Trying delicacies that are unavailable in your home country is one of the many privileges of travel. For the culinarily bold, we’ve put together a list of delicacies from around the world that should pique your curiosity, if not your appetite. If you travel to one of the following countries, don’t be afraid of some of these local dishes (don’t knock’em till you try’em!):
Zobo is primarily made by cooking the leaves of the roselle plant with pineapple, ginger, garlic, and water. According to Nigeria’s Punch Newspaper, Zobo is high in Vitamin C, and helps to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, and minimize the effects of diabetes and constipation.
A national delicacy in Greenland, suaasat is made with reindeer, seal, whale, or bird meat. It also includes onions, potatoes, and rice, making the perfect meal to warm you up on one of the many cold days in this Arctic country.
Mmm, sleeper shark! This dish is known as hákarl in Iceland. The five-month fermentation process is integral to this dish. However, it results in an ammonia-like smell that’s sure to assault the nostrils when you sit down to eat. If you can brave the smell, you may enjoy the meaty taste and bond with locals, who will no doubt be impressed by your taste buds adaptability. Keep a lookout for the prepared version at Icelandic grocery stores.
4.China: Deep-fried scorpions
Western travelers might wince at the thought of deep-fried scorpions as a meal. Adventurous foodies can find this delicacy at Chinese street markets. Frying the scorpion neutralizes the poisonous tail, which is the most nutritious part of the insect. As a bonus, order yours with chili powder.
5.Scotland: Haggis (Sheep’s pluck)
You didn’t think we’d have a list of eye-popping international delicacies without haggis making the cut, did you? Originating in Scotland, haggis is made with a sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs, along with onions, oatmeal, stock, and an assortment of spices. It reportedly tastes like spicy oatmeal, and is served on everything from pizza to burgers in Scotland.
A hearty dish of freshly slaughtered meat? Yes, please! the most devoted meat-lovers won’t pay any mind to the typical sides of boiled potatoes and sauerkraut. You’ll find blood sausage, liver sausage, boiled pork belly, and innards on your plate, traditionally served on the day of slaughter before fridges were invented.
Sometimes, the foundation of great fast food is the fries. Combine a hefty plate of medium-thick fries, a healthy dose of cheese curds, and a generous spoonful of brown gravy, and you have yourself the recipe for a Canadian fast food staple. This dish originally hails from Quebec, the French-speaking province of Canada. In addition to being served at pubs and hockey arenas, poutine is also available at a variety of international chains within Canada, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and KFC.
Because why not? In Indonesia, you can order coconut-infused dragonfly served with rice – a hearty dish, if you can stomach it. The dragonfly’s wings melt during the cooking process, and the body is either boiled or fried. This is typical Balinese street food, and apparently tastes similar to soft-shell crab.
9.India: Eri Polu
You can divulge in a plate of silkworm pupae on the streets of Assam located in the northeastern part of India. To make this dish, the cocoon of the silkworm is boiled in hot water, and the leftover pupae is seasoned with herbs and spices. Enjoy this main course with a side of fermented bamboo shoots to round out the meal.
10.France: Pieds de porc
Pig’s feet are a beloved delicacy in France, with the meat eaten straight off the bone. Although people outside of Europe and Asia may not be used to eating this part of the pig, “trotters” (as they’re known in Britain) are cheap to buy, and are tender and flavorful when cooked. In France, you can find them at butcher shops, and even in jars at the grocery store.
11.Chile: Completo Italiano
Less eye-popping, though delicious: this Chilean version of the American hot dog is served with chopped tomatoes, avocado, and mayonnaise. The Italiano got its name from its resemblance to the Italian flag. The Italiano isn’t the only completo you can find in Chile – you can order multiple variants, with an endless combination of condiments (including fried egg, onion, grilled meat, and sauerkraut).
On your journey, don’t forget to dig into the wonderful foods you’ll find at your destination, as you may not be able to enjoy them when you’re back home! Bon Appétit!
About the author:
Dana Silverman credits her passion for travel to Girl Scouts, which provided her with amazing opportunities to attend summer camps throughout the United States during her childhood. She’s lived in Australia and New Zealand, and she’s planning a trip to Japan around her appreciation for the country’s cuisine and temples.