Ten of the strangest dishes in the world

Enjoying local food is part of the excitement of traveling and discovering a new country, although sometimes we may be confronted with dishes that can definitely surprise us-and not always in a good way.

If you want to be prepared for every eventuality, here are some of the strangest foods you can find around the world.

Here's an example: casu marzu, literally rotten cheese, is the creamy, tangy sheep's milk cheese on which the cheese fly has deposited its eggs: these will turn into larvae, which will feed on the cheese. Not for nothing is it also known as worm cheese. Its marketing is forbidden, so you will only find it on special occasions in direct contact with the producer.

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The 18 most unusual foods in the world: prepare to be amazed
Are you ready to try stinky tofu or casu marzu, made with live worms? Or would you perhaps prefer to try sheep eyeballs? These dishes are just a few examples of the diverse and amazing culinary offerings the world has to offer. If your culinary curiosity has been piqued, then get ready to explore the strangest and most unusual foods the world has to offer. The photo gallery will guide you on a culinary journey around the world, discovering flavors and textures you've probably never tasted before. And remember, cooking is not only nourishment for the body, but also for the soul. So don't be afraid to experiment and try new flavors, you might discover something surprising!
By Andriy Makukha (Amakuha) - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Mickey Mouse wine
"Mouse wine" is a drink consumed in southern China, made from blind and hairless mice drowned in rice wine. It is said to have health benefits but there is no scientific evidence. It has a strong putrid smell and taste and often contains parts of the mice's skin, so it is filtered before consumption.
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Also known as "tequila with a worm." The escamoles are the larvae of the blue agave plant from which tequila is distilled precisely. Although similar in appearance to beans, these larvae are anything but legumes even though in Mexico they are usually served in tacos with salsa guacamole.
Hákarl is an Icelandic national dish composed of a Greenland shark or other sleeping shark that has been cured by a special fermentation process and hung to dry for four to five months. It has a strong ammonia-rich odor and a fishy flavor, makinghákarl an acquired taste.
Questa foto di Jumunjin Port è offerta da TripAdvisor.
The pufferfish is more dangerous dead than alive. Handling it requires special knives and a special license. In fact, if the poisonous parts are not removed properly they can lead to death.
Di Wrote - Flickr: Serving.JPG, CC BY 2.0,
surströmming (literally "sour herring") is a typical Swedish dish prepared by fermenting Baltic herring. The product is normally sold in tins, which often swell and warp during storage due to the uninterrupted fermentation. When the tin is opened, the smell it gives off is so strong and nauseating that this dish is usually eaten outdoors.
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Witchetty grub
A source of protein for Australian Aborigines, these larvae are usually eaten live and raw. They are white, mushy and rather large wood grubs.
Questa foto di Ishin Japanese Dining è offerta da TripAdvisor.
Straight from Japan, this dish is made from squid fermented with its own innards. The smell is so strong that it is downed on par with a shot, accompanied by a shot of whiskey. By rights it enters the list of the strangest dishes.
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Casu marzu
The casu marzu is typical of the Sardinia region and its characteristic is that it is formed by the larvae of the cheese fly. It has been considered illegal by the EU because it does not meet sanitary standards, however it is still sold and is also a great local delicacy. Soft and creamy, it is served with bread.
By Cara Chow (Charlotte1125), CC BY 3.0,
Monkey brains
Monkey brain is an alleged dish consisting, at least in part, of the brains of some species of monkey. In Western popular culture, its consumption is repeatedly debated, often in the context of portraying exotic cultures as exceptionally cruel, insensitive, and/or strange. However, it is not certain whether it is actually monkey brain or hericium mushroom. It is known as hóu tóu gū (猴頭菇; literally "monkey head mushroom") in Chinese and there is a possibility that it referred to this.
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Snake wine
Vietnamese wine or liquor, of snake wine is believed to be an excellent restorative. It is made by infusing the whole body of the reptile or its bodily fluids into alcohol.
This photo of Kam’s Roast Goose is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Balut is a duck egg consumed mainly in Southeast Asia. It is boiled in the shell just before hatching. It is considered an aphrodisiac food and consumed as street food especially in pleasure quarters.
By by LWY at flickr -, CC BY 2.0,
San-nakji is a raw dish made from long-armed octopus (Octopus minor), a small species of octopus callednakji in Korean and is sometimes translated to "small octopus" because of its relatively small size compared to giant octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini). Octopuses are most commonly killed before being cut into small pieces and served, with the nervous activity in the octopus' tentacles causing the pieces to move posthumously on the plate as they are served.
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By now it is no longer a mystery. Grasshoppers are the staple food of many peoples but not only. For some time now they have also been on the menu of a London restaurant. In short, if you have not tasted them, you are nobody. However, if in spite of everything you continue to be able to do without them, know that they are said to taste similar to sun-dried tomatoes or popcorn.
By Lisa Risager -, CC BY-SA 2.0, ht
muktuk is a traditional food of Arctic peoples, consisting of whale skin and blubber. It is most often produced from Bowhead whale, although beluga and narwhal are also used. It is usually eaten raw, but can also be consumed frozen, cooked or pickled.
By Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Ikizukuri, also known as ikezukuri, is the preparation of sashimi (raw fish) from live seafood. In this Japanese culinary technique, the most commonly used seafood animal is fish, but octopus, shrimp, and lobster can also be used. The practice is controversial because of concerns about the suffering of the animal, as it is still alive when served.
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Fried spiders
Apparently, fried spiders are a real delicacy. Served skewered on skewers and seasoned with pepper and lemon juice, a well-known Cambodian restaurant serves more than 200 servings a day.
By Pilzland - Own work, CC0,
Stinky tofu
Stinky tofu dates back to the dynasty Qing and is a variant of fermented tofu popular in China and Taiwan. Tofu is fermented in a strong brine of fermented milk, vegetables and meat. It is still a popular fried street food, which is in fact eaten more as a snack than as a full meal.
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Percora eye juice
The "Mongolian Mary" is a drink made from pickled sheep's eyeballs mixed with tomato juice. It is believed to help with hangovers and dates back to the time of Genghis Khan. Eyeballs are rich in antioxidants, vitamins C and A. They are safe to eat and can be raw or boiled. When bitten, the eyeball explodes in the mouth, but does not have much flavor.
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