Tastes Like Chicken

Tastes Like Chicken: A Horror Author’s Look at Exotic Food

by

L. Marie Wood

Food is a big part of our lives here in the United States and trying new flavors from all over the world is a growing trend. The abundance of Thai, Vietnamese, Indian, and Ethiopian restaurants cropping up in metropolitan areas across the country is testament to that. But how adventurous are you? How likely are you to try something you can barely identify but is considered a delicacy in other countries? Read this article before you weigh in!

Here are some—let’s call them exotic—foods from all over the world that people enjoy on a daily basis. Do you have the stomach for them?

Balut

Balut is a duck or chicken embryo between 17 to 21 days old. It is boiled alive and then eaten right out of the shell. This dish is wildly popular in the Philippines because of the energy boost it gives.

Deep Fried Spiders

Tarantulas, to be exact. Let’s be even more clear. Tarantulas the size of your palm. And what is more distressing is that you can find tons of them fried up and piled on top of each other, begging the question of where all those tarantulas are hiding immediately. Fried tarantulas are often served as street fare in Cambodia and are sometimes called A-Ping. And guess what? People actually say they taste like chicken!

Haggis

This traditionally Scottish dish consists of the minced heart, liver, and lung of a sheep. These items are then combined with onions, spices, oatmeal, salt, and stock. The whole concoction is then boiled in a sheep’s stomach for 2–4 hours.

Birds Nest Soup

This is the crème de la crème of soups in China. You’ll pay a pretty penny to have a bowl of this rare soup made from swifts’ nests. This ‘Caviar of the East,’ which is actually made from the saliva of a swift, which is a species of bird, costs between $30 and $100 per bowl.

Tuna Eyeball

Yes, eyeball. At some sushi bars in Japan, you can watch the eyeball being cut from the head of the tuna and prepared. They’ll do this right at your table, if you like. Or you could be spared all the gruesome details and let them remove the eye in the kitchen, toss it with seasonings, and have it brought to your table where you can look at it… eye to eye (I know, but I couldn’t help myself!).

Kopi Luwak

The smell of coffee is a beautiful thing for many people. Coffee lovers from around the world try different blends and trendy new coffee houses every day. Who wouldn’t want to try what Time Magazine lists as the most expensive coffee in the world? Well, you might think twice after you find out how it’s made. First the Indonesian Luwak, an animal in the cat family, eats coffee cherries. Because the Luwak can’t digest the coffee beans inside the cherries, they come out in its waste. These coffee beans are then collected, cleaned, and sold for your brewing pleasure.

Are you hungry yet? C’mon, you know you are! If you are traveling outside of the U.S., you might be able to find one of these lovelies right on the street. But if you aren’t planning an international trip anytime soon, never fear. You can find some of these items in world cuisine markets here in the States.

Bon appétit!