|Eat with caution! One bite of Fugu might be your last.
“Waiter, there’s a fly in my soup!” Seven forbidden words that will ensure the demise of any restaurant owner in the United States, may in fact give an over seas café another gold star to their already raved-about rating.
In our classic menu of hot dogs, cheeseburgers and fries it’s safe to say that sushi is about the craziest dish U.S. chefs will cook. Although it has taken formerly plain American cuisine by storm, the avant-garde concept of ironically edible raw fish still provokes a slight degree of skepticism in the all-American steak, potato and beer eaters and drinkers.
What pleases our palettes in the States will most likely make chefs abroad question our culinary expertise, and what entices the taste buds of foreign foodies might make us die in disgust. What we exterminate, they eat, and in some cases, what they worship, we devour.
Below are some of the world’s wackiest foods. Our grotesque is their delicious, so the next time you complain that your chicken and rice is a bit bland, think again because in another time zone, “bland” possesses an entirely different definition.
10. Grasshopper Tacos- In Oaxaca, Mexico, the only place these winged insects are jumping is into a tortilla. Referred to as Tacos de Chapulines, this casual snack is what popcorn is to the U.S.
9. Maggot Cheese- With moving mold as one of Sardinia’s most coveted delicacies, it looks like the Italians might have taken their love for cheese a little too far. Known as Casu Marz, the rotten, maggot-infested treat has taken precedence over Provolone and Parmesan. As they slide across the cheese, the worms gradually become plump with cheese fat, making for a "juicy treat". So if you ever find yourself enjoying a bowl of pasta on the exotic island of Sardinia, Italy, eat quickly because your food could crawl right out of your mouth!
8. Fried Silkworms - The American book turned movie, How to Eat Fried Worms, must be a best-seller over in South Korea because if you don’t know how to eat Silkworm Pupae (silkworm larva), then you’re not a true citizen. Taste-wise, this form of larva is a cheaper alternative to crab and whether they’re fried, boiled or steamed, silkworms are a street vendor’s best selling snack.
7. Fly Pancakes- Battings flies away from your food is considered a bizarre and utterly unnecessary behavior in Malawi, Africa. Get a net and leave the windows open for this meal because squashed, flattened and fried flies are one of Malawi’s most desirable delicacies.
6. Fugu Blowfish- Chew, swallow and…wait to die. In Japan, this routine is all too common when consuming a serving of Fugu Blowfish. The Japanese pufferfish contains over three-hundred toxins and is extremely lethal. The poison located in the fish’s liver, ovaries and throughout the skin paralyzes lung muscles, ensuing death by asphyxiation. However, a minute amount of the fish’s fatal ingredient is highly desired as it tends to cause a euphoric numbness in the lips and throat. And if you don’t survive the Fugu’s wrath you at least go down with a high-roller reputation because at $200 a plate, not just anyone can afford this deadly dish.
5. Pig Blood Pudding- Forget Frosted Flakes and Wheaties. In England, there’s no better way to start the day than with a boiling bowl of pig blood. You can wake up on the wrong side of the bed for all they care because a steaming dish of boar blood—dubbed Black Pudding—will supposedly guarantee a great day.
4. Live Ants- In the United States, when we’ve got nothing else to do we go to the nearest convenience store and pick up a bag of sunflower seeds. In Ecuador and Columbia they go to the nearest jungle and swab a tree for a fingertip full of ants.
3. Deep Fried Cockroaches- Hold off on calling the exterminator because if your house is infested with this repulsive insect just whip out some grease and a frying pan. In Thailand, these already crispy crawlers get a little crispier when fried and munched on like potato chips.
2. Monkey Brains- Raw food is one thing, but live food is another. In China, adorning a dinner table with a candle or flower arrangement-like centerpiece is far from normal. Ornamenting a restaurant table with anything other than a caged, live monkey—whose skull is cracked open so the brain can be forked out by paying customers—is just taboo.
1. American Chain/Fast Food- Yes, we too have culinary vices. Spaghetti and meatballs will taste one way in Grandma’s kitchen and another way in your Mother-in-Law’s. Whether it’s sweeter or spicier, no two homemade meals taste the same. However, if you get a Big-Mac and fries in Japan and then eat the same two items in the U.S., the only thing different is the language on the wrappers. The food that we believe to be fast, easy, cheap and even tasty is crammed with so many chemicals that it sports the same taste despite your longitude and latitude coordinates.