When you’re travelling to a brand new place, sampling the cuisine is all part of the experience. But what about those local delicacies on the menu that make your stomach turn and your blood run cold? Throw caution to the wind and give them a try – at the very least you’ll have a great story to take home with you!
Dice with death in Japan –fugu
If you love the challenge of taking your life into your own hands then give Japan’s fugu a try. This highly dangerous pufferfish dish can actually be fatal due to its high tetrodotoxin content, and a number of diners die every year dueto the dish being prepared wrongly – it can paralyse the muscles and slowly suffocate you. If you’re wondering what the payoff is for dicing with death, word has it that the dish is the most delicious thing you will ever eat. Do you dare?
Tuck into Balut in the Philippines
This Filipino offering is known as balut and is hugely popular in the capital city of Manila. Balut is a developing duck embryo that is hard boiled in its shell and eaten as a hearty snack, most often to be found as street food. The broth surrounding the embryo is usually sipped from the egg before the shell is peeled, and the yolk and young chick inside are then eaten (check this post on how to eat balut). In Manila, balut is popularly served with salt or a chili, garlic and vinegar mixture to season and is enjoyed for its unusual mixture of textures and flavours.
Grab a crispy Tarantula in Cambodia
When times are tough, think yourself lucky that you don’t have to turn to tarantulas for nutrition. That’s what happened to Cambodians from Skuon under the oppressive years and food shortages of the Khmer Rogue regime. Even as the starvation began to subside, the tarantulas stuck around as part of the region’s cuisine. Crispy on the outside with white meat in the head and body, tarantulas are often found as a street food snack and apparently taste a bit like chicken!
Boost your brain power in Thailand – kao lao
If you’ve always dreamed of being a brain-eating zombie then Thailand’s pig brain soup (or kao lao) might just be the answer for you. Containing everything from pig brain to entrails,the ingredients of kao lao are floated in a clear, peppery broth, which is a hit with locals and tourists alike. Give it a go if you’re looking to boost your brain power!
Sample fish sperm in Japan –shirako
Another Japanese dish to add to the strange foods list is shirako. If the look of this slippery, soft white food isn’t enough to gross you out, then let me take it a step further by telling you that shirako is fish sperm – or more precisely, the sperm-filled reproductive gland of a fish. Shirako translates as ‘white children’ and is considered a delicacy, served everywhere from Japanese pubs to sushi bars. Delicious!
So if we’ve tempted you to challenge your taste buds and try one of these crazy dishes, then don’t hesitate for a moment longer. This summer, Expedia have a whole host of great deals to get you to any of the destinations on our list, including flights to Tokyo, Bangkok, Manila and Phnom Penh.