Warning: If you are a vegetarian, or easily get grossed out, then you might want to skip to another blog post.

But if you’re interested in hearing about some of the most bizarre foods in the world, then you’re in for a real treat!

Watch this video before reading on:

I like to consider myself an adventurous eater.  My motto is, “if people are eating it, no matter what it is, then I’ll give it a try.

I mean, how could you truly say you’ve experienced a country’s culture until you’ve tried the traditional food?

I’ve spent the majority of the last 3 years living and traveling around Asia. I lived in Korea for 18 months, and have traveled extensively around Southeast and Eastern Asia.   These people in these regions of the world just happen to consume the most bizarre foods on our planet.

Here are the top most bizarre foods I’ve tried. They are listed in order what I think is the worst (#1) and best at (#15).

1. Dog Soup (Korea)

Yes, they eat dog meat in Korea (as well as Vietnam and China). When I was living in a small suburb of Seoul, called Jinsari, there was a popular dog soup restaurant in my neighborhood, so I thought I’d give it a try…

I didn’t enjoy anything about the experience, from the distinct wet dog smell in the restaurant to the taste of the meat… YUCK.  I will never eat it again.

How was it prepared?

It was served in a soup bowl with a spicy red broth, cut up vegetables and slices of dog meat and rice on the side.

What did it taste like?

The broth was actually pretty good, and tasted like any spicy Korean soup. But the meat was thick, tender and meaty… Almost tasted like chewy beef that was left out for a week. And the worst part was seeing pieces of the dog’s skin on each shaved piece — it almost made me throw up.

2. Horse Milk (Kazakhstan)

Kazakhstan is famous for eating horse meat. I guess you could call it the “national dish.”   The horse meat that I ate was great, but the horse milk that I drank was the nastiest beverage I’ve ever put into my mouth, and I will never drink it again.

horse

How was it prepared?

To my knowledge, it goes straight from the horse to your cup.

What did it taste like?

It’s thick and sour.  I only took one sip and it tastes so foul that I was burping up for the next 2 days after.  Never again!

3. Duck Head + Beak (Taiwan)

When I was in Taipei, filming for my TV Series called Travel Hungry, we did a street food episode at a night market. There was one food vendor that literally was serving every part of the duck that you wouldn’t think of eating. The penis, butt, liver, heart … and head. I took a giant bite of the head and almost couldn’t keep it down.

Here is me eating the duck’s head and beak:

How was it prepared?

It wasn’t prepared at all – just cut the head off the duck and put into the window of the street food stall. The beak was included on the duck. No spices or added flavoring.

What did it taste like?

It was very boney and crunchy. The flavor was pretty much the same as any duck tastes, but I the boney and crunchy texture was killing me. I couldn’t swallow it all, I had to spit out the second half. 

4. Pig Intestine Stew (Korea)        

Pig intestines might be the most “normal” food on this list, and it commonly eaten all over the world (Especially in Asia). I just can’t get myself to like it, no matter how many time I’ve tried it.

How was it prepared?

It’s prepared different in different countries, but in Korea, pig intestines are usually boiled with various vegetables in a hot broth (lettuce, kimchi, onions) and spiced with seasonings.

What did it taste like?

It tastes like it smells – stinky. There is a distinct sharp flavor that intestines gives (probably because intestines holds all of your digested food…) I think I’ll keep trying this one until I like it.

5. Balut (Philippines)

Ahhh – balut! This is a baby duck fetus served inside the egg, and is commonly consumed in the Philippines and Vietnam as street food (I have tried it in both countries).

How was it prepared?

It is served inside the egg (like a hard boiled egg). You first crack open the egg and drink the juice out. Then peel the egg and take bites of the baby duck, which hasn’t been born yet. You can see parts of the duck forming in fetal position.

What did it taste like?

It tastes like a hard boiled egg, but the texture is more chewy and tough. If you can put down an entire balut, then I salute you! (I know, I’m punny ;))

You can watch my entire balut eating experience in this Snapchat story (skip to the 0:37 mark)

6. Haggis (Scotland)

I don’t know how people enjoy eating Haggis (sheep heart, liver & lungs). I think it’s beyond nasty, but somehow, it’s a really popular in Scotland. I tried it at a bar in Edinburgh in the summer of 2015.

How was it prepared?

Haggis is a savory chunky pudding that contains pieces of sheep’s heart, liver and lungs, and mixed up with onions, oatmeal, spices and salt. It was served on the side of my main course, in a little bowl. 

What did it taste like?

It tasted exactly what it sounds like, YUCK. I actually enjoy sheep meat (I have eaten it many times in New Zealand), but not the heart or the lungs or the liver mixed together. I tasted mostly the liver part, which I am not a huge fan of.

7. Durian (Singapore & Malaysia)

The only non-living food on this list is Durian — it’s a spiky fruit that is found all over Southeast Asia… You will know when you come across Durian by the smell of it – your nose will be able to smell the pungent aroma from about 50 feet away. In fact, durian is so stink that many hotels have banned it inside, and it’s illegal to eat it on the Singapore metro.

How was it prepared?

Durian is a spiky fruit (looks like a porcupine) that is simply cut opened and eaten with a fork. Don’t touch it with your fingers or you’ll be stuck with the nasty smell on your finger for days. Durian is also served as an ice cream flavor and sometime baked into pastries.

What did it taste like?

Durian tasted like dirty socks that have been swarming around in a sewer for a week. I don’t know how to explain it other than that. It is absolutely disgusting. I’ve tried it about 5 times, each time thinking that I will like it, but it is just miserable. The worst part? I always burp it up for the rest of the day…

8. Snake Blood (Vietnam)

Out of all the foods on this list, this one was by far the most cultural experience! Drinking snake blood in Vietnam is common. I tried it when I ventured off to the snake village outside of Hanoi.

How was it prepared?

We sat down at a dinner table, picked our snake from the tank, and watched them taunt and kill the snake as we were sitting AT OUR TABLE. They cut the head off with a knife, poured the blood in a shot glass with a splash of vodka and served it to us to drink before they cooked up the rest of the snake for dinner.

What did it taste like?

Have you ever had a cut on your finger and sucked the blood out with your mouth? That’s pretty much how it tasted (like human blood) – that stingy irony taste. 

9. Live Octopus (Korea)

I’ve eaten live octopus in Korea over a dozen times. I really enjoy this one! It’s commonly eaten all over Korea, and it not seen as a “strange” or “bizarre” food by most Korean people. The most memorable time I eat live octopus was at the Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul, when I ate a big octopus in one giant bite. 

How was it prepared?

There are 2 ways that live octopus is served… Either cut up into little pieces (and squirming on your plate), or you can eat whole it in one big bite. Most people put sesame oil, salt and spicy sauce on it.

I’ve tried all different ways to eat it, but the craziest was when I took it out of the tank with my hands, and then put it straight into my mouth. It took me 20 minutes to chew as I could feel the suckers grabbing onto my throat all the way down.

What did it taste like?

It doesn’t have much of a fishy taste, in fact, it doesn’t have a fishy taste at all. It tastes a bit salty and it’s REALLY slimy. Almost like a thick loogie that you’ve hawked up and are about to spit out of your mouth.

Here’s a video of the experience:

10. Guinea Pig (Peru)

I never knew that Peruvians ate guinea pigs (called Cuy in Spanish) until I arrived there and saw it for myself.  And believe it or not, it’s a very traditional & common food that has been enjoyed by the Andean people for centuries and centuries!

How was it prepared?

Cuy is seen all over Peru, and it is either served fried or roasted.  I got mine roasted – like a mini lechon, or a roast suckling pig.  It was served at the table with the head on and everything!

What did it taste like?

The taste was a mix between rabbit and chicken.  It did have a strong gamey flavor, which may turn you off at first, but the sauces that they serve with it make the strong flavor go away.  I would definitely eat Cuy again!

11. Pig Blood Cake (Taiwan)

I have tried Pig Blood Cake a few times – you can find it at any night market stall from a street food vendor. 

How was it prepared?

Pig Blood Cake is made with pork blood, sticky rice and it is either fried or steamed with a peanut coating flavor. It’s served on a stick, and normally eaten as a snack. 

What did it taste like?

I don’t like eating or drinking the blood of any animal. It grosses me out.   The peanut flavor coating sort of took away from the bloody taste at the beginning, but once you chew through it, the irony bloody taste comes out.

12. Scorpions (Thailand)

On the streets of Bangkok, especially on Khao San Road, you can be sure to try some bizarre foods.   There is a lady that runs up and down the street selling big ass black scorpions on a stick.

How was it prepared?

It is simply dried out and served with a dab of salt on it. That’s it – no added spices or flavors. 

What did it taste like?

It actually wasn’t so bad – it was pretty crunchy and airy, almost like the food version of Styrofoam. The taste wasn’t as bad as some other insects/bugs I’ve tried like beetles and maggots.

13. Llama (Bolivia)

When I was in Bolivia, I tried llama meat a few times, and I LOVED it!  After all, llama is Bolivia’s national animal and there is NO shortage of them roaming around the high plains (12,000+ ft above sea level).

How was it prepared?

I tried llama twice.  The first time, it was served like a steak in cut up pieces (top), and the other time it was llama jerky (bottom).

What did it taste like?

It is very similar to beef, but with a little stronger flavor and scene. I would definitely try it again!

14. Kangaroo Pizza (Australia)

On my first trip to Australia, I visited Sydney and I couldn’t wait to try some kangaroo!  Obviously, kangaroos are only living in Aussie, so this is the only place to get my hands on some fresh ‘roo.

How was it prepared? 

Like beef, you can kangaroo in several different ways.  The time I tried it, it was served in cut up slices on a delicious pizza.

What did it taste like?

The pizza that I ate made it a bit harder to distinguish the true flavor, but I thought it tasted like a mixture of cow and buffalo meat… It’s not too overpowering, but it does have a nice gamey flavor.  I would def eat it again!

15. Roasted Pigeon (Vietnam)

Out of all countries in the world, I think Vietnam eats the most bizarre foods… While I was walking around the popular night market in Hanoi, I saw a bunch of people eating pigeon from a street food vendor.   Before thinking twice, I ordered a plate.

roasted-pigeon

How was it prepared? 

Pretty simple – roasted.  There wasn’t much spice added (if any at all).   The pigeon was served alongside delicious fried rice.

What did it taste like?

Surprisingly, this was my favorite out of all bizarre foods I’ve eaten!  The taste was similar to peeking duck (of China).  I would absolutely eat this again, and I probably will considering that I am currently living in Hanoi!

What is the craziest food you’ve ever eaten?

Drew Binsky

A graduate from The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Drew Binsky has visited 120+ Countries since 2012.He first caught the travel bug while studying abroad in Prague, then taught English in Korea, and now he's on a mission to visit every country on earth.Follow his journey on Facebook & Instagram @drewbinsky 🙂

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