10 Weirdest Animal-Based Food You Can Possibly Eat When You Travel
One of the best part of traveling is tasting culture through food. But while these unique delicacies may seem weird to some of us not accustomed to the culture of the place we're visiting, these are pretty normal to the locals. What better way to enjoy your travel than like a local, right?
We asked our favorite solo traveling ladies about the most unusual things they tried and ate. Here is our crazy list:
Dog Soup in Vietnam
Dog is actually a pretty normal main ingredient in Vietnamese cooking especially in the Hanoi area. It has become a big (and rather brutal) business for the local entrepreneurs - both high end and street - because of the very high demand. The liking for this delicacy is deep-rooted in their culture of doing rituals associated with special dates in the lunar calendar. Dog soup is usually made with bamboo or served warm in a soup of blood which allegedly gives this a unique and heartwarming taste.
We don't know about that but if you want to try it on your next visit to Vietnam, head on to Hanoi and find Quan Thit Cho Chieu Hoa - one of the city's most famous restaurants - which is noted to serve the best dog-based dishes. Like, if you even can.
Tarantula in Cambodia
When in doubt, I usually ask myself, "What would Angelina Jolie do?" and apparently, the answer is to eat tarantulas. The hollywood star made headlines when she did a visit in Cambodia and happily cooked and tried this delicacy with her daughters, Vivienne, Knox, and Shiloh.
Similar to most weird foods, fried tarantula is a delicacy that tourists love to try and vendors love to sell. Every June is rainy season in Cambodia which also means tarantula season. They are found in the countryside and fried to perfection with the right amount of salt and pepper to taste.
I personally don't like spiders in general let alone tarantulas but hey if you have a strong stomach, go ahead!
Roasted Ants in Colombia
Colombia is abundant in thicc women... and thicc ants. And these are exactly what they offer to tourists who'd love to have a taste of their interesting culture. These big-butted crawlies or better known as 'hormigas culonas' are brown, cockroach-sized insects that, similar to other apparently edible insects, are roasted to perfection and eaten like peanuts.
The tradition of eating these ants go way back to the pre-Colombian tribes. They are usually served as gourmet dishes (fancy!) but they're also sold on the streets. If that doesn't entice you enough, bear in mind that these ants are also noted aphrodisiacs and usually given as gifts on weddings. Nice.
Fermented Shark in Iceland
Hákari is Iceland's most popular buried, rotten, fermented, and dried delicacy. It may sound like a lot of work to prepare this dish but it's so popular (and normal, apparently) that it is readily available in shops year-round. Because it has soooo much ammonia, it has a strong pungent stench. But hey, it's usually served in cubes on little sticks so uhh.. I guess that lessens the impact.
I don't think I could personally try this dish cause even Anthony Bourdain said that it's the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing he had ever eaten.
Guinea Pig in Peru
Under The Yew Tree
The cutest, most adorable animal ingredient in this list is a popular Peruvian dish. In fact, even if it's not exactly for the faint-hearted, it is widely endorsed that you should try it at least once when you happen to drop by the beautiful cities of Peru. Cuy (Peruvian for guinea pig) is usually roasted whole or baked whole.
Escaped to Peru
High in protein and low in fat, guinea pigs have such a high demand that farms are popping up successfully in the country. The delicacy has been a traditional dish for the Incas until today of course. Usually, you can literally see the guinea pig's shape (similar to the Philippines' lechon) so I'm not sure if I can have one of these and not remember Bubba, my childhood pet.
Still okay? We have 5 more. Stay with us here...
Bull's Penis Soup in Malaysia
Traditional old Asians apparently have an odd fascination for animal dick soups. I mean, be honest, this isn't probably the first time you've heard of an animal's penis being a dish's main ingredient. In Malaysia, however, the Sup Torpedo or the Bull's Penis Soup is quickly gaining popularity and demand. Similar to most dick soups, the Sup Torpedo claims to have a good effect on men looking for some uh.. performance improvement.
More common in Penang than the rest of Malaysia, you can basically try this soup anywhere. Would I try it though? Mmmmmmmaybe not.
Camel in Tunisia
You know what they say, "If you don't like lamb, try camel." But like, who says that? Tunisians most probably. Aside from trying a ride on a camel, you can eat them too. Camel meat is prized in the Middle East. It's a pretty tough animal so it's usually slow cooked to perfection and served gourmet-style.
Besides the meat, camel milk is also served so if you're not into some camel and veggies, try that.
Crocodile Meat in Mauritius
Feeling a weird need to establish your dominance in the food chain? Eat crocodile meat or at least attempt to. It's not exactly a widespread delicacy in the country however, their popular La Vanille Nature Park serves it aside from the other weird dishes they offer.
It's not what you think it is. This may look like another dick dish but it's not! This is Sirdan (pronounced SHEERDAN) and it's stuffed sheep gallbladder. Head on to Adana and have a taste of this popular Turkish delicacy. If you can get past its pungent smell, they say this dish is actually pretty good. The rubbery part of the sheep's stomach is stuffed with seasoned rice, meat, and onions before it's stitched together resulting in this rather interesting shape.
Sirdan is a well-known alcohol binge food so if you want to experience a good party in the country between Asia and Europe, you'd probably want to give this one a try.
Ant Egg Omelet in Thailand
Thailand is home to several weird food but we believe this one takes the cake. This dish isn't simply an ant egg dish - it's RED ANTS' eggs. It's exactly as weird as you're currently imagining it is. According to Alex McCoy, chef at Alfie's who serve this delicacy, the eggs have a caviar-like consistency that pops and releases a creamy liquid in your mouth. See how they farm it here.
darrenb3 / YouTube
We'll let you be the judge.
*Post photo from Rough Guides.