage casing or sheep’s stomach.


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  • Guinea pig.  Can you imagine? We will never look at one the same when we walk into the local pet store.  Eating roasted or fried guinea pig is an ancient tradition.  It is still common today in some parts of South America.  In restaurants it is often served with potatoes and corn.

guinea pig

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  • Kangaroo.  And who eats it? You guessed it.  Australians.  What happened to shrimp on the Barbie? Geesh.  Kangaroo has been the red meat of choice for Australians for centuries.  They are projected to consume more kangaroo than beef in the future. It is a lean mean and healthier than beef.  It is believed that many people bean eating it for health reasons.


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  • Monkey brains. Yum, who is hungry? This is Chinese delicacy, which is also enjoyed in some other countries such as Indonesia.  They are thought to a cure for impotency.  The brains are eaten cooked or raw.  Monkey brains are sometimes eaten while the monkey is still alive.  This dish is not consumed legally in the United States since the federal government has made it illegal for consumption due to the risk of mad cow disease.

monkey brains

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  • Namibian wart hog anus tastes like chicken.  Just kidding, it probably does not.  This dish is generally served around a campfire and is unwashed, uncleaned, and cooked al dente, or the slightest amount possible if cooked at all.  Animal anuses are less popular than insects, or other strange animal parts.  However, they are enjoyed in Namibia.


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  •  Bull penis is often sold at markets in China.  It must be prepared well or it will be tough.  The urinary tract is also removed to prevent the meat from tasting like urine.  This was originally thought of as an aphrodisiac and it was prepared for Chinese emperors.  Bull penis is said to be more potent than Viagra.


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  • Balut is the embryo of a baby duck that is three weeks old. It is commonly eaten in the Philippines.  It has the appendages of full grown duck.  The dish is known for being crunchy, which comes from the skeleton that is partially formed.  Balut is such a statement in the Philippines that it is sold in many different ways, such as pickled, bottled, in an omelet, etc.  Or it can be sucked out of the shell in the traditional way that it is eaten.  As is a lot of exotic food it is thought to be an aphrodisiac.


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