Around the World in 20 Strange Dishes



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.

2Stink Heads

Stink Heads

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.

3Rôti 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.



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.

5Stargazy pie

Stargazy pie

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.”



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.

7Loco Moco

Loco Moco

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



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."

10Ants Climbing a Tree

Ants Climbing a Tree

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.

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