What are the strangest local foods you have enjoyed (or not) on your travels? Caviar in a tube maybe?

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When you grow up in a dual culture household you get used to certain things as “just the way it is” and especially so when it comes to food. Take shrimp, crab or lobster for example. If you said it is served cold and has a salty flavor – you are likely from Sweden. But there are a bunch of other somewhat unique Swedish foods that I don’t think twice about.

A sandwich in Sweden is often not two slices of bread but one. It, most times, has a protein or cheese not both. The bread is often “hard” bread. And as you can see from the above it could just have soft cheese with some kind of protein flavoring or caviar in a tube (with very little real fish roe in it btw). Kids grow up eating this stuff all summer long on outings to the countryside or out to an island for the day!

There are other equally special things that I love that others just don’t get. Salt licorice is another good one. I don’t really care for normal licorice but the salt type is num num num. Now salt licorice ice cream – even I don’t care for that!

Some things I do not care for and default to my US cultural side. The idea that a beer over 3.5% in alcohol content can only be purchased in an over priced (i.e. taxed) state controlled liquor store is just not OK. Same goes for ultra limited open hours for so many establishments (but way better than in years past).

Enough of my thoughts as I could do this all day. I want your input. What foods or cultural bits have you seen or tried in your travels that you either were shocked, surprised by or really hated or liked? Was there something you thought you would hate and found to be quite good when you tried it? Let us know in the comments below! – René

 

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15 comments

  1. I had ostrich in Spain and really liked it, looked like steak but had a chicken type taste to it. Alligator in New Orleans (I know neither one of those are really uncommon to a lot of Americans but for a picky eater like me my wife was amazed I tried either one). I tried chocolate covered ants (I was told they were chocolate covered raisins at the time because my wife knew I wouldn’t try them otherwise) and can’t remember the country we were in but they weren’t bad.

    My wife tried bull testicles in Spain. Another couple was with us and they both refused as well. We just don’t have the balls to try something like that (bad joke I know).

    A food that I had I really liked was pot ice cream in Amsterdam. I know you’ll never see it anyplace else because seeing it’s an ice cream cone you have to eat it there or while walking and AFAIK everyplace where pot is legal you aren’t allowed to consume it in public.

  2. Cuy (guinea pig) in Ecuador was a bucket list food for me. It was very fatty and tasteless for the most part; I was given gloves because it was so greasy.

  3. I just had Fuji Apple KitKats in Japan last week. Wow – real apple taste in a chocolate covered wafer. I also had the Matcha Green Tea KitKats with white chocolate, but was not as impressed. I read that Japan is building a new KitKat factory where they will produce over 125 flavors.

  4. People love horse meat in Kyrgyzstan like we love BBQ in the South. They serve it all the time at home and in resturants usually in the shape of medallions spread across a big plate (horse medallion-maybe a new nickname for FOs LOL). They also enjoy fermented mare’s milk which was much more difficult to swallow than the horse meat. As former nomadic people, they also eat camel but I was never offered that (thank God).

  5. I enjoyed three little scorpions grilled on a stick in Beijing.
    I got to pet a kangaroo and eat kangaroo in Sydney(not the same kangaroo); and I ate haggis in Edinburgh. All were quite tasty!

  6. wasabi kit kats from japan…Jerk roasted goat in jamaica!!!stand outJohn dory -awful smelly fruit but tasted good…

  7. I am an adventurous eater but I was only able to eat just a few bites of chicken sashimi during a Tokyo trip. The waiter was understanding and within a few minutes it was returned to our table cooked.

  8. When I lived in the Alaska bush, I had to travel to the Bering Sea coast to see clients in their homes. Not cool to not try foods, but one family, who’s daughter I worked with, stood around gleefully watching me try Walrus. And promptly spit it into a napkin. Which they were fine with. Slightly better than seal, but I was glad to get back to my village and have caribou burgers and mooseloaf. Yum!

  9. Ive been a foodie for decades, andrew zimmern is my hero! Ive had all the chicken feet varities in China, every bug that can be cooked in cambidia..the garlic fried tarantula was my fav, minus the fangs! The little frogs on a stick tasted like mud..yuck! Ive had bbq bat and goat testicle rice soup but the coolest was tamaloc..aka wood worm! On the island of Palawan they batter and fry them..but the really hardy will have them pulled directly out of the rotting log…white about 6 inches long and wiggling, choices are open and swallow or dip in vingar first…ive done both…i highly suggest do not chew! Lol

  10. Here’s some of my favorites I’ve tried over the years

    1. Caterpillar larvae in Mexico City
    2. Raw Herring on a hot dog bun in Amsterdam
    3. Grilled kangaroo in Sydney
    4. Scrambled eggs and oysters in Thailand
    5. Sisig in the Philippines (kinda like the Filipino version of fajitas, but they use pig face and pig liver instead of chicken or beef)

    I also attempted to eat durian once, but I couldn’t get past the smell.

  11. I have tried the Cuy in Peru and Ecuador and guinea pig is interesting heavy flavor but if it is grilled with the head and feet on it when served it can impact your desire to taste it. The fried chapulines (grasshoppers) in Oaxaca are crunchy and can get caught in your teeth but it is the thought not the taste since they are dipped in a very spicy dip before frying.

  12. Horse meat in Kazakstan (their chicken), camel hump at wedding in Qatar and grasscutter in Ghana – a rodent that weights as much as 20 pounds.

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