Weird Food I’ve Eaten While Travelling

They say that one of the best ways to experience a culture is by taste and there’s plenty of weird food around the world waiting to confuse your tastebuds. On my travels, I’ve had the opportunity to try national dishes that are way tastier than my own Manx staple of chips, cheese and gravy; though some foods I’ve encountered have took a strong stomach to keep down.

weird food of the world

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten abroad?

From the delicious to the disgusting, this is a list of some of the weirdest foods I’ve tried while travelling

1. ‘Glutinous dough balls’ in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo

The name really should have put me off but I had eaten too many fried bananas in Borneo and wanted a sweet treat that was a bit different. I was at a market surrounded by gleaming wet fish and unknown morsels when I picked these off a menu. They were certainly glutinous – they tasted like doughnuts fried in lard and were seriously stodgy. I probably put on a stone after one bite. 2/10

 

2. Durian fruit chocolate in Kota Kinabalu, Borneo

The fresh fruit is actually banned in hotel rooms because it smells so bad, and I had done well to avoid Durian fruit while I was in Asia. One day I dodged into a chocolate shop to take advantage of the air-con while I was walking through a market in KK and the salesman gave me a chocolate to try. The fruit was sneakily hidden inside, and I had to spit it out as soon as the taste of durian struck me. The memory has never fully gone away. 1/10

3. Currywurst in Berlin

I’m sorry Germany, but I just don’t get your cuisine. My friend and I spent two days in Berlin and drunkenly bought Currywurst from a vendor after leaving a club. Rubbery sausage topped with ketchup and curry powder – really not an ideal drunk food. 3/10

Currywurst and Jagermiester

 

4. The world’s worst tomato soup in Nha Trang, Vietnam

I had a serious craving for familiarity in Nha Trang and all I wanted was Heinz tomato soup. I thought I was in luck when I found tomato soup on the menu at an empty cafe near my hostel. I was quickly disappointed when the old lady running the place brought out what looked and tasted like week old leftover mashed potato mixed with lukewarm water and ketchup. That’s what I get for ordering Western food in South East Asia, I guess. 3/10

 

5. Kangaroo and crocodile in Siem Reap, Cambodia

The night before I explored the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, I ate a traditional Khmer BBQ, where we cooked unusual meats at the table then drank the broth like soup. Kangaroo has a game-y taste and crocodile is a bit like chicken. Isn’t funny that we describe every unusual meat as ‘like chicken’? 10/10

 

6. Shark in Koh Samui

After a long journey from Melbourne to Bangkok to Koh Samui, I had my first bottle of Chang and someone at the table ordered shark. Also like chicken, but fishier. And definitely not a responsible meal choice. 6/10

 

7. Ostrich in Chiang Mai

I loved every minute of Chiang Mai. Most of the time, I ate street food but one night we went to a really fancy outdoor restaurant and splashed out. I remember being amazed when I saw a waiter ‘coating’ the wine glass. My ostrich was served in a flavoursome jus – just delicious. 10/10

 

8. Haggis supper in Scotland

I don’t actually think this one is weird because I’m half Scottish and lived in Edinburgh for four years, but many people balk at the mention of haggis because it’s kind of gross when you think about what it’s made from. That being said;, a piping hot, typical Scottish supper of battered haggis and chips doused in the country’s beautiful ‘chippy sauce’ is the perfect hangover cure. Obviously it has to be washed down with a can of Irn Bru. 8/10

 

9. A whole boiled egg, fried, in Lombok

I still can’t get my head around this. When I did a three day hike up a mountain in Lombok and skirted an active volcano, the porters would cook tons of food for us three times a day. It was quite physically challenging and we needed all the energy we could get, so there were mountains of rice. On two of the evenings, I found a whole boiled egg in my bowl of carbs – except it had that crispy yellow coating that’s usually found in fried egg. Did they deep fry a whole boiled egg? I’m more concerned about how those poor guys managed to carry so many eggs up a mountain when I could barely carry myself. 4/10

 

1o. Raw sugar cane in Holguin, Cuba.

On my recent holiday in Cuba, we visited a farm in Holguin and the farmer kindly showed us around his plantations, plucking things from the greenery and deftly slicing them for us to taste. I wasn’t even sure how to eat the sugar cane he chopped and handed to me, and settled for sort of gnawing on it. 5/10

Let me know whether you’ve eaten any weird foods on your travels and don’t forget to follow me on twitter. You can also like my facebook page.

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34 Comments

  1. Rebecca Vose
    October 4, 2015 / 4:53 pm

    I am not very brave at trying new foods but I like the sound of some these, thanks!

  2. Sher
    October 5, 2015 / 4:58 pm

    ooh ive tried ostrich and crocodile! the latter was a bit too chewy for my taste. its always fun trying new foods abroad isnt it? 🙂

    Sher

    • Dannielle Lily
      October 8, 2015 / 2:41 pm

      I have to agree with you on that Sher!

  3. October 6, 2015 / 3:24 pm

    6 years in southeast asia and I’ve still yet to try Durian. But I probably wouldn’t because my sense of smell is just too strong it won’t let me do it! LOL-ing about the tomato soup in Vietnam. Reminds me of “pizza” from cheap pizza booths here in the Philippines where instead of pizza sauce, they use ketchup– Filipino ketchup, mind you, which is literally described as “sweet banana ketchup”. Uhhh. Nope.

    • Dannielle Lily
      October 8, 2015 / 2:40 pm

      That has seriously grossed me out. Again, you should never rely on good western food in other parts of the world!

  4. October 6, 2015 / 8:12 pm

    Just WOW! I admire your adventurous attitude about food. I like to try new things, but some of these don’t really sounds that appetizing! LOL

    • Dannielle Lily
      October 8, 2015 / 2:39 pm

      Hahah thanks, some of them weren’t so good but at least I tried eh?

  5. October 6, 2015 / 8:55 pm

    I actually really liked sugar cane! As far as I’m aware you’re not supposed to eat it (far too stringy to break down!), you’re just supposed to suck the sugary juices out of it to keep your energy levels up on hikes. It’s really nice in a juice mixed with lemon and lime too 🙂

    • Dannielle Lily
      October 8, 2015 / 2:38 pm

      Ooh I bet it tastes so nice in a drink! I just couldn’t get my head around not actually eating it. Wouldn’t be too bad stuck in a cocktail…

  6. October 7, 2015 / 6:14 pm

    Sweet! I got to travel to quite a different combination of countries, but what you had over there looks pretty yummi 😉

  7. October 7, 2015 / 7:39 pm

    Interesting! You’re more keen then i am although I’ve tried a few on this list. Weird that they have kangaroo in Cambodia?!

    • Dannielle Lily
      October 8, 2015 / 2:36 pm

      Isn’t it? It probably wasn’t even kangaroo!

  8. October 7, 2015 / 8:42 pm

    This all looks great, I can’t wait to get travelling and try lots of weird and wonderful food! 🙂

    • Dannielle Lily
      October 8, 2015 / 2:44 pm

      I’m excited for you Beckie! Let me know if you get to try any of these things 🙂

  9. October 8, 2015 / 12:36 am

    Love durian. Did you know that haggis comes in a can? I laughed. Lots of fun.

    • Dannielle Lily
      October 8, 2015 / 2:36 pm

      Oh I know, my mum’s Scottish and she loads up on the cans whenever she visits home! We end up eating it on our roast chicken and on our cooked breakfasts! Fresher stuff is much tastier.

  10. October 8, 2015 / 3:16 am

    I actually really like Durian! The smell is awful but I think the fruit itself is creamy and delicious.

    • Dannielle Lily
      October 8, 2015 / 2:35 pm

      I think I need to get past the smell Alana haha1

  11. October 8, 2015 / 10:57 am

    Ostrich and shark sure are interesting! I always heard that durian smelled disgusting but tasted quite nice. Guess not! I have eaten a good amount of live octopus here in Korea. It suction to your mouth and You feel it wiggling down your throat!

    • Dannielle Lily
      October 8, 2015 / 2:35 pm

      Ostrich was so yummy! I think the smell just overtook the taste when it came to Durian for me. Eww, live octopus sounds so gross! Pretty adventurous haha

  12. October 9, 2015 / 6:11 am

    I do have to agree on you that every exotic food out there are always compared to chicken. Haha! Anyways, I think these are really interesting food but I am not entirely sure if I would be able to taste them like you did. Kudos to you! PS I am still thinking if there are really kangaroos in Cambodia. Are there any?

  13. October 9, 2015 / 2:04 pm

    You’re very brave! Haha I used to be such a picky eater but have certainly branched out over the past few years 🙂 x

  14. October 9, 2015 / 2:04 pm

    This must be sound annoying, but the weirdest food (foreign) I tried is lakrids icecream. But if I will include food in within my culture, then it’s a boiled quail egg where you eat fetus quail.

  15. October 10, 2015 / 9:47 am

    Considering that most weird local food tends to be some unique animal or some animal uniquely cooked , we as vegetarians skip pass it without a second glance. But your list is truly and seriously weird!

    • Dannielle Lily
      October 12, 2015 / 9:27 am

      Yeah I think different countries tend to eat whichever meat is most available but there are definitely some weird fruits and veggies out there too!

  16. October 11, 2015 / 10:12 am

    Hahaha, eaten the Curry worst too! But did not really see it as such a weird food though 😉 Balut was one of the weirdest for me!

  17. October 11, 2015 / 3:05 pm

    I heard so many good things about haggis and loads of people I’ve met who has been to Scotland told me that I should try it when I go there. Maybe I will, maybe I wont. The tomato soup in Vietnam just sounded plain disgusting 😀 This is one of the reasons I like to cook for myself when I travel 😀

    • Dannielle Lily
      October 12, 2015 / 9:26 am

      Oh you have to try it!

  18. October 11, 2015 / 8:23 pm

    Ahh, I loved currywurst…but I had it in Hamburg when I was sober, so maybe it was from a better establishment!! I had some really strange things in Japan…most of which I have no real idea what it consisted of, I was pretty skeptical of it all really! ha ha

    • Dannielle Lily
      October 12, 2015 / 9:25 am

      Haha Nic I think the establishment has a lot to do with the quality of sausage 🙂

  19. October 12, 2015 / 4:49 pm

    Those sure are some weird foods!

  20. October 14, 2015 / 4:19 pm

    AHAHA suprise Durian…I wish I could say that has never happened to me before….but it has, and I was not impressed 😛

  21. Ryan Biddulph
    October 18, 2015 / 7:48 am

    Hi Dannielle,

    Brave soul. I am not adventurous at all when it comes to food. Unless you’re talking sweet stuff. Then I’ll eat the Thai Cream Strawberry Jam with Raisins stuffed into a Hot Dog Bun like nobody’s business. My wife cringes when I got nuts on the Thai sweet snacks. I am a Pandan man.

    Ryan