We all have a favorite food that we know might not be everyone else’s cup of tea. Some people can stomach exotic seafood or fruit (durian, anyone?), while others turn their noses up at the very thought.
No matter what your oddball delicacy may be, at the end of the day, everyone has one. However, if you take a quick look around the world, and you’ll realize there are some delicacies that most people would agree are nearly inedible.
It’s important to respect the differences in cultures, but there are some foods out there that would take an iron stomach to put down. See some of the most bizarre below…
1. Fugu (Japan): There’s a good reason that this dish comprised of blowfish is often referred to as “Japanese roulette,” because it contains a lethal amount of the poisonous tetrodotoxin. The poison is cooked out if it’s prepared properly, but that won’t stop the taste of blowfish from making your tongue go numb. This is why only specially trained and licensed chefs are allowed to cook the stuff for customers.
2. Scorpionfish (Atlantic and Pacific Oceans): Noted for its uniquely mild taste, scorpionfish—which is found off the coasts of New Zealand and Australia—is often compared to lobster, taste-wise, at least. There is, however, one thing that separates these two sea-dwelling delicacies: poisonous venom. Even though a team of researchers developed an antidote to said poison, only experienced chefs are allowed to cook it.
3. Carambola (South and North America, Asia): Yes, this fruit looks appetizing, and it’s rather crisp and juicy, but indulging in more than a few pieces at a time could prove fatal. That’s because it contains high amounts of oxalic acid, which can be harmful to anyone suffering from kidney disease. Furthermore, this fruit also contains neurotoxin, which has the ability to cause hallucinations and neurological disorders.
4. Escamoles (Mexico): If you’ve ever had the desire to eat ant eggs, then now’s your chance! That’s right, this Mexican dish is comprised of the eggs of giant black Liometopum ants. Noted for its cottage cheese texture and nutty, buttery taste, bizarre food is typically safe to consume. If it’s not prepared properly, though, the poisonous ants can emerge from the eggs and make their way into the food. Yikes!
5. Cassava (Africa): Noted for its ability to be used in place of potatoes, this common African food is often prepared as a side dish, in many sauces, and as a dessert filling. Even further, it contains high amounts of essential nutrients. So, what’s wrong with consuming it? Well, if prepared incorrectly, the toxic substances inside—linamarin—aren’t removed. So good luck.
6. Casu Marzu (Italy): Made from goat’s milk, this Sardinian rotten cheese was once illegal to sell, though in 2010, it was recognized for its relevance in Sardinian heritage. To make the fermentation process more efficient, the people who make this cheese use a rare species of fly to digest the fats in the cheese, which give it a strange taste and soft texture.
The two most concerning reasons why people stay away from this bizarre dairy product are that fly larvae can jump out, and ingesting a fly can cause gastrointestinal issues in people.
7. Ackee (Jamaica): This African fruit has become a popular delicacy in Jamaica. Typically poisonous, it’s only edible when picked at the exact right time. If it’s eaten too early or too late, the poison will cause an illness known as Jamaican Vomiting Sickness… and that doesn’t sound too fun.
8. Century Eggs (China): Most often, this jelly-like Chinese treat is made by preserving duck or chicken eggs in an ash and salt mixture for upwards of 100 days. Furthermore, the bizarre dish is noted for its ammonia-like aroma. That sounds quite appetizing!
9. Stonefish (Indian and Pacific Oceans): Not only is this fish the most poisonous one in existence, but even just touching one of this thing’s poisonous spikes can prove fatal to humans. Furthermore, the venom they produce can cause tissue death, shock, and paralysis.
10. Rambutan (Asia): Of course, many people are tempted to try this fruit, likely because of its similar appearance to strawberries. But, beware! Not only can this tropical fruit cause severe diarrhea, but a great deal of people are also unknowingly allergic. That’s why even those who love it only consume between four and five pieces at a time.
Sure, trying some of these dishes would be fun, but you have to ask yourself: is it really worth your life to try a certain dish?
Share these bizarre delicacies with your friends below!