One of the best parts of traveling abroad is trying wonderful new foods and drinks. But there are some things you might want to skip — and we aren't just talking about unpeeled fruit or tap water. One culture's culinary delight might just be another's worst nightmare. Below are 10 foods that, unless you're wildly adventuresome, you might not want to eat while on vacation.
1. Deep-Fried Scorpion
In China and Laos, scorpion fried whole and with the stinger intact is considered a terrific snack. The less bold should try the Chinese snack zongzi, a rice dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves.
2. Deep-Fried Tarantula
The Cambodian tarantula is the size of your hand, and it's eaten whole. This includes the abdomen, which contains a brown paste consisting of organs, maybe eggs, and excrement. Instead, you might want to focus (quickly) on the fresh mango, which is served here peeled, sliced and on a stick.
3. Deer Penis
In several countries, deer penis is ingested for its therapeutic properties. In China, it's served dried and whole or in a variety of fully prepared and sometimes elaborate dishes. Vegetarians might prefer roasted corn on the cob.
Mexican cuisine is known for its grasshoppers, but there are other insect dishes on offer, too. For instance, the eggs of the giant, black Liometopum ant (escamoles) are harvested from the agave plant (yup, the same plant used to make mezcal or tequila) and often eaten in a taco with guacamole. They lend a surprising buttery, nutty flavor. An alternative is the straightforward quesadilla (cheese, vegetables and chicken or beef wrapped in a corn or flour tortilla).
5. Fertilized Duck Eggs
The Filipino appetizer or snack known as balut is basically a boiled egg — albeit one that has nearly developed into a fetus (complete with bones and beak). You first crack open the egg and sip the fluid inside it; you then eat the rest with a little salt and vinegar or chili and garlic sauce. Another finger-food option is nilagang mani (boiled, salted peanuts).
Next page: Dishes made with bats, mice, jellyfish and more. »