The Ten Most Exotic Foods in the World

Here in the United States, fresh off a long holiday weekend, many of us are recovering from tryptophan hangovers. On paper it sounds exotic, but an overindulgence of Thanksgiving turkey is hardly anything compared to a dose of caterpillar carcass fungi, who’s viagra-like effects are apparently worth killing for. In the spirit of this gluttonous holiday, we are taking a trip down TWBR memory lane and addressing a commonly asked question: what is the most exotic or unusual food you ate while driving around the world? Ask a different crew member and they might have different answers, but here is my top ten list, leading up to most exotic/unusual. Just a disclaimer; by making an appearance on this list, it simply means that a particular culinary item seemed pretty exotic or unusual to me at the time, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t edible or enjoyable, some  were actually  quite palatable. Also, PETA members and animal loving vegetarians, consider yourselves warned, you might want to skip this one. Without further adieu…

10.  Giraffe

When grilled just right, like in a high end game meat restaurant in Cape Town, Geoffrey can be quite tasty.

 9. Sheep back fat

A delicacy in Mongolia. If you can get past the fact that its ass meat, its not that bad.

8. Durian Fruit

Smells like a steaming hot pile of trash and public consumption is banned. If you can get past the smell…

7. Camel

It was a first for me and it has to be prepared right or else its like chewing on tire rubber.

6. Cardboard?

Some say a report about food vendors substituting cardboard for pork while we were in China was a hoax, others insist it was real, whatever the case, its was difficult to say just what we were eating half the time in China.

5. Huhu Grubs

These Kiwi critters didn’t taste like chicken… more like burnt peanut butter.

4. Scorpions and other insects

A Thai delicacy cooked to order, not much else to say.

3. Padang Food

An Indonesian specialty where they bring the entire menu to your table and you pay for what you eat including brains, lungs, marijuana infused dishes and hot peppers that will make you crap your pants at the table.

2. Sheep Balls

Who would have thought strange foods abound in New Zealand? In Hokitika, try your sheep balls, aka mountain oysters, slightly seared on a slice of Wonder Bread… you may not puke but the person watching you eat them  just might.

And finally, the crown jewel of our gastronomic adventure:

1. Cobra Blood/Beating Heart

More of a spiritual boost than a nutritional one, consuming the fresh blood and still beating heart of a cobra will infuse that snake’s power and spirit into your own, at least in Indonesia. For a video of how that went down, check out our Nat Geo Reel.

7 Comments

  1. Durian smells absolutely horrid, like dirty socks that haven’t been washed in years. I never mustered the courage to taste it, but those who did tell that it is really good. And I’m really much more open to eating durian than, say, the beating heart of that poor cobra…

    Posted December 15, 2011 at 12:21 am | Permalink
  2. Loved this list! Im sorry I missed the wild foods fest in Hokitika while I was in NZ…but i was on the north island at the time

    Posted December 23, 2011 at 1:45 am | Permalink
  3. ? great stuff to 1/10 tv

    tds
    Posted January 12, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink
  4. I’m not a picky eater, but I couldn’t get myself to take a bite out of a huhu grub when it was offered to me on my last trip. I’d eat them if I was starving in the bush, but that’s where I draw the line.

    Posted January 23, 2012 at 12:54 am | Permalink
  5. I think I would try all of these ‘delicacies’. You know, they say what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger… :D
    Anyway, eating local food is a good way to bond with a culture, so, why not!

    Posted February 23, 2012 at 5:10 am | Permalink
  6. Nice list! It takes a lot of guts to try some of these things.

    Posted March 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink
  7. How about Balut, the boiled duck embryo they sells as street food in the Philippines? Although it’s probably more weird than exotic. I don’t doubt it’s very protein-y and all, but yuck.

    Posted March 11, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

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