Eat & Drink

20 Ridiculous Foods You Have To Eat While Travelling

Glitter pizza, anyone?

Some international eating experiences are no-brainers. Pizza in Italy, sushi in Japan, tacos in Mexico and cheese in France are all so obvious you’d be doing it wrong if you didn’t tick them off.

But what about the meals that are a little more… leftfield? From karat gold-coated chicken wings in New York to deep fried tarantulas in South East Asia, some dishes need to be experienced — not necessarily because they’re tasty, but just because they exist.

Glitter Pizza

Did we need a pizza made with edible glitter? No. Does it exist? Yes, at Dagwood’s Pizza in Los Angeles. You’ll be pooping rainbow for days afterwards but c’est la vie.

 

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The “Nuclear Death Wish Burger”

A collection of the world’s hottest chillies can be eaten in one, bowel-churning bite at Burger Urge, right here in Australia.

The Carolina reaper, ghost chilli, big yellow mama and chocolate bhutlah are piled on top of a double beef burger and topped with “Death Sauce” (we’re guessing it’s not mild) on the fast food chain’s appropriately-titled Nuclear Death Wish Burger.

They usually wheel these bad boys out in May or June for National Burger Day, so you’ve got a while to build your heat tolerance up. And prepare your last will and testament.

 

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Sign your waiver. Don your goggles. Say your prayers. ☢️ #burgerurge #dddw

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Spam Sushi

Hawaiian cuisine fuses Asian, Polynesian and American influences… a melting pot that has resulted in the people of The Aloha State placing spam on top of sushi. Mmm, fresh.

Escamoles

Hear us out: ant larvae… is good.

In Mexico, escamoles — the pupae and larvae of ants — is considered a delicacy. This caviar alternative looks like pine nuts or corn kernels, tastes nutty and buttery and is often fried with onion and chilli then served in corn tortillas. Escamoles can’t be taken out of Mexico, so this is the one place to try them. And seriously, you should try them.

 

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…Guinea Pigs?

Yes, they are sold as food in South America. Google Image search at your own risk. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Deep Fried Crickets

Deep fried crickets actually go alright: they’re crispy, crunchy and pretty mild in flavour. You can taste them for yourself in a bowl of guacamole in Mexico (look for the “con chapulines”, or “with crickets” item on the menu) or by the bagful as an on-the-go snack in South-East Asia.

 

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Deep Fried Tarantulas

Or to really level up… get a deep-fried tarantula. These nightmarish snacks are sold to the tourists bold enough to brave them in the Cambodian town of Skuon, which has earned the fitting nickname of “Spiderville”.

Apparently they’re crunchy on the outside and very gooey inside *shudders*.

 

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Marmite

Inferior to Vegemite but worth trying for anthropological reasons nonetheless. Also the most flavour you’ll find in a food item in all of England.

Hamburg

One of Japan’s many culinary feats is yoshuku, an east-meets-west fusion cuisine that puts a quintessentially Japanese spin on American fast food staples. The most famous yoshuku dish of all is the “hamburg”, a surprisingly-delicious burger patty served on its own, like a steak. (For added weird factor, you can also get hamburg on top of sushi.)

Haggis

A savoury pudding made of sheep organs. What the fuck, Scotland?

 

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Durian

Yes, the durian gets a bad rap. This small, spiky fruit has a smell so offensive (think: a nauseating mix of vomit and sewage) that it’s banned from airplanes, hotels, subways and a raft of public places throughout South East Asia. But push past the pungency and you’ll find that durian flesh is actually soft, sweet and creamy. We promise.

 

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Fugu

Yes, eating fugu could kill you… but that’s all part of the adventure. Japanese pufferfish — the organs of which contain a highly toxic poison — was once banned in the Land of the Rising Sun due to the number of fatalities it caused (and is still prohibited from being prepared at home).

But today, it can safely be consumed by specially-licensed chefs at a number of restaurants around the country; Shimonoseki, on Honshu island, is regarded as the nation’s “fugu capital” and you can find the fish served raw as sashimi or deep fried in karaage form. May your experience be nothing like Homer Simpson’s.

Raw Blood Soup

The blood of geese, ducks or pigs makes up the traditional Vietnamese dish of tiết canh, also known as blood soup. Not for the faint of heart.

 

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Poop Coffee

True fact: the world’s most expensive coffee comes from poop. Kopi luwak is made from coffee beans that are partially digested and then defected by the civet, a small catlike creature… because apparently their digestive systems remove some of the acidity in the beans, making for a smoother cup o’ joe.

The stuff can go for almost $3000 a kilo in Australia, so try it for a few bucks in Indonesia instead.

 

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Scrapple

Over in the US of A, Delaware’s favourite dish is “scrapple”, a meatloaf-esque blend of pork scraps, flour and spice, fried until crispy. Looks…appetising. :/

 

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Cheez Whiz

Cheez Whiz is cheese in an aerosol spray can. Cheez Whiz is disgusting. Cheez Whiz is the taste of America. Eat Cheez Wiz.

24-Karat Gold Chicken Wings

Last year, American fast food chain Popeyes made headlines when it started serving chicken wings covered in 24 karat gold. To celebrate opening its 5000th restaurant, it battered the wings in edible gold flakes then served them up for just… $5.

The Popeyes promotion is over now but you can still get a range of gold-adorned bites throughout NYC. Head to restaurant The Ainsworth for the gold crusted wings, set at the slightly-higher price of AUD$65 for a plate of 10. Alternatively get yourself to the Westin New York at Times Square for a $1440 bagel topped with white truffle cream cheese, goji berry-infused Reisling jelly and gold flakes, or just grab a humble, $214 grilled cheese from Serendipity 3.

 

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Shark Burgers

Along Maracas Beach in Trinidad you’ll find vendors selling shark burgers, a fried flatbread sandwich stuffed with deep fried shark meat, coleslaw, tomato and mango chutney. Sounds pretty good, actually.

 

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Yak Butter Tea

In Tibet, black tea, thick yak butter and salt are stirred together to create a hot and foamy drink called po cha. Good for keeping warm in a cold climate (and so you can tell everyone back home that you tried it).

The “Zillion Dollar Lobster Frittata”

At Norma’s in New York City, you can splash out on a $2000 omelette: a dish that includes 10 ounces of Sevurga caviar, an entire lobster, six fresh eggs, cream, chives and lobster sauce, all served on a bed of potatoes.

Alternatively you can send me the same amount on PayPal and I will make you some eggs at your home.

Image: Le Parker Meridien