In case you’re traveling somewhere soon, be on the lookout for weird foods. Here are 10 you’ve never tasted before.
1. Khash – Middle East, East Europe and Turkey
A pretty gruesome little dish made up of stewed cows feet and head. It was once a winter comfort food but is now considered a delicacy. I’m sure it’s fine, so long as you don’t mind that grinning skull staring at you through its cold dead eyes.
2.Tuna Eyeballs – Japan
Although it sounds nasty, apparently it’s rather tame, tasting pretty similar to squid or octopus. None of the gunk you’d normally associate with slicing up eyeballs then?
3. Hákarl – Iceland
The rotting carcass of a Greenland or basking (Somniosidae) shark. It’s buried underground in a shallow pit and pressed with stones so the poisonous internal fluids that allow it to live in such cold waters can be drained out making the meat safe to eat. After this it’s hung out to dry before being cut into strips and served. With a smell that’s described as ammonia-rich and a strong ‘fishy-flavour’, it was described by Anthony Bourdain as “the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing” he’d tried.
4. Century Egg / 100 Year Old Egg / 1000 Year Old Egg – China
Yeah, OK, it’s neither a century nor a millennium old, but this egg is pretty rotten. After being preserved in a mixture of clay, ash and quicklime for a few months, the yolk turns a dark green or even black and slimy while the white turns to a dark brown translucent jelly. Apparently it smells strongly of sulphur and ammonia, but tastes like a hardboiled egg… until you breathe out that is.
5. Jing Leed (Grasshoppers) – Thailand
So, yes, this is a big old grasshopper seasoned with salt, pepper power and chilli and fried in a big wok. Tastes a little like hollow popcorn skin… except a little juice squirts out when you bite into it… nice.
6. Wasp Crackers – Japan
Yep, you guessed it, it’s a biscuit filled with wasps. Think chocolate chip cookies, only the insects replace the choccy chips. Apparently the digger wasp, which the biscuit contains, has a pretty mean sting. I wish your tongue good luck.
7. Fried Spider – Cambodia
Fried spider is a regional delicacy popular in the Cambodian town of Skuon, prepared by marinating it in MSG, sugar and salt and then frying it in garlic. Apparently it has more meat on it than a grasshopper, but also has brown sludge in the abdomen, which consists of mainly innards, eggs and excrement. Yum.
8. Witchetty Grub – Australia
Part of the Australian ‘bushmeat’ family, this was another staple of Indigenous Australians in the desert. These can either be eaten raw, when it tastes like almonds, or lightly cooked, where its skin crisps like roast chicken and its insides take on the look and consistency of scrambled egg.
9. Bird’s Nest Soup – Southeast Asia
This Asian delicacy is made from the nest of the swiftlet bird, who instead of collecting twigs for its bed, builds it out of its own gummy saliva, which goes hard when exposed to air. Usually the built high up on cliff faces, harvesting them is a dangerous business and many people die each year. Whether its ‘rubbery taste’ is worth this human sacrifice, I’ve yet to find out.
10. Southern Fried Rattlesnake – United States
A favourite in the Southwestern United States, it’s said to taste a little like frogs legs. Experts advise boiling the meat off the bones before dipping in egg and covering in seasoned salt mix, flour and breadcrumbs. Deep fat fry and munch away.
Easy and Delicious Butternut Squash Chili – Clean Eating Recipe
My husband and I recently decided to try eating better by incorporating healthier carbs into our diets and getting rid of excessive amounts of grains, etc. There is currently no bread whatsoever in the kitchen. How weird. Weird but really nice! One of the new meals we’ve tried that really stood out for flavor was this Easy and Delicious Butternut Squash Chili. Check it out below, and leave a comment about how it turned out for you!
Butternut Squash Chili
Serves 8. prep time: 30 min. total time: 1 hour
3 tbsp avocado oil, divided
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 large stalks celery, chopped
1 1/4 tsp sea salt, divided
3/4 tsp ground black pepper, divided
1 small jalapeno chili pepper, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash (abo 1 medium squash)
1 1/2 lb ground beef
1 tbsp each ground cumin and dried oregeno
4 tsp chile powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 14-oz BPA-free cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
optional toppings: sliced green onion, shredded cheddar, chopped avocado, fresh cilantro
1. In a large dutch oven on medium, heat 2 tbsp oil. Add onion, carrot, celery and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper: cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in jalepeno and garlic: saute 2 minutes. Add remaining 1 tbsp oil, squash and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper: cook, stirring, 1 minute.
2. Add beef, cumin, oregano, chile powder, paprika, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt; cook, stirring to combine and break up meat until beef is cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Pour in tomatoes and broth. Increase heat to medium-high; bring to a boil, scraping any browned bits from the bottom. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.
3. Garnish with optional toppings of choice. Or let cool then cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
other recipes to try:
The Perfect Winter Lunch: Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup
The (colder) winter is here, diets are in and morale is low. The solution: a nice tasty bowl of delicious soup that is both easy to make and a reminder of those exotic holidays spent abroad.
2 tbsp tamarind paste
4 red Thai chillies, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2.5cm/1-inch piece Thai ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
4 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp palm sugar or caster (superfine) sugar
8 lime leaves, roughly torn
1.2 litres/2 pints/5 cups of chicken stock
350 g/12 oz boneless chicken breast
100 g/3 ½ oz carrots, very thinly sliced
350 g/12 ozsweet potato, diced
100 g/3 ½ oz baby corn cobs, halved
3 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
100 g/3 ½ oz cherry tomatoes, halved
150 g/5 ½ oz flat rice noodles
Fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped, to garnish
1. Place the tamarind paste, Thai chillies, garlic, Thai ginger, fish sauce, sugar, lime leaves and chicken stock in a large preheated wok and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat and cook for about 5 minutes.
2. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the chicken. Add the chicken to the wok and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring the mixture well.
3. Reduce the heat and add the carrots, sweet potato and baby corn cobs to the wok. Leave to simmer uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender and the chicken is completely cooked through.
4. Stir in the coriander (cilantro), cherry tomatoes and noodles. Leave the soup to simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the noodles are tender. Garnish and serve hot.
Tamarind paste is produced from the seed pod of the tamarind tree. It adds both a brown colour and tang to soups and gravies. If unavailable, dilute molasses (dark muscovado) sugar or treacle with lime juice.
Bon appetite and be sure to let us know how the recipe turned out for you in the comments’ section below.
Processed Foods…Are They All Bad?
You can hardly go to the grocery store without buying processed foods, and buying fresh all the time isn’t always feasible. Besides, some processed foods you can’t buy fresh… like oatmeal, or flour. The point is… just because it’s processed doesn’t mean it’s bad. Below we go through the basics of what processed food is and give a few example of good vs bad.
What are processed foods?
Processed foods have been altered from their natural state, either for safety reasons or because it makes them easier to store or easier to use.
We usually think of processed foods as being bad. In truth, many of them are, but some types of processed foods are beneficial.
The most frequent processing methods are canning, freezing, refrigeration, dehydration, and aseptic processing. It isn’t really the method of processing that makes some processed foods so bad – it’s the ingredients used in those products. So processed foods made with healthful ingredients are fine for your diet – just avoid those that are high in calories, sugar, fat, and sodium, or that have little nutritional value. Watch out for chemical processing too, as most common brands of fruit and vegetables have been exposed to growth hormones and other unnatural chemicals.
Good Processed Foods
Milk is processed food because it’s pasteurized to kill bacteria and homogenized to keep fats from separating. Low- and non-fat milk are good for most people who can digest the lactose (milk sugar).
Breakfast cereals are processed foods that can be good for you when they’re made with 100-percent whole grain and fortified with additional nutrients.
Unfortunately, many breakfast cereals are made with too much sugar, and they’re low in fiber. Read the nutrition label on the package, it will help you decide if the breakfast cereal is good or not.
Fruit and vegetable juices are beneficial most of the time, but look out for the brands with added sugars or that are high in sodium. Some juices, like certain brands of orange juice, are fortified with calcium, which makes them even better.
Oatmeal, frozen fish and seafood (not fish stick or breaded varieties), canned salmon and tuna are healthful. Dried fruits, roasted nuts and seeds, and 100-percent whole grain bread are also examples of processed foods that are right for you.
Bad Processed Foods
Processed foods made with trans fats and large amounts of sodium and sugar aren’t good for you. They’re low in vitamins and minerals and eating too much of them is bad for your waistline and your health.
Avoid these processed foods, or, at least, eat them sparingly:
- Canned foods with significant amounts of sodium or fat
- Pasta meals made with refined white flour instead of whole grains
- Packaged high-calorie snack foods such as chips and candies
- Frozen fish sticks and frozen dinners that are high in sodium
- Packaged cakes and cookies
- Boxed meal mixes that are high in fat and sodium
- Sugary breakfast cereals
- Processed meats
Try looking for recipes that don’t need alot of packaged foods. Anything that grows, goes.