11 of the weirdest foods eaten around the world
Weird, strange and interesting foods are what we live for here at Travel Food Atlas. If there is an odd, bizarre, gross or disgusting recipe being eaten in some culture in some country anywhere in the world, we will be there to document it!
We have collected so many unique and interesting recipes from around the globe that we wanted to count down our most bizarre findings so far! From Africa to Oceania, Europe to South America with stopovers in Asia and North America, some of these delicacies are simply outrageous!
Okay so let’s officially let the countdown begin!
11. Stuffed moose heart in Canada
Ohhh Canada! Land of the moose, home of the stuffed moose heart. In fact, this dish does something very typical of the interesting dishes we uncover on Travel Food Atlas. Much like dishes such as this Peruvian dish made from cow hearts, utilising all of the available organs of an animal rather than just eating the meat it a common trend.
The moose heart is not wasted and is instead cleaned and trimmed, then stuffed with garlic, celery, onion, sage, and herbs. It is then roasted and sliced up ready to eat.
10. Crocodile skewer (or gator kebabs) in Australia/USA
Everyone knows Australia is famous for it’s crocs, but not many people know that croc meat can make a delicious skewer! In the USA they make a similar recipe with alligator meat, particularly in regions such as Florida or Louisiana where alligators are a common pest!
Usually the meat of a reptile is considered to be quite rubbery, but those who cook it often will have recipes to marinade the meat that softens it up. After grilling on the barbecue, the skewers are often served as a kebab with pita bread and salad. Delicious, but still weird!
9. Cow’s stomach (tripas) tacos in Mexico
This one actually looks delicious but it’s actually a recipe made from cow’s stomach. Tripas or tripe is not actually that uncommon, in fact there are lots of countries around the world that have traditionally eaten it, but Mexico and Portugal are two of the countries that have continued to eat it regularly.
And take a guess at how the Mexicans eat it, that’s right, in a taco! The delicious cow’s stomach can be cooked and then eaten with a delicious taco sauce made out of fish sauce, jalapeño and lime juice. You can also eat it with guacamole if the avocado drought has finished!
8. Deep fried butter balls in the USA
America, land of the free, home of the deep fried butter. Yes, that’s right, Americans have decided to take a large piece of fat and deep fat fry it in order to create this absolute monstrosity of a snack.
I guarantee you’re looking at this and contemplating whether you would try it and I agree, it would probably taste delicious. But let’s face it, deep fried butter balls are pretty disgusting and deserving of a place on this list of weird foods.
Now the worst thing about this dish is that it looks absolutely disgusting. Buchada de bode is essentially the intestines of a kid goat that is cooked and served in the stomach. But really, cooking intestines in the stomach isn’t unique to Brazil. Haggis in Scotland is very similar to this buchada de bode recipe as it utilises the stomach as a method to hold and cook ingredients.
6. Cuy (guinea pig) in Peru
Cuy is hugely popular in Peru and is very easy to find. It is essentially guinea pig which can be cooked in a number of ways such as spit-roasting or frying. Tourists often want to try cuy as it has gained a reputation as a must-try dish when visiting the country. This means that stalls and restaurants will serve the dish to tourists all year round, even though it is mostly eaten by peruvians on special occasions.
It is also eaten in other parts of South America such as Colombia and Bolivia – basically anywhere where guinea pigs are considered to be a pest rather than a pet. The cooked guinea pig is then commonly served with potatoes and vegetables.
5. Bulls testicles (criadillas) in Argentina
Well doesn’t that look like a delicious piece of meat? Probably the grossest part of the animal to eat and definitely one of the strangest dishes eaten in the world, but bulls testicles are not even that rare. In Argentina, Spain and Mexico the testicles are fried and served with salsa, but in the US you might know them as rocky mountain oysters.
Criadillas is the Latino recipe for bulls testicles that comes out looking surprisingly okay once cooked. Eating testicles might not sound too appetizing but it is a surprisingly common snack in countries where bullfighting is popular.
Goong ten or “dancing shrimp” is a delicacy in Northern Thailand where a bowl of live shrimp are doused in sauce and served to the customer to eat raw. The shrimp are often calm until they are covered in the sauce which them causes them to jump around trying to escape, giving the illusion that they are dancing.
The sauce is in fact delicious so the flavour and taste is not actually that gross. But the fact that you’re eating a live animal that is one of the most bizarre sensory experiences you can have with food.
3. Kiviak – dead birds stuffed into a dead seal in Greenland
That’s right! In Greenland, these cuddly looking little auk birds are killed by the hundreds and stuffed into a dead seal to make Kiviak. The seal is then sealed up to be completely airtight, covered in oil to repel flies and maggots, and then fermented for three months.
The pungent, toxic smelling bird meat is said to taste a bit like very mature cheeses or liquorice. The dish is often eaten over the winter months when it is harder to catch food, and especially at special occasions such as Christmas or birthdays. Yum!
2. Snake soup in China
Surprisingly, this is the first and only appearance of China on this list of weird foods eaten around the world. But what a humdinger it is! Snake soup is a 2,000 year old delicacy eaten mostly throughout China but also some other parts of Asia.
Different snakes can be used and often a customer will pick out the snakes that they want to use. However, the most popular snakes eaten are python and water snake. It is cooked over a period of 6 hours and is considered to be healthy and full of medicinal benefits.
And which country wins the award for strangest food? That’s right… Norway! Although not particularly well-known for their weird food, this Norwegian recipe for sheeps head (Smalahove) wins the prize for being just outrageously odd. Smalahove is a very traditional recipe that is usually eaten on the Sunday before Christmas.
After preparing and boiling the sheeps head, it is often then served with rutabaga and potatoes. The tastiest part of the sheeps head is apparently the cheek. One serving is usually half a sheep’s head per person, yum!