Travel Hysteria considers food as one of the pillars of a culture. For us travelling also means to eat local. Food is very important in every society, and it definitely helps you understand the traditions of a country. During our travels we have come across strange meals such as worms, scorpions or snakes. So far we haven’t had the courage to try any of them, so we did one thing for you.
We asked several travel bloggers to tell us which are the weirdest foods they have ever eaten during their travels. Their responses are really interesting and surprising! We have to be honest: we’re not sure we’d be able to eat any of them…so congratulations to you guys 🙂
So enjoy the list and take a look at their photos: Bon appétit!But first, we ask for a minute of your time: click here and like our Facebook page!
1. Potatoes with mud sauce in Peru
Michelle from Mishvo in Motion told us her story: “I lived in rural Peru for a couple months conducting cook stove research for an internship for my master’s degree. Part of our research included observing families cook their meals using their traditional stoves and this often meant sharing a meal with them (which was such an honor).
One day, one of the families decided to show us how they made a traditional dish: earth-roasted potatoes eaten with a mud dipping sauce. They built a fire and buried the embers in the ground along with the potatoes. Then they dug up the potatoes a while later, mixed up some mud and salt, and lunch was served! The mud tasted exactly as you would expect mud to taste and had a sort of chalky texture. Don’t know if I would eat it again but I’m glad I had the opportunity to try something I never would have tried otherwise”.
2. Scorpions in China
Inguaribile Viaggiatore has a funny story to tell: “Last year I lost a bet with my wife. I was walking in Wangfuching Street in Beijing, that is the Chinese street food area, and I had the opportunity to try scorpions. Apart from the initial disgust, I found them good and crispy. It was an unforgettable experience!”. No doubt it was!
3. Snake meat and “liquids” in Taiwan
During our trip to Vietnam we had the chance to try snake, but we didn’t do it. Andrea from Andi on Adventure was more courageous than us. Did she like it? She told us: “The most disgusting thing I’ve ever eaten? Snake. Not just the snake soup, but snake blood, snake penis wine, and snake bile.
The snake meat in the soup did NOT taste like chicken and the snake fluids made the skin on my face burn. It was a great cultural experience but I wouldn’t recommend it for dinner!”. Thanks Andrea, we will think twice next time we have the opportunity to eat snake!
4. Guinea Pig in Peru
Daniel and Amanda from La Vida Viva had something really peculiar: they found themself eating Guinea Pig in Cusco, Peru!
Listen to their story: “Have you tried cuy yet?” It’s a question you’re bound to hear if you spend time in Peru or Bolivia. Cuy is guinea pig and although in the past was traditionally reserved for ceremonial meals by the indigenous people, it is now a bit of a delicacy, especially in Peru. If you visit Catedral de Cuzco, you can even see a painting depicting the Last Supper with the disciples eating cuy! Given that Peru has some of the best food in South America, we were very excited to try something new.
As backpackers, you don’t want to pay a huge amount for something when you’ve no idea how it tastes. The flipside is we didn’t want to risk going somewhere cheap and get sick or eat some nasty tasting cuy. We opted for an in between point – oven roasted cuy for approximately $15 USD. After 10 minutes, the entire cuy was presented to us on a plate. In. Its. Entirety. We’ve grown up eating whole suckling pig and chicken feet so we aren’t phased by this but it surely would bring a few shocks to other unexpected folk. This cuy looked like it was scared to death and then chucked straight into an oven – little claws sticking out and everything.
We peeled off some of the skin to reveal nothing more than thin layers of flesh against bone. The skin had a similar taste and texture to roasted pork but the meat had the unpleasant smell of microwaved chicken. Despite its over-seasoning, that scent came through thick and strong. To eat it, we had to pick what little meat there was off the tiny bones. To be brutally honest, it was too much hard work with little reward. Would we try it again? Nope. Made for a good story though”.
5. Crickets in Vietnam
Lisa from Anywhere’s Perfect was in Vietnam and she tried something really weird. “On my trip to Vietnam I did a countryside tour around Dalat. One of the stops was a cricket farm. I didn’t really believe that it was an actual thing but for Vietnamese people, it is a tradition to consume crickets together with one or two (or even more) shots of rice wine every once in a while. So I gave it a try.
The taste itself wasn’t too bad, also because they were fried a little and I dipped it in chili sauce but just the idea of eating an insect and that fact that I had a tiny little leg on my tongue afterwards made me hold back from taking a second one. Still, I can tick eating insects off my bucket list now!”
6. Bugs Sandwich and Frozen Lasagna, Spain
Denise from Travel and Lipsticks had the worst food experience in Spain, just outside Madrid. “I´ve been travelling with two of my friends and we went to El Escorial. Hungry after exploring we went to a charming restaurant with not so charming food. Everyone ordered something different and we all got nightmares on a plate. I got an old sandwich which was pretty bad, but I was hungry so, okay. As I turned the bread I saw bugs crawling under my food!
My other friend wanted a spinach lasagna and got a freezing something with ketchup on the side. And the third dish was a burnt steak which she immediately returned but the waiter was so rude and wanted money for it, he got really aggressive”.
7. Mink whale, Iceland
Colleen from Ad-Lib Traveller visited Iceland, and she couldn’t miss a local delicatessen. “Whilst in Iceland earlier this year, I joined a food tour that provided me with the opportunity to try whale meat (note, mink whale is not considered endangered!). The meat can be eaten raw or cooked – I opted for cooked. Whale meat is a red meat but leaner and easier to digest. It doesn’t taste of fish at all and was similar to eating a beef steak”. Would you try it?
8. Century Eggs, Malaysia
Our friend Wayne from Kuaby shared his story with us: “As a Chinese living in Malaysia, I eat century eggs when I swing by a dim sum or porridge place. I love them, but at the same time, many of my friends find them weird when they first come across one. The word “century” gives people the misconception that the eggs were preserved for 100 years, and their appearance does not help. The fact is that the preservation of the eggs, using a saline solution, only takes a few weeks to a few months”.
9. Haggis, Scotland
Jamie from The Daily Adventures of Me, tried this delicatessen. Did she like it? “Many cultures make use of the whole of an animal and Scotland is no exception. Haggis is sheep’s heart, liver and lungs encased in its stomach and is one of the strangest food I have eaten. It is believed that the stomach was a convenient carrying case – kind of like a lunch bag – for men driving their cattle from the Highlands to Edinburgh to sell them at the market.
My sons and I ate it at the high-end Galvin Brasserie de Luxe in the Waldorf-Astoria Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland. The meat is mixed with spices and oatmeal. Although it is not a meal we would order again, it was definitely much tastier than we expected”. We tried it as well and we have to admit that haggis is not that bad!
10. Guppy, Australia
Last but not least, Sebastian from What Should Baz Do? has a funny story for us. “This is more a Bear Gryll’s story than it is a foodie story. I wasn’t starving at the time but – as a kid – being dared to do things was my weakness. At a local swimming hole near my childhood home in Queensland, Australia, I caught a guppy in the shallows. It was a hot day so I gutted and cleaned the minute morsel with a pocket knife and laid it across a hot rock to “cook.” Barely bigger than a tadpole, it slid down quickly and my dare-master status remained intact. In case you’re wondering – yes – of course it tasted like chicken”.
What about you? Have you ever tried any weird food? Let us know in the comments section and share this post with your friends!