Unique foods from around the world
Travel the continents bite by bite.
Leave your moral hang-ups at the door and let your tastebuds run wild on your next foodie getaway by sampling five peculiar delicacies from around the world.
Fugu (pufferfish) – Japan
Many may remember Fugu from the classic Simpsons episode where Homer orders the Japanese pufferfish and fears he will die after the chef prepares the delicacy incorrectly. While Homer survived, the threat of death is something that must be considered as a pufferfish contains enough poison to kill 30 people. The chefs who prepare fugu undergo years of rigorous training as a small mistake in the preparation process can cause death for the consumer. Those brave enough to try Fugu should visit Japan from October to March when the dish is in season.
Haggis – Scotland
The national dish of Scotland is not for the faint-hearted and includes a mixture of sheep’s heart, liver, lungs, onion, oatmeal stock and spices. If cooked traditionally, the mixture is stuffed into a sheep’s stomach where it is simmered and served as a main meal with mashed potatoes and turnips. RACQ Publishing Journalist Jessica Wilson tried haggis on a recent trip to Scotland and said the national dish was a great alternative to bacon and sausages in a traditional Scotish breakfast.
Spiders – Cambodia
While available from multiple countries around the world, the town of Skuon in Cambodia is known for their take on the creepy crawly delicacy. The spiders, typically tarantulas, are deep-fried in oil until they’re crisp and crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside. The dish is popular with tourists and locals looking for a unique snack that’s full of protein. Cambodians believe the snack increases the beauty of those who consume it.
Casu Marzu (rotten cheese) – Italy
Fancy your cheese with a side of maggots? Even the biggest cheese lovers may struggle with this Italian delicacy. Casu Marzu, which means rotten cheese, is made from sheep’s milk and has the top cut off to allow for easy access for flies to lay eggs. Over two-three months, the larvae eat through the cheese and excrete it, altering the flavour. The aftertaste is said to be so pungent that it can last for hours.
Sannakji (live octopus) - South Korea
The only dish on this list served live. Diners can eat sannakji while its tentacles are still squirming. The South Korean delicacy is served fresh with a dash of sesame oil and can be swallowed whole or cut into pieces. Diners must be careful when eating sannakji as there have been cases where the octopus has attached itself to their face or the insides of their throat as they try to swallow it.