Food, Inside Story

Top 20 Weird Foods We've Eaten Around The World

Have you ever eaten anything weird? Do you stick to your "usual" food choices when you travel? Or do you dive in with a sense of adventure to sample the local fare? Food has a context. The World Loves Melbourne believes travellers should be open to eat the local food, even if they think it's "weird". Hey, it might be "weird" to me coming from Australia, but in the local context, these dishes are a delicacy.

Here are the Top 20 "weird" foods we've eaten around the world - 

1. Dog in Indonesia

While in the mountains of Indonesia we were treated to a serving of marinated dog. For the locals this was a delicacy. The dog was brought to us on the back of a motor bike as it made its way up the mountain track. When it arrived everyone flocked to get a piece of this delicacy. I found the dog to be a tough meat, even with marination, and not without gristle. My business friend jumped in and overindulged, only to regret with stomach rumblings later. We were told not every dog is suitable for the dinner table, with certain breeds preferred. Dog has a super strong taste that is memorable. Image credit: Tumblr - jcganus. Verdict: not sure if I would again.


 2. Sweetbreads in the USA 

Having visited America several times we are enamoured with American dude food. From burgers to brisket and beyond, we can't get enough. The name is misleading as this does not refer to sweet bread, but to offal cuts, namely glands and even pancreas. The taste is rich and creamy. Also referred in some parts as Rocky Mountain Oysters. We've also found them in some meat driven Melbourne restaurants. Image credit: Tumblr - lil-miss-becca-boo.Verdict: Great accompaniment on dude food menus.


 3. Durian in Indonesia

Durian is a fruit with a pungent smell, even with the fruit intact. In fact some establishments ban you bringing your Durian inside, because of the skunk like smell. The taste is amazing however, sweet and creamy, with Durian considered the "king of fruits". Image credit: Tumblr - right-left-hook-jab. Verdict: Worth a try.


4. Haggis in Scotland

Being of Scottish descent it was mandatory to dine on Haggis in Scotland. The concept of sheeps' intestines had us bulking, but Haggis is a dish to be enjoyed without contemplating the make up of the dish. The Haggis had the appearance of a small sack or ball and was boiled. We enjoyed the layering and nuances of flavour of what is essentially offal. Image credit: Tumblr - gregcarrick.Verdict: Surprisingly good if you are down with offal.


5. "Pap" with Relish in Zimbabwe

Sitting down to dinner in Harare Zimbabwe in a grand residence, we were treated to a first course of "Pap" or "Mieliepap". We understand this dish is full of nutrition, made from ground maize. But as it tastes like porridge, "Pap" needs a tasty tomato based relish. A popular dish among millions of Africans, we can see the benefits of taste, nutrition and it fills you up! Image credit: Tumblr - ninetemm.Verdict: Has to be eaten with relish or too bland.


 6. Kangaroo in Australia

 

Australia is known for it's BBQ's and meat culture. Sometimes this extends to nouveau cusine where we eat our own native animals. The Kangaroo and Emu appear on the Australian Coat of Arms but we aren't afraid to eat these native animals. Go figure! Kangaroo has a strong "gamey" taste and needs marination. Kangaroo is extra tough when overcooked , and just needs light cooking. The texture is amazing, with this lean meat displaying fine grains. Image credit: Tumblr - exoticmeats. Verdict: Strong flavours and gamey, although surprisingly lean. Great as a steak or as mince with pasta.


7. Escargo in Paris

For the French Escargo (snails) are iconic French cuisine, but for many non-French diners, it's a weird cuisine. The World Loves Melbourne enjoyed the cusine of Paris, often simple food done well. These are a special kind of snail, not your average garden snail, as well tell the children. With garlic these are magnificent. Image credit: Tumblr - eliu. Verdict: Magnificent decadent dining.


 8. Ostrich in South Africa

In the heartland of Bloemfontain we enjoyed African game, including the ever popular Ostrich. Image credit: Tumblr - exoticmeats. Verdict: Rich and gamey, worth a try.


 9.  Emu, Camel and Crocodile in Australia

Emu, Camel, and Crocodile are exotic but all taste similar to chicken to The World Loves Melbourne. Image credit: Tumblr - bokkitokki. Verdict: Apart from Kangaroo, most Aussie exotic meats taste like chicken.


10. Black Pudding in England

 

We understand the history of Black Pudding relates back to the war, and the concept of not wasting anything. As a child on my first trip to England I was exposed to black pudding and lard. This is typically blood sausage made from pork blood and a high proportion of oatmeal. Again, enjoy eating this dish without giving it too much thought! Served sliced this is a rich and tasty breakfast for The World Loves Melbourne and we've noticed a Black Pudding trend in Melbourne. Image credit: prepschoolvintage. Verdict: Dive in without thinking about it!


 11. Witchetty Grub and other Bugs Australia

Playing as a child in the parks of Australia we managed to find the occasional Witchetty Grub in a log. Just hold it by the head and eat the body while live. The bug tastes like butter - so rewarding. Our first exposure to Aussie native foods! These bugs are sought out as a high-protein food by Indigenous Australians. Also popular are edible ants such as Honey Ants. Image credit: Tumblr - icebergadventures.Verdict: Smooth as butter.


12. Frogs Legs in Paris

Like Escargo, Frogs Legs can raise an eyebrow when it comes to palatable gastronomy. Many of the foods on this list have a strong taste, but the taste of Frogs Legs is mild, like chicken. Indonesia is also a large consumer of Frogs Legs, but we can't recall eating them there. There's concern over the depletion of wild frog populations. Image credit: Tumblr - yummyinmytumbli. Verdict: Often consumed on a menu also featuring Escargot. Taste like chicken.


13. Buffalo Burger in South Africa

 We will never forget the Buffalo Burger we enjoyed in Kruger Park in South Africa, in between spotting lion, elephants, hippos and a host of animals on safari. This is a deep meat flavour. Image credit: Tumblr - eiublog. Verdict: Great in a burger!


14. Native Plants - Australia

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The World Loves Melbourne enjoys edible bugs and the native foods of Australia, including Saltbush and Wattle Seed plants. Here's a Saltbush dish from a restaurant in Sydney. It seemed weird eating so called "bush tucker" but the dish was crispy, salty and sumptuous. Verdict: Native cuisine is awesome and finds its way into trendy fine dining establishments.


15. Cassava Root in Fiji

Sitting around cross legged in the village on a tent floor, we indulged in a Fijian feast of note, with Cassava Root being the staple. The large chunks of root were substantial and we were encouraged to eat huge amounts of this root. We enjoyed the feast but found the taste of the root to be bland and the texture starchy. Cassava definitely needs accompaniment with meats or fish, rather than eating it on its own. The World Loves Melbourne enjoys the Kokoda fish dish in Fiji. Image credit: Tumblr - Currysutra. Verdict: Tastes bland and needs other foods to complement.


16. Chicken Livers and Hearts in Brazil

One of the highlights of Brazil is the meat culture and the Churrascaria. Just indicate to the wait staff whether you want them to bring you more meat (place mat on green) or stop bringing you meat (place mat on red). Chicken livers are part of many Churrascaria's, with small livers lined up on a long skewer, cooked on the grill. Chicken liver and chicken hearts have a strong taste, but not gamey. More like an intense chicken taste! High in iron they are good for you, unless you can do without the high cholesterol. Image credit: Tumblr - jazzeria. Verdict: Get amongst it! Intense rich flavours!


17. Dried Fish Head (With Eyeballs) in Indonesia

The World Loves Melbourne was so chuffed to experience dried fish head in the mountains of Indonesia. The restaurant took the orders, then sourced the ingredients throughout the town - they didn't actually have a fridge or produce on site! The fish head was crispy and tasty, but the challenge was to eat the eyes, a delicacy. Some advice on eating the eye of the fish head - you're allowed to discreetly remove the marble like eyeball and put it on the side of your plate. Image credit: Tumblr - markb120. Verdict: Wonderful dining experience. Come on, you have to eat the eye!


18. Chicken Feet in Hong Kong

What is a Yum Cha without Chicken Feet? Of course the feet are washed, but people still wonder where they've been? Suck on the Chicken Feet and enjoy the rich chicken taste, eating the flesh off the tiny bones. Image credit: Tumblr - jellopudding. Verdict: The best part of the Yum Cha.


19. Indian Goat Curry

Having been to India several times we find it a place that assaults the five senses, and we love it. The aroma and taste of a goat curry is so rewarding. Coming from Australia, goat is not featured on most menus. Yet we understand it is the number one meat by consumption in the world. Goat is both flavoursome and lean. We find goat tough in general, but when slow cooked it's delicious. Image Credit: Tumblr - travelerfoodie. Verdict: Goat is a triumph when slow cooked with spices.


 

20. BBQ Stingray in Singapore

One of the highlights of a trip to Singapore is the local hawker food. While The World Loves Melbourne dined in fine establishments we were keen to travel to popular hawker spots - even if the decor was modest the food was amazing. We were introduced to BBQ Sambal Stingray - wrapped in banana leaf and barbecued, with chilli and spices over the top and a squeeze of lime. This dish has real heat and smoky intense flavours. Image credit: Tumblr - eralkydns. Verdict: Hot, spicy, smoky, sumptuous seafood!

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