As popular wisdom says, in one and the same thing one can see only useless rubbish, while the other can see the treasure. The same can be said about food: what a European never dares to try may be the most coveted treat on the other side of the world. And vice versa.
A real gourmet is not only characterized by a subtle taste perception, but also an openness to experimentation and knowledge of new facets of the culinary art. Traditional European, Oriental, American and Asian cuisines in their modern design are perfect and filled with a special aesthetics. However, to this day, there are places in the world where the ancestral customs of cooking have been preserved, the ingredients for which can sometimes seem frightening and even repulsive.
The strangest delicacies of Asia and the East
Asian cuisine is popular all over the world. An exquisite combination of different flavors and the skillful use of spices and herbs make it unlike anything else. However, in some Asian countries you may be offered very strange, sometimes disgusting dishes that even one European is unlikely to dare to try. Fried grasshoppers, scorpions and cockroaches, and rats on skewers are just the tip of the iceberg. So, in some provinces of China, cooked animal genitals, in particular, the penises of oxen and dogs, are a special delicacy.
It is believed that such a dish can increase testosterone levels in men and have a beneficial effect on potency. In Korea, there is an old recipe, often used today, for making a special wine infused with mice. As local residents assure, this is an unusually useful drink for curing many diseases. In a number of Asian countries, dishes from bats and snakes have found recognition. The cold raw brain of a monkey is not a tourist myth, born after watching a movie about Indiana Jones, but a harsh reality.
In the East, unexpected culinary discoveries await you too. So, in Iran and Iraq it is customary to serve boiled sheep heads. In many countries of the Middle East, for example in Saudi Arabia, large lizards are cooked, the meat and blood of which are considered delicacies.
The worst delicacies in Europe and Latin America
Europeans can also surprise with their special eating habits. For example, in Norway they prepare a fish dish called lutifix, the peculiar unpleasant taste of which is unlike any other known product in the world, for which the culinary critic J. Steingarten described it as a “weapon of mass destruction”. In neighboring Sweden, surstroemming is prepared, the main ingredient of which is fermented canned herring. And in Iceland you will certainly be treated to hakkarl, or simply rotten shark meat. Sardinia is world famous for its cheeses, especially casu marzu, which contains insect larvae.
Latin America is a special civilization, this could not but be reflected in the kitchen. For example, one of Mexico's scary dishes is fried locusts and escamoles, the eggs of giant ants that are usually eaten with taco sauce. In Paraguay, rats are wonderfully cooked, according to local gourmets, the most delicious are newborn rats, which are swallowed whole when cooked and washed down with milk. In Peru and many other regions of America, guinea pigs, which are bred like rabbits, are a favorite treat.