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Beware Of These Gastronomic Disasters If You Are Traveling To These Places

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Traveling offers the incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in new cultures, try unique dishes, and expand your culinary horizons. However, some local delicacies might be too much for the unaccustomed palate. Here’s a guide to some of the world’s most unusual and challenging dishes that you might want to think twice about trying.

Mongolia: Sheep Eyeball Juice

Sheep eyeball juice, a traditional Mongolian remedy, involves marinating sheep’s eyeballs in tomato juice. The sight of floating eyeballs, combined with the viscous, salty liquid, is enough to turn any stomach. The sensation of the eyeballs bursting in your mouth is a revolting experience.

Sweden: Surströmming

Surströmming is fermented herring from Sweden, notorious for its vomit-inducing stench. The smell of putrefying fish is so overwhelming that it’s recommended to be opened outdoors. Eating it involves braving the nauseating, acrid flavor that lingers long after the meal.

China: Virgin Boy Eggs

In Dongyang, China, virgin boy eggs are a springtime delicacy. Eggs are boiled in the urine of young boys, producing a strong, salty stench that permeates the air. The ammonia-laden taste is believed to improve circulation, but it’s a challenging flavor to stomach.

The UK: Stinky Bishop Cheese

Stinky Bishop cheese from the UK lives up to its name with an overpowering smell of old gym socks. The creamy texture is inviting, but the intense odor and robust, tangy flavor are an assault on the senses.

France: Ortolan

Ortolan is a tiny songbird eaten whole in France. The bird is drowned in Armagnac, roasted, and eaten bones and all, often under a napkin to hide the act from God. The crunchy bones, combined with the rich, gamey flavor, make it a controversial and unsettling dish.

Poland: Blood Soup

Czernina, or duck blood soup, is a traditional Polish dish made from duck blood and broth. The dark, iron-rich soup has a metallic taste that can be overwhelming, especially for those unfamiliar with blood-based dishes.

Mexico: Escamoles

Escamoles are ant larvae harvested from the roots of agave plants in Mexico. These “insect caviar” have a buttery, nutty taste, but the thought of eating ant eggs is enough to turn most stomachs.

India: Cow Urine

Cow urine, or “gomutra,” is consumed in some parts of India as a sacred and medicinal beverage. Imagine taking a swig of this acrid liquid, with its pungent ammonia-like stench, believed to cure everything from skin diseases to liver ailments.

South Korea: Ttongsul

Ttongsul is a traditional Korean wine made from fermented human feces and medicinal herbs. This ancient remedy—thought to have healing properties—smells as horrid as it sounds, and its foul taste is proof of the extreme lengths people will go for unproven health benefits.

China: Baby Mouse Wine

Baby mouse wine is a traditional Chinese health tonic made by fermenting rice wine with baby mice. Yes, actual baby mice. The sight of tiny, hairless mice floating in your glass is stomach-churning, and the potent, decomposing rodent flavor is said to fortify your strength and vitality.

Indonesia: Kopi Luwak Coffee

Kopi Luwak coffee is made using beans that have been eaten and excreted by civet cats. We are not making that up. The idea of drinking coffee brewed from feces is stomach-churning, and the musky, earthy flavor does little to dispel the initial disgust but it remains quite popular among coffee connoisseurs.

Italy: Casu Marzu

Casu Marzu is a Sardinian cheese infested with live maggots. The writhing larvae are left to ferment the cheese, resulting in a squishy, decomposed texture and a putrid aroma that will make your eyes water. Eating this maggot-infested delicacy is a truly grotesque experience. Beware!

Greenland: Kiviak

Kiviak is a traditional wintertime food in Greenland, made by fermenting whole seabirds inside a seal skin for several months. The end product is a revolting, decomposed bird, exuding a rancid, ammonia-heavy odor. The sight and smell alone are enough to induce gagging.

The Philippines: Balut

Balut is a fertilized duck egg with a partially developed embryo inside. Cracking open the shell reveals a semi-formed duckling, complete with feathers and bones. The slimy texture and the disturbing combination of flavors make this a truly revolting snack.

Taiwan: Stinky Tofu

Stinky tofu is fermented tofu with a reek that rivals the stench of rotting garbage. Despite its unbearable smell, it’s a popular street food in Taiwan, often deep-fried and served with pickled vegetables. The gag-inducing odor and intense, musty flavor make it a challenge for even the most adventurous eaters.

Italy: Su Callu Sardu

Su Callu Sardu is a Sardinian cheese made from the stomach of a goat. The stomach lining is left to ferment, resulting in a repulsive, gooey cheese that smells of decaying flesh. The revolting texture and strong, rancid taste are not easily forgotten.

Peru: Frog Juice

Frog juice, or “extracto de rana,” is a Peruvian health drink made by blending whole frogs with various other ingredients. The thought of drinking a liquefied amphibian is nauseating, and the slimy, earthy concoction is an acquired taste that many find impossible to acquire.

Iceland: Hákarl

Hákarl is fermented shark from Iceland, famous for its intense, ammonia-rich smell. The putrefied shark meat is buried and left to rot, resulting in a taste and odor reminiscent of urine and decay. It’s a gastronomic challenge that few can endure.

South Korea: Sannakji

Sannakji is a Korean dish consisting of live octopus. The tentacles are served still writhing on the plate, their suction cups sticking to the mouth and throat. The sensation of moving tentacles and the salty, slimy texture make this a daunting dish to consume.

Japan: Ikizukuri

Ikizukuri is a Japanese delicacy where live seafood is prepared and served while still alive. Watching your meal twitch and move as you eat is a disturbing experience, and the raw, fishy taste is a challenge for many.

Guam: Fruit Bat Soup

Fruit bat soup is a delicacy in Guam, made by boiling whole fruit bats in a broth. The sight of a bat carcass in your soup is disconcerting, and the musky, gamey flavor is hard to swallow.

Vietnam: Snake Wine

Snake wine is a Vietnamese specialty where a whole snake is infused in rice wine. The sight of a venomous snake coiled in your bottle is alarming, and the strong, medicinal taste is equally off-putting.

Cambodia: Tarantula

Tarantulas are fried and eaten in Cambodia as a crunchy snack. The sight of a hairy spider on your plate, combined with the crispy legs and gooey abdomen, is enough to make anyone queasy.

Japan: Nattō

Nattō is fermented soybeans from Japan, known for its slimy texture and pungent smell. The sticky, stringy beans have a strong, ammonia-like odor and a flavor that many find repulsive.

Sweden: Bävergäll

Bävergäll is a traditional Swedish liquor made from beaver anal gland secretions. The idea of drinking a beverage flavored with animal excretions is repulsive, and the strong, musky taste is no better.

China: Century Egg

Century egg is a Chinese delicacy made by preserving duck, chicken, or quail eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, and quicklime. The eggs transform into a gelatinous, greenish-black mass with a potent sulfuric odor and a taste that many find repugnant.

Canada: Jellied Moose Nose

Jellied moose nose is a Canadian dish made from the snout of a moose. The nose is boiled, sliced, and then jellied, resulting in a slimy, gelatinous texture and a strong gamey flavor that is difficult to enjoy.

Mexico: Huitlacoche

Huitlacoche, also known as corn smut, is a fungus that grows on corn. The black, slimy fungus is considered a delicacy in Mexico, but its appearance and earthy, musty flavor can be off-putting to many.

Japan: Shirako

Shirako is a Japanese delicacy made from the sperm sacs of male fish, often cod or pufferfish. The creamy texture and the knowledge of its origin make it a challenging dish for many to enjoy.

Southeast Asia: Durian

Durian, known as the “king of fruits” in Southeast Asia, is notorious for its overpowering, sulfuric smell. The scent is often compared to rotting onions or raw sewage. Despite its creamy texture, the intense odor and taste make it a polarizing fruit.

*This article first appeared on ReadingRanked*

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