20 Strange Exotic Foods to Try While Traveling

Experience a medley of cultures by trying exotic foods while traveling. It's a brilliant way to dive into local culture and broaden your palate with unique flavors and textures.


Balut, a popular Filipino street food, is a boiled duck embryo eaten from its shell. Though unusual, it's a delicacy in the Philippines with alleged health benefits.


Fugu, or blowfish, is a renowned Japanese dish. Due to its poisonous nature, only licensed chefs can prepare it. Despite the risk, fugu is valued for its unique taste and texture.


Hákarl is an Icelandic dish of fermented shark meat, buried underground then hung to dry for months. It's known for its strong ammonia smell and pungent taste.

Casu Marzu

Casu marzu is a Sardinian cheese containing live insect larvae. Added to enhance texture, it's known for a strong aroma but has been deemed illegal for health reasons.


Escamoles, or ant eggs, are a Mexican delicacy with a nutty buttery flavor, harvested from agave roots. Though visually unappealing, they're nutritionally rich in protein.


Shirako or fish milt, a popular East Asian dish known for its health benefits, usually served raw with a creamy texture and slightly sweet taste.

Snake Wine

Snake wine is a traditional Southeast Asian beverage, particularly in Vietnam, infusing snakes, often venomous cobras, into rice wine or grain alcohol for medicinal benefits.

Bird’s Nest Soup

Bird's nest soup, a Chinese cuisine delicacy, is made from the saliva of swiftlet birds. Its gelatinous texture is praised for supposed health benefits like better skin and immunity.


Sannakji is a Korean appetizer made from live octopus, served in small squirming pieces and often seasoned with sesame oil for a unique dining experience.

Witchetty Grub

Witchetty grub, a moth larvae delicacy among indigenous Australians, can be eaten raw or lightly cooked, offering a nutty flavor. It's a rich source of protein and nutrients.

Stinky Tofu

Stinky tofu, a popular Chinese street food, has a strong odor due to fermentation. Made from curdled soy milk, it's served fried or steamed, resembling cheese in texture.


Surströmming, a fermented herring dish in Sweden, is known for its strong odor and ranks as one of the world's smelliest foods. Served with flatbread and potatoes.


Durian, a popular Southeast Asian fruit, has a spiky exterior and a strong odor likened to rotting garbage, but its sweet, creamy flesh is delectable. Its smell often bans it from public transport.


Huitlacoche, also called corn smut, is a Mexican fungus delicacy known for its earthy and slightly sweet flavor. It's used in dishes like quesadillas and soups.

Fried Spiders

Fried spiders are a loved street food in Cambodia, especially in Skuon. These deep-fried tarantulas are usually served on skewers and taste like chicken or prawns.


Cuy, or guinea pig, is a popular dish in Peru, often served roasted or fried tasting like rabbit. It's a centuries-old food in Andean communities, enjoyed by locals and tourists.

Black Pudding

Black pudding, a sausage with blood, fat, and oatmeal or barley, is popular in the UK, Ireland, and Europe. Despite its dark color, it's richly flavored and served in English breakfasts.

Tuna Eyeball

Tuna eyeballs, a favorite in Japan & East Asia, are often grilled or stewed. They have a jelly-like texture, savory taste, and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Frog Legs

Frog legs, popular in places like France and China, are often sautéed, grilled or fried. They taste like chicken wings, are protein-rich and low in fat.

Mopane Worms

Mopane worms, a popular snack in Southern Africa, are typically dried with a crunchy texture and earthy flavor. They're a staple food, now sold in urban markets.

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