I’m quite a big fan of weird foods, especially meat, although I would prefer to refer to them as exotic, as I don’t look at many of them as being weird, whilst other foods which I find to be weird are widely enjoyed… For example I draw the line at snails!
Some people however have asked me what the most unusual things I have eaten are so here are just a few of them…. Id love to hear about what you have eaten whilst travelling or in your local area.
1 – Baby duck egg
This is a delicacy I have seen on TV before and thought that a) I’d never see it in person and b) I wouldn’t try… However we went to Vietnam and in Ho Chi Minh City it’s actually a very common street food. As part of a food tour with tiger tours they offer this to me and I thought whilst there I might as well give it a try… It sounds gross, it’s a duck egg which was fertilised and allowed to mature almost to the point of hatching before cooking… And trust me it is rank! Probably not as bad as you’d think though – the texture is quite smooth and it essentially tastes like duck egg – it’s more knowing what it is that gets you!
2 – Kangaroo jerky
I don’t find this weird as kangaroo is by far my favourite meat, as long as it is prepared properly. It has a distinct flavour and is a very tender meat when cooked by someone who knows what they are doing with it… It’s not as straight forward to cook as pork or beef. Whilst in Australia I thought I would try it as a jerky… I find the meat to have a slightly peppery flavour anyway so thought it would go well, but to be honest when dried for jerky it just goes too dry and stringy, taking on the properties of a good dog chew. (Shame as I am also a huge jerky fan)
3 – Frogs legs
The most recent, and where they were the biggest was in Florida… They are seasoned very nicely here and I think flavour wise were my favourites however they are just far too big there, using bull frogs. As such they have some black veins running through them which is off putting for me. I have also tried them in Vietnam where they are very veiny and I didn’t like the way they are cooked at all… Although the flavour was good as they like theirs spicy. The best however were the first ones I ever had in France. The English often make fun of the French for their consumption of these legs but if you prepare them as nicely as they do… Why not! They are much drier and smaller than the others I had eaten and covered in a light garlic batter… Really good!
4 – Crocodile & alligator
I have eaten both in Vietnam, USA and even back here in the UK – in fact I make a pretty good crocodile burger! It’s a very tender light meat which reminds me a little bit of fish in its texture, but with its own mild taste. It’s good as a burger, in a curry and even battered… I don’t find it weird at all and recommend it if you come across it, just be careful in rural areas to make sure it is sourced responsibly, especially crocodile.
5 – Puffin
When I returned from Iceland some of my friends were shocked that I’d eaten a cute puffin… I must admit that it’s a gorgeous bird and in some areas / some species are endangered or vulnerable, but not in Iceland… There it is quite common to eat this species and it is done in a sustainable manner. The flavours a really nice but I wasn’t too keen on how it was presented… Lightly smoked and not cooked further – it was like puffin sushi and I felt like I might have just as well chewed on a live puffin, which was a shame.
6 – Florida cat fish
There’s a reason why these guys sit at the bottom of ponds not showing their faces, they’re ugly as sin! I had it as part of a swamp meal which included frogs legs and alligator, both of which were good… But this ugly fish tastes of the muddy waters it lives in.
7 – Durian fruit
I have not actually eaten fresh durian as when ever I have seen it they have been sold whole… I have no desire to eat that amount of any fruit in one go! However I have eaten products made with and / or containing this stinky fruit. If you have been to a market in Asia you will know the smell… It’s that smell you first assumed to be a sewer and I most associate it with Malaysia. A lot of people say that it is the king of fruits and the most delicious of all, as long as you get past the smell… Me? I think it tastes a lot like it smells… And don’t think that a durian flavoured sweet won’t smell, they’re still not something you want to open in a hotel room. No fruit should be banned from public transport and hotel rooms, but there is good reason why this one is pretty much anywhere it grows!
8 – Goats udders
It seems like a lot of my weird food experiences have been in Vietnam, and this is one of the weirdest. It is fried on a gas cooker in the middle of your table, and is marinated in a fairly spicy sauce. The taste isn’t too bad. I like goat as a meat however the flavour does seem to be a bit stronger in the udders…. The worst thing about them is the texture! It is what I image chewing on a condom to be like and wouldn’t recommend it at all.
9 – Saures fleisch
A german dish which literally translates as sour meat and is not to be confused with the absolutely delicious saurbratten… Possibly one of the tastiest dishes in the world! Saures fleisch on the other hand is meat which is slightly pickled and tastes a little fermented and then preserved in a lot of gelatine… It looks a lot like dog food and is even served cold. If you are waiting for a nice big steaming pile of saurbratten this is one of the worst things which can be placed in front of you… Also I’m not sure what sort of meat it is and from which part of the animal(s) it comes from – I’m pretty sure it’s just scraps!
10 – Dried insects
I have eaten dried insects including crickets, locusts, mealworms and ants in a variety of scenarios and ways, and must say that I have never found them to be horrible. Ants are quite bitter with the hint of a citric taste so go well with chocolate, whilst mealworms a much more savoury option. All of them are much better cooked having tried mealworms, crickets and locusts live as well… The flavour it similar but the sensation and knowing what you are eating is very different!