Peru: Pisco Sour
A pisco sour is made with pisco (a spirit popular in South America), lime juice, simple syrup, bitters, and an egg white. You can find pisco sours throughout much of South America, but the origin is contested, as both Peru and Chile lay claim to the pisco sour.
Caribbean: The Painkiller
Painkillers are typically made with premium dark rum, cream of coconut, pineapple and orange juice, and topped with Grenadian nutmeg. The painkiller is popular in the Caribbean, especially the Virgin Islands, and many bars in both the U.S. and British Virgin Islands serve their version of it. The Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke, an island near Tortola and St. Thomas, claims to be the creator of the famous drink.
I've seen this described as both a dish you can eat and a shot you can drink. It's made by taking the extremely poisonous puffer fish (also known as fugu) fin, crisping it, and placing it in hot sake. The fugu fish is served throughout Japan, but it's regulated because of the toxicity of the fish and to protect the species from depletion. I've also seen this drink served in some sushi restaurants in the U.S.
South Africa: Springbok
A springbok is typically served as a shot. Simply pour 1 measure of crème de menthe in a shot glass, and slowly add one measure of amarula cream on top. They should stay separated, but if not, use the back of a spoon when pouring the cream to make sure they don't mix. The springbok is popular in South Africa, where you'll also find an animal of the same name. There is even a drinking game associated with it.
Terremotos are made with white wine, fernet (a spirit popular in Argentina), and pineapple ice cream. We were told that the only place to get a real terremoto (Spanish translation: earthquake) is at La Piojera, a dive bar located near the Mercado Central in Santiago, Chile.
Costa Rica: Guaro
Guaro is liquor distilled from sugar cane and is usually served as a shot with a slice of lime. You can get guaro throughout Central America, but it's quickly becoming the national drink in Costa Rica. The government actually nationalized the production of guaro, and the only legal brand is Cacique Guaro.
Vietnam: Bia Hoi
Bia hoi is the term given to beer brewed in Vietnam. It's a very light home-brewed beer available all over the country. What makes it unique is that it's different every place you get it, as it's brewed in small batches all over the country. Simply look for the hand-written cardboard signs that say Bia Hoi. It is usually served in hole-in-the-wall, makeshift bars and small restaurants.
China and Vietnam: Snake Blood and Rice Wine
You make it just how it sounds, by infusing whole snakes in rice wine or grain alcohol. If you want to take it a step further, you can mix fluids of the snake — blood and bile — with the rice wine and consume immediately as a shot. Like bia hoi, snake blood and rice wine can be found throughout Vietnam, most of Southeast Asia, and China. It's not hard to miss, as you'll typically see large jars filled with a liquid of some sort with snakes in it.
The traditional way to prepare kava is to chew the roots of the kava plant, combine it with water, and consume. It is said to produce a very relaxing feeling, almost like a sedative. Kava is best known in the Pacific Island nations of Vanuatu and Fiji, but you can find kava throughout the South Pacific, in Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and even Hawaii.
Grappa is made by distilling the leftovers of a grape after pressing it to make wine. What results is a grape-based type of brandy, that's taste and strength varies based on the maker. Grappa is usually served as an after-dinner drink, and can be added to coffee or espresso. In order to get true grappa, it must be produced in Italy, San Morino, or the Italian part of Switzerland. It must also be produced from pomace (the leftover grape pulp), with the fermentation process occurring on the pomace with no additional water.
Raicilla is a distilled spirit that has some similarities to tequila, as it is also made from the agave plant. It originated in the southwest of Jalisco, a state in Mexico, but you can find raicilla all around Mexico, particularly in and around the popular tourist city of Puerto Vallarta.
Dominican Republic: Mama Juana
Mama Juana is made by combining rum, red wine, and honey with tree bark and herbs and allowing them to marry in a bottle. Mama Juana has been compared to port wine and is typically served as a shot and can be found all over the Dominican Republic.
Lambanog is a spirit that's made from the sap of unopened coconut flowers. The sap is distilled, making a coconut wine or vodka. The alcohol content is said to approach 45 percent. Lambanog can be found all over the Philippines, but it is produced in distilleries in the Quezon province. There are similar spirits made from the sap of unopened coconut flowers throughout the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. They are called by different names, but they are all very similar.
Raki is an unsweetened liqueur that has a strong anise flavor. It's made from the skin, pulp, seeds, and skin of grapes — what remained of the grape after it was used to make wine, like grappa. It's typically served early in the meal with appetizers, either straight with some water on the side or diluted with chilled water, depending on your preference. When raki is combined with water, it turns milky white. It's known as the national drink of Turkey, though you can also find it in Greece, Serbia, and other Balkan countries.
Mirto is often described as a blueberry liqueur, but it is actually made from myrtle berries and either honey or syrup. The Myrtus communis plant (the myrtle plant), is native to the Mediterranean, and Sardinia is your best bet for obtaining an authentic bottle of mirto.
The traditional way to make chicha is to ground purple maize and chew on it, moistening it with saliva, which has natural enzymes that convert the starch to sugar so it can ferment. The drink is then made from the fermented corn and combined with other ingredients to become cloudy, somewhat sour, and seemingly a bit carbonated. You can get chicha all over Peru, but most is not prepared the traditional way by chewing the corn. If you want it made the traditional way, you may come across it in more rural areas or while on a trek. We sampled chicha in a village in the bottom of Colca Canyon.
Denmark: Coffee Punch
First, you take a cup and put a coin in it. You then pour coffee in the cup until you cannot see the coin anymore. Finally, add schnapps until the coin is visible again. In Danish it's referred to as kaffepunch. This is perhaps the most interesting drink that I came across. A Danish friend alerted me to this drink originally from a small island called Fano off the Esbjerg coast of Denmark.
New Orleans: Sazerac
A sazerac is a variation of an old fashioned, with the main ingredient being rye whiskey. There is a traditional way of making a sazerac, so pay attention. Pack a rocks glass with ice. Take another rocks glass, moisten a sugar cube with water, and then crush it. Then blend the sugar with rye whiskey and bitters before adding ice and stirring. Now you're about halfway there. Toss out the ice from the first glass and pour in Herbsaint (an anise-flavored liquor), coating the inside of the glass before discarding the excess. Then strain the whiskey into the Herbsaint-coated glass, twisting some lemon peel over it so the oil makes its way through the drink. You can rub the peel over the rim of the glass, but whatever you do, don't put the twist in the drink. Some say it's sacrilege. You can get this drink across the U.S., but it's originally from New Orleans.
Brennivin is a type of schnapps made from fermented potato mash. The fermented potatoes are mixed with caraway seeds to produce a potent liqueur. Brennivin is considered to be Iceland’s signature liquor, though many locals don't regularly drink it (it is associated with alcoholism).
Canada: The Sourtoe Cocktail
I debated adding this one to the list, but the zaniness and nastiness of the whole thing just forced my hand. Here's how it's made: Choose a drink, any drink, and the bartender at this establishment will add one severed toe to your drink. Yes, that's right, a severed toe. A severed human toe will be added to your drink. They keep said toes stored in salt when they aren’t being used to garnish drinks. In order to gain acceptance into the Sourtoe Cocktail Club, you must drink your drink, and your lips must touch the toe. You can only have the severed toe cocktail at the Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Canada, located just below the Arctic Circle.
13 Weird & Unique Coffee Flavors To Try Around The Philippines
Most of us are probably coffee drinkers, and to each their own, we have our different preferences when it comes to our cuppa joe. Some like it black, some prefer flat white, some can’t get through a day without iced coffee, and some people are happy with any kind of coffee, as long as there’s a good amount of caffeine in it.
If you’re feeling adventurous, then this list is for you! We’ve compiled some of the most unique coffee drinks we found all around the Philippines. Rose latte, butter coffee, durian coffee – to name a few. Skip your regular cup of joe for a day, and try one of these instead!
The green fairy. The devil in a green bottle. With so many names and a vast reputation, the French liquor Absinthe is one of the most alcoholic drinks in the world at around 80% (sometimes higher) alcohol content. Some even say absinthe is mind-altering and hallucinogenic, so much so that it’s illegal in some parts of the world. Legal now in France again after more than 100 years, this famous drink is a must try. How does that saying go? Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder? Close enough.
20 Highly Recommended Patios for Outdoor Dining Around D.C.
After a very long winter, Washingtonians are ready to enjoy a restaurant meal outside in the sunshine (sans space heaters). D.C. restaurants have always embraced outdoor dining, but COVID-19 made dining in the fresh air even more of a necessity, with parklets popping up all over town. Here are a few picturesque patios for al fresco dining — from scenic spots near the C&O Canal to downtown D.C. to along the Potomac River.
Restaurants on this map may temporarily close due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, so check with a business before showing up. D.C. allows indoor dining at 25 percent capacity. Many restaurants offer outdoor seating, but this should not be taken as endorsement for dining out, as there are still safety concerns. The Washington Post is tracking coronavirus cases and deaths in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. More information can be found at coronavirus.dc.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.
4. Poitín (Potcheen or Poteen) in Ireland
By Eoin from Dollys Quest
A Selection of Legal Irish and Celtic Poitin or Poteen Bottles Taken in a Poitin Bar ,
Pic by Ethan Bentley, from Wiki Commons CC BY-SA 3.0
Poitín is a home brewed alcoholic spirit famous in Ireland because of its notoriety and strength. Made form a variety of ingredients including cereals, grain, whey, sugar beet, molasses, its most famous popular distillation is from potatoes.
A law passed in 1556 made forced the distillation of potín underground and it has existed in this way ever since. It is possible to buy branded Poitín, but locals will argue that only the home brewed concoctions are the real things.
If you would like to try a branded version simply check out any number of off-licenses, however, for the home brewed version you will have to make friends with a few locals. Not everyone has a bottle lying around at home, but in more rural locations you will have a higher chance of coming across a bottle.
For a country which is famous for its alcohol, trying to have a sip pf Poitín is a must for any visitor and hopefully one you will remember.
Sláinte! (Good Health)
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MunchPak time!! I love the different types of snacks we get, so I can't wait for the Cheetos.
Just signed up for MunchPak and I'm pretty excited to get my first box!
My #MunchPak came in! So excited to try it out! Thanks @TheKingNappy for showing me this! Great stuff!
My latest #MunchPak came with a bag of brie-flavored crackers from Japan, and I think I have touched heaven.
Got my first @munchpak today I love it, I can't wait to try all the yummy snacks.
8 Wonderfully Bizarre Starbucks Drinks to Try Around the World
Starbucks is no slouch when it comes to churning out new beverages stateside, but its drinks in other places around the globe are somehow even more drool-worthy. Maybe it's just because we always want what we can't have, whether that means hacking our way to healthier choices or trying to unravel the intricacies of the chain's secret menu, but we're ready to dust off our passports to quench this thirst for international delights. Global Frappuccinos are bursting with all sorts of unique flavors that make us feel like our classic mocha Frap is a little boring, and the lattes in other countries are inventive too. Apparently, there's one universal truth: No matter where you are in the world, the song of the green siren is too strong to resist. These are the current Starbucks drinks from around the globe that we just can't stop dreaming of.
Chocolate Black Tea Frappuccino With Earl Grey Jelly (Philippines): Earl Grey tea jelly is layered with a chocolate black tea Frappuccino blend and topped with whipped cream to make this intriguing beverage. (Photo via Starbucks Philippines / Facebook)
Real Nut Oat Mocha (Korea): This mocha is made with a nutty hazelnut sauce and mellow oat milk. Each sip is like taking a bite out of a homemade cookie or cozy bowl of porridge. (Photo via Starbucks)
Salted Caramel Mocha Crumble (Asia Pacific): Available hot, iced, or as a Frappuccino, this drink is made with mocha espresso and toffee nut syrup. It's topped with a cloud of whipped cream, caramel sauce, and a blent of turbinado sugar and sea salt. (Photo via Starbucks)
Chestnut Mont Blanc Latte (Indonesia): This drink is a subtle treat. Espresso and steamed milk are infused with chestnut flavor then topped with espresso whipped cream for a drink you'll crave when it's cold outside. (Photo via Starbucks)
Apricot White Chocolate Mocha: Apricot adds a fruity flair to this white chocolate mocha from China that's flavored with rich cocoa butter and cocoa powder. (Photo via Starbucks)
Double Chocolate Green Tea Frappuccino (Australia): Green tea adds depth of flavor to this Frappuccino. It's got chocolate sauce at the bottom and top, is blended with java chips, and is topped by whipped cream and a sprinkle of matcha powder. (Photo via Starbucks)
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These are some of my fellow foodie travel bloggers stories about the most unusual food they have eaten while travelling.
One of the most unusual foods I&rsquove ever eaten was silkworm larvae, aka bundaegi, in South Korea. You can find it canned in most supermarkets but old women cook it on the street in giant vats of a fragrant brow broth. They smell worse than they look and they don&rsquot look too appetizing but they taste surprisingly nutty. If you can get past the smell they taste surprisingly not bad. I wouldn&rsquot say they are delicious (masheketa) but they are definitely a good source of protein and dirt cheap!
Bundaegi is typically eaten by old Korean men who will pair it with a bottle of rice wine (soju) and shovel them in. Foreigners like me usually stick to one at a time and often give the cup away after a few bites. But if you&rsquore up for an adventure then &ldquowhen in Rome&rdquo right? So be sure to put the cup up to your mouth and drink in these bugs when you visit South Korea.
Written by Mike from LiveTravelTeach
During our trip to Paris last year, we couldn&rsquot pass by the numerous little cafes offering escargot. They seem to be all over the place, kind of iconic dish for the French cuisine scene. The idea seemed crazy, but somehow just irresistible.
So we went for it, ordered one plate with 6 snails for two and sipped our wine pretending like we are just normal Parisians on their lunch break. Once the snails were served, we were surprised to find them in their shells. Now how are you supposed to eat that? Not that eating snails is weird in Paris of course but it is one of the weirdest foods to N. Americans.
Luckily, the waiter guessed our confusion (thanks for mass tourism, they are used to serving clueless visitors) and made a small demonstration of how to handle the little delicacy. So here is how you do it: pick a piece of freshly baked white bread, grab the escargot in the shell with a fork, pull it out and place it on the bread along with all the sauce it has in the shell.
The taste is pretty amazing by the way. It reminded me of seafood &ndash a bit like an octopus I think. And I bet it tastes that good because the French just know how to cook it. Back at home, we tried to prepare our own (found some deeply frozen snails in the supermarket), but it just didn&rsquot taste the same. Maybe it&rsquos the atmosphere, French wine or the holiday mood that made it so special.
So when in Paris &ndash go for it and try some escargot &ndash you won&rsquot regret it! Maria from the Tigrest Blog
We knew the moment we arrived in Cusco, Peru that we&rsquod have to decide whether we wanted to try the local specialities of the Andes: alpaca and guinea pig. It was fairly easy to say yes to the first, as we treated it like mutton. But the latter was a much more difficult decision. I&rsquod owned a guinea pig as a kid, and the furry little things were just so damn cute. All the locals we met kept on telling us how nutritious and delicious it is though, so finally, on our last full day in the Andes, we ordered a roasted guinea pig.
It was horrid. It showed up on our table propped up on a pile of potatoes and looking like it was screaming as it was cooked, its little claws and other features still very much intact. The restaurant quickly diced it up for us, but we had to ask them to get the head out of our sight before we could bring ourselves to dig in.
The meat was tougher and more sinewy than we expected and there was more fatty skin than meat. Thank goodness we&rsquod ordered another dish as well so we could have another flavour palette and switch on and off with the guinea pig. We ate 80% of the guinea pig, but we just could not get ourselves to like it. I don&rsquot regret trying it, but these days, I do feel a little guilty every time I see a pet guinea pig.
Weird Food around the world &ndash remember that&rsquos very subjective lol
While in Vietnam years ago I came across an opportunity to eat a cobra snake. A real delicacy and supposedly something that gives you superhuman vitality is eating the heart while it is still beating. After catching the snake and beheading it, the chef dropped the heart into a shot of vodka still beating and I shot it. Did it work? Not sure but I&rsquom here to tell the tale and life has been as exciting if not more so since doing it. Would I do it again? Sure. Written by Rob at Stop Having a Boring Life
If you find yourself in Kuala Lumpur, and you enjoy eating duck, then I highly recommend a visit to the famed Sze Ngan Chye cart. This little business is an institution in Kuala Lumpur and can be found in Petaling Street, the main thoroughfare of the city&rsquos China Town. For the last 50 years, from the humble cart that has certainly seen better days, the Choong family have been serving up some of the tastiest and moist salted roast duck.
They also offer, for the more adventurous, an intriguing little parcel made up of duck&rsquos feet and liver, wrapped up using the bird&rsquos intestines, then cooked in a salty and sweet sauce.
The tasting experience is interesting. The rich and succulent flavour of the sauce permeates the parcel, and although the flavour profile doesn&rsquot change with each bite, the texture does as you move through the soft liver, the feet, and the chewy intestines. I found the taste quite pleasing, but the texture is an acquired experience, especially the intestines that were &ldquostringy&rdquo in places.
As seen in many of the wonderful markets throughout Malaysia, it was pleasing to see the vendor using the excess parts of the duck, and at a little less that one dollar, it is worth an early trip to Petaling Street. Written by Markus from The Roaming Fork.
When I lived in Seoul, South Korea for a few months, I got to know the Korean (food) culture quite well and soon learned about one of the local delicacies &ndash living octopus! Obviously, I was quite reluctant to try this dish, but in my last weeks in the country, I felt like it&rsquos part of the real cultural experience and I should give it a try.
I visited a big fish market with a friend, right in the centre of Seoul, which is full of aquariums and all kind of sea animals. We soon found a basin full of small octopus swimming in the water. The nice Korean lady sold us one small octopus for a few Euros, and we got the animal alive in a small plastic bag full of water.
From there, we got send to a nearby food kitchen in the market, where we sat down. A waitress took the bag and prepared our food &ndash she actually cut the tentacles with a scissor, put everything on a plate, added some sesame and our dinner was served! It was crazy to watch the tentacles on the plate moving around and I had actually a hard time to pick up a piece with my chopsticks since it jumped off and moved around.
I was a little bit afraid to try, especially since I&rsquove learned that quite a few Koreans die every year from eating living octopus &ndash if you don&rsquot chew enough, tentacles might get stuck in your throat and you&rsquod choke! After having a small piece in my mouth, I chewed as much as I could before swallow. The texture was weird, although the taste was not very strong and extreme. It was an interesting experience. However, I have to admit that I might rather prefer simple, boring sushi next time.
My kids, Lou Lou and Jaf, are self-pronounced kid-foodies whose motto when it comes to food is to try anything once and then form an opinion on it. We&rsquove travelled the world and tried a lot of weird food things&hellipfrom black garlic in Japan, to snail soup in Morocco, but the most unusual food that we&rsquove tasted so far has to be, percebes, a rare seafood delicacy popular in Portugal.
Percebes or goose barnacles are crustaceans that live and grow on rocks and ships in the Atlantic Ocean. Percebes are considered to be a delicacy in both Portugal and Spain and are a rare treat because they&rsquore quite dangerous to acquire local fisherman have to make dangerous dives to scrape the barnacles off the sides of cliffs that plunge deep into the water and are constantly hit by waves. Depending on the time of year a pound of percebes can range anywhere from &euro27 to &euro56 at the fish market with restaurants only serving to customers that call in and order a plate in advance.
We were lucky enough to try percebes not once, but twice while we were in Portugal &ndash once in Almoçageme at Adraga Restaurante and the second time in Lisbon at Cervejaria Pinoquio. They&rsquore best served steamed with aromas of the ocean wafting through the air (and splashing you in the face) as you snap off the neck and suck on what&rsquos inside. Written by From Lou Lou and Jaf at Pint Sized Gourmets
The Beijing night market is a paradise for people who love to try weird things. Here you can buy scorpions that are still moving or sneaks or sea stars. We visited the place with a couple of other bloggers. We were intrigued by the big black scorpions on the stick. The Beijing markets are a mecca for weird food and some of the most unusual foods I have ever seen.
They were not cheap, but we decided to drop a few dollars and try it. It is considered a pricey delicacy in China. The scorpions were dead luckily. They were on a stick. They were dry and crispy. It was like eating a piece of hard chips. I tasted a few of its legs. It was an experience I recommend to everyone, who visits Beijing. Written by Barbara at Jet-Settera
When it comes to trying unusual foods, Asia has plenty to pick from!
Some of the most unusual food items I have tried on my travels are wood-worms, crocodile meat and frog legs during my time in the Philippines.
Crocodile farming is popular in The Philippines, and the meat is an excellent source of protein. There are numerous ways that the meat is prepared, but my favourite dish was crocodile sisig, made from crocodile mince, which is quite tasty. The meat tasted similar to beef.
However, the wood-worms were entirely different. They&rsquore supposed to be eaten dipped in vinegar with some chillies on the side. They taste naturally smoky as they&rsquore found within dead mangrove trees. They&rsquore also slightly sweet and taste similar to oysters. Wood-worms are famous in The Philippines as a rare delicacy and die instantly as soon as they&rsquore extracted from the plants.
The slimy texture did put me off, so I opted to have them deep-fried similar to onion rings.
When it comes to frogs, the legs are the only edible parts. They&rsquore slightly tough and less tasty than chicken in my opinion. They were stir-fried with spices and chilli oil, and it was quite difficult to get the meat off the legs!
While at the time I wasn&rsquot aware that the crocodile is an endangered species, it was the only time I did consume the meat and have since then avoided it. From Lavinia at Continent Hop
Right next to Teotihuacan &ndash the famous archaeological remains near Mexico City, there&rsquos one of these restaurants that don&rsquot go unnoticed: La Gruta.
This restaurant has been there since 1928 when the grandfather of today&rsquos owner, started serving meals to visitors, it is located inside a wide semi-open cave that was anciently used as a refrigerator for the corn supplies. Nowadays, Carlos Cedillo, its executive chef, will make sure you leave it happy and willing to come back.
If you want to play tourist, try their Xoconostle margaritas, is the homemade mole, chapulines (crickets and grasshoppers), escamoles (ant eggs), white worms, huitlacoche and quelites quesadillas, ram barbecue and elote cake for dessert. From Inma at A World to Travel
I&rsquove eaten quite a few weird foods on my travels- all manner of bugs in SE Asia, a horse burger in Slovenia. In Iceland, I tried whale, puffin and reindeer in the same meal. On a walking food tour in Morocco, I peeled back the face of a sheep to get to the roasted meat underneath. But nothing to me was stranger than the time I ate grilled chicken buttholes on a stick in Taipei, Taiwan.
I was in town to visit one of my favourite foodie friends and he did an incredible job of organizing an overview of the city for us. We tried everything from street noodles to Michelin star restaurants.
One night he took us to Shilin night market, the largest and most famous night market in Taipei. There we found carts selling everything imaginable. We tried unique local dishes such as blood cakes crusted in peanuts and the legendary stinky tofu. We also tried more standard fare such as steaks and fried chicken.
One cart we found was offering skewers with a translation that said &ldquochicken anus&rdquo. I thought maybe the translation was incorrect until my friend told me that no, in fact, they were offering grilled chicken buttholes on a stick.
They didn&rsquot think I would try them so of course, I had to, for the photo if nothing else. The actual taste wasn&rsquot that bad- grilled meat is grilled meat. Mostly it tastes about the same. But years later I&rsquom still left wondering- what was the crunchy bit? Why would a grilled chicken butthole have a crunchy bit?
I&rsquom still not convinced that it wasn&rsquot a chicken haemorrhoid. Nathan from Foodie Flashpacker
Italian cheese is known worldwide. I&rsquom sure you&rsquove tried Mozzarella or Mascarpone before. But have you ever heard of Casu Marzu? It is a special type of cheese, that originally comes from Sardinia. It also has different variations across other Italian regions.
This traditional sheep milk cheese has a very interesting making process. Casu Marzu is created by fermentation and decomposition, which is brought about by the digestive action of the live larvae. The insects are introduced to the cheese, which helps to break some of the cheese fats and makes it really soft. Sounds yummy, right?
Some time ago, I stayed in Italy while working on a university project. Me and my friends were lucky enough to be hosted by a wonderful Italian family spoiling us every day with amazing home-made food. One time, they brought us different types of cheese to try. It was a variety of Casu marzu.
The cheese is considered a delicacy in Italy and it was specially prepared following the old family recipe. I didn&rsquot want to be rude and my curiosity won, so I decided to try a bit of it. I examined the tiny piece thoroughly before eating, making sure, that all the larvae are gone from it.
The cheese was quite tasty and had an interesting texture. When my Italian hosts were cutting a piece off, we could see the moving worms at the top of the cheese block. Some people clear the larvae before consuming the cheese, as I did, but others decide not to. It&rsquos still safe to eat the cheese like this.
This was definitely an interesting experience for me and gave me the whole new idea about Italian cheese. Would you try Casu marzu yourself? Agnieszka from Woldering Around
My husband and I spent 2 months in Peru without ever trying Cuy. Cuy is the guinea pig: it&rsquos usually fried until crispy and you&rsquoll see it in most mercados and on traditional menus throughout Peru. But it really looks like a guinea pig. And guinea pigs are adorable. Plus, my husband&rsquos little sister said she&rsquod disown us if we ate an adorable guinea pig. So we didn&rsquot try it. What we did try, at a restaurant in Ollantaytambo near the Sacred Valley, was alpaca.
Alpacas are arguably cuter than guinea pigs, but we&rsquod read that they&rsquore only ever eaten after they&rsquove lived long, fruitful, happy lives (because they&rsquore used for fur and labour until then). So we felt less guilty eating an alpaca than a guinea pig. We had just failed our Inca Trail trek and were killing time in Ollantaytambo before heading to Machu Picchu when we wandered into a small restaurant and saw a familiar dish on the menu: Lomo saltado, a delicious traditional Peruvian stew. Only this time, with alpaca. So we thought, what the heck. We tried it.
And you know what? It was tough, chewy, and gross. It tasted exactly like you&rsquod expect old alpaca to taste like. Scratch this one off your must-try list and go hug a fluffy live alpaca instead! Lia and Jeremy from Practical Wanderlust
Spending time in the Canadian Arctic, the local food scene isn&rsquot exactly what one might think of nor is it easy to discover. It consists of traditional foods from the land, harvested for centuries for survival and prepared simply if at all. Over the course of 2017, I was lucky enough to try a few since it&rsquos not a simple matter of going to a market or restaurant.
Seal is eaten often raw, boiled and fried, but the most interesting would be the raw brain. &lsquoInuit ice cream&rsquo as they called it, it was chopped up like tartar almost immediately after the kill. A snack while butchering the rest, the metallic taste of blood lingers, leaving a tingling sensation on your lips. There is a mild nuttiness and a smooth creamy texture, it is quite pleasing on the palate if you can remove the idea of what you are eating from your mind.
Muktuk or Maktaaq is the skin and first layer of blubber on the narwhal, beluga or bowhead whale. Muktuk is craved by the Inuit population and is vital to their diet containing more vitamin C than an orange. Quite often frozen, this year I got a taste fresh off a kill. Neutral in flavour, anyone who enjoys sushi would like this. BUT, there is a textural issue. The layer of blubber almost melts in your mouth leaving an oily residue and the skin is like hard rubber. Never truly able to fully chew it, after a few chunks I&rsquom finished with sore teeth.
Obviously, these are not unusual foods in this region of the world &ndash they may taste weird to our Westernized palates but these unusual foods are survival food in the harsh climates of the North.
Here is one that I&rsquom sure angers a few. Polar Bear is something I never thought I would eat until well, I had a bag of freshly butchered meat from a hunter. Hunted sustainably and only by the Inuit population, it&rsquos rare to get the chance to eat this food not being a local. The meat/fat needs to be boiled for 2-3 hours minimum to become edible at which point it shreds like that of a pulled pork and the flavour I describe as fishy pork if you can wrap your head around that. The fat is pungent but eaten together it is quite pleasant. Jason from Edible Adventure Travel
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