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Gross or Great? 27 Unexpected Delicacies From Around the World

Gross or Great? 27 Unexpected Delicacies From Around the World

Dare to dine on worms, tarantulas, snake blood, and other daunting eats

Chapulines (Spanish for "grasshoppers") are eaten predominantly in the Oaxacan region of Mexico.

In the field of adventurous eating, those seeking flavor-packed thrills are often ready and willing to sample the world's most exotic cultural delicacies and outrageous ingredients.

However, there are some foods out there that push those with even the most fearless palates to the outer limits of their culinary comfort zones. Considered delicacies in some parts of the world, these dishes prey on the phobias of the squeamish and even make some courageous eaters cringe.

See the Unexpected Delicacies From Around the World Slideshow

The Daily Meal's list of the world's most out-there foods, which includes insects, rotten fish, rodents, genitals, venom, placenta, and semen, will leave both apprehensive and audacious eaters alike chewing over the same question: you eat what?

"Some of the craziest food in the world is so arcane or so seldom seen that it's almost like a cult of people who have eaten them," said Andrew Zimmern, host of the Travel Channel series Bizarre Foods America, in an interview with The Daily Meal.

With a dose of culinary courage, however, many of these disturbing delights can be appreciated by anyone with a preference for acquired tastes.

Those prepared to shatter the boundary between savory and sickening have been warned. Dine only if you dare.


Foods we only eat when they’re rotten

We tend to go through life thinking that if something is rotten, it’s a sign that it’s time to throw it out. But in fact, food that’s begun to rot is eaten all around the world, and you most likely eat it as well.

Obviously, it’s not exactly appealing to call food out as being rotten, so there’s a more common term for it: fermented. Fermentation simply means giving bacteria time to do their thing if it’s bad bacteria you can end up with food poisoning, but if it’s good bacteria you end up with pickles.

The act of cheesemaking, for instance, is largely an exercise in controlled spoilage. Introduce bad bacteria and you end up with rotten, ammoniated garbage. But show it some TLC, and something magical happens.

Allowing food to rot has been used as a preservation technique for thousands of years. Fresh food wasn’t always available, so folks had to use some pretty cunning techniques to extend its life throughout the year. Pickling vegetables, making preserves out of fruit, turning milk into cheese, and drying meat were all devised as ways to make food last longer, but fermentation, while not as common a practice in the United States as it is elsewhere around the world, is also a viable option.

Fermented foods are generally packed with loads and loads of salt and possibly other seasonings, then simply left to their own devices. The result depends on what you’re fermenting: start with cabbage and you end up with kimchi start with fish and you end up with fish sauce.

So read on to learn about 10 foods that we only eat when they’re rotten, whether through fermentation of good old-fashioned aging. Some taste delicious, others are a bit more of an… acquired taste, but they’re all edible thanks to some industrious folks who figured out how to make it that way.


Foods we only eat when they’re rotten

We tend to go through life thinking that if something is rotten, it’s a sign that it’s time to throw it out. But in fact, food that’s begun to rot is eaten all around the world, and you most likely eat it as well.

Obviously, it’s not exactly appealing to call food out as being rotten, so there’s a more common term for it: fermented. Fermentation simply means giving bacteria time to do their thing if it’s bad bacteria you can end up with food poisoning, but if it’s good bacteria you end up with pickles.

The act of cheesemaking, for instance, is largely an exercise in controlled spoilage. Introduce bad bacteria and you end up with rotten, ammoniated garbage. But show it some TLC, and something magical happens.

Allowing food to rot has been used as a preservation technique for thousands of years. Fresh food wasn’t always available, so folks had to use some pretty cunning techniques to extend its life throughout the year. Pickling vegetables, making preserves out of fruit, turning milk into cheese, and drying meat were all devised as ways to make food last longer, but fermentation, while not as common a practice in the United States as it is elsewhere around the world, is also a viable option.

Fermented foods are generally packed with loads and loads of salt and possibly other seasonings, then simply left to their own devices. The result depends on what you’re fermenting: start with cabbage and you end up with kimchi start with fish and you end up with fish sauce.

So read on to learn about 10 foods that we only eat when they’re rotten, whether through fermentation of good old-fashioned aging. Some taste delicious, others are a bit more of an… acquired taste, but they’re all edible thanks to some industrious folks who figured out how to make it that way.


Foods we only eat when they’re rotten

We tend to go through life thinking that if something is rotten, it’s a sign that it’s time to throw it out. But in fact, food that’s begun to rot is eaten all around the world, and you most likely eat it as well.

Obviously, it’s not exactly appealing to call food out as being rotten, so there’s a more common term for it: fermented. Fermentation simply means giving bacteria time to do their thing if it’s bad bacteria you can end up with food poisoning, but if it’s good bacteria you end up with pickles.

The act of cheesemaking, for instance, is largely an exercise in controlled spoilage. Introduce bad bacteria and you end up with rotten, ammoniated garbage. But show it some TLC, and something magical happens.

Allowing food to rot has been used as a preservation technique for thousands of years. Fresh food wasn’t always available, so folks had to use some pretty cunning techniques to extend its life throughout the year. Pickling vegetables, making preserves out of fruit, turning milk into cheese, and drying meat were all devised as ways to make food last longer, but fermentation, while not as common a practice in the United States as it is elsewhere around the world, is also a viable option.

Fermented foods are generally packed with loads and loads of salt and possibly other seasonings, then simply left to their own devices. The result depends on what you’re fermenting: start with cabbage and you end up with kimchi start with fish and you end up with fish sauce.

So read on to learn about 10 foods that we only eat when they’re rotten, whether through fermentation of good old-fashioned aging. Some taste delicious, others are a bit more of an… acquired taste, but they’re all edible thanks to some industrious folks who figured out how to make it that way.


Foods we only eat when they’re rotten

We tend to go through life thinking that if something is rotten, it’s a sign that it’s time to throw it out. But in fact, food that’s begun to rot is eaten all around the world, and you most likely eat it as well.

Obviously, it’s not exactly appealing to call food out as being rotten, so there’s a more common term for it: fermented. Fermentation simply means giving bacteria time to do their thing if it’s bad bacteria you can end up with food poisoning, but if it’s good bacteria you end up with pickles.

The act of cheesemaking, for instance, is largely an exercise in controlled spoilage. Introduce bad bacteria and you end up with rotten, ammoniated garbage. But show it some TLC, and something magical happens.

Allowing food to rot has been used as a preservation technique for thousands of years. Fresh food wasn’t always available, so folks had to use some pretty cunning techniques to extend its life throughout the year. Pickling vegetables, making preserves out of fruit, turning milk into cheese, and drying meat were all devised as ways to make food last longer, but fermentation, while not as common a practice in the United States as it is elsewhere around the world, is also a viable option.

Fermented foods are generally packed with loads and loads of salt and possibly other seasonings, then simply left to their own devices. The result depends on what you’re fermenting: start with cabbage and you end up with kimchi start with fish and you end up with fish sauce.

So read on to learn about 10 foods that we only eat when they’re rotten, whether through fermentation of good old-fashioned aging. Some taste delicious, others are a bit more of an… acquired taste, but they’re all edible thanks to some industrious folks who figured out how to make it that way.


Foods we only eat when they’re rotten

We tend to go through life thinking that if something is rotten, it’s a sign that it’s time to throw it out. But in fact, food that’s begun to rot is eaten all around the world, and you most likely eat it as well.

Obviously, it’s not exactly appealing to call food out as being rotten, so there’s a more common term for it: fermented. Fermentation simply means giving bacteria time to do their thing if it’s bad bacteria you can end up with food poisoning, but if it’s good bacteria you end up with pickles.

The act of cheesemaking, for instance, is largely an exercise in controlled spoilage. Introduce bad bacteria and you end up with rotten, ammoniated garbage. But show it some TLC, and something magical happens.

Allowing food to rot has been used as a preservation technique for thousands of years. Fresh food wasn’t always available, so folks had to use some pretty cunning techniques to extend its life throughout the year. Pickling vegetables, making preserves out of fruit, turning milk into cheese, and drying meat were all devised as ways to make food last longer, but fermentation, while not as common a practice in the United States as it is elsewhere around the world, is also a viable option.

Fermented foods are generally packed with loads and loads of salt and possibly other seasonings, then simply left to their own devices. The result depends on what you’re fermenting: start with cabbage and you end up with kimchi start with fish and you end up with fish sauce.

So read on to learn about 10 foods that we only eat when they’re rotten, whether through fermentation of good old-fashioned aging. Some taste delicious, others are a bit more of an… acquired taste, but they’re all edible thanks to some industrious folks who figured out how to make it that way.


Foods we only eat when they’re rotten

We tend to go through life thinking that if something is rotten, it’s a sign that it’s time to throw it out. But in fact, food that’s begun to rot is eaten all around the world, and you most likely eat it as well.

Obviously, it’s not exactly appealing to call food out as being rotten, so there’s a more common term for it: fermented. Fermentation simply means giving bacteria time to do their thing if it’s bad bacteria you can end up with food poisoning, but if it’s good bacteria you end up with pickles.

The act of cheesemaking, for instance, is largely an exercise in controlled spoilage. Introduce bad bacteria and you end up with rotten, ammoniated garbage. But show it some TLC, and something magical happens.

Allowing food to rot has been used as a preservation technique for thousands of years. Fresh food wasn’t always available, so folks had to use some pretty cunning techniques to extend its life throughout the year. Pickling vegetables, making preserves out of fruit, turning milk into cheese, and drying meat were all devised as ways to make food last longer, but fermentation, while not as common a practice in the United States as it is elsewhere around the world, is also a viable option.

Fermented foods are generally packed with loads and loads of salt and possibly other seasonings, then simply left to their own devices. The result depends on what you’re fermenting: start with cabbage and you end up with kimchi start with fish and you end up with fish sauce.

So read on to learn about 10 foods that we only eat when they’re rotten, whether through fermentation of good old-fashioned aging. Some taste delicious, others are a bit more of an… acquired taste, but they’re all edible thanks to some industrious folks who figured out how to make it that way.


Foods we only eat when they’re rotten

We tend to go through life thinking that if something is rotten, it’s a sign that it’s time to throw it out. But in fact, food that’s begun to rot is eaten all around the world, and you most likely eat it as well.

Obviously, it’s not exactly appealing to call food out as being rotten, so there’s a more common term for it: fermented. Fermentation simply means giving bacteria time to do their thing if it’s bad bacteria you can end up with food poisoning, but if it’s good bacteria you end up with pickles.

The act of cheesemaking, for instance, is largely an exercise in controlled spoilage. Introduce bad bacteria and you end up with rotten, ammoniated garbage. But show it some TLC, and something magical happens.

Allowing food to rot has been used as a preservation technique for thousands of years. Fresh food wasn’t always available, so folks had to use some pretty cunning techniques to extend its life throughout the year. Pickling vegetables, making preserves out of fruit, turning milk into cheese, and drying meat were all devised as ways to make food last longer, but fermentation, while not as common a practice in the United States as it is elsewhere around the world, is also a viable option.

Fermented foods are generally packed with loads and loads of salt and possibly other seasonings, then simply left to their own devices. The result depends on what you’re fermenting: start with cabbage and you end up with kimchi start with fish and you end up with fish sauce.

So read on to learn about 10 foods that we only eat when they’re rotten, whether through fermentation of good old-fashioned aging. Some taste delicious, others are a bit more of an… acquired taste, but they’re all edible thanks to some industrious folks who figured out how to make it that way.


Foods we only eat when they’re rotten

We tend to go through life thinking that if something is rotten, it’s a sign that it’s time to throw it out. But in fact, food that’s begun to rot is eaten all around the world, and you most likely eat it as well.

Obviously, it’s not exactly appealing to call food out as being rotten, so there’s a more common term for it: fermented. Fermentation simply means giving bacteria time to do their thing if it’s bad bacteria you can end up with food poisoning, but if it’s good bacteria you end up with pickles.

The act of cheesemaking, for instance, is largely an exercise in controlled spoilage. Introduce bad bacteria and you end up with rotten, ammoniated garbage. But show it some TLC, and something magical happens.

Allowing food to rot has been used as a preservation technique for thousands of years. Fresh food wasn’t always available, so folks had to use some pretty cunning techniques to extend its life throughout the year. Pickling vegetables, making preserves out of fruit, turning milk into cheese, and drying meat were all devised as ways to make food last longer, but fermentation, while not as common a practice in the United States as it is elsewhere around the world, is also a viable option.

Fermented foods are generally packed with loads and loads of salt and possibly other seasonings, then simply left to their own devices. The result depends on what you’re fermenting: start with cabbage and you end up with kimchi start with fish and you end up with fish sauce.

So read on to learn about 10 foods that we only eat when they’re rotten, whether through fermentation of good old-fashioned aging. Some taste delicious, others are a bit more of an… acquired taste, but they’re all edible thanks to some industrious folks who figured out how to make it that way.


Foods we only eat when they’re rotten

We tend to go through life thinking that if something is rotten, it’s a sign that it’s time to throw it out. But in fact, food that’s begun to rot is eaten all around the world, and you most likely eat it as well.

Obviously, it’s not exactly appealing to call food out as being rotten, so there’s a more common term for it: fermented. Fermentation simply means giving bacteria time to do their thing if it’s bad bacteria you can end up with food poisoning, but if it’s good bacteria you end up with pickles.

The act of cheesemaking, for instance, is largely an exercise in controlled spoilage. Introduce bad bacteria and you end up with rotten, ammoniated garbage. But show it some TLC, and something magical happens.

Allowing food to rot has been used as a preservation technique for thousands of years. Fresh food wasn’t always available, so folks had to use some pretty cunning techniques to extend its life throughout the year. Pickling vegetables, making preserves out of fruit, turning milk into cheese, and drying meat were all devised as ways to make food last longer, but fermentation, while not as common a practice in the United States as it is elsewhere around the world, is also a viable option.

Fermented foods are generally packed with loads and loads of salt and possibly other seasonings, then simply left to their own devices. The result depends on what you’re fermenting: start with cabbage and you end up with kimchi start with fish and you end up with fish sauce.

So read on to learn about 10 foods that we only eat when they’re rotten, whether through fermentation of good old-fashioned aging. Some taste delicious, others are a bit more of an… acquired taste, but they’re all edible thanks to some industrious folks who figured out how to make it that way.


Foods we only eat when they’re rotten

We tend to go through life thinking that if something is rotten, it’s a sign that it’s time to throw it out. But in fact, food that’s begun to rot is eaten all around the world, and you most likely eat it as well.

Obviously, it’s not exactly appealing to call food out as being rotten, so there’s a more common term for it: fermented. Fermentation simply means giving bacteria time to do their thing if it’s bad bacteria you can end up with food poisoning, but if it’s good bacteria you end up with pickles.

The act of cheesemaking, for instance, is largely an exercise in controlled spoilage. Introduce bad bacteria and you end up with rotten, ammoniated garbage. But show it some TLC, and something magical happens.

Allowing food to rot has been used as a preservation technique for thousands of years. Fresh food wasn’t always available, so folks had to use some pretty cunning techniques to extend its life throughout the year. Pickling vegetables, making preserves out of fruit, turning milk into cheese, and drying meat were all devised as ways to make food last longer, but fermentation, while not as common a practice in the United States as it is elsewhere around the world, is also a viable option.

Fermented foods are generally packed with loads and loads of salt and possibly other seasonings, then simply left to their own devices. The result depends on what you’re fermenting: start with cabbage and you end up with kimchi start with fish and you end up with fish sauce.

So read on to learn about 10 foods that we only eat when they’re rotten, whether through fermentation of good old-fashioned aging. Some taste delicious, others are a bit more of an… acquired taste, but they’re all edible thanks to some industrious folks who figured out how to make it that way.


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