Fried Tarantula (A-Ping) – Cambodia

Fried tarantula became popular during the food shortages under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, and is considered a delicacy nowadays. The hand-sized spiders are tossed in garlic and salt before being deep-fried until crisp.

Century Egg (Pidan) – China

The Century Egg, aka: Thousand-Year-Old Egg or Pidan, originated in China. These eggs are preserved for several weeks/months in a mixture of ashes, salt, quicklime and clay. Eventually the white of the egg turns into a jelly-brown mixture, and the yolk turns into a green/gray-ish cream. They are known to have a powerful smell and a strong and complex taste.

As if you needed another way to prepare your eggs.

Casu Marzu – Sardinia, Italy

The literal meaning of Casu Marzu is “rotten cheese.” The cheese is set outside to decompose and the crust is cut open in order to let cheese flies lay their eggs in the cheese. Once the larvae are born, they break down the cheese’s fats, ferment it, and give it a strong, unique taste. Although considered a traditional food, it was banned many years ago and sold only on the black market. Today, it’s legal status remains questionable in the EU.

Would you like a side of fried tarantula with that?

Escamole – Mexico

Harvested from the roots of Agave or mescal plants in Mexico, Escamole—or ant larvae to be more specific—is considered a delicacy. Some would even call it “insect caviar.” According to a variety of brave sources, they taste buttery and nutty.

Enjoy a bowl of ant caviar on the house.

Durian Fruit – Thailand

The spiky-yellow looking fruit looks quite tasty, but has a terrible foul smelling flesh. It’s so bad that it is banned from certain hotels and public transport vehicles in Southeast Asia as well as in many airports around the world. The durian’s smell has been compared to rotting flesh, sewers and dirty socks. And you thought all fruit was sweet and delicious.

Enter the premises with your durian fruit at your own risk.

Birds Nest Soup – China

For hundreds of years the Chinese have used saliva nests in their cooking. There are many varieties, however birds nest soup is known to be one of the most expensive foods on the planet. Specifically, the red nest variety costs up to $10,000 per bowl!

At $10,000 a bowl, this soup better be good!

Mopane Worms – Southern Africa

This edible caterpillar is found on Mopane trees and is an important source of protein for millions of people in Africa. They are usually dried out and eaten as a crispy snack. Doesn’t look too bad… maybe this could be a substitution for potato chips?

In the mood for a crispy snack? How about some caterpillar?

Fugu – Japan

Fugu is Japanese for “Puffer Fish.” While it’s considered a delicacy, the Puffer Fish is highly poisonous and is one of the most dangerous foods to eat. Japanese law strictly controls their preparation in restaurants: only highly trained chefs are allowed to prepare Fugu. Just one tiny mistake in the way the fish is prepared can cause the consumer to die a painful death.

Careful not to piss this little fella off.

Black Ivory Coffee – Thailand

Black Ivory coffee is the most expensive coffee in the world and has the most unusual production process: the Arabica coffee beans are consumed by elephants and collected from their feces. The taste is influenced by the elephant’s stomach acid, which breaks down the coffee’s protein. This coffee is produced in Thailand and is priced at $1,100 per kilogram!

It was tricky finding a picture for this one… so here’s a picture of an elephant.

Lutefisk – Norway/Finland/Sweden

Lutefisk is the Viking dish par excellence. Nicknames of the dish include: “weapon of mass destruction,” “rat poison” or “fork destroyer.” This delicacy is made from dried white fish and lye. The corrosive alkaline substance is used to soak the fish for several days until the fish’s flesh turns to jelly. Since lye is poisonous and toxic, in order to make the fish edible again, it is required to soak the fish for almost a week in a bath of cold water. Lutefisk is known to have a strong and nearly unbearable smell.

Have some viking fish. Looks tasty.

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