Most countries around the world have certain staples, certain comfort foods, and favourite deserts. But many of them also have their own, unique delicacies that are often worth travelling out to give a try. These are delicacies that are made from rare ingredients that boast unusual flavourings and textures that few other foods can match.
But sometimes a delicacy can be something truly unusual; something so out of the norm that most people would immediately not consider even trying it. These are some of the strangest delicacies that the world has to offer.
Arachnids, like most invertebrates, don’t tend to be at the top of the list when it comes to the tastiest foods around, but in Cambodia, deep fried tarantulas are considered a delicious snack by locals, and for those with a strong stomach, they’re definitely worth trying, even if it’s once. The Cambodians, who began frying arachnids during years of famine, quickly found that they made a crunchy and tasty snack and have been described as resembling chicken. Unlike chicken, the tarantulas are fried whole, legs and all.
Eggs are one of the most popular foods in the world, eaten in almost every kind of diet – although these are usually unfertilised eggs, meaning that there is no chick growing in them and consist only of the white and the yolk. But in the Philippines, the eggs are fertilised first and the chicks allowed to grow to a certain maturity before being served as a dish. Known as Balut, where the egg is cooked when the chick inside is between 17 and 21 days old, meaning that it’s fairly well developed. It’s an extremely popular food in the region and can be found at just about every street corner.
While the chicks aren’t alive when they’re served, in this dish, which is popular in Korea, a country where we play all day, the ingredients are still moving about when placed in front of the customer. Live octopus is a delicacy within Korea, and due to the fact that each arm of the octopus can continue to move independently even when severed from the main body, it makes for the freshest calamari that money can buy. It’s also something of a choking hazard, as the arms are known for getting stuck in the throat, although this tends to be rare.
The puffin is a small bird that can be found in northern, colder seas and island, and Iceland is home to one of the very largest colonies in the world. Hunters within the area will catch one or two birds at a time, kill them, skin them quickly, and then eat the hearts raw. Iceland is a harsh and unforgiving environment that meant people living there had to find a way to sustain themselves through difficult times, and the abundance of puffins allowed them an easy source of protein. Today, the hearts are a delicacy that are sourced sustainably.