5 Unusual Treats From Around the World - Not For The Squeamish!
When you visit another country, one of the ways in which you can immerse yourself in the culture is through their food. This is one of the reasons that Appleton sweets stock a wide selection of American candy, American soda and American chocolate - so you can enjoy a taste of America long after you get home.
Some American candy can be at odds with what we are used to here in the UK, such as Red Vines or grape flavour Laffy Taffy (both equally delicious by the way). But not all foreign treats fit in with our idea of what constitutes a delicacy. In fact, in some places, the food is totally alien. And we aren’t just talking about the Scandanavian love of salty liquorice.
What are some weird food delicacies highly sought after around the world, that are not to everyone’s tastes? Well, here are 5 downright bizarre delicacies that are favoured in different countries - how many have you tasted?
1. Bird’s nest soup - China
Yup, you read that right. The ‘Caviar of the East’ is indeed something intended to rear chicks in. But before you get images of twigs and cuckoos into your head, the bird’s nests in question here are made by Swiftlets, and these birds fashion their nests out of saliva. Delicious.
The birds’ saliva forms a gelatinous texture that the Chinese can’t get enough of, so much so they’ll pay between $30 - $100 per bowl. This preference for a jelly like mouth feel is the reason the Chinese will pay more than £70 for a sea cucumber, and who knows what to consume Goose intestine.
Might we recommend a tasty bag of jelly babies instead?
2. Lightly fried spiders - Cambodia
Whilst most of the delicacies on this list aren’t for the faint hearted, this one is definitely up there for sheer shock factor. Once the only available sustenance for a starving population, these tasty treats have bolstered the economy around a small market town, as busloads of tourists pitch up daily to try freshly fried tarantula.
According to local chefs, these spiders are best served just plucked from their burrows and lightly fried with a little seasoning and garlic.
3. Maggot cheese - Italy
Blue cheese can be smelly enough, but how about trying one that is actually swarming with insect larvae, on purpose? The Casu Marzu, now banned for health reasons, can still be purchased on the black market in Italy, is most often referred to as ‘maggot cheese’, because, well, it contains maggots.
The creators quite simply take a delicious sheep’s milk cheese, similar to Pecorino and introduce fly larvae into it. The larvae digest the fat of the cheese, turning the texture from hard to soft.
But diners take note, eating it isn’t without some hazards - the larvae are known to jump when disturbed, so cover your eyes, and if the maggots are dead, the cheese becomes toxic. Not to mention there’s the potential issue of contracting an intestinal larvae infection.
What’s not to love?
4. Live Octopus - South Korea
If you’re partial to fighting with your food, then live octopus could be the thing for you. Some proponents of this Korean delicacy liken it to a ‘party in your mouth’, as the octopus tentacles squirm on your plate, sticking to every surface they touch in a bid to stay alive.
Take care to chew it thoroughly though, as the suction cups can be a choking hazard.
5. Kopi Luwak - Indonesia
The rarest gourmet coffee in the world is made from the excreted, undigested coffee beans of the Luwak, a cat like creature native to Indonesia.
The Luwak have a taste for the finest, ripest coffee cherries, however they are unable to digest them, and so the beans pass through their system and come out the other end, whole.
Whilst the flavour of the coffee that these beans then makes is said to be out of this world - the Luwaks’ stomach acid and its natural enzymes allow for a special form of fermentation of the coffee beans - the resulting brew is not to everyone’s taste.
But that doesn’t stop the price tag for a pound of Kopi Luwak to cost between USD $150 - $300. Shoreditch hipsters, you are dull in comparison.
Here at Appleton sweets we prefer to stock a more familiar taste sensation and are proud of our wide range of American food and drink on offer, including American candy, American chocolate and American soda.
So if you’re looking for sweets or candy or chocolate that is out of the ordinary, but you don’t fancy going to the extreme, why not check out the range and see what the good ol’ US of A has. We promise they’re delicious. Try them and see for yourself.