Do you think all gross-looking foreign foods taste horrible? Think again! Some of them are surprisingly delicious! You might not want to try these unique dishes at first glance, but don’t be fooled by their looks; they will delight your taste buds and make you crave more.
Century Egg – China
The century egg, or the thousand-year or millennium egg, is a Chinese delicacy made by preserving duck eggs in an alkaline solution containing ash, quicklime, and salt. These ingredients cause the whites of the eggs to become dark brown or black jelly-like substances and the yolks to turn green. It may look unappetizing, but this egg has a creamy texture and an earthy flavor that pairs well with traditional Chinese dishes.
Fried Tarantulas – Cambodia
Fried tarantulas are a popular street food in Cambodia. The creepy-crawly spiders are deep-fried in oil with garlic, chili peppers, and sugar until they’re crispy outside. Despite their intimidating appearance, these fried arachnids have a texture similar to potato chips and an earthy taste. If you’re brave enough to try them, fried tarantulas make a unique and tasty snack.
Fermented Shark – Iceland
This “national dish of Iceland” is made from Greenland shark cured in a lactic acid solution and dried for up to 6 months. It’s then cut into strips and served with a shot of the traditional Icelandic spirit, Brennivín (aka Black Death). Fermented sharks may look disgusting, but it has a chewy, meaty texture and a strong flavor that will make your taste buds tingle.
Durian – Southeast Asia
Durian is an exotic tropical fruit that’s extremely popular in Southeast Asia. Its sharp spines and pungent smell make it look unappetizing, but its creamy texture and sweet taste will surprise you. If you can get past its smell, durian is delicious!
Jellied Moose Nose – Canada
Don’t worry; the jellied moose nose isn’t a real moose snout. It’s a Canadian dish of beef cheeks cooked in gelatin, then sliced and served cold. Despite its gross-looking appearance, this unique dish has an interesting flavor combination of sweet, salty, and savory that will tantalize your taste buds.
Fermented Herring – Sweden
This Scandinavian dish is made from herring that’s been fermented for several months in a brine solution with onion, spices, and bay leaves. It has an intense aroma and a strong flavor, making it an acquired taste. But don’t let its unappetizing look and unpleasant smell fool you; this dish is surprisingly delicious and pairs well with boiled potatoes and dill.
Balut – Philippines
This Filipino delicacy is a fertilized duck egg boiled and eaten in its shell. It may look unappealing, but balut has a creamy texture and an intensely flavorful broth that will make you forget its gross-looking exterior.
Boiled Sheep Head – Iceland
The boiled sheep head may look intimidating, but it’s a traditional Icelandic dish that is surprisingly tasty. The meat is cooked until tender and served with mashed potatoes and vegetables. Despite its strange appearance, the sheep’s head is succulent on the inside and satisfyingly flavorful.
Limburger Cheese – Limburg, Belgium
Limburger cheese is a semi-soft Belgian cheese known for its pungent aroma and intense flavor. Its smell may make you think twice about trying it, but once you get past the odor, you’ll be rewarded with a creamy texture and an intense taste that will make your taste buds sing. It pairs well with fruits like pears and apples, or you can enjoy it on top of a crusty baguette.
Sannakji – South Korea
This South Korean dish consists of a live baby octopus chopped and served with a sesame seed sauce. It may look like something straight out of a horror movie, but it’s unexpectedly delicious. The texture of the tentacles is crunchy and chewy at the same time, making for an interesting eating experience.
Stinky Tofu – China
Stinky tofu, or chòudòufŭ, is a Chinese delicacy made from fermented tofu cubes. This dish gets its name from its strong odor, which some say smells like old socks. Despite its pungent smell, it has a crunchy outer shell and soft center, making for an interesting texture and flavor combination. Don’t be intimidated by the smell or its looks; try it, and you won’t be disappointed.
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