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Dare to Try? Here Are 10 Weirdest Foods in the World

21 June 2024 18:40 WIB

TEMPO.CO, JakartaTravel often whets our appetite for adventure, including culinary ones. But some local foods can be a bit unusual. Whether it is the ingredients or the preparation methods, bizarre delicacies take courage to try.

Here are 10 extreme and weirdest foods from around the world, curated by Travel Food Atlas, to challenge your taste buds!

1. Kiviak (Greenland)

Kiviak, a Greenlandic specialty, is a unique dish prepared by stuffing hundreds of dead auk birds (seabirds) into the body of a dead seal. The seal is then sealed, covered with oil, and left to ferment for three months. This pungent delicacy is traditionally enjoyed during winter festivals like Christmas and birthdays.

2. Penis Fish (South Korea)

South Korea offers a unique seafood delicacy called Gaebul, also known as "penis fish" due to its shape. This marine spoonworm is usually served raw, thinly sliced, and dipped in a delicious sesame oil sauce to complement its slightly sweet and subtle flavor.

3. Casu Marzu (Italy)

The Italian island of Sardinia has a unique cheese variety known for its unconventional aging process named Casu Marzu. This Pecorino cheese is intentionally left to decompose and is infested with maggots, which contribute to its decomposition and strong flavor. Originally a food of necessity for poor communities, Casu Marzu is now a sought-after delicacy, although its consumption is banned in some countries due to safety concerns.

4. Hakarl (Iceland)

An Icelandic delicacy, Hakarl, is a fermented shark meat famed for its intense smell. It undergoes a nine-week fermentation process that neutralizes harmful toxins naturally present in the meat.  This traditional food is then cured and enjoyed without any further cooking.

5. Surstromming (Sweden)

Sweden takes fermented foods to a whole new level with Surstromming, a dish notorious for being the smelliest in the world. This pungent delicacy features Baltic herring preserved through fermentation, resulting in a unique sour, salty, and slightly spicy flavor. It is banned on airplanes due to its powerful aroma.

6. Tamilok Woodworm (Philippines)

A surprising delicacy lives in the decaying logs of Southeast Asia's mangrove forests: Tamilok woodworms. Often compared to oysters for their flavor, these creatures boast a unique texture – both slimy and fishy. While the aroma might not be for everyone, Tamilok is a treasured food for some adventurous eaters.

7. Goong Ten (Thailand)

Northern Thailand offers a daring dish called Goong Ten, or "dancing shrimp". This unique appetizer features tiny, live shrimp seasoned with a spicy and savory sauce. The shrimp are served wriggling – their desperate attempts to escape creating the illusion of an aquatic dance before diners take a bite.

8. Beondegi (South Korea)

Beondegi is a typical South Korean street food made from boiled or steamed silkworm pupae. While the aroma might be reminiscent of a campfire, this crunchy snack sometimes pops in the mouth when chewed.

9. Ant Egg Soup (Thailand and Laos)

Northeastern Thailand and Laos have a surprising local specialty: ant egg soup. This unique soup features ant eggs, which are often from red weaver ants, along with snakehead fish and a blend of aromatic spices. 

10. Turtle Soup

Turtle dishes hold a surprising place in the culinary traditions of various countries, including China, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, and even the United States. These dishes come in many forms, with South Korea boasting a particularly famous turtle soup called Yongbongtang.

MELYNDA DWI PUSPITA 

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