When the munchies strike, there is very little we can do to control that hunger, except eat until it subsides. While traveling abroad, the nagging hunger could pose a problem for picky eaters. The United States might be home to some unique cuisine, but these snacks from around the world are beyond questionable. With strange textures, smells and tastes, these are 10 munchie foods we’d all pass on.
1. Crunchy chicken feet
While it’s common to deep fry chicken wings or tenders, how about chicken feet? These crunchy treats are a common snack in places like East Asia, South America, South Africa and the Caribbean. Because the foot is mostly skin and cartilage, the texture is rather tough and chewy, with a lot of tiny bones and nerves to get stuck between teeth.
2. Fish and chips gelato
A cool, creamy twist on ice cream, with a fishy flavor. Strange ice cream and gelato flavors have been popping up all over the place, but Australia wins the Weirdest Award with this crazy creation. If you want fish and chips, just eat fish and chips. Foods flavored like other foods deserve no place in this world.
3. Tuna eyeballs
Over in Japan, they eat some pretty strange creations, so tuna eyeballs should come as no surprise. Most of us prefer our food not be staring at us as we eat it, but there are always those few daredevils, willing to risk life and limb, or in this case stomach contents, to try something new and exciting.
4. Guinea pigs
Yes, that is the same kind of guinea pig many of kept as pets during childhood. Mine was named Billy Joel, and he stunk. How could someone eat that? In Peru, guinea pigs are considered a specialty, served fried at times of celebration.
This Korean specialty takes the whole “raw foods” concept to an entirely new level. To prepare this dish, the chef first takes a baby octopus and chops it into tiny pieces. The dish is served while the tentacles are still slithering. I’ll stop there as I’m sure most of you would, too.
6. Deep fried tarantula
The fact that there are places in the world where tarantulas are so abundant they’ve become a food source scares the cannabis right out of my pipe. Please, if anyone has eaten this Cambodian snack, tell me what on earth possessed your brave little heart to do such a thing?
7. 1,000-year-old eggs
Mmmmm, how does a putrid egg sound for breakfast? These eggs aren’t really years old, they’re months old. After being encased in a mixture of clay, ash and quicklime, the rotted eggs turn gelatinous, with a very strong smell of sulfur. In China, these are served as a delicacy during special occasions.
8. Birds’ nest soup
Where to even begin with this Southeast Asian delicacy. To concoct this strange soup, first, the chef must find the nests of a swiftlet bird, which are usually located high on mountain ledges. These birds make their nests from twigs, branches, and their very own gummy saliva, which dries and hardens when exposed to air. Delish!
9. Casu marzu
Cheese is the stuff my dreams are made of, except I think this one might be more of a nightmare. Commonly referred to as “maggot cheese,” this Italian cuisine is sheep’s milk cheese infused with live insect larva and left to ferment for months. While many people suffocate the creatures before consuming, some eat them live. There have even been reports of the insects burrowing into people intestines and wreaking havoc on digestive systems.
10. Stargazy pie
This English tradition originated in the village of Mousehole, and is most commonly made during the festival of Tom Bawcock’s Eve, held to celebrate a brave fisherman who survived a long winter, on rough waters, all alone. The pie contains seven different types of fish, with a signature ring of the fish peering out, meant to protect the town from starvation in months to come.
What munchies gross you out? Let us know on social media or in the comments below.