Does travelling abroad bring with it the excitement of untried tastes and unique cuisines? If so, you might want to base your travel plans around destinations famed for unusual culinary choices. We bring you a selection of the most notorious, dare we say extreme delicacies from around the world – some to be savoured at your own risk!
WARNING – This article contains no vegetarian options! We recommend you read: 5 of the Toughest Places to Be Vegetarian: Top Survival Tips instead.
Grasshoppers – Mexico
These tasty little morsels are commonly known as Chapulines, and can be savoured in various places in Mexico, but most commonly in the southern state of Oaxaca. The grasshoppers are toasted or fried, and seasoned with garlic, lime and salt – occasionally you’ll find a bit of chilli thrown into the mix too. Chapulines can be eaten on their own as a snack – increasingly popular at sporting events apparently, or as a filling in tortillas and the like.
Guinea Pig – Peru
Peruvian Guinea Pig, known locally as cuy, has been a regular source of protein for those living in the Andes for centuries. While many Westerners may see the cute little rodent as a pet, in Peru, it is most definitely dinner. Cuy is eaten roasted or fried, and served with rice. Be warned, roast cuy is usually served whole, and the intestines are left in with the stuffing for extra flavour.
Mouse – Malawi
Moving forward with the rodent theme, we whisk our unsated selves to Malawi, where mouse kebabs are on the menu. Mbewa is basically roast rodent on a stick, it can be any rodent, but field mice are the most common. The mice are caught after they have feasted on the grain, so they are nice and plump, then they are roasted on a stick. You can find mbewa for sale from roadside vendors who supply these delicacies to passers by on minibuses. They are seasoned with salt and cayenne pepper and are to be feasted on in much the same way as one would eat jerky.
Fish – Japan
Fish! I hear you exclaim… there’s nothing wrong with fish! There is if it is Fugu, a puffer fish so deadly that you have to have a licence to kill to cook it! Yes, it is true, only 007 types can serve this sought after Japanese delicacy after they have had training to remove (very carefully) the toxic parts so as not to contaminate the rest of the meat. This training takes three years! Fugu poison is reportedly 1200 times stronger than cyanide, and there is no known antidote. Deaths mostly occur from domestic preparation, so stick to well known eateries if you fancy a nibble!
Duck – Philippines
And we are back to street food, and another seemingly innocuous ingredient, until you find out it is duck embryo, aka balut. Balut is a developing duck embryo that is cooked in the shell – a mix of what we would recognise as tiny duck and egg. It is commonly sold by street vendors and served hot with a little salt. Balut has however become quite a delicacy, and can be found served in top restaurants fried in omelettes or as a filling in pastries.
Like taking risks when you travel? Well you better make sure that you have the right travel insurance for your needs! Give us a call on 01892 833338 and tell us what crazy things you plan to get up to while you are away and we’ll make sure we get you the right cover for your needs!