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People Eat the Weirdest Things

by Anne Lyken Garner on 18/10/08 at 5:20 am

These days, we cannot escape the media hype about healthy eating and exercise. There must not be a person left on earth who isn’t aware of the foods that are healthy and those that aren’t (the fact that not everyone applies this knowledge does not escape me).

However, aside from healthy and unhealthy diets, there is a totally different category of food which is slowly trickling through into mainstream cuisine.  This is loosely referred to as “weird foods.”

Most of this ‘weird food’ consumption began in China and other parts of Asia, but with the event of the recent Olympics games successfully held there, and the country’s increasing wealth and popularity, there is no little wonder, why this category of food is steadily becoming mainstream.

Here are just some of the various weird, and not so wonderful food that people in China and the rest of the world take pleasure eating.

Tuna Eyeball (Eaten in Japan, China)

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Raw Herring (Eaten in Holland)


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Codfish Sperm (Eaten in Various Parts of Asia)

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Crocodile (Eaten in China)


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Chittlins  (Hog’s Insides, Eaten in Southern America)

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Beetles (Eaten in China)

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Raw Whale Meat (Eaten in Japan)

This practise is fortunately being phased out as we speak.

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Salmon Roe (China)

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Dried lizard (Japan)

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White Ant Egg (Bangkok)

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Live Fish (China)

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Giant Water Bug (Taiwan)

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Bugs (Chicago, USA)

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Rotten Soybeans (Parts of Asia)

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Horseshoe Crab Roe & Nast (China)

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Raw Octopus (China)

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Chicken Cartilage (Eaten in Different Parts of Asia)

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Feel free to take your pick and let me know which one you like best.

Liked it


Oct 18th, 2008

Good pics and article! Take care!

BC Doan

Oct 18th, 2008

Maybe delicacy for some, but not me…The pictures said it all!


Oct 18th, 2008

I too agree with BC Doan.


Oct 18th, 2008

i live in chicago and i dont know ANYONE that eats bugs

= =

Oct 18th, 2008

im sorry but some of the countries you stated are wrong. Please get your countries right.


Oct 18th, 2008

you don’t like herring?
Maybe you thinks its soo weird and not good at all, its delicious with onions, yess!!!

i like it!!

Judy Sheldon

Oct 18th, 2008

I’m trying to achieve healthy eating. Someone else can strive for weird.

Karen Gross

Oct 18th, 2008

Now that’s just wrong!

nobert soloria bermosa

Oct 18th, 2008

scorpions?ohh,i’d like to try some just for experience sake,

Darlene McFarlane

Oct 18th, 2008

I have had Raw Octopus before and didn’t mind it. I don’t think I could pick a favourite from the rest although I know which one I would definitely not want. I could never force myself to eat that great large tuna eyeball! It gives me shivers thinking about it.

Great article though, Anne.

Melody Arcamo Lagrimas

Oct 19th, 2008

In the Philippines some people eat frogs. I have eaten raw anchovies that are soaked in vinegar.


Oct 26th, 2008

Raw herring is the biznitch. I’d eat it any day! Holland FTW.


Oct 28th, 2008

you notice that most of these countries are in Asia, which tells you alot before you book a holiday to china.


Oct 28th, 2008

Fish roe is not an uncommon food in the USA, after all that’s what caviar is. In the southeast USA, you can buy canned fish roe in the supermarket. Pretty tasty with scrambled eggs.

I would not purposely eat bugs, eyeballs, or living animals like those fish. I’ve probably eaten bugs accidentally, and I eat hot dogs so I’ve probably eaten pig snouts, eyeballs, anuses, etc. I also would not eat chitterlings (that’s the correct spelling) on purpose.

Even though many of those “foods” listed above strike many of us as extremely unappetizing, they’re probably healthier than a Big Mac, Hot Pocket, or Klondike Bar.

Blessie Adlaon

Oct 29th, 2008

Oh, no, Anne! This is a very interesting article, but it should not be read in the morning by a pregnant woman on a full stomach! LOL

I’ll be looking at your other articles :-)

Best regards,
a very pregnant Beatrice

flying body attack

Oct 29th, 2008

made me hungry just looking at these pictures.

R J Evans

Nov 1st, 2008

I did think I was quite adventurous with food until I read this and realised I probably wouldn’t eat half of it! :-)

Wrong countries

Nov 7th, 2008

Indeed.. the language on the can of “Giant water bug” isn’t mandarin.. looks more like thai or some other south east asian language

Anne Lyken Garner

Nov 13th, 2008

Thanks for all your comments, everyone. They’re much appreciated.


Nov 16th, 2008

Tuna eyeballs are eaten for their high concentrations of DHA. Bugs can be more healthy than many meats. Half of these (or all?) are probably good for you.

That’s the power of culture, your surroundings. We just as well could be raised in a bug eating society and think eating meats was perverted. We impregnate cows to produce milk for us to drink. Eating live squirmy stuff sounds odd to me .. but if you can get over that … life feeds in life feeds on life …



Nov 16th, 2008

Giant water bug is Thai.


Jan 3rd, 2009

A lot of these foods are commonly eaten in other countries as well. Crocodile as well as chitlins are a common food item in the southern US. The bugs supposedly eaten by Chicagoans are actually silkworm pupae and are in fact not bugs at all. The rotten soybeans are actually called natto in Japan and are definitely an acquired taste.


Jan 3rd, 2009

The raw herring eaten in Holland isn’t quite raw: it has fermented several weeks in brine.

The can of water bugs has obviously been made in Thailand, see the writing.

Crocodile is now available in Europe and tatstes like a mixture of squid and chicken.


Jan 3rd, 2009



Jan 3rd, 2009

I live in Chicago and the bugs mentioned here are the Cicadas that show up every 17 years. They came a year ago- mostly in the suburbs and wooded areas. People do eat them- mostly for shock value. I will not.

Catfish Fever

Jan 3rd, 2009

We ate a lot of this stuff in Ranger School back in the 50’s, LOL

Justin M.

Jan 4th, 2009

Having lived in Hong Kong for the past many years and travelled to neighbouring countries… this stuff you’ve listed is nothing! Heck some of it actually tastes amazingly good (croc meat, salmon roe, etc). Raw fish is also great – sushi!…If you want weird, you have to go into China’s fresh meat market where they sell dogs, cats, snakes, tiger testicles (for fertility), bear claw etc…

Oh and fish-eyes are a general delicacy (not just tuna). The liquid in the retina apparently tastes the best. Older people often trick youngsters by saying it tastes nasty so they can have it lol… and chicken cartilage is yum…you can eat it like popcorn lol

Piggy and Tazzy

Jan 4th, 2009

I was just about to say the same as Joe Mama.

I had to laugh at the irony.

stan, singapore

Jan 4th, 2009

yeah some of the countries are wrong for eg. salmon roe is eaten in japan cuz ive not seen it in chinese crusine before. anyone heard of sushi? gee.
dried lizard from indo-china eg. thailand and it is not used in cooking but rather in medicines/potions like aphrodisiac etc. and people dont actually EAT the lizard
words on the giant water bug can is thai, which means it’s from thailand, not taiwan.
horseshoe crab is not in chinese cruisine at all, and judging by the batik print of the table cloth i’d say it’s possibly taken in indonesia, famous for their batik printing.
and again raw octopus is labeled wrongly, the words on the dining plate is obviously korean.

this is the problem with americans in general, no offense. they stereotype every single asian country and identify us as one. and i can tell you besides the salmon roe in sushi i’ve not tasted anyone of the items listed above.


Jan 5th, 2009

Chitterlings (hog intestines) and hog maws (hog stomach) usually go together since they were both attached. But either way pretty gross indeed. I am from South Georgia, USA so I have grown up around them the smell of poo will never be appealing for me to eat.


Jan 5th, 2009

I realy like #2.
But hey, I am from Holland!
Living in Asia i miss my salted raw herring.


Jan 5th, 2009

You should include Lutefisk… Eaten now mostly in Minnesota, originally from Norway..


Jan 5th, 2009

We also eat various fish roes in France, as a delicacy for xmas or this kind of events.
And also fresh raw beef meat.
And of course, snails and frog legs.


Jan 5th, 2009

It’s cod testicle not cod sperm. It tasted like a very softly boild egg.


Jan 5th, 2009

Salmon Roe (China) × Salmon Roe (Japan) ○
Dried lizard (Japan) × Dried lizard (China) ○
Live Fish (China) × Live Fish (Japan) ○
Raw Octopus (China) × Raw Octopus (Republic of Korea)


Jan 5th, 2009

Obama is from IL hence he eats bugs


Jan 6th, 2009

Giant Water Bug (Taiwan) is actually from Thailand. The text on the can is in Thai.


Jan 6th, 2009

Where’s the live monkey brains?


Jan 6th, 2009

I have eaten different kinds of fried insects when traveling in China and I must say they are not bad at all. They are fried in oil and they are just like chips.
The weirdest thing I have had in China was the cooked sea cucumber, which does not taste so bad but looks very, very disgusting. I did not like it.
I have also had wok-fried frogs in China, which was delicious. By the way, eating frogs is not uncommon in Europe as well, for example in France or Hungary.
The guinea pig is a kind of national dish in Peru, it is called cuj and you can have it on each corner. It is tasty :-)


Jan 6th, 2009

solche hässlichen scheiss wixer!! können die nix gscheits essen? krrrrrrreitz dunnerwetter


Apr 17th, 2009

Mmm, so what’s for dinner? :D


May 6th, 2009

that is wrong in so many ways and cruel but they like it!!


May 21st, 2009



May 21st, 2009

Yeah, red cavier is veeeeery weird.. Too bad they banned black cavier here..


May 21st, 2009

мдаааа…… слюнки так и капают))


May 21st, 2009



May 22nd, 2009

Деликатесы! Не то что у нас икра черная, икра красная, икра заморская- баклажанная…


May 23rd, 2009

Hmm, basically — Seafood


May 6th, 2010

Codfish sperm………..that is the nastiest thing I’ve ever seen


Jun 5th, 2010

Half of countries are wrong / mixed up. I ate a lot of snake, chicken pig liver and heart, frog legs, fish brain….


Jun 26th, 2010


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