35 Strangest and Weirdest Cuisines From Around the World

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1 Shirako


In Japan, there is a dish named Shirako. It is actually the milt or sperm sacs of male cod. It is mostly served raw in restaurants all over Japan. It is said to have the opposite effect on men who want to perform better in the bedroom.

2. “The Widower” is a dish from Grantham, England made with 20 infinity chilies and claimed to be the world’s hottest curry. Ian Rothwell is the only person to ever finish it. He took an hour to finish it and spent 10 minutes of that time hallucinating due to the endorphin rush.

3. There is an expensive Chinese cuisine soup called “Bird’s Nest Soup” which is made from saliva nests of swiftlet birds.

4. A century egg is a delicacy that is usually produced in the south of Taiwan. It made by preserving duck or chicken eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months, depending on the method of processing. The egg ends up with the white that is jelly-like and amber-brown and the yolk is smoky-black. It has a strong flavor due to the hydrogen sulfide and ammonia present in it.

5. Authentic Mongolian cuisine is mutton, mutton, and more mutton. (A “Mongolian barbecue” is neither Mongolian nor BBQ.) It is so monotonous that one travel author wrote: “in 33 years of international travel [Mongolia] has without question the most pitiful food of any country I have visited.”

6 Bibimbap


Bibimbap is Korean dish of mixed vegetables on rice. It has a symbolic meaning relating to the body and compass. For instance, red or orange foods represent both South and the heart, while yellow means center and the stomach.

7. The Kazakh dish of Qarta is made from boiled and then pan fried horse rectum. It is served without sauce or spices.

8. There is a traditional dish named Maniçoba from Northern Brazil. Its preparation involves boiling Manioc leaves for a week to remove its high cyanide content.

9. A Filipino dish called Pinikpikan specifies beating a chicken to death so that the meat is bloodier and thus more tender.

10. There is a cabbage dish named Blaukraut in Germany, which is called red cabbage in northern Germany, and blue cabbage in southern Germany.

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11 Odori Don

Odori Don

There is a Japanese dish called Odori Don, which is a noodle soup topped with a dead squid that “dances” when soy sauce is poured on it.

12. Faggots are a traditional dish from the United Kingdom traditionally made from pig’s heart, liver and fatty belly meat or bacon minced together.

13. The national dish of Iceland is Hákarl, a fermented shark meat which is first buried, then hung to dry for several months before eating.

14. Taiyaki is a Japanese dessert which is prepared in the shape of a fish. It is a cake that is usually filled with sweetened azuki bean paste.

15. A traditional native Alaskan dish is called “Stink Heads” which are fermented salmon heads. After the fish are caught, the heads are removed and buried in the ground in fermentation pits for several weeks, dug up, and consumed as a putty-ish mash.

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16 Rôti sans pareil

Rôti sans pareil

In 1812, Grimod de la Reynière, the world’s first restaurant critic, put out a recipe for the rôti sans pareil, or roast without equal. It was a 17-bird version of the turducken, though no record exists of whether it was actually made. It was a bustard stuffed with a turkey-goose-pheasant-chicken-duck-guinea fowl-teal-woodcock-partridge-plover-lapwing-quail-thrush-lark-ortolan-bunting and garden warbler, the last being just big enough to hold an olive.

17. There is a dish common in the Philippines and South East Asia called ‘Balut’ which consists of a developing duck embryo that is boiled alive and eaten in its shell.

18. There is a traditional dish from Cornwall, United Kingdom called “stargazy pie”, which is named so because fish heads are baked into the top of the pie facing upwards so that they appear to be “gazing at the stars.”

19. Budae-jjigae is the Korean soup dish which is a fusion of common soup ingredients in Korea and scavenged foods from US bases. It had a period of “illegality”; as spam smuggling was punishable by death under President Park in the 60s to the 70s.

20. A ‘Loco Moco’ is a traditional Hawaiian cuisine. There are many variations, but the essential loco moco consists of white rice, topped with a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and brown gravy.

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21 Oyakodon


The Japanese dish of Oyakodon which is made with chicken and eggs translates to “Parent and child in rice bowl.”

22. The Ortolan is a bird that was formerly eaten in French cuisine. The process of preparing it included trapping it in a dark box so that it would eat more thinking it was night, before drowning it in brandy, roasting it, and then eating it under a napkin, done to “shield ones self from God.”

23. There is a Szechuan dish in Chinese cuisine called “Ants Climbing a Tree” because the bits of ground meat clinging to the bean thread noodles evoke an image of ants walking on twigs.

24. Japan has a type of dessert called a Mizu Shingen Mochi and it looks like a giant raindrop and tastes quite like a giant raindrop.

25. Milt, which is the seminal fluid containing the sperm of fish, is considered a delicacy in Japanese and Korean cuisines.

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