10 Exotic Delicacies You Might Not Want to Try
Who doesn’t love to travel? Even if it’s just for a weekend, you get to see new cities and amazing landscapes, experience a whole different lifestyle, and try unusual cuisines. However, the latter is not always associated with pleasant memories. After all, eating some exotic foods can be very dangerous.
To ensure that you don’t risk your own health, we at Bright Side present to you the list of 10 exotic foods you might want to be cautious with.
People call this delicacy made from the blowfish "Japanese roulette," and they have good reason to do so. The fish contains deadly amounts of tetrodotoxin which can prove to be lethal in many cases. While cooking reduces quantities of this poisonous substance to an acceptable level, your tongue will still go slightly numb if you taste the blowfish. Only licensed chefs who have gone through rigorous training are allowed to prepare fugu. The cooks have to take responsibility for people’s lives. However, this doesn’t stop tourists from buying this famous delicacy.
Pacific and Atlantic oceans
Fans of exotic food dream of trying dishes made from scorpionfish. Scorpionfish meat is famous for its mild and unique taste that some people compare to that of cooked lobster. But the fins of this prickly fish carry poisonous venom. Only an experienced chef can prepare it properly. Fortunately, scientists have already developed the antidote to this poison. Red scorpionfish live along the warm coasts of Australia and New Zealand, and some species of it can also be found in the Mediterranean and Black Seas.
Asia, North, and South America
This beautiful fruit looks very appetizing. Moreover, the carambola’s leaves and flowers are well known for their amazing healing properties. Juicy and crisp, it would taste good to anyone who enjoys fruit. However, you shouldn’t eat more than a few pieces of it at a time. In fact, star fruit contains high amounts of oxalic acid which is harmful to individuals suffering from kidney disease. Carambola also has a neurotoxin capable of causing neurological disorder and hallucinations.
Escamoles are prepared from the eggs of the giant black Liometopum ants that live in the roots of agave in Mexico. This unusual dish has a buttery nutty taste and a texture like cottage cheese. The eggs themselves are harmless. However, if prepared improperly, the poisonous black ants can get into the delicacy, which can be dangerous to human health.
Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, and South America
When properly prepared, Cassava roots have a delicate flavor and can replace boiled potatoes. It is used in sauces, as dessert fillings, or served as an accompaniment to meat dishes. Cassava contains high amounts of essential nutrients. However, if this root is prepared incorrectly, toxic substances (like linamarin) are not removed. Cassava is a very common food in Africa. But since these roots have a low amino acid content, the locals, who eat them on a daily basis, often suffer from endemic goiter and pellagra.
"Rotten cheese" Casu Marzu
This Sardinian "masterpiece" is traditionally made from goat’s milk. For a number of years this cheese was illegal to produce and sell. However, in 2010, this delicacy was recognized as part of the cultural heritage of Sardinia. To accelerate the fermentation process, a special species of fly digest the fats in the cheese, giving this dish a special taste and softness. People have described this cheese as dangerous for two reasons. First, the larvae can actually jump out and hit you in the eye. Second, you can get gastrointestinal problems if you accidentally eat a fly.
Ackee is a tropical pear-like fruit native to Africa. In Jamaica, the ackee fruit is very popular. The flesh of it is only edible and nonpoisonous when the fruit is picked in a strictly defined period. Unripe or overripe ackee fruit contains a poison. If improperly eaten, though, ackee can cause what has been dubbed the Jamaican Vomiting Sickness. But even when fully ripened, the only edible portion is the yellow pulp.
Chinese chefs are not afraid to experiment with tastes and flavors, and they invented an extremely unusual and dangerous dish called "century eggs." Traditionally, this delicacy was made by preserving chicken or duck eggs in a mixture of salt, lime, and ash for 100 days. Once this process is complete, the dish is ready to serve. The century eggs have a translucent, jelly-like texture with a strong stench of ammonia. You’ll need a strong stomach to handle this one.
Pacific and Indian Oceans
Stonefish is the most poisonous fish discovered. Just touching this "monster" can cause lethal damage to humans. The stonefish have extremely poisonous spikes in their fins. Their venom causes severe pain with possible shock, paralysis, and tissue death. People who have survived the attack of this fish continue to recover for months. However, this danger doesn’t stop tourists from ordering this delicacy.
You’ll definitely want to try this colorful fruit. However, you should remember that tropical fruits are not always good for your health. In fact, rambutan can cause allergies and even diarrhea in people who haven’t eaten it before. That is why local residents recommend consuming no more than 4-5 fruits at a time. Moreover, rambutan is not suitable for people who suffer from stomach ulcers, and its seeds are only edible after careful preparation.
Preview photo credit Rachel Lovinger