There is plenty of unusual food in this world - well sort of. Nothing is unusual to the people of the culture that the diet belongs to. Instead, it just seems strange, odd, and even disgusting to people from another culture. There are items on the Western dish that seems exotic to people from other countries too. Around the world, cuisines vary massively, and sometimes the local cuisine can be very challenging for the tourist.
Some traditional foods may be much more acceptable to an American tourist - like the traditional food of Finland. But the only way to truly see and experience the food people eat around the world is to travel. Often the foreign restaurants in one's own country change the food to suit the local people, or they can't source the traditional ingredients they really need.
Historically Diets Were Much More Deferent In The World-
It should be noted that in the past, diets were very different. Before farming, people would eat anything that was edible - monkeys, various herbs, wild mushrooms, little birds, lizards - anything. But farming has changed everything and now most of the world only eats five or so main types of meat (excluding seafood), beef (except in India), pork (except in Islam and Judaism), sheep (not so popular in the USA), goat, and chicken - chicken is eaten just about everywhere.
In the past vegetables and grains were limited to certain regions (e.g. corn, tomatoes, chilly, and potatoes were only in the Americas). But today all the main stables can be found in just about any diet (wheat, rice, potatoes, corn, etc.) while tropical fruit like bananas can be found in the coldest of climates.
In short, what is remarkable is how similar the world's diets are to each other - e.g. one can find onion, fries, tomatoes, and chicken everywhere.
There is Still A Lot of Diversity In the World
But be that as it may, many diets in the world still seem very exotic and strange to people today. Today Western countries are generally quite selective about what they think should be eaten. People with this mentality can find places like Southeast Asia a little confronting about what they see on the market or for sale at the market. Unfortunately, it is also true that there are places where people eat dogs and other animals considered pets or too cute in the West. These practices (like eating dogs) are often illegal and face huge fines when caught.
Unfortunately, sometimes there are beliefs that drive practices that can have a severe negative impact on populations and risk driving some species to extinction. Examples include the supposed health effects of rhino horns and pangolins. Conservation efforts are trying to protect these endangered species.
Examples Of Odd Foods around The World
- Horse: A Core Part of The National Diets of Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan
- Haggis: A Stuffed Sheep's Stomach That's A National Dish of Scotland
- Snails: Eaten In Many Countries In The World Including France, Canada, and Morocco
- Frogs: The French Have A Liking For Frog Legs, While Whole Frogs are Eaten In Vietnam
- Sheep Intestine: Is It Common To Have A Sheep Intestine Sandwich In Turkey (Cooked Like a Kebab)
- Crocodile: Crocodile Can Be Found On The Menu In Many Countries - Like In Kenya
- Huhu Grub: A Large Wood-Eating Larvae of A Beetle Once Considered A Delicacy By The Maori In New Zealand
- Scorpions: Eaten In Parts of Asia Like China
- Chicken's Feet: Often Eating In Some Asian Countries Like China and Vietnam
- Penis Fish: Scientifically Urechis Unicinctus: Often Eaten Raw In Korea With and sesame oil or gochujang, In China, they Are Stir-Fried With Vegetables
Entomophagy aka Eating Bugs
Many environmentalists urge the eating of bugs (scientifically called entomophagy). Eating insects has been common throughout human history and in many cultures. But today mostly in western countries eating bugs is generally considered taboo or "gross".
But they are highly nutritious and delicious (depending on one's taste of food). About 3,000 ethnic groups eat bugs around the world and is common at least in some way in most parts of the world. The practice is (or was) common to many groups in Central and South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
- Edible Insects: Around 1,900 Edible Insects
- The Norm: Historically It Was the Normal To Eat At Least Some Insects In Much Of the World
- Botok Tawon: Indonesian Spiced Bee Larvae Steamed In Banana Leafs
- Casu Marzu: A Traditional Sardinian sheep milk cheese that contains insect larvae
- Crickets: Eaten Dried Out In Some Countries
- Grasshoppers: Common to See Deep Fried Grasshoppers, Bee Larvae, Silkworm, and More In Traditional Thai Markets
- Kunga Cake: Made of Densely Compressed Flies In East Africa