The world is a strange and fascinating place and nowhere is that more apparent than in the foods we eat. Absurd, sometimes seemingly disturbing, cultural divides that lead some to indulge and others to shy away in disgust. If you were planing on eating that sandwich right about now, you might want to reconsider as we bring you our list of a few questionable delicacy practices from around the world: meat edition.
Starting off the list on an easy, salty, and nutty note are marinated chicken feet. Maybe you stepped into a quaint Chinese or Thai restaurant on the shady side of town, or maybe you just stumbled into the black market (no pun intended) back aisle of your local grocery store. Odds are you’ve seen a bag of neatly-cleaned chicken feet.
Often marinated or fried, chicken feet are described as a heavenly mix of skin and chewy tendons, a textural paradise. Just watch out for the nails on these strange delicacies.
From the land of a thousand islands comes this infamous treat. A fertilized duck egg, boiled and eaten in the shell. Savory, salty, and meaty so long as you can get past the little duck faces. Sorry.
Is Balut a little too fresh for you? Try googling “Century Egg.”
How about a heaping plate of spiders? Described as a mix of chicken and cod, fried tarantula was born out of necessity during the Khmer Rouge rule in Cambodia when food was scarce. Now, it’s just another strange delicacy and triple-dog-dare challenge item. Mmm, crunchy.
This one’s actually not too far of a stretch from a classic American staple. Salo, as it’s called in Russia, is actually just raw pig fat, or pig sushi as it’s sometimes known (*it’s not known as pig sushi). If you want to get your hands on some Salo, just head on over to your local market and pick up a package of bacon, tear that sucker open and enjoy! (*Article Cats does not condone eating raw bacon… you’re gross.)
What list of strange delicacies would be complete without mentioning durian? Okay, it doesn’t really fit the general definition of meat, but hear us out. Often considered the smelliest fruit on the planet, the durian’s putrid, meaty core can fetch hundreds at the market and is seen by some as a specialty feast item.
Anthony Bourdain calls the experience:
“…indescribable, something you will either love or despise…Your breath will smell as if you’d been French-kissing your dead grandmother.”
Speaking of the French: French naturalist Henri Mouhot was a bit less delicate:
“On first tasting it I thought it like the flesh of some animal in a state of putrefaction.”
Still, proponents of the stinky fruit call it heavenly and divinely custardy. We’ll let you be the judge.