It’s what you eat

Are you an adventurous eater?  Do you try new foods all the time?  When I watch intrepid travellers like the amazing Anthony Bourdain tucking into strange foods I am constantly amazed by their bravery.  I have to admit I am a wuss when it comes to strange food.  I could never really get through that regular episode on the Amazing Race when they would have to eat weird stuff.

I am told that I am missing out and that I should be more adventurous.  What about you?  Here are some strange foods that you may come across on your travels – how do they rate?

PERU – could you eat a guinea pig?  Yes – those sweet little creatures that your kids keep in a little cage in their bedrooms.  In Peru they are a delicacy and you can even get them on a pizza.  Not sure what the Italians would think of that!

guinea pig

BRITAIN – could you eat a sausage made of blood?  Well hang on a minute now – this is one weird delicacy that I absolutely love – Black Pudding.  Maybe it is because I grew up in England and having no preconceived ideas about Black Pudding I ate it with relish.  I probably didn’t realise what it was at the time.  I was only little at the time.

CAMBODIA – scared of spiders?  How about a bowl of crispy tarantulas.  Gobble those down and it should put paid to your fears forever (or kill you!).  I have been to Cambodia – I have NOT tried this dish which apparently tastes like crab.  It came into use during the Khmer Rouge regime and you know, I get it. If I was starving I wouldn’t be too fussy.  Today it is a popular snack.

UKRAINE – just a piece of fat – that’s Salo.  Slabs of fat, smoked and stored for a year in the cool before being sliced off and eaten on rye bread.  Now before you turn your nose up – I can relate.  In England having lard from the roasting pan smeared onto a piece of bread was a treat second to none.

SCOTLAND – yes the noble haggis.  The ingredients are enough to turn your stomach (liver heart and lungs with oatmeal all trussed up in a sheep’s stomach)  but oh my goodness – the taste is to die for!  Yum.


FRANCE – yes snails.  I know, I know.  I don’t get it but many do.  In fact funny story.  Growing up in Cornwall England we noticed people combing the old stone walls of the fields for snails.  Our English snails were so plump and well nourished that they fetched a pretty penny in the fancy restaurants in France.

SOUTH AFRICA – crocodile pies.  Fresh from a bakery in Hout Bay, Cape Town.  Crispy pastry on the outside – a sinister greenish look on the inside – but very tasty nevertheless.  Rather like a fishy kind of chicken if that makes sense.

TAIWAN – grilled chicken buttholes.  Yes you read that correctly.  During my research I came across this entry ….

“I’ve eaten quite a few strange foods on my travels- all manner of bugs in SE Asia, a horse burger in Slovenia. In Iceland, I tried whale, puffin and reindeer in the same meal. On a walking food tour in Morocco I peeled back the face of a sheep to get to roasted meat underneath. But nothing to me was stranger than the time I ate grilled chicken buttholes on a stick in Taipei, Taiwan.”  Nathan from Foodie Flashpacker

CHINA – insect food and more things just defying description


What has been your bravest culinary moment?  Do tell….


By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. While the ‘classic’? fried liver hadn’t crossed my lips since childhood (bleh!), one evening my dear father took me to a Robbie Burns dinner here in Calgary. Naturally haggis was served; I liked some liver pate type appetizers so I thought, “Why not?” You’re right …. it was delicious!!! That’s the bravest food choice I have ever made – so far. LOL


    1. Hahah – that’s so interesting Hannah. I had forgotten the dreaded Liver and Onions which I used to lap up as a child. Can’t quite bring myself to cook it – especially when I see that packet of liver in the supermarket.


  2. I am always an adventurous eater. I will try anything because I am afraid I will miss out on some delicious food.

    By the way, I loved the black pudding.


  3. (1) Jamaican goat’s head soup, complete with eyeballs; the meat tasted fine, the plaintain a bit too starchy; the yellow colour came from turmeric (and far too much of it for my tastes), not saffron, as my delightful hosts insisted; I passed on the eyeballs, but not in a way that the kind hostess would notice. (2) Squid ink paella, utterly delicious. Has led to other squid ink marvels, including a fantastic ramen dish at Shiki Menya. (3) To this day, I’ve never learned the ingredients or name of the odd dish I was served in Mexico which had a number of different, unrecognizable components. Not a word of English or Spanish was spoken, only some sort of Mayan dialect. The pasty core of it was wrapped in some strange sort of fiber, and included very hard, starchy green peas and bitter fresh cheese. I could barely swallow it, but did so without complaint because the person who served it to me was so warm and lovely. It also gave me a wicked case of Montezuma’s Gut-Kick.


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