Food Specialties around the World

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Food Specialties around the World

Ungelesener Beitrag von Kirasonne »

If you are travelling around the world, here you find a list of foods you may want to try... or avoid (depending on your fear-factor) :shock:

If you know a specialty that is not mentioned, please post here.

This List was printed in the Oakland Press.

The following glossary of explanations is alphabetically arranged.

AMERICAN CHEESE (U.S. Midwest) often labeled FOOD PRODUCT as if that were going to reassure you.

BAALUT (Philippines) How about that great delicacy of the Philippines - Baalut....You take a fertilized duck or chicken egg, bury it in the ground for a few weeks and then enjoy. Also known as "the treat with feet" or "the egg with legs". Best enjoyed after many, many, many beers.

BEER (U.S.) The ultimate degradation of one of the oldest prepared foods in human history (see BREAD). The U.S. brewing industry uses the term "lawnmower beer" for the largest segment of its market, with obvious disdain for any texture or flavor properties.

BIRD'S NEST SOUP (China) Made from the nest of a particular kind of cave/cliff swallow. The swallow secretes a substance from a gland (similar to a salivary gland) as an adhesive to bind twigs and leaves and such together to make the nest

BLACHAN (Indonesia) see NGAPI-JAW

BLOOD, FRESH (Africa) some tribes subsist largely on milk and the fresh blood drawn from the neck veins of livestock.

BLOOD, JELLED (China) Duck or pig blood; looks like jello, but opaque and salty.

BLUBBER (Arctic Alaska) raw fat from sea mammals

BRAWN (England) see Head Cheese

BREAD (U.S.) Is there any other country where such basic foods are so fundamentally repulsive? Have a Velveeta on White with a Bud Lite!


CAMEL'S FEET (France) It's not really fair to include this as French, but my favorite recipe from the Larousse Gastronomique is _Pieds_de_chameau_ _a_la_vinaigrette_ (camel's feet). It begins "Soak the feet of a young camel..." You'll find it just before the recipe for camel's hump.

CAMEL TENDONS (China) These are much better than those cow tendons, I was assured by a chauvinistic northern Chinese friend

CAMPARI (Italy) bitter liqueur out of crushed bugs

CEVICHE (Mexico et al.) raw fish marinated in citrus juice overnight. "Cebiche is the traditional dish of the Mexican coastal towns, where it takes many different guises, the ingredients being as varied as the people that prepare it. Red snapper is the most popular fish used, but cod and haddock can be used instead.

CHICKEN FEET (U.S. South and many others) in soup, pickled whole

CHICKEN-FRIED STEAK (U.S. South) Steak covered with a flour batter and fried, like Kentucky fried chicken. This region is famous for frying everything. - Compare to "Wiener Schnitzel" just very greasy

CHO DO FU (China) see TOFU

CIBREO (Italy) Cock's combs (the wattly stuff on a male chicken's head, not the plant): reputedly a classic Tuscan dish.

CICADA (Mediterranean) This is an OLD story, but irresistable... The French entomologist Henri Fabre reports eating roasted cicada larvae, caught as they were surfacing to morph. Apparently Aristotle said that this was a delicacy. Although it did not taste too bad, Fabre concluded that Aristotle, with his fantastic record on experimental science, was probably tricked by some rural farmer's opinion. - However in 2004 the Cicades emerged in the East of the USA and yes, Restaurants offered roasted Cicades!

CINCINNATI GREEK CHILI (U.S. Midwest) also "Skyline Chili, Gold Star Chili" Usually served over spaghetti or on very small hot dogs. Basically, it resembles Tex-Mex or Mexican chili sauces in color and consistency, but not much else. Active ingredients appear to be cinnamon and cocoa powder. Milder, yet somehow more toxic.

COD LIVER OIL (U.S. Northeast) more medicine than food, but eaten for its huge vitamin A content. Polar bears absorb so much vitamin A that their livers contain deadly concentrations, and indigenous people know better than to eat the liver. It killed explorers.

CRIADILLAS (Spain) prairie oysters; the testicles of bull. (If I remember correctly, the Spanish say "Como tu comes, tu eres" -- "You are what you eat."

CYNAR (Italy) bitter liqueur made from artichokes. Have you ever left artichokes steaming so long that they go dry and burn the pan, then you soak it desperately to clean it, creating a vile-smelling brown liquid? Tastes, smells, and looks just like that.

DINIGUAN (Philippines) blood stew There is a "Chocolate Pork" recipe, otherwise known as Dinuguan. The "Chocolate Pork" name cracks me up, b/c it's a nice way to get Filipino-American kids and non-Filipinos to eat what is basically a blood stew made with pork stuff (i.e. pork head, liver, heart, blood). You can find a recipe in "Galing Galing: Philippine Cuisine" by Nora Daza.

DOG MEAT (Southeast Asia) Well, not a recipe, but a story: I was once at a party where I heard a visiting Korean scholar say that at his university when dogs were used in psych experiments (no drugs involved) the dog would be eaten at the conclusion of the experiment by all involved. Apparently the dog, having been taught behaviors which rendered it useless for other experiments, was considered a perk of sorts.

DRIED FISH (China) Various kinds of dried, salted fish are popular in East Asia. One particular Chinese dish is made with ground pork and dried fish, steamed. Delicious, but one of my European friends says it smells like dirty socks and won't go near it

DROPPED FOWL (U.S. Kentucky) Hang up a fowl by the neck to age until it's ripe enough that the weight of the carcass makes it fall off the head.

DRUNKEN SHRIMP (China) Live shrimp swimming in a bowl of rice wine. You capture them with your chopsticks and bite the head off. I think you're also supposed to eat the head.

DURIAN (Southeast Asia)

A fruit as big as a football, covered with tough spiky skin. The pulp is pale yellow, with shape and consistency of raw brains. Smell has been compared to rotting flesh, old gym socks, or sewage. Yet the taste has been called so exquisite that a European explorer of the 1700's claimed it was worth the journey to experience it; "the King of fruits."

ESCARGOT (France) snails

FAT (Central Asia) The fat from the haunches of sheep bred especially for the fat. Served cooked to honored guests.

FISH FLOTATION BLADDER (China) that fish use to control their buoyancy. Chinese cooking uses this for a soup. It's pretty good, actually: sort of spongy

FISH PASTE, FERMENTED (Southeast Asia) shrimp or anchovy paste. Traditionally, you piled up a mound of the critters with salt mixed in and let it sit outdoors until it was thick with flies. Modern production techniques are said to be much more sanitary... Thai "fish sauce" is absolutely revolting - you take a barrel of fish and salt and let it set in the sun. Now and then you press a board down on the top and collect liquid dribbles out a hole in the bottom.

FRIED CHEESE BALLS or CHEESE STICKS (U.S. Midwest) Don't forget the dreaded deep fried cheese product. I was stunned the first time I saw that on an Iowa menu.

FRUITCAKE (U.S. Midwest and Northeast) Building material with embedded aggregate of bright green and scarlet transparent substances.

FUFU (Africa) Many West Africans have strong loyalty to their native fufu. It is made from pounded yam and is eaten in slimy balls without chewing, normally with a spicy peanut sauce. It is a strong identity issue, notably in Ghana

FUGU (Japan) blowfish, with an organ containing a toxin so deadly that only specially licensed chefs are allowed to prepare it. Supposedly it is the delicious flavor, not the macho thrill, that draws consumers. ... I noticed a little physical buzz, but that might easily have been psychological rather than physiological. Certainly the danger is part of the appeal. Kills about 300 in Japan per year .

GARI (West Africa and Brazil) Grated cassava root. Somewhat like poi.

GEODUCK CLAMS (U.S. Northwest) big clams with a huge long neck. Very popular, just looks wierd. Often called "Gooey Duck." ... You forgot to mention their real charm -- the "huge long necks" bear an uncanny resemblance to an obscenely oversized penis, including the head and a hole at the end from which water oozes.

GORGONZOLA (Italy) ripe stinky cheese

GRASSHOPPERS (Africa, Thailand) fried in oil. Good and good for you.

GRITS (U.S. South) cereal made of hominy (blanched white corn meal)

HABANERO PEPPERS (Mexico) bright orange, much hotter than jalapenos ... Sure, just like a forest fire is "much hotter" than a summer's day

HAGGIS (Scotland) sheep's stomach, stuffed with oatmeal and steamed A more accurate definition would be: "a highly spiced sausage made from offal meats with oatmeal filler, traditionally in a casing made from a sheep's stomach

HAKARL (Iceland): (Somniosus microcephalus) Greenland : shark. The meat is left to ferment for some weeks and is then hanged up in air (to dry and get a nice colour). for some more weeks. Hakarl is eaten without anything with it, like jerk-meat. It is only the tourists (and urbans) who get it served as tiny cubes on a toothpick.

HEAD CHEESE (Sweden) lunch meat made from boiled animal heads. Many European nations make this. It's basically a jellied meat product made by boiling a whole head, and other scraps of meat, then chilling it into a loaf to be sliced.

HEAD (Mediterranean) Sheep's head. The whole thing, cooked and skinned. Includes the eyeballs.

ICED TEA (U.S. South) This is the most common summer beverage. A travel handbook for New Zealand reassures Tourists: "Don't feel self conscious about ordering iced tea. We don't find it any stranger than you would if we ordered hot Coca Cola."

IRN BRU (Scotland) Mustn't forget Irn Bru. Scotland's answer to the rest of the world's disgusting soft drinks. It's flourescent orange, tastes vaguely of bubble gum, and has the best non-beer adverts on the TV.

KANGAROO (Australia) Ten years ago it was considered weird to eat kangaroo in Oz, but nationalistic chefs have popularized it. The chef of the late, lamented, "Pheasent Farm" restaurant in Nuriootpa claimed kangaroo was particularly popular with visiting Japanese. “Most people won't have ever tasted kangaroo. It is a sweet, strong-tasting meat, it's texture and taste described as somwhere between venison and liver...To eat kangaroo, you have to like game; you have to like offal and you have to be a red meat eater...It's a very big, very strong-tasting meat

KIM CHEE (Korea) fermented mixture of vegetables, meat or fish, and very strong chili peppers, pickled and aged. Legend has it that people bury it for extended periods of time, THEN eat it.

JALAPENO PEPPERS (Mexico) peppers from the town of Jalapa, found all over the Southwest. You never know, if it will be a hot or a mild one...

KVASS (Russia) beer-like beverage made by fermenting old bread in water. It's sold from tank-trailers on the street during the summer.

LIGHTS (England) lungs

LUTEFISK (Norway) cod fish soaked in lye


MARMITE (see also VEGEMITE) (Australia/New Zealand, UK) sandwich spread made of yeast extract, pungently smelly and salty.

MENUDO (Mexico) soup of boiled tripe (stomach lining of a cow) Supposedly a hangover cure.

MISO (Japan) Japanese travellers get very homesick for their familiar food -- even more than most other nationalities. And this (fermented bean goo) soup is one of the principal foods that makes them sentimental.

MOLE (Mexico) A mole is a preparation that is ground (molido). These include mole poblano, a chocolate and chile sauce usually put on chicken or enchiladas, and mole verde, made from tomatillos and chiles.

MONKEY BRAINS (Hong Kong?) some people delight in experiencing wierd or horrifying food. This takes the cake, according to most. The brains must be eaten from the open skull of a live monkey, in a VERY expensive restaurant. In another context, Woody Allen said: "I want my food dead. Not wounded, not sick. Dead."

NATTO (Japan) fermented beans. Even many Japanese dislike it. The guidebook warned about it. But it was served with breakfast at the Youth Hostel in Tokyo, of all places. A strange honey-like syrup forms on the beans, so faint threads of it dangle from your chopsticks. Vile.

NGAPI-JAW (SE Asia) This one has various names in different countries and is a stir fried concoction containing chiles, garlic, onions, dried shrimp and some of the previously mentioned fermented shrimp/anchovy paste. It's known as ngapi-jaw in Burma, kapi(?) in Thailand, and blachan in Indonesia. While you're making it, your house reeks of dead fish.

OKRA (Africa, U.S. South) a strong contender for Least Favorite Vegetable or Ropiest Mucus (vegetable division)

OWL SOUP (China) An acquaintance, Hong Kong Chinese, relates a banquet story from the PRC hinterlands (he was traveling on business). What had appeared to be something like chicken soup turned out to be owl! His hosts produced the owl's head from the pot as proof

PICKLED PIG'S FEET (U.S. and many others)

POI (Hawaii) pounded taro root. Not many outsiders take to it; they usually characterize it as "library paste without the flavor." ... Poi is actually very filling and nutritious--and easy for babies with severe lactose allergies to eat. It's got a kind of light lavender color to its gray. Usually eaten with other Hawaiian food. Some people like to add sugar in it; I don't. I usually stick bites of kalua pork into the pork, twirl it around with a fork and eat it all mushed together like that.

PORK LOAF (U.S. Pennsylvania) A food item consumed by those residents of eastern Pennsylvania for whom scrapple is not disgusting enough. Ingredients: Pork and pork by-products, cornmeal (bread in some cases), _active cultures

PORK RINDS (U.S. West) pig skin, deep-fried

POUTINE (France, Quebec) My vote for the most unsavory dish is a concoction they call 'Poutine' which is grease-impregnated French fries (called Frites or Chip) by the locals, soaked with fat-laden gravy topped by cheddar curd cheese which melts from the heat of the french fries and gravy into a sticky and stringy mess.

PRAIRIE OYSTERS/ROCKY MOUNTAIN OYSTERS (U.S. West) testicles from cattle or sheep - deep fried.

RAMPS (U.S. South) A very strongly flavored member of the onion family. The first fresh green vegetable to appear after the winter in Appalachia, it is gathered and ceremonially eaten. This can leave such a powerful flavor on the breath that kids do it in order to be sent home from school.

RATS (China) In July 1994 the Weekly World News, known for its accurate and conscientious reporting (NOT) claimed that many restaurants in China were taking rat items off the menu because rats were becoming difficult to find in sufficient quantity. The reason for eating rats is in the first place in dispute. Naturally, starving people always eat what they have to, regardless of nationality. ... As far as I've ever read, the only time Chinese have resorted to eating rat is during famine or when the vermin are so out of control that the authorities try to persuade the populace to regard them as sources of meat in an attempt to reduce their numbers. Fair is fair.

RATTLESNAKE (American West)

RETSINA (Greece) white wine with pine resin added. Legend has it that this was started by religious authorities trying to discourage drinking. Taxes were levied on wine that wasn't altered. Then people developed a taste for the cheap stuff with the resin in it. ... The original retsinas had less than 1/10th the amount of pine resin as do the retsinas today.

A politically influential (and doubtless slightly insane) wine maker in northern Greece got the legislature to mandate his high level of resin in order for a wine to call itself retsina for export, and that is why we are stuck with resin plus a few fermented grapes instead of a wine with a very delicate hint of pine.

SAGO WORMS (Papua-New Guinea) The sago palm is the host of a worm that feeds on downed wood. They are roasted like sausages on a spit.

SCRAPPLE (U.S. Northeast) meat scraps cooked with corn meal ... I always thought that there was a large measure of brains in scrapple. Along with the other stuff too vile for hotdogs

SHIOKARA (Japan) Fresh raw fish (usually squid) served in a sauce made of fermented fish/squid guts. Truly awful.

SILK WORM GRUBS (Korea) Steaming, grey silk worm grubs can be found in vendor's carts on the back streets of Seoul, Korea.

SONG BIRDS (Italy) roasted and eaten whole. Hunters have nearly eliminated many of the migratory species.

SPAM (U.S.) Recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. "SPiced hAM" tinned meat from the Hormel company was named in a contest in 1924. The handy meat-in-tins became an item of trade prized around the world, while boring and ultimately disgusting U.S. military personnel in WWII. ... Spam is Hawaii's state food (more Spam eaten here per capita than anywhere else in the country). Spam Musubi is a favorite finger food here. You slice up Spam, stir fry it in teriyaki sauce (or marinate it), stick it on a block of squished rice and wrap a piece of nori around it, like a giant sushi

STEAK TARTARE (France, Germany) completely raw beef (avoid the porc tartare!) Also popular in Japan (sesame beef) and many other parts of the world

STINKHEADS (Alaska) A fish delicacy invented by the Yup'ik Eskimos. Just cut the heads off several fish (traditionally salmon), bury them in the ground for the summer, then dig them up and have a chewy treat! Getting it past your nose is a serious problem, but the result is reportedly somewhat hallucinogenic. Given that there are no natural substances that grow in the northerly parts of Alaska that can be made to produce alcohol or other mind-altering substances, it was the best they could do. Stinkheads are often used as a rite of passage to test "gussaks" (foreigners) who claim to want know more about native culture. Few pass the test, but the natives have a lot of fun administering it.

TEA WITH YAK BUTTER (Tibet, northern India)

TEMPEH (Japan et al) deliberately moldy TOFU (i.e. ROTTEN bean crud)

TEQUILA WORMS (Mexico) the little worm (gusano) that lives on the agave plant gets stuck in the bottle. Mmmm. There is even a special brand sold in 2-ounce bottles called "Dos Gusanos" (two worms) for those who can't get enough. ... Locally, which is to say in North America, a not too uncommon confection is the tequila sucker -- a tequila flavored lollipop, complete with worm. The first two ingredients are listed as "High fructose corn syrup, insect larva

TRIPE (France, many others) lining of cow's stomach. Famous recipe from Caen. ... Not particularly French. Tripe and onions is a traditional British dish, and tripe is an important ingredient in much of the cuisine of Africa (e.g. Fetra Desti).

TURKEY, DEEP-FRIED WHOLE Justin Wilson ("Cooking Cajun") did this on one of his TV shows. He did the cooking outside using a large, portable gas burner and a very large stock pot, the kind they use for fish fries down south. The bird actually looked pretty good when done, although I wince at the calories.

WITCHETY GRUB (Australia) In Oz now it is considered patriotic to eat Witchety Grub, a plump insect which has become the symbol of Aboriginal cuisine. It is served in fancy restaurants, but I don't think many Oz have actually screwed up the courage to sample it

YULE BROD (Denmark) also (?) ALE BROD a sort of stew of beer and old bread. It made a striking appearance in the film _Babette's Feast_ as the staple food of some dreary religious colonists.
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