By Darren Griffiths

10 Strange Food Dishes From Around The World

12th February 2023

Last updated on April 6th, 2023 at 09:36 pm

Don’t get us wrong, we love trying new foods from around the world. A huge part of our travelling enjoyment is eating local cuisine. From cheap street food eats and deep fried market snacks. To home cooked family favourites and popular local restaurants. We’ve tried all kinds of interesting foods like fried crickets, dried termites, shredded alpaca, camel burgers and stir-fried alligator. However, there are some strange food dishes that are just too much for even our curious tastes.

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There are some weird food dishes that are just too much for even our curious tastes. Check out these 10 strange food dishes from around the world.

We’re not criticizing these dishes or the people that eat them. We’re sure some people from other parts of the world would find what we eat as strange and unusual. But would you try any of these?

1. Fugu – Japan

Fugu dish - Japan

Why anyone would want to consider the possibility of death when eating a meal is beyond us. However some people in Japan obviously like eating on the edge! Fugu is a Japanese pufferfish that could kill 30 people with it’s poison. Chefs undertake years of training in order to prepare the expensive delicacy correctly, but get it wrong and it could mean the end to the consumer. Fugu is served grilled, in a stew or as wafer-thin sashimi. Fancy trying it? No we didn’t think so.

2. Fried Spider – Cambodia

Fried-Spider - Cambodia

We’re trying to hold our gag reflexes as we write this but fried spider can be bought and eaten throughout Cambodia. These aren’t just any spiders, these are the big tarantula variety. Particularly popular in the town of Skuon, these long-legged crawlies are fried in garlic oil until crunchy on the outside. The worst part is that they are left gooey in the middle! For an alternative gooey middle we’d recommend a Cadbury Creme Egg.

3. Balnut – Philippines

Balut - Philippines

Think you’ve tried eggs for breakfast in all the possible ways? Fried, boiled, scrambled or even poached when you’re feeling a bit posh? These cooking methods are popular in the UK but we can’t see duck embryo boiled alive in the shell catching on anytime soon. Seasoned with garlic, chilli and vinegar this unique street snack is eaten with all the egg’s contents. Including the visible beak and wings. Even though it’s often chased with a cold beer we’re still not sold on this one.

4. Sannakji – South Korea

Sannakji - Korea

We all like our food fresh, especially seafood, but alive and wriggling is taking this idea a bit too far! In this South Korean delicacy, chefs simply cut off the whole tentacles of a live octopus, splash them with sesame oil and seeds before serving raw. As easy as it sounds to prepare we won’t be serving at our next dinner party as the squirming tentacle suckers can attach themselves to the throat of the consumer making eating this dish a frightening proposition!

5. Fried Brain Sandwiches – USA

Fried Brain Sandwich - USA

We did not expect the USA to make this list but since some strange beings over there like to eat fried brain sandwiches we think it qualifies! Most popular in the Ohio River Valley, this curious sandwich is sometimes found on menus alongside more typical hamburgers and fries. Made from pig brains which are then heavily battered, deep fried and served inside bread, this dish was brought over by Dutch and German immigrants who were keen on eliminating any kind of waste. The brains custody texture probably means you won’t find it on any McDonald’s menu anytime soon.    

6. Tuna Eyeball – Japan

Tuna Eyeball - Japan

Those Japanese are at it again. The dish name says it all. It’s boiled before consumption, apparently tastes like squid and can be bought for as little as 1USD in a Japanese supermarket. We love squid, and a bargain, but we’ll be passing on this one.

7. Fruit Bat Soup – Palau

Fruit Bat Soup - Panau

We’ve seen a lot of fruit bats on our travels, hanging upside down in the trees, staring down at us, but not once have we ever wondered what they taste like. We still don’t want to know but if you do then take a trip to the Micronesian Island of Palau.

Before Western diets became the norm, the people of Palau made sure to make the most of what was freely available. That included the fruit bat, which served in a soup and flavoured with chilli and ginger has now become an expensive delicacy. What does it taste like? We have no idea. But give it a go if you can get past the gross sight of large chunks of floating bat.

8. Khash – Afghanistan

Khash - Afghanistan

The Farsi name of this dish literally translates to “head and hoof” and for good reason, as these are the main ingredients used to prepare it. Boiled for hours and hours this Afghan dish is supposed to be one of the foulest-smelling broths ever created. Oh and we haven’t even mentioned that they also throw in some stomach, just to make sure it looks as bad as it smells.

9. Raw Puffin Heart – Iceland

Raw Puffin Heart - Iceland

If his TV swearing wasn’t bad enough, in 2008 Gordan Ramsay got into a lot of trouble for eating this Icelandic delicacy on his UK TV show the ‘F Word’. It was pretty bad taste to see the hunter he was with kill the Puffin, then pull out the heart from the bird’s carcas before both of them eating it raw. It’s difficult for us to understand this dish when the Puffin is a protected species on our shores. But in Iceland, they grant licences to cull them.

10. Prairie Oysters – Canada

Prairie Oysters - Canada

Canadians are such nice people. We’ve never met a Canadian we didn’t like. So why are they tricking us by calling bull testicles, oysters?! Yes, Prairie Oysters, or Rocky Mountain Oysters as they are also known as are found throughout cattle ranching country. The testicles are prepared sautéed, fried or stuffed and accompanied with spices, herbs, sauces and dips. There’s even an annual Testicle Festival celebrating the dish. A Testicle Festival! That’s it, we’re done here.

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There are some weird food dishes that are just too much for even our curious tastes. Check out these 10 strange food dishes from around the world.