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ARTICLES > HUMOUR/FOOD & DRINK/TOP 10S


TOP 10 OF THE WORLD'S MOST ADVENTUROUS FOODS (PART 1)

Tags:   Cooking,   Travel

By The Swag Team   -  September 17, 2014


   Cooking malta,  Travel malta,  Top 10 of the world's most adventurous foods (Part 1) malta, Humour malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

Photo credit:  www.metro.co.uk


SWAG’s had some fun compiling a list of particularly pungent, distinctive dishes, many of which are traditional and have been eaten for hundreds of years. We doubt many of you have tried them, but if you have, we’d love to hear your stories. We apologise in advance for any nausea caused. 

  1. Hákarl, Iceland

1.	Hákarl, Iceland malta,  Iceland is known for its interesting food, but Hákarl just might take the cake. Hákarl is Icelandic for ‘shark’, and the way the locals eat it is rather… questionable. The particular shark used is the Greenland or Sleeper Shark, but it can’t be eaten fresh because its meat is toxic. It can only get better from here, right? Wrong. The curing and ‘preservation’ process, which takes months, makes it safe to eat but that doesn’t mean that it’s pleasant. The fermented shark is absolutely putrid and stinks of ammonia (like urine) and rotten fish. Needless to say it’s an acquired taste. 
 malta,  Cooking malta,  Travel malta,  Top 10 of the world's most adventurous foods (Part 1) malta, Humour malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

1. Hákarl, Iceland
Photo credit:  www.onthehorizon.pl

Iceland is known for its interesting food, but Hákarl just might take the cake. Hákarl is Icelandic for ‘shark’, and the way the locals eat it is rather… questionable. The particular shark used is the Greenland or Sleeper Shark, but it can’t be eaten fresh because its meat is toxic. It can only get better from here, right? Wrong. The curing and ‘preservation’ process, which takes months, makes it safe to eat but that doesn’t mean that it’s pleasant. The fermented shark is absolutely putrid and stinks of ammonia (like urine) and rotten fish. Needless to say it’s an acquired taste.



  2. Eating insects, worldwide

2.	Eating insects, worldwide malta,  Eating insects has been a common practice for centuries, but that doesn’t make us want to try deep fried crickets, grasshoppers or scorpions, nor grilled grub worms or tarantulas. Insects are high in protein, so they’re technically pretty good for us, but looking down at a plate of jumbled hairy legs, wings and weird bits doesn’t sound very tantalising, no matter how much spicy seasoning has been added. Unfortunately, several studies seem to suggest that one day in the future, insects will have to be part of our diet as the world’s population increases and traditional food production methods lag behind. 
 malta,  Cooking malta,  Travel malta,  Top 10 of the world's most adventurous foods (Part 1) malta, Humour malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

2. Eating insects, worldwide
Photo credit:  www.inid2tell.blogspot.com

Eating insects has been a common practice for centuries, but that doesn’t make us want to try deep fried crickets, grasshoppers or scorpions, nor grilled grub worms or tarantulas. Insects are high in protein, so they’re technically pretty good for us, but looking down at a plate of jumbled hairy legs, wings and weird bits doesn’t sound very tantalising, no matter how much spicy seasoning has been added. Unfortunately, several studies seem to suggest that one day in the future, insects will have to be part of our diet as the world’s population increases and traditional food production methods lag behind.



  3. Casu Marzu, Sardinia

3.	Casu Marzu, Sardinia malta,  Our neighbours over in Sardinia have what is called Casu Marzu, which is a cheese that derives from Pecorino. However, it’s eaten at a stage that most people wouldn’t believe edible. This cheese is riddled with fly larvae (maggots) and as the larvae eat their way through the cheese, the acids produced change the texture of the firm Pecorino to a soft, creamy consistency. By the way, the maggots are known to be able to launch themselves up to 15cm into the air! It’s customary to hold your hand over the bread on which the cheese is spread to avoid any maggots escaping their fate. 
 malta,  Cooking malta,  Travel malta,  Top 10 of the world's most adventurous foods (Part 1) malta, Humour malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

3. Casu Marzu, Sardinia
Photo credit:  www.ohmygodfacts.com

Our neighbours over in Sardinia have what is called Casu Marzu, which is a cheese that derives from Pecorino. However, it’s eaten at a stage that most people wouldn’t believe edible. This cheese is riddled with fly larvae (maggots) and as the larvae eat their way through the cheese, the acids produced change the texture of the firm Pecorino to a soft, creamy consistency. By the way, the maggots are known to be able to launch themselves up to 15cm into the air! It’s customary to hold your hand over the bread on which the cheese is spread to avoid any maggots escaping their fate.



  4. Kiviak, Greenland

4.	Kiviak, Greenland malta,  The native Inuit people of Greenland have developed a way to ‘preserve’ Auk birds, called Kiviak. A hollowed out seal carcass is stuffed with hundreds of the whole Auks and sealed (no pun intended). It’s then left alone for a few months, with the seal’s fat acting as a preservative and tenderiser. The Inuits then remove the birds from the carcass and eat them, bones and all. It’s important to know that not all birds can be preserved like this, because you can catch things like Botulism, and that would be bad. 
 malta,  Cooking malta,  Travel malta,  Top 10 of the world's most adventurous foods (Part 1) malta, Humour malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

4. Kiviak, Greenland
Photo credit:  www.greatlost.com

The native Inuit people of Greenland have developed a way to ‘preserve’ Auk birds, called Kiviak. A hollowed out seal carcass is stuffed with hundreds of the whole Auks and sealed (no pun intended). It’s then left alone for a few months, with the seal’s fat acting as a preservative and tenderiser. The Inuits then remove the birds from the carcass and eat them, bones and all. It’s important to know that not all birds can be preserved like this, because you can catch things like Botulism, and that would be bad.



  5. Thousand Year Old Egg, China

5.	Thousand Year Old Egg, China malta,  These eggs aren’t a thousand years old, and not even a century old either; in reality they’re actually only a few months old, but they sure are dodgy.  Pidan  as they’re called in Chinese, are preserved in salt, black tea, lime and ash or clay, but recipes vary. The egg changes to a translucent rotten jelly, which smells of sulphur and ammonia, and has the colour of everything an egg shouldn’t be. Obviously, they’re considered a delicacy but be wary, recently many  Pidan -producing companies have been shut down for using copper sulphate to speed up the process. Copper sulphate is frequently used in the textiles, mining, agricultural and building industries, just to name a few. 
 malta,  Cooking malta,  Travel malta,  Top 10 of the world's most adventurous foods (Part 1) malta, Humour malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

5. Thousand Year Old Egg, China
Photo credit:  www.tastyislandhawaii.com

These eggs aren’t a thousand years old, and not even a century old either; in reality they’re actually only a few months old, but they sure are dodgy. Pidan as they’re called in Chinese, are preserved in salt, black tea, lime and ash or clay, but recipes vary. The egg changes to a translucent rotten jelly, which smells of sulphur and ammonia, and has the colour of everything an egg shouldn’t be. Obviously, they’re considered a delicacy but be wary, recently many Pidan-producing companies have been shut down for using copper sulphate to speed up the process. Copper sulphate is frequently used in the textiles, mining, agricultural and building industries, just to name a few.



  6. Escamole, Mexico

6.	Escamole, Mexico malta,  Escamole are ant eggs that are found in maguey and agave plants, and they’re apparently pretty tasty. They resemble pine nuts or corn kernels, and have a nutty taste. They’re typically fried in their native Mexico with spices and served with omelettes, tacos or tortillas. They’re high in protein (100g of eggs contains 42g of protein) and can be gathered naturally from ant nests only at a particular time of the year. It’s a rather nasty job because the Liometopum ants have a venomous bite, but someone’s got to do it, seeing as escamoles go for $35 (€27) to $100 (€77) per kilo. 
 malta,  Cooking malta,  Travel malta,  Top 10 of the world's most adventurous foods (Part 1) malta, Humour malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

6. Escamole, Mexico
Photo credit:  www.flickr.com

Escamole are ant eggs that are found in maguey and agave plants, and they’re apparently pretty tasty. They resemble pine nuts or corn kernels, and have a nutty taste. They’re typically fried in their native Mexico with spices and served with omelettes, tacos or tortillas. They’re high in protein (100g of eggs contains 42g of protein) and can be gathered naturally from ant nests only at a particular time of the year. It’s a rather nasty job because the Liometopum ants have a venomous bite, but someone’s got to do it, seeing as escamoles go for $35 (€27) to $100 (€77) per kilo.



  7. Tuna Eyeball, Japan

7.	Tuna Eyeball, Japan malta,  As the old proverb goes, ‘waste not, want not'. It’s not uncommon in Japan to find giant tuna eyeballs on a menu, and they’re as grisly looking as they sound. The eyeballs are stewed until they’re tender (or as tender as can be). The eye socket and lens remain tough, but the idea is to scoop out the rest of the mush, which usually consists of the surrounding muscle and fat, along with whatever is in the actual eyeball.   
 malta,  Cooking malta,  Travel malta,  Top 10 of the world's most adventurous foods (Part 1) malta, Humour malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

7. Tuna Eyeball, Japan
Photo credit:  www.funcage.com

As the old proverb goes, ‘waste not, want not'. It’s not uncommon in Japan to find giant tuna eyeballs on a menu, and they’re as grisly looking as they sound. The eyeballs are stewed until they’re tender (or as tender as can be). The eye socket and lens remain tough, but the idea is to scoop out the rest of the mush, which usually consists of the surrounding muscle and fat, along with whatever is in the actual eyeball.  



  8. Stinky Tofu, China/Taiwan

8.	Stinky Tofu, China/Taiwan malta,  As the name suggests, Stinky Tofu is tofu that has fermented and turned green, and therefore smells rather awful. The fermentation process takes a few months and happens naturally in a brine made of curdled milk, vegetables, meat and fish. This tofu is typically deep fried and served with a bean curd or chilli sauce, but this doesn’t really mask its rancid flavour. A majority of people describe its smell as that of manure or a rubbish truck, and its tastiness is very much subjective.   
 malta,  Cooking malta,  Travel malta,  Top 10 of the world's most adventurous foods (Part 1) malta, Humour malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

8. Stinky Tofu, China/Taiwan
Photo credit:  www.sinosoul.com

As the name suggests, Stinky Tofu is tofu that has fermented and turned green, and therefore smells rather awful. The fermentation process takes a few months and happens naturally in a brine made of curdled milk, vegetables, meat and fish. This tofu is typically deep fried and served with a bean curd or chilli sauce, but this doesn’t really mask its rancid flavour. A majority of people describe its smell as that of manure or a rubbish truck, and its tastiness is very much subjective.  



  9. Live Octopus, South Korea

9.	Live Octopus, South Korea malta,   Sannakji  comes from Korea and consists of eating a live octopus that’s cut up and served as fresh as can be. Sometimes it’s even served whole, leaving diners to wrangle the wriggling octopus and avoid choking on the suction-cup tentacles. Animal rights activists surely have something to say about it, and we don’t blame them. Would you like to be cut up whilst still alive, doused in sesame oil and chewed on? We think not. 
 malta,  Cooking malta,  Travel malta,  Top 10 of the world's most adventurous foods (Part 1) malta, Humour malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

9. Live Octopus, South Korea
Photo credit:  www.en.wikipedia.org

Sannakji comes from Korea and consists of eating a live octopus that’s cut up and served as fresh as can be. Sometimes it’s even served whole, leaving diners to wrangle the wriggling octopus and avoid choking on the suction-cup tentacles. Animal rights activists surely have something to say about it, and we don’t blame them. Would you like to be cut up whilst still alive, doused in sesame oil and chewed on? We think not.



  10. Live Monkey Brain, China

10.	Live Monkey Brain, China malta,  This is probably the most controversial and cruel eating practice we’ve come across. A live monkey is placed underneath the centre of a table and its head is poked through a hole in the middle so it is the only thing showing. The rest of the body is bound and placed in a cage. The cook, or diners, then open up the monkey’s head with knives and hammers, and scoop out the brains… all whilst the poor animal is still alive. It’s so horrible that we’re not even going to include a proper image of this procedure. Just think of  Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom  or that scene with Ray Liotta and Anthony Hopkins in the 2001 film  Hannibal .  
 malta,  Cooking malta,  Travel malta,  Top 10 of the world's most adventurous foods (Part 1) malta, Humour malta, Swag Mens Online Magazine Malta

10. Live Monkey Brain, China
Photo credit:  www.childrensmuseum.org

This is probably the most controversial and cruel eating practice we’ve come across. A live monkey is placed underneath the centre of a table and its head is poked through a hole in the middle so it is the only thing showing. The rest of the body is bound and placed in a cage. The cook, or diners, then open up the monkey’s head with knives and hammers, and scoop out the brains… all whilst the poor animal is still alive. It’s so horrible that we’re not even going to include a proper image of this procedure. Just think of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom or that scene with Ray Liotta and Anthony Hopkins in the 2001 film Hannibal






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