7 bizarre overseas delicacies

Posted Date: 06 November 2014
Bizarre foods

A highlight of any venture overseas is always sampling the local cuisine. From dining at Michelin-starred restaurants to eating side street dishes with the locals, eating abroad is an adventure in itself. For those with a tongue for the tasty but terrifying, here are some of the most bizarre snacks from around the world.

1. Durian Fruit – Southeast Asia

The Durian is affectionately known as the “King of Fruits” in Southeast Asia. This thorny, melon-shaped fruit is native to Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the Phillipines, where it can be easily found in supermarkets and street vendor carts. Durian fruit is renowned for its pervasive scent. To put it nicely: it’s not pleasant (think rotten eggs). However, the soft flesh is revered by many for it’s custard-like consistency and nutty flavour – just don’t forget to pinch your nose!

2. Mealworms – Southeast Asia and around the world

Mealworms are slowly making their way onto dinner plates around the world, with some Sydney restaurants beginning to serve up the crunchy treat (see Billy Kwong in Surry Hills). Cooked mealworms are also easy to find in Southeast Asia, served up liberally by street vendors. In terms of flavour, mealworms have a distinct taste with a hint of cheese and lemon. Deep fry them and you’ve got yourself a crunchy, nutty bar snack with a difference.

3. Llama Meat – Bolivia

Llama is a traditional part of Andean indigenous cuisine, but nowadays you’ll find the meat in high-end restaurants alongside quinoa. The high-protein, low-fat meat can be found in many of Bolivia’s five-star hotels, exclusive restaurants in La Paz and served grilled by street vendors. The succulent meat tastes similar to beef, and is delicious in burger patties or thinly sliced and served as carpaccio.

4. Deep Fried Grasshoppers – Thailand

Deep fried grasshoppers are a much-loved snack in Thailand. And they’re good for you too – one grasshopper contains 6 grams of protein! Grasshoppers are usually fried and seasoned with chilli, served by the bag from carts of enthusiastic street vendors. Reviews are mixed on the flavour: some claim they taste like chicken, others swear fish. 

5. Witchetty grub – Australia

How about a squishy snack from your own backyard? Witchetty grubs were traditionally eaten by Aborigines and have become a well-known bush food, enjoyed for their fried egg flavour and high protein, fat and vitamin content. These grubs reside below the ground, feeding on the root of trees. Eat raw for a gooey treat or roast in hot ashes for a chicken-like taste.

6. Haggis – Scotland

Haggis is made from sheep offal, (internal organs - heart, liver, entrails), and prepared in the lining of the animal’s stomach. The sausage-like concoction is then cooked to perfection and served with vegetables such as turnip and potato (or neeps and tatties as the locals will tell you). Although this Scottish meal is rather unfortunate looking, the finished product is lovely and rich, bursting with umami (savoury) flavour.

7. Ant Larvae – Mexico

Known as ‘escamoles’ by the locals, ant larvae are harvested from the roots of blue agave. The cream-coloured eggs look a bit like pine nuts and are often pan fried with butter and spices before being added to tacos. A highly nutritious addition to your taco, escamoles contain 60% protein as well as fats, vitamins and minerals. This Mexican delicacy has a cottage cheese consistency and a slightly nutty, buttery taste.




Related Articles

How to eat like a local

How to eat like a local

Dining out like a local means understanding different approaches in each country. Here are some tips on how to master it. read more

Travelling with food allergies

Travelling with food allergies

Do you or a travelling companion have food allergies? Here is some general advice for travellers with allergies. read more

Foodie bucket list

Top destinations for food lovers

Find out what makes our foodie travellers' bucket list when we combine great food and awesome travel destinations. read more