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Nine Interesting Foods From Around the World

Published by Emily Greenleaf in Trivia
July 11th, 2009

A culture’s food says a lot about them. However, the messages we receive from the food could be completely different. Try and keep your mind open as you view some interesting food choices taken from cultures all around the world.

Starting in Asia- there is a very long list of strange, curious foods, but I’ll just include two.

Fugu is basically the internal organs of a pufferfish, including the liver, intestines, and reproductive organs. People in Japan consider this food a delicacy, however horribly they could be poisoned. Chefs go through a lot of training to be able to serve fugu, because any slight flaw in the dish, and the customers could be dead. Poison in fugu is over twelve hundred times deadlier than cyanide, and symptoms within minutes of eating a bad piece are weakness, a tingling palate, sweating, diarrhea, and nausea. Within hours, the unlucky victim could die from respiratory failure.

Image found on Wikipedia

Jellyfish, although quickly becoming accepted around the world, still leaves some people grimacing from the thought of what it would taste like. It’s a common food in areas like China, Korea, and Japan. Most of the organs are removed, the jellyfish is compressed, and finally it’s salted. It arrives at your house in neat little packages, ready for cooking. I have tried jellyfish; it really has no taste at all, kind of like a chewy jello-ish thing. I like to mix it with thinly cut cucumber strips and tossed with a homemade peanut butter sauce. Yum.

Moving on to… Europe! I found one strange food that particularly attracted my attention. Haggis, originating in Scotland, features minced sheep liver, heart, and lungs, mixed with stock, spices, oatmeal, and various other additions. These ingredients are boiled in the animal’s stomach for hours. Anybody have an idea what this tastes like?

Another dish in Europe that looks interesting is p’tcha, a jelly made of calves’ hooves/bones. It’s popular in some Jewish communities. Lots of protein and cholestrol…

In the Americas, although some may doubt it, there is quite a large amount of strange foods. Of those:

Nutria is a type of aquatic rodent resembling beavers found in Louisiana. It was originally introduced to this area as a hope of another fur source. Sadly, the fur is not up to standards and the nutria population has since multiplied, becoming a pest. Solution? Shoot ‘em and eat ‘em.

In Peru, the guinea pig (a typical pet in the United States) is valued as a dish. In fact, some paintings in Peru actually show Jesus eating it at his last meal with his apostles.

Up in Canada and into the Arctic Circle, Inuit people eat their own version of ice cream made from reindeer fat, berries, salmon eggs, and fish.

In Africa, there is a dish called fufu, consisting of mashed yams or plantains usually eaten with a spicy peanut paste.

In Australia and New Zealand, there is a type of bread spread called marmite. It’s a black paste with a strong taste- you either like it or you don’t. You can also dilute it with water and serve it as a drink. There’s also marmite flavored bread sticks, rice cakes, and cashew nuts.

There’s obviously much more interesting foods. Feel free to post more!

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2 Comments
  1. Posted October 16, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Great Piece

  2. Posted April 6, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Very interesting article and I would never eat one of those overgrown Louisiana rats, the possum isn’t bad though,..I ate rattle snake once, It is very good but had I known what it was I would never have let it past my lips. Yup, there is some really strange food out there. This was a fun share to read. Adding you as a friend. Hope you will me too. Good writing.

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