I am sure that I am not alone in knowing that there are one or two foods in the western world which just the thought of make me gag. Obviously everyone has very different tastes so what makes one person gag may make another lick their lips.
Now if you think this way about foods from the western world you may find that your stomach may literally ties itself in knots when you hear some of the foods that people cheerfully eat in Asia.
Here are 5 of the most strange.
If you are looking for a badass delicacy there are not many as badass as eating a cobra’s heart. It may seem a little weird to your average Joe Blogs who considers McDonalds a luxury but in Vietnam the locals go mad for it.
There are two ways to enjoy your cobra heart, most people enjoy eating their serving raw (so fresh the thing could still be beating), followed by a cobra blood chaser. Just to clear up any confusion that is actually a drink made from the freshly drained blood of a cobra. Other people prefer to just enjoy their cobra heart then wash it down with a lovely glass of homemade rice wine.
According to the natives of Vietnam cobra hearts are believed to enhance male virility.
There are something’s in this world that would require a person to be pretty hungry to even consider eating. Well, during the Khmer Rouge rule of Cambodia in the 1970’s the locals began to starve and resorted to eating dried tarantulas to survive. The practice stuck and now the locals in Cambodia think of fried tarantulas as a mouth-watering delicacy.
The tarantulas are usually served fried with sugar, salt and garlic and are a mouthful of complex textures which start with the cod-like head and body right down to the gooey abdomen. Most travel websites advise tourists to eat the more brittle tarantulas rather than the ones that have less squishy abdomens.
Most people will have heard of the Japanese Fegu from television show, The Simpsons but not many realise that it is a real food. The Fegu, or puffer fish as it is also known, contains a lethal dose of the poison tetrodotxin in its organs to which there is no known anecdote. If the fish is not prepared correctly it could easily kill the unfortunate diner in a slow yet terrifying way. The poison found in the puffer fish can paralyse your body’s muscles while you are fully conscious. This means since the poison paralyses every single muscle in your body you will slowly dies from asphyxiation.
If the puffer fish is prepared correctly it is known to leave one of the most thrilling tingly tastes known to man on your tongue. Any chef in Japan who wishes to serve the Fegu puffer fish must pass a variety of stringent tests before they can be licensed. Although such licenses and tests are in place there is still the possibility of freak accidents where poison is accidently left in the fish and served to unexpecting diners.
In my opinion this all seems a little too much like a game of Russian roulette with a fish for my liking.
In the Philippines balut actually means half-fertilized duck or chicken eggs. Balut is boiled and slightly seasoned and can be found in street food markets all over the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
The people of Asia believe that balut is a powerful aphrodisiac but I am sure you will agree that the idea of eating a raw bird fresh from an egg is unlikely to give you the horn.
China’s blood clams single-handedly managed to infect approximately 310,000 people with hepatitis A in Shanghai in 1988 causing the state to ban the crustacean.
That reason alone may make you think that it is completely crazy to find out there are still some restaurants and black markets in China which ignore the ban.
Blood clams are usually eaten immediately after they have been dipped in boiling hot water. According to those that have dared try a blood clam they have a raw, briny taste that makes you mouth feel somewhat fresh.
Eating meat which is pretty much raw and potentially laden with viruses including hepatitis, typhoid and dysentery seems a little too high a price for the feeling of a fresh mouth.