1. Balut, The Philippines
Balut is a developing duck embryo that has been cooked inside the shell. Traditionally served as street food, Balut eggs are incubated for 18 days before cooking. To eat a Balut egg, one must crack the top, sip the amniotic fluid and then remove the rest of the shell and enjoy. If you’re brave enough to try this Filipino delicacy try it sprinkled with sea salt.
2. Casu Marzu, Sardinia
Casu Marzu is a special type of cheese made from sheep’s milk. Casu Marzu is made by removing part of the rind from whole Pecorino cheeses and leaving them for flies to lay their eggs inAfter the eggs hatch the fly larvae eat through the cheese. The digested cheese is left with a soft texture and a flavor that lingers for up to an hour after eating. For a time this cheese was made illegal by the european union. Its legal status still remains questionable.
3. Escamoles, Mexico
Escamoles, or ant larvae, is a dish native to Central Mexico. The light-colored eggs are harvested from the roots of Maguey plants where giant black Liometopum ants make their home. They resemble white-corn kernels and have a slightly nutty flavor. Escamoles mix in well with native cuisines. Try escamoles in tacos, omelets or served alone with guacamole.
4. Natto, Japan
Despite how weird this food might sound, it has long been regarded as one of Japan’s traditional health foods. Natto is fermented soybeans made by adding a special kind of beneficial bacteria, Bacillus natto. Natto is considered to have an acquired taste and texture. Once fermented the soybeans develop a sticky, slimy texture. Natto is eaten with rice but can also be enjoyed by itself. In Japan it is popular to eat Natto with mustard.
5. Century Egg, China
Despite the cool name, century eggs do not take a century to prepare for eating. It can, however, take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Century eggs are basically preserved eggs. Once they are ready to eat, the yolk comes out a dark green color and the white comes out dark brown or amber. Most people eat century eggs by themselves but it is also popular to eat them with pickled ginger or tofu.
image via foodsafetymagazine.com