20 Weirdest Food Eaten Around the World

Olu Ojo
Advertiser Disclosure

Hey there! We just wanted to let you know that some of the links on this site are affiliate links. That means we may get a commission if you click on the link and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy. Don't worry, though - we only recommend products that we personally use and love, and we promise to drink all the coffee from the money we make from affiliate sales. Thanks for your support, and we hope you find our content helpful! Read our disclosure.

Every culture has its unique and, sometimes, unconventional delicacies. The appetite for what’s considered “palatable” varies widely, depending on the region and traditions. Let’s embark on a global culinary journey and uncover some of the world’s most unusual and intriguing foods.

Puffin Heart – Iceland

Various delicacy dishes including puffin heart in the background
Image by Veramelissaphotography via Canva.com

In the Northern Hemisphere, the puffin, a species of Auk, soars the skies. Its heart, when consumed in Iceland, is more than just food – it’s a cherished delicacy. Auk birds are characterized by their short wings, adapted for diving, and distinct black and white underparts.

Fried Brain Sandwich – Central United States

A fried brain burger
Image by LauriPatterson via Canva.com

Once a beloved dish in the Central US, the fried brain sandwich has seen decreased popularity due to concerns about mad cow disease. Nevertheless, it’s a nostalgic reminder of old culinary traditions.

Balut – Southeast Asia

Balut, a south east asian dish, a premature bird egg.
Image by HoaiPT via Canva.com

A common snack in the streets of Southeast Asia, Balut is a fertilized duck embryo, boiled and served in its shell. The term ‘balut’ in Filipino translates to “wrapped”, quite apt for this delicacy.

Escamole – Mexico

Image by AlexiaLefebvre via Canva.com

Ant larvae, specifically sourced from the roots of the agave plant, are a treat in Mexico. Often called the “insect caviar”, Escamole carries a buttery taste with a hint of nuttiness.

Bird’s Nest Soup – China

Image by Ika Rahma via Canva.com

Saliva nests have been a cornerstone in traditional Chinese culinary practices. Bird’s nest soup, especially the red nest variety, can be among the most expensive dishes, sometimes fetching up to 10,000 USD per bowl.

Hakarl – Iceland

Image by Tromp Willem van Urk via Canva.com

Hakarl, or fermented basking shark, is an Icelandic specialty, boasting of a strong and acquired taste. Often featured during þorrablót, a midwinter festival, it can be found in local stores throughout the year.

Surstromming – Northern Sweden

Image by hanbr via Canva.com

This fermented Baltic herring dish is potent and notable for its strong aroma, so much so that it’s been labeled as one of the world’s smelliest foods. The fermentation process even causes its tin cans to bulge during transportation.

Kopi Luwak – Southeast Asia

Image by ivstiv via Canva.com

For those with a penchant for unique coffee flavors, Kopi Luwak offers beans that have been consumed and subsequently excreted by Civets, small mammals native to Southeast Asia. This particular method imparts a distinct flavor to the coffee.

Stinkbugs – Indonesia

Image by inzyx via Canva.com

In Indonesia, stinkbugs are more than just pests. When consumed, they offer a taste reminiscent of bitter sunflower seeds.

Sannakji – Korea

Image by TobinC via Canva.com

Experience a live culinary spectacle as chefs present octopus sashimi, often still wriggling on the plate, seasoned with just a touch of sesame oil.

Rocky Mountain Oysters – North America

Rocky Mountain Oysters
Image credit: Canva

Don’t let the name deceive you. These “oysters” are, in fact, bull testicles that are deep-fried to a crisp.

Nakji – Korea

Image by uppij via Canva.com

A perilous delight, this whole octopus dish presents a challenge. The active suckers might pose a choking risk, requiring careful consumption.

Lutefisk – Scandinavia

Image by MychkoAlezander via Canva.com

Dried fish treated with lye gives rise to Lutefisk, a slippery and gelatinous dish that’s a holiday favorite in Nordic regions.

Mopane – Africa

Image by DianePeacock via Canva.com

Dried Mopane caterpillars, rich in protein, are not only nutritious but also a crunchy snack relished across Africa.

Tuna Eyeball – Japan

Image by pamwushu via Canva.com

A staple in many Japanese stores, the tuna eyeball, when boiled, offers a taste profile similar to squid.

Dried Lizards – Asia

Image by ROBERT67 via Canva.com

Believed to have medicinal properties, dried lizards are often infused in soups or alcoholic concoctions across some Asian cultures.

Khash – Middle East

Image by Radist via Canva.com

A hearty stew made from cow’s feet, head, and stomach. Khash, translating to “head and hoof”, is a warm, comforting meal in the colder regions.

A-ping – Cambodia

Image by cascoly via Canva.com

Fried tarantulas, once a survival food during harsh times in Cambodia, are now a popular and crunchy delicacy, akin to candy.

Fugu – Japan

Image by gyro via Canva.com

This dish is not for the faint-hearted. Fugu, or pufferfish, contains lethal toxins. Only chefs with rigorous training are permitted to prepare this risky delicacy.

Ikizukuri – Japan and China

Image by aaron90311 via Canva.com

A practice wherein customers select live seafood, which is then swiftly filleted and served, often with the heart still beating. It’s a testament to freshness and skill.

What might be an everyday snack in one region can be a gourmet adventure for someone from another part of the world. While some of these foods might challenge our conventional ideas of palatability, they stand as a testament to humanity’s rich and varied culinary heritage.

20 Worst Foods for People Over 40

20 Worst Foods for People Over 40
mikafotostok via Canva.com
Life after 40 can feel like a beautiful, albeit slightly confusing, culinary journey. One minute, you’re feasting on your favorite late-night snack, and the next, you’re questioning whether it was worth the heartburn or the sudden spike in your cholesterol.

20 Worst Foods for People Over 40

20 Quintessentially American Foods That Will Make Foreigners Gag and Cringe!

Provided by FrenzHub via Canva.com

Food has the power to bring people together, but certain dishes can be unsettling for people from different cultures. American cuisine is distinct, often featuring dishes that may seem peculiar to those who are not accustomed to it.
Discover 20 unique American delicacies that may elicit mixed reactions from foreigners! While Americans cherish these dishes, they might not be for everyone outside the US. Brace yourself for a splendid culinary adventure as we delve into these intriguing eats that might surprise you.

20 Quintessentially American Foods That Will Make Foreigners Gag and Cringe!

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Luggage Sets in 2024

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Luggage Sets in 2023
Provided by Frenz via canva.com

When it comes to choosing the best luggage set to buy, there are a lot of factors you need to consider. For example, what type of traveler are you? How often do you travel? What is your budget? Do you need a hardshell or softshell suitcase? These are just some of the questions you must ask yourself before purchasing the best luggage sets. In this ultimate guide, we will help make the process a little bit easier for you.

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Luggage Sets in 2024

28 Foods We Believe Have Earned Their Fame

29 Foods We Believe Have Earned Their Fame
thyegn via Canva.com
In a world teeming with gastronomic adventures and ever-evolving culinary trends, it’s not uncommon to stumble upon foods that garner divisive opinions. Whether it’s the umami-richness of oysters or the earthiness of beets, every dish has its loyalists and detractors. We delve into the appeal and often misunderstood virtues of 28 controversial foods.

28 Foods We Believe Have Earned Their Fame

12 Common Etiquette Blunders to Avoid at a Steakhouse: Are You Guilty?

12 Etiquette Mistakes Everyone Makes at a Steakhouse
ValentynVolkov via Cnava.com
Now, we’ve all been there. You walk into a steakhouse, starry-eyed, salivating at the thought of a perfectly grilled steak, only to commit the most heinous etiquette crimes. The steak gods weep, and the waitstaff sighs.


  • Olu Ojo

    My name is Olu. I am a passionate entrepreneur who loves to write about Pets, Home Improvement Hacks & Products, Fitness, and Travel Lifestyle. I have two bachelor's degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Applied Accounting with a CPA designation. I currently shuffle time between completing a Master of Business Administration Degree Education, Professional Practice, and Content writing. I have freelanced lifestyle content and posts for many top authority websites like MSN, and Wealth of Geeks.

Spread the love

Leave a Comment

Frenz Lifestyle & Wellness Blog

For Lifestyle trends, tips, and best product reviews

Join Our Subscriber List Today!

This will close in 0 seconds