Gag-Worthy Gastronomy: 5 Terrifying Foods From Around the Globe

If there’s any truth to that old adage “You are what you eat,” then for God’s sake, don’t eat any of the five foods we’re discussing today! We understand that tastes vary by region and that what is considered a delicacy in some places may seem strange and unappealing in others, but cultural relativism has its limits, and these foods are well past the boundary.

5 Cruel and Disgusting, Hurrah

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If the idea of getting a duck egg which contains an embryo that has almost developed all the way into a little duckling complete with a little beak and the start of feathers, and then boiling the egg while the little creature is alive inside it – and then eating it right in the shell – turns your stomach and your soul, then don’t eat balut. This disturbing street food is common in much of Southeast Asia.

4 Keep it Across the Pond, Please

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The fact is, haggis is probably delicious. It is made from what many bold eaters consider the choicest meats of a butchered sheep – the liver, heart and other organs – which are mixed together with onions and grains. This mixture is packed into the stomach of the sheep and then boiled, meaning the ingredients are slow cooked in their own natural juices. Another way of looking at haggis is that it’s totally gross.

3 Worth Its Weight in Gold

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We’re not sure who was the first person that looked at a bird’s nest and said “Hey, I’m gonna eat that!” But for the better part of 500 years, Chinese people have been harvesting and consuming the nests of the swiftlet. The nests are said to be high in calcium, iron and other helpful elements, and are prized for their supposed health benefits – and their flavor. So prized, in fact, that a single bowl of bird’s nest soup can sell for more than $100, and a kilogram of red nest can fetch more than $10,000! We’re guessing the birds that own the nests would prefer you stick with tomato bisque, though.

2 This One Bugs Us

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Yes, insects are consumed as food in many parts of the world, and yes, they are actually considered to be healthy sources of protein. Many people claim that roasted grasshoppers, in particular, are delicious. We can’t think of a good “out” on this one, honestly – eating bugs is just gross.

1 We’ve Heard of Fresh

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But we draw the line when your food is so fresh that it is, in fact, alive. Especially when that life comes in the form of maggot-infested cheese. Yeah, go ahead and stop reading now if you must, we won’t blame you. Casu marzu is a sheep milk cheese that is not considered ready for consumption until it is thick with living insect larvae that feast on its decomposing matter. It is prized in Sardinia, Italy, and banned in many other parts of the world.

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