1) Hákarl – Iceland
The rotting carcass of a Greenland or basking shark is buried underground in a shallow pit and pressed with stones so the poisonous internal fluids that allow it to live in such cold waters can be drained out making the meat safe to eat. After this it’s hung out to dry before being cut into strips and served. With a smell that’s described as ammonia-rich and a strong ‘fishy-flavour’, it was described by Anthony Bourdain as “the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing” he’d tried.
2) Century Egg / 100 Year Old Egg / 1000 Year Old Egg – China
Yeah, OK, it’s neither a century nor a millennium old, but this egg is pretty rotten. After being preserved in a mixture of clay, ash and quicklime for a few months, the yolk turns a dark green or even black and slimy while the white has turned to a dark brown translucent jelly. Apparently it smells strongly of sulphur and ammonia, but tastes like a hardboiled egg.
3) Haggis – Scotland
Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver, and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach though now often in an artificial casing instead. Haggis has a nutty texture and savory flavor.
4) Tarantulas – Cambodia
The Spiders are prepared with sugar and salt then cooked in hot oil, producing crunchy, salty snacks.
5) Ballut – Philipines
Balut is a sixteen to twenty-one day old fertilised egg of a duck or chicken. The egg is then boiled with not only the yolk present inside but also the embryo. It is considered to be one of The Philippines most famous and iconic delicacies and is eaten by cracking open the shell and having it with a bit of salt and vinegar.
6) Shirako – Japan
Shirako (sometimes spelled shiraku) is perhaps Japan’s weirdest dish. While this white paste may look like mayonnaise, it’s actually fish semen. Served on top of rice, fried in tempura batter, or even on top of custard, this dish is revered for its rich, velvety texture and mild sea-like taste. Shirako in Japanese means “white children” but refers to the sperm sacs of either cod, angler fish or puffer fish. Looking like white blobs of goo or miniature brains, they are said to have a sweet custardy taste.
7) White ant eggs soup – Laos
One of the world’s more unusual soups, combined with a mixture of ant eggs and partial embryos from the white ant, plus a few baby ants to add sourness. If your stomach can handle it, the flavor is supposedly quite tasty: sharp and delicate, and a little like shrimp.
8) Boshintang- Korea
This supposedly health-giving Korean soup is made with spring onions, dandelions, a host of spices and one infamous ingredient: dog meat. Though you will struggle to find it on menus today, it’s still popular with the older generation and generally agreed to taste better than it smells.
9) Muktuk – Greenland
A traditional Inuit meal of frozen whale skin and blubber, muktuk is normally served either raw or pickled. It looks a little bit like licorice allsorts and has several layers: the skin (which apparently tastes like hazelnuts), the fat (chewy) and the protective layer in between (even chewier). Don’t eat if wearing dentures.
10) Shiokara – Japan