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Extremely Controversial, Bizarre, and Unusual Delicacies Around the World

by CHAN LEE PENG on 03/02/09 at 4:55 am

Have you ever wondered what people eat around the world? While looking at these scary, unusual and bizarre delicacies, do you still feel hungry?

Have you ever wondered what people eat around the world? Before ordering your food at the restaurants or buying foods from the street vendors, take a tour with me to look at the most odd, peculiar, bizarre and appalling foods that people eat in their daily diet.

What makes the food sounding bizarre and peculiar? Certain eating cultures seem to be bizarre to us but normal to the eaters. That means the food might be terrible for some, but delicious for others. The answer can be obtained between “tasty” and “nasty” foods, to which it makes not much difference as it’s merely one letter difference. In other words, certain foods that we classify as strange foods are instead exotic delicacies for others. It’s simply concluded here that the cuisines may be objectively regarded as crazy and bizarre, but they appeal as normal and usual delicacies to their respective eaters.

Each culture has their own traditional foods that they enjoy, although occasionally, certain foods that appeal to a person in one place, but may not be appealing to someone in another part of the world (quoted from my previous article entitled The 8 most cruel & controversial world delicacies).

When I say “bizarre” here, I actually refer to “uncommon”, “unusual” and “unlikely healthy” foods to different cultures around the world. So, next time, while eating out of your country, you should think twice before ordering the delicacies that are stated in the menu.

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This is a plate of grasshopper tacos (Tacos de Chapulines) which is said crunchy and crisp to chew and is claimed to be a source of health. It’s eaten like popcorn by people in Oaxaca. While examining this tortilla carefully, I can see that it’s packed with some grasshoppers. These grasshoppers are most favored to be eaten between August and January, which is during the rainy season. This seasonal delicacy is prepared with the thin legs of the grasshoppers breaking off. It actually doesn’t sound delicious and appetizing for me. Rather, it won’t be considered as a fair game for these grasshoppers.

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Liked it

That’s usual, Chinese people eat unusual food. In reason, for medicine.


Feb 3rd, 2009

I think every culture experiences some unusual food to someone or other. Eating insects seems to be a popular delicatessen from other places as well. Nice job, Chan. The pictures give me the creeps. I hate creepy-crawlies and to eat them,yuck!

Christine Ramsay

Feb 3rd, 2009

An interesting read but now I feel quite sick. This reminds me of the programme ‘I’m a Celebrity! Get me out of here!’ If you haven’t seen it eating creatures like these, uncooked ,is one of the tasks the celebrities have to win. Good work.



Feb 3rd, 2009

ewww, i cant imagine myself eating that kind of food!

Maria Blazz

Feb 3rd, 2009

Well, food is a matter of culture, indeed.

Blue Buttefly

Feb 3rd, 2009

I agree with Maria, I will be posting exotic food you haven’t seen in your life when I go home.

K Kristie

Feb 3rd, 2009

Welcome back Chan. Interesting, informative post!

clay hurtubise

Feb 3rd, 2009

When my niece came to the U.S. in 1975, peanut butter was weird to her. This is what makes the world so interesting… just wait till McDonalds gets hold of those silkworms! McWorm!

nobert soloria bermosa

Feb 3rd, 2009

truly weird,welcome back Chan

R J Evans

Feb 3rd, 2009

Yes indeed, welcome back! Some of this food is truly weird! I have tried grasshoppers and snake, but I think I would have to draw the line at living Octopus and duck blood! Ew!

Hope you don;t mind, but have blogged this!


Can be stumbled etc all over, hope it helps get the hits this article deserves!

Dr Shalini Kapoor Kad

Feb 3rd, 2009

Sorry I am not at all hungry..

PR Mace

Feb 3rd, 2009

Sorry, I will have to pass on this. But it would be a great way to lose weight, because I would not be eating. Well done and good to see you back. Hope you had a nice break.


Feb 3rd, 2009

Was ir necessary to add pics.. LOL

Glynis Smy

Feb 3rd, 2009

mmm I think I will just skip to the dessert thanks Chan!! Great article.

Judy Sheldon

Feb 3rd, 2009

After reading Glynis’ comment, I wonder what dessert could be? I have no appetite for anything after this. lol

Take care & G♥d bless!

Ruby Hawk

Feb 3rd, 2009

To each his own but I must admit I could not eat anyh of this.It’s no different than eating hog or cows though. They were all once living creatures.


Feb 3rd, 2009

Here is a list of more Exotic yet disgusting foods from around the world.


Feb 3rd, 2009

Link did not make it to the previous comment. Here is a list of more exotic yet disgusting foods from around the world: http://baheyeldin.com/writings/culture/exotic-yet-disgusting-foods-from-around-the-world.html

Inna Tysoe

Feb 4th, 2009

Great article–doubt I’ll be eating any of this though :)



Feb 4th, 2009

nice article Chang, don’t worry thhose dishes seems delicious and healthy, People from the Northern part of my country do have similar exotic dishes and I’ve tried out some like, fried cricket and ‘adobong salagubang’ (beattle) not mentioning dogs and cats. That’s how weird most cultures are. nice to see you again friend. like provinces


Feb 4th, 2009

Well, sometimes our mental models don`t let us taste or do other things. In this case, I think, we should forget what ingredients have these dishes and taste them. Perhaps, we are lossing an opportunity of having a good dish.. and the opportunity of living different things; worthwhile, indeed..as all cultures around the world..so, why not? Let`s open our mind!!

Joie Schmidt

Feb 5th, 2009

Whoa…………… this was a very eye opening article.

Another great article CHAN!



-Liane Schmidt.

Gail Nobles

Feb 6th, 2009

It’s an eye opening article and my stomach can’t take it. The article was quite interesting.


Feb 8th, 2009

Hi Chan Lee Peng! I got so curious about this article since I have one coming up on much-maligned Filipino delicacies. I hope you get to read it too. Great research on this one.

Anne McNew

Feb 10th, 2009

This could be effective diet formula because I might as well escape eating if this would be served. huh.
Indeed, this is such a nice post!


Feb 10th, 2009

Insects are the food of the future, they are everywhere in enormous quantities and they are full of nutrients, thank God we are still in the present, Ugh
Nice article, hugs and kisses


Feb 11th, 2009

Very interesting.I’ve heard about some of these insect,but it really surprises me that scorpions are eaten.

Mr Ghaz

Feb 11th, 2009

Great work! very interesting and well thoughts. Well done!

Jojo Skeene

Feb 12th, 2009

Oh my–whaatta an exotic food—maybe if i will enter a contest i will eat these foods for a million dollar–but taking a penny out of my pocket just for the Scorpion look like food–ha! — Oh gosh!

Overall, an enteresting article!

Lisa Clayton Williams

Feb 12th, 2009

Wow….I think the fried scorpions and raw blood soup grossed me out the most! However, having said that, I have partaken in crawfish (my husband’s family is from New Orleans, Louisiana-this is part of their regular diet) in the shell, which looks awful but is really good! So, I understand how different cultures could view foods in different ways….of course…still not sure how ANYONE could find the raw blood soup appetizing! Wonderful article, fantastic pictures!!!!

Kate Smedley

Feb 17th, 2009

Very interesting article and photos …. can’t imagine eating any of this stuff!


Feb 22nd, 2009

Yucky! Anyway, great article. Great pics and videos, too.

amilia snow

Mar 1st, 2009

EEEW!!! really…i saw quite a few of those dishes before, like the silkworms in korea, i smelled it half a block b4 i reached there!

And my adventurous buddy even tried some! He said it tasted like a mixture of chicken & stg else… While he was enjoying, the rest of us were trying hard not to barf…

lol…nice article!!!

jo oliver

Mar 3rd, 2009

No I am not hungry anymore. Oh my how do people eat such?

Eunice Barbara

Mar 3rd, 2009

I’ve been to South Korea several times but I did not encounter such foods. Anyway in the Philippines we have balut or fertilized duck egg as in “fetus”. But delicious. got to try it when you have the chance to visit the country.

Cheese Puff

Mar 7th, 2009

Oh come on! You only freak out because you didn’t grow up with “bizarre, unusual” foods. You obviously did not try eating any of these things, but rather stuck your nose up at them outright. Scorpion is no worse than lobster. Seriously–don’t bash it till you’ve tried it!


Mar 8th, 2009

I would just like to say this to the writer “WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?” you’re whole blog is about unusual foods and then you bash every single one. Why don’t you ask yourself why they eat what they are eating? Most of these countries are not as rich as the western countries, so they eat what they can.WHAT IS AVAILABLE. You are a spoiled brat. Might have been a different view, if you were born in China or Peru or Cambodia.
People in India probably think we’re disgusting people for eating cows. But we think it’s normal and it tastes good. So if you are going promote “weird foods” then don’t knock it down.
Cheese Puff is right- muslims don’t eat pork because it’s just like eating garbage.
Jews- don’t eat pork or shellfish.
do you think pork and shellfish are so disgusting it can make your stomach churn and barf? cause if you don’t, your just an ignorant outsider.

Mr Ghaz

Mar 16th, 2009

Very informative article..but, the foods looks very strange for me. Thanx for sharing


May 11th, 2009

Yummm! all of this looks amazing. Especially the the Taco.

Deep Blue

May 19th, 2009

Nice delicasies my friend. That’s more salivating than canned goods if your stomach won’t hesitate.


Jun 5th, 2009

I think it would have such an interesting site if it wasn’t for accompanying commentary on how “disgusting” local cuisine is. Take Lobster in the past it was said to be “only fit for dogs and Indians” yet today it is an delicacy that few can afford. Shrimp looks pretty close to water borne insects and blood pudding, blood sausage is in fact made from animal blood. Every time you bite into sausage you’re more then likely biting into animal intestine. How about wieners and other processed meats “animal by-products” if its not the flesh of animals its everything in between snout, nose,ears skin etc. Perhaps we should put all this in a pile and take a picture.

We should always keep an out mind and be not so judgmental to “foreign cultures”. I those with an open live such satisfying lives over those who are closed only to ‘what is familiar”.

Ron Chin

Jun 9th, 2009

Nice site and pictures. I m surprised you find so many foods “disgusting” though. Especially since you must be Chinese. I found that since my mother served all sorts of foods, (Chinese cuisine is quite diverse) I have had no problem in trying and enjoying all types of food from all around the world (including most of the foods shown here).

John Mancho

Jun 21st, 2009

That is soo cool! I eat frog hearts everyday lol

Sol Accursio

Jul 9th, 2009

I tasted fried silkworm and it tastes not so different from fried onion…. geese tongues looked \”difficult\” to taste, but after savoring the first one I quickly emptied the plate! :) I\’m italian. and here is \”normal\” to eat horse and donkey (they are a quite festive and not an \”everyday\” food, but no one finds anything strange in consuming them) while english friends tell me that the thought of eating horse or donkey is utterly disgusting to them— cultures are different, and there\’s no disgust in this. I probably wouldn\’t eat cockroaches, but the only reason is that I\’ve been bought up considering them disgusting, but their taste is probably good…


Jul 12th, 2009

“Eating a live frog or a live beating frog’s heart has appeared to be a delicious cuisine in Japan as well as in Thailand and China.”

I find this fact inaccurate. I’m from Thailand and been traveling all over, but I never heard such delicacy as live frog heart. I have to admit, though, that we do eat frog meat – and in some northern villages, to gross you out, tadpoles. However, it has never occur to me that we eat live amphibians.

Perhaps the only live animal we have as a delicacy is tiny river shrimps. It is called Koong-Ten, literally means “dancing shrimps.” To prepare, you need a handful of live shrimps, lime juice, chili, garlic, and other ingredients depending on one’s preference/recipe, put them all in a bowl with cover and shake.


Oct 9th, 2009

i am aboriginal and we hunt and eat moose meat, rabbit, duck, and other animals. we remove the skin and make it into moccasins and other crafts. i am accepting of other peoples cultures and i love individuality in different cultures. imagine if we were all the same, it jus wouldnt be interesting.


Dec 10th, 2009

the one that realy blew me off is that raw blood soup. id rather die that drink that, seriously.


May 10th, 2010

As well as I understand your distaste to these dishes, I can’t help but notice your (overwhelmingly) ignorant point of view to the rest of the world. Sure, fine, you don’t like them. But to spell out words like yuk, ew, gross, disgusting, puke EVERY SINGLE sentence of your post?? You sound no different from the middle school kid next door who has consumed nothing else in her entire life except for twinkies, spray cheese and mashed potatoes. I don’t know what you are trying to achieve from imposing your apparent cultural superiority by ridiculing what other people eat around the world, but you gotta know this: you sound ridiculously stupid. And where the heck does this “controversial” and “unhealthy” thing come from? Did you say The World’s Most Controversial Dishes? I have seen a person proudly declaring that her favorite dish was a doughnut-and-bacon burger, and THAT truly made me want to puke. No other place than america would a person dump that garbage down their stomach. At least those “disgusting stuff” posted above won’t transform the eaters into looking like what they had just eaten.


May 23rd, 2010

This article was very ethnocentric. :\
You even said that by bizarre, you meant uncommon, unhealthy and unusual.
If these things are sold by street vendors, are they uncommon and unusual? In the USA or where ever you’re from maybe, but guess what?
These weren’t from the US now were they?
Also, I hope you realise that those foods are actually quite healthy.
And some are eaten for certain health benefits.


May 29th, 2010

I love these food. I am canadian and ofcourse this is not my daily meal, but I would love to try it once. If they are eating, then I guess it must be edible. I want to try eating those things someday. Ofcourse not infront of those who don’t like it or else they gonna even criticize me on my ethical prospects… Anyhow, I think food is just food. something to eat. they all become poop anyway and all your body needs are the nutrients. If you get nutrients from food like this and there is no cow meat available for roast or stew then… i say bring it on!!


Sep 15th, 2010

Very informative, but do you think that people originally started eating these because they were all that they could afford or all that was available to them during times of hardship such as wars ?


Nov 3rd, 2010

I cannot believe that some people said this was a great article – are there really people out there as insulting and closed-minded as the author? Of course these dishes will be unappetizing to those of us who have never tried them before, even more-so for those who have never seen or heard of them. Yes they are different and bizarre cuisines, but constantly saying how disgusting, vomit-inducing, ‘eew’, and ‘yuck’ these foods are in EVERY SINGLE SENTENCE is immature and rude. To top it off, he decides to insult the barbaric people along with their disgusting food:

“Looking at these unusual foods, what else can the day throw at you? They’re so disgusting!”

“The video gets my head tilting to understand how the people can wolf down this juice so contentedly.”

Ridiculous. Since Americans eat crawfish (basically swamp roaches), escargot (snails), fried pig brains (southern dish), and chicken livers (also southern), we must be disgusting too. You are the only clean one who eats appetizing food. Enjoy your hamburger and french fries, prick.

Brewed Coffee

Jan 20th, 2011

Whew! Good thing I already had lunch! I was thinking, if insects were part of regular meals, I think nobody will ever get hungry as they are plentiful :-)

Eating that octopus is actually dangerous. There’s a proper way of eating that because the octopus can choke a person to death. I believe they wrap the tentacles in chopsticks and swallow it whole? Ewwwww I can’t imagine chewing something that fights for its life inside your mouth!

s j tubrazy

Jan 25th, 2011

It is really great share

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