Strange Food Around the World and Travelers Who Eat It

Strange Food Around the World and Travelers Who Eat It

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Fried Scorpions

Taste: Talking myself into was the fucking hard part. The only reason I wanted to do it was because of

the fat bald guy [Andrew Zimmern]. It was crispy, and tad bit rubbery. They put some kind of pepper sauce on it, so it wasn’t so bad. It tasted like that fried brown thing in

you find in your fries McDonald’s that you’re not sure is a fry or not.

Place: Beijing China, in the main plaza

Verdict: I would

try it again if I were with someone who was afraid to do it alone.

Side Effects: I swallowed it and I’m still alive


Live Octopus

Taste: The taste of san nakchi (live octopus) is comparable to

extremely fresh and rare pork. The texture is surprisingly chewy but you can definitely feel the tentacles sticking to your throat. Be sure to slather your writhing piece in

sesame oil so that it glides don’t your throat and doesn’t strangle you on its way down. That would be no bueno.

Place: I tried san nakchi in the

coastal town of Pohang, South Korea. It’s relatively easy to find a seafood restaurant that serves live octopus in South Korea. Just be ready to fight your food into


Verdict: I would eat it again in a heart beat. I wish I could find it somewhere in Seattle. It’s a little addicting.


Effects: If anything, conquering san nakchi made me feel invigorated. I had to struggle with my food. I was wrestling it to death with my jaw. I suffered no real

side effects but there have been cases of others choking from not properly preparing their bite. Just remember that sesame oil is key!


Lemon Flavored Ants

Taste: Well, our guide sold them to us as “lemon-

flavored ants”, and while I wouldn’t say they tasted exactly like lemons, there was definitely a sour, citrusy burst when you mashed them on your tongue. I guess they tasted

like lemon in the same way that lemongrass tastes like lemon; close enough that you wouldn’t compare it to anything else. (For what it’s worth, there was no other flavor. No

ant-y aftertaste!)

Place: We found these ants on a day-hike through the middle of the jungle inthe Amazon basin. We booked our tour from an operator in

Baños, Ecuador.

Verdict: Would I try them again? Well, I can’t say that I’d ever plop myself down in front of a nest and go all anteater on them, but

you know what? I might be convinced to eat a plate of grilled chicken with these little guys crawling all over it. If you dared me…

Side Effects: No side

effects from eating the ants only had 4 or 5 in my mouth, really. Besides the initial burst of lemon, I wouldn’t have even known they were there. However, my wife, Oksana, was a

little slower in crushing her ants and had one bite her tongue!

Fried Blowfish

Taste: It was delicious. Although it was fried on the

spot, the fish was still tasted very fresh

Place: Fukoka, Japan

Verdict: I would definitely try fugu again. Maybe next time I

will be more bold and try it as sushimi.

Side Effects:




Taste: It was uncooked meat, but it didn’t really taste any different from other meat. I expected it to taste gamey but it didn’t.

Place: Beppu, Japan, don’t know the name of the restaurant, recommended by the hostel I stayed at

Verdict: I would probably not try

it again. I’ve tried a lot of weird foods, dog soup, balut which is cooked duck embryo in the shell. Most of these I would probably not need to try again.


Effects: There was no side effects. None of these strange foods have had any side effects. Supposedly they are ‘good for man’ but unfortunately can’t even say that


Dancing Shrimp

The Taste:
Dancing shrimp are salty and crunchy, flavored with fresh herbs and lemongrass, and finally bathed in

a nice limey dressing. When the dish is served, the little shrimp are still alive, so it’s quite entertaining to eat them as they jump around in your mouth.


Place: I ate this dish on a street known as “Thanon Rangnam” in Bangkok, Thailand. Dancing shrimp are available in select markets throughout Bangkok. They are almost

exclusively sold by mobile street vendors, so it can be hard to pinpoint where to get it, unless you just stumble upon it.

The Verdict: Yes, I would try

it again. Actually despite its strangeness, the flavor is great, I enjoy eating it.

The Side Effects: Nope, no side effects this time!



  1. I would eat everything above except for the live squid. Thats’s just too much.

    I’ve eaten scorpion, sheep testicles and penis,silkworm (yuk)and starfish on a market in Beijing. The starfish(legs) was absolutely horrible and I stopped after one bite.

    I had chicken hearts in Dalian/China. and cows heart in Bolivia. Both very tasty.

    I had beetles as a snack in Cambodia and Balut (near developed chick in eggshell) in the Philippines. That one took a lot of beer and convincing too.

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