The world is full of many delightful food experiences to try, from the sweet to the savory, the mild to the spicy, and the safe to the extremely dangerous.
Bird’s nest soup is a highly-valued commodity in China. One of the reasons it is so expensive is because of how hard it is to acquire. Swiftlet nests are made out of solidified saliva and they are very high in protein and flavor.
Deep-fried tarantulas are a popular street food in Cambodia. They are seasoned with both sugar and salt and then fried in hot oil, resulting in a crunchy bite. They are more popular than crickets and silkworms, which are also local favorites.
Fugu is the pufferfish prepared and sold in Japan. The organs that contain the deadly toxins must be carefully removed before preparation and the fish is killed 60 seconds before it is eaten. The chefs must be certified after undergoing a special course, including the ability to identify and prepare all of the 22 types of pufferfish that are legally allowed to be eaten in Japan. Because of all of the training and the fact that overfishing is causing them to be threatened, pufferfish is very expensive to eat. The royal family is also banned from eating it, on the offchance they might fall ill.
In the Philippines, fertilized duck embryos are called Balut and they are a popular street food. The amount of time the egg is allowed to incubate varies from region to region, but it ranges from 14 to 21 days. The method of preparation is boiled and then eaten directly from the shell. It is considered to be a hangover cure because it contains cysteine, a substance that breaks down hangover toxins found in the liver.
Maggot cheese in Sardinia goes by many other names, such as casu marzu, casu modde, casu cundídu, and casu fràzigu. The dish begins as a traditional Sardinian sheep milk cheese as a base. It is then filled with live insect larvae.
Surströmming is eaten in Sweden. It is a salted and fermented Baltic Sea herring that has been around since the 16th century. It is packed with healthy fatty acids and minerals and is a crucial source of protein and vitamin D for Scandinavians.
Excrement coffee, from Indonesia, goes by the more tasteful name Kopi Luwak. This coffee is very expensive and rare because of its method of production. The Asian palm civet is an animal with a preference for top-of-the-line coffee cherries. As it passes through their intestines the cherries ferment. The excreted cherries are collected and cleaned by workers who use it to make the coffee.