One man’s trash may be another man’s treasure, in the same way one country’s delicacy can be another’s food taboo. The world has diverse cultures and with that, diverse palates, food preferences and delicacies. Here are some interesting delicacies from around the world:
Tuna eyeballs – Japan
If you have no qualms with a meal that looks you straight in the eye before you devour it, then go ahead and order a serving of tuna eyeballs the next time you’re in Japan. To cook them, the eyeballs are simply boiled and seasoned.
Kopi luwak or cat poop coffee – Indonesia
Coffee beans eaten, digested and passed by the palm civet cat of Indonesia are used to make what is known as the most expensive coffee in the world, kopi luwak. The peculiar source of the rare coffee renders it expensive and has, as a result, been shrouded with controversy as some kopi luwak farmers cage the civet cats, forcing them to live in harsh conditions to keep up with the demand for the beans.
Bird’s nest soup – China
Swiftlet birds, which are found in southeast Asia, are unlike any other bird. When building their nests with twigs and straw, they produce saliva that is rubbery and hardens when exposed to air. The nest, when boiled with other ingredients such as chicken stock and straw mushrooms, is a key ingredient in a Chinese soup called bird’s nest soup. In some regions of Asia, the soup is considered to be more medicinal.
Bull testicle beer – United States of America
From French fries to doughnuts, the USA is known for popularising some dishes that are famous the world over. However, bull testicle beer may not have caught on just yet. What started out originally as an April Fool’s joke by a Colorado brewing company in 2013 became an instant hit and has since grown in popularity.
Casu marzu – Sardinia
While mopane worms are popular in southern Africa, Sardinia offers a strong contender in the insect-inspired food category with its sheep milk cheese which contains live maggots. The living larvae help create a flavourful and soft cheese through fermentation and digestion. They are consumed with the cheese while they are alive inside it as they are considered poisonous when dead.