According to Wikipedia, a delicacy is “a food item that is considered highly desirous in certain cultures”. It goes on to say this is often because of the food’s strange qualities, unusual flavors or rarity. By those standards I will proudly proclaim that my number one delicacy is the McRib. I’m also relatively confident that every food on this list has made its way into a McRib at some point in history.
So without further ado, here are this author’s choices for the 7 most desired and disgusting foods from around the world.
1. Monkey Brains – South America
Monkeys are awesome. They look, act and even smoke cigarettes like humans. Thus it is no surprise that many people will feel a little queezy at the semi-cannibalistic nature of a person cracking open a monkey skull and sucking down its sweet and gooey brain matter. In fact, this action seems to fulfill 90% of the criteria of a zombie attack.
2. Puffer Fish (Fugu) – Japan
I have never been a big fan of sushi. Paying extra money for the privilege of eating raw meat dressed up in rice and seaweed makes me feel like I’m on the ass end of a chef’s practical joke.
Now when that sushi comes from one of the most poisonous creatures on the planet and is prepared into a dish that has claimed the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people… well it makes me wonder if the name ‘Fugu’ was actually created by an English speaking chef with the first ‘u’ intended to be pronounced as a soft ‘u’.
3. Caviar/ Roe – Almost Everywhere
Most people are aware that caviar is simply a fancy name for fish eggs. Being a huge fan of sausage, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches I suppose I am in no position to criticize others for eating animal eggs. I’m still going to, of course, I just figure it’s worth noting I’m well aware of my hypocrisy.
In my opinion it should be a rule of thumb that the smaller the egg, the more disgusting it is to eat. Allow me to illustrate: Ostrich eggs = pretty awesome; Chicken eggs = no problem, completely normal; Quail eggs = odd, but still okay; fish eggs = officially into the territory of gross; spider eggs = you’ve got serious issues.
Roe is defined as the ‘fully ripe internal ovaries or egg masses of fish and other aquatic animals. It seems every country has their own favorite sea creature they enjoy eating the ovaries of. China prefers sea urchins and crabs. Japan likes everything from Alaskan pollock to flying fish roe. Europe’s all about the Swordfish roe and Denmark apparently enjoys the roe of the Lumpsucker fish. If that last one sounds particularly off-putting it should come as no surprise that Lumpsucker was the chosen name for this ugly abomination seen here:
4. Escargot – France
It’s snails. No further commentary necessary. If you eat escargot, you are eating this:
It’s worth noting that what you are seeing is not a picture of a snail I scraped off the bottom of my boot earlier this morning. It is actually a picture of cooked and prepared escargot exactly as it would appear in front of you at a restaurant.
5. Lobster – U.S. / U.K.
Look, I’m not denying that lobster is delicious, (by the way, lobster is NOT delicious). Okay, yes I am. You see, drenching any substance in a bucket of butter will make the freaking stuff taste good. That’s not the lobster you’re tasting, it’s the damn butter. Just because lobster meat is completely flavorless and textureless, does not mean it isn’t simply the inner mush of a giant bug-like creature that lives under the sea.
6. Balut – Southeast Asia
There is something about the nature of an egg (what with it being the unfertilized embryo of an unborn animal and all) that makes it come as no surprise that it is the only repeat item on this list.
There is one key difference, of course, that separates Balut from other egg dishes, even those of the fish variety. What, oh what could that difference possibly be, you hypothetically ask? Please do take a look for yourself:
If you failed to notice anything unusual about the above picture, then you are either from Southeast Asia or you are a really, really bad chicken farmer. Either way I will never, ever eat anything you recommend (ever). For those of you still unaware of what in the hell that picture is actually showing you… I am pleased to inform you it is a fertilized chicken egg. This means that Balut is literally just aborted chickens (or ducks) that people eagerly gobble up at breakfast time (or lunch, dinner, midnight snack… I have no idea; as far as I’m concerned this dish should only be served in the darkest layers of hell).
7. Foie gras – France
I feel as though I could put half of the French diet into this list, so in the spirit of representing a variety of countries worldwide I will purposely omit frog’s legs and the more disgusting varieties of cheeses French people find so appetizing. I cannot, however, omit foie gras.
Aside from the fact that this is another example of an otherwise non-palatable food being drenched in fat to create the illusion of edibility, the mere process of how this food is created is utterly repulsive in its own right.
Foie gras is defined as the fattened liver of a duck. If you’re like me, and prefer not to dine on the internal organs of other creatures, then you most likely already find this dish less than appetizing. Of course, the key to creating true foie gras isn’t simply to dip the food in butter like lobster. No, in order to truly make sure your duck liver is completely saturated in fat the trick is to force feed the living duck until its liver is practically bursting with fatty goodness.
I honestly don’t even want to know how the first person discovered this dish.
****Honorable Mention goes to Rocky Mountain oysters, a.k.a. bovine testicles.
The only reason I didn’t credit this dish with its own place on this list is because I simply refuse to believe that anyone (especially from my own freakin country) could possibly take this ‘delicacy’ seriously.