It is often said that one man’s culinary delight is another man’s gag reflex. But here at MyTravelMoney.co.uk, we like to think we are open minded, adventurous and fearless travelers; and wish to share our yummiest experiences with our readers. While this list may not necessarily send you salivary glands into overdrive, it’ll certainly give you food for thought. Just think…in some countries, these are specialties!
Yak Penis – China
You may think that being served a giant penis on a silver tray is disconcerting, but we beg to differ. Apparently, Yak penis does wonders for your skin; but we’re not sure if it has to be blended with yogurt first and then applied as a face mask. Whatever you do, don’t forget your manners…and don’t play with your food.
Maggot cheese – Italy
We don’t know about you, but even we found it annoying having to share for food. Believe it or not, the land of a thousand mouth watering dishes is also home to Casu Marzu, a fermented cheese made with delicious sheep milk and luscious larvae. The maggots act as a preservative and prevent the cheese from going off, ironically enough. While some people prefer to pick the little hitch-hikers off before eating the cheese, we really couldn’t be bothered. The extra crunchiness added an extra dimension to the experience.
Stink bugs (Mexico)
In Mexico, it’s all about perspective. In a custom which could well pass as the most environmentally-friendly of all, Mexican shun insecticides and opt instead to rid themselves of pests by eating them. While some claim the stink bugs have a peculiar cinnamon flavor, others attest the aftertaste is not unlike a strong hospital grade disinfectant. Whatever the case may be, next time you happen to pass a taco stand in Mexico, look out for “Jumile”, and help the planet survive a little longer.
While traveling in Laos we came across a cheap eatery serving delicious ‘hamburgers’ for a few cents. On our fourth visit, we noticed an indecent amount of rat skins drying out on the roof. Upon enquiry, the friendly owner smiled and said “hamburger!” The best part? We went back a fifth time!
Imagine…you’re happily surfing in wild seas off the coast of some exotic place. Suddenly, a menacing dorsal fin appears above the breaks and your heart skips several beats. Whilst most people’s first reaction would be to scream and swim to safety; some people (if from Iceland), would be more likely to lick their lips and yell ‘YUMMY!”
Hákarl is none other than cured, fermented shark. Gutted, beheaded and covered in gravel and sand; the shark is then buried for up to three months. The risk of ‘misplacing’ the buried treasure does not present any problems; the smell of decomposing yumminess is said to be a dead giveaway to its location. Upon exhumation, the delicacy is sliced thinly and served with a healthy dose of Brennevin, the local spirit. We drank three bottles of it before we attempted to eat Hákarl…and it still didn’t help.
So don’t forget to pack some Rennie before you leave, and remember to compare tourist exchange rates at MyTravelMoney.co.uk.