Wake up and smell the thousand-day-old eggs. Many cultures offer wonderful cuisines from sushi to roti bread, but sometimes, not everything they eat is so delicious to us. Hold onto your gag reflexes and plug your nose, here are 15 of the grossest foods in the world that are supposed to be delicacies.
1. Hakarl – Iceland
Fermented shark that had been left out to rot in the open air for four to five months? Not even Anthony Bourdain or Andrew Zimmern could keep this shark down in their throats.
2. Stinky tofu – China
Many people already get squeamish over the idea of eating tofu, let alone a fermented rotten tofu. Stinky tofu is left so that bacteria can build up, creating a stench so foul that most people have no choice but to eat it outside to escape the overpowering smell. Yuck!
3. Casa Marzu – Sardinia
On the island of Sardinia off the coast of Italy, several farmers secretly sell this terrible cheese. Despite being highly illegal and dangerous, people still crave for a bite of this snack. Once the cheese is made in a perfect form, cheese-makers will leave it out to rot in the sun for days and let flies lay eggs inside it. When the cheese is full of maggots, the farmer will pluck out any bugs he/she sees and place it on the market. Not only is this cheese disgusting, but it could potentially kill you as undetected maggots can wiggle holes in your stomach.
4. Balut – Philippines
After 19 days, just right before the ducks are about to hatch, cooks will take the eggs and boil the stillborn inside their shells. Once boiled, diners are to puncture a hole in the egg and slurp the entire fetus like oysters.
5. Escamoles – Mexico
What’s more disgusting than eating a bowl full of ant pupae and larvae (well maybe a roach)? Locals have likened this dish to cottage cheese. We don’t know about you, but we highly doubt it.
6. Giant bullfrog – Namibia
This recipe will have you croaking in disgust. In Namibia, the fatter the frog is, the tastier it will be. Locals will throw the frogs in a clay pot and cook them until they’ve…well…croaked. The frogs are simmered until they’re nice and juicy (you don’t want to make it too crispy).
7. Blood Pancakes – Sweden
Blood pancakes, or as the Swedish call it, “Blodplatter,” are pans of fried blood cooked in the same fashion as pancakes.
8. Century Egg – China
Alternatively known as “The Thousand Year Old Egg,” this dish is left to rot for weeks (sometimes months) until the eggs turn into a lovely shade of emerald green. Good luck trying not to gag on the yolks, that look like compressed death moths you pulled out of an air duct system.
9. Lutefisk – Norway
Aged whitefish soaked in lye, that sounds so yummy…not.
10. Boodog – Mongolia
As much fun as the name sounds, it’s far from that. Boodogs are deboned marmots or goats whose organs are later harvested, only to be put back into the hide, sewn up and cooked on the grill to roast. And here you thought haggis was pretty awful all along.
11. Jellied Moose Nose – Alaska
The name is pretty much self-explanatory. A popular dish found in the cold rural wilderness of Alaska (and sometimes Montana), the nose of moose is considered an important ingredient. Locals gather the upper jawbone of the moose, mash it up, then incorporate it into jelly. Don’t be surprised when eating this dish if you pull out some nose hairs.
12. Corn Smut – Mexico
However inappropriate the name might be, many Mexicans love to munch on these diseased corn husks. The infected corn develops monstrous-looking fungus, but to locals, they’re god-given gifts.
13. Cod Sperm – Japan
Yummy yummy in the tummy! Ever wanted to taste a male fish’s “milk?” Just head over to Japan and slurp on these babies (no pun intended).
14. Blood soup – Vietnam
Did we mention that it’s raw blood?
15. Dog – China
While many locals can swear up and down that dogs taste like chicken, westerners can’t let this one slide by. It’s never okay to gorge on our beloved Fluffy. Not cool at all.