24 Repulsive Foods to Americans That Non-Americans Love

Ask any traveler, and they’ll tell you this: Trying new foods is one of the best parts about traveling. But no matter how adventurous the person, some foods cross the grossness line.

From animals in wine to half-developed animals in shells, these are some of the foods that Americans turn up their noses to but non-Americans love.

Have you tried any of the foods on this list?

1: Haggis

Photo Credit: exclusive-design via stock.adobe.com.

Haggis isn’t always tough for an American meat lover to swallow taste-wise; the hard part is knowing what composes this dish.

The savory pudding-like haggis contains pieces of liver, heart, and lungs of a sheep or other animal. Suet, oatmeal, and seasonings also go into it. Get ready for the grand finale: The mixture goes into a sheep’s stomach, where it’s boiled prior to serving.

If that doesn’t sound gross, I don’t know what does. Then again, there are 23 other items on this list that are strong contenders…

2: Escamoles

Photo Credit: Efrencho via stock.adobe.com.

Americans love tacos, but stuffing tacos with escamoles (ant larvae) suddenly makes Taco Tuesday sound wildly unattractive.

Escamoles is an Aztec-era meal that involves eating the cooked larvae and pupae of two ant species, primarily in and around Mexico City. As for the flavor and texture? Picture a nutty and butter-flavored cottage cheese. Escamoles is so beloved among locals that it gained the nickname “Mexican caviar.”

3: Vegemite

Photo Credit: Daria Nipot via stock.adobe.com.

Vegemite is an Australian dish that foreigners love to hate. Many Americans wish that the thick spread made from leftover brewer’s yeast extract was never invented, but many Aussies love it.

If you absolutely must try Vegemite, spread it on bread instead of eating it straight from the jar. It has a strong salty flavor that, if I may, is extra appalling when eaten on its own.

4: Gomutra

Photo Credit: Moving Moment via stock.adobe.com.

Gomutra has a classy-sounding ring to it, but it’s anything but that to an American. Drinking gomutra (cow urine) is part of traditional Indian medicine. It turns out Indians are onto something, though.

Studies show that cow’s urine has antimicrobial properties that are similar to what modern-day medicine offers. It might even be a viable option when a person’s body becomes resistant to certain other medicines.

5: Suri

Photo Credit: Mark via stock.adobe.com.

Although cricket products are starting to enter the U.S. market, it’s safe to say that most Americans place all insects into the “gross” category. The large, squishy suri larvae fit the bill.

In the Peruvian Amazon, it’s common to encounter cooked suri on a stick, one grub stacked upon the other. Brave (or crazy?) tourists who’ve eaten them describe them as having a nutty flavor. Given their high fat content, locals enjoy frying suri.

6: Jellied Eels

Photo Credit: Monkey Business via stock.adobe.com.

One of the best parts about jellied eels from an American standpoint is that it’s clear what the dish contains. Jellied eels are a British delicacy that involves boiling chopped eels in a spiced stock. Once the mixture cools, it turns into a jelly-like consistency that Brits eat.

People who are brave enough to eat jellied eels receive several health benefits. They’re low-calorie, rich in omega-3s, and a good source of protein.

7: Baby Mouse Wine

Photo Credit: Quene Destrukt0s via stock.adobe.com.

Trigger warning: Animal cruelty is involved when making baby mouse wine, so some readers may want to skip over this part.

Baby mouse wine originated in either China or Korea, and there are unproven claims that it can help people with liver disease and asthma. To make baby mouse wine, a person takes young mice whose eyes are still closed and drops them alive into rice wine. After about one year, the wine is fermented enough to drink.

8: Casu Marzu

Photo Credit: Luca via stock.adobe.com.

How gross can sheep milk cheese be? Probably not very disgusting unless you’re trying casu marzu in Sardinia, Italy. The cheese, which contains maggots from the cheese skipper fly, was even declared the most dangerous cheese in the world by the Guinness World Record.

Fans of casu marzu say that the maggots eat the cheese and leave a soft creamy version as a residue. Some people eat the cheese with the maggots still inside it. Others prefer the spun version, which combines maggots with the cheese. I’ll go out on a limb and say that most Americans will pass on both, thanks.

9: Poutine

Photo Credit: Maridav via stock.adobe.com.

Residents of Quebec, Canada, love themselves a plate of poutine. As for Americans? Not so much.

Poutine is a hard-on-the-arteries dish of french fries and cheese curds bathed in brown gravy. Replacing the cheese curds with mozzarella or another cheese Americans love makes this dish more palatable.

10: Surströmming

Photo Credit: seba tataru via stock.adobe.com.

Swedes love their fish. But for many, Surströmming takes it a step too far.

Surströmming is a fermented Baltic Sea herring in a can with salt. Although its taste is overpowering in every bad way imaginable, the fish is rich in several nutrients, including vitamin D and B12, which might make some nutrition buffs bite the bullet and eat it.

11: Balut

Photo Credit: Juraj via stock.adobe.com.

If you’re in the Philippines, Cambodia, or Vietnam, keep an eye out for Balut so that you can steer clear of it. This is a popular street food dish that involves eating an egg embryo straight from its shell.

That’s right: Balut is a fertilized egg containing a partially developed bird. Need I say more?

12: Termites

Photo Credit: chaiyon021 via stock.adobe.com.

“Go ahead and try it,” my Amazon jungle tour guide told me, pointing to a live termite nest on the side of a tree. He said termites have a minty flavor, but I was more than happy to take his word for it.

People from many countries on several different continents eat termites. These insects contain a decent amount of protein, and there’s even evidence that termites can be used for certain medicinal purposes.

13: Durian

Photo Credit: David Gn via stock.adobe.com.

You can smell durian a mile away when walking the streets of Southeast Asia. Okay, maybe not a full mile away. But the spikey durian fruit is so stinky that many public areas in Southeast Asia ban people from eating it.

Not all Americans hate durian, but many do, myself included. Nevertheless, durian has its fans, with it even being dubbed the “king of fruits” in Southeast Asia.

14: Fruit Bat Soup

Photo Credit: Natalia via stock.adobe.com.

Fruit might sound like the only saving grace in a dish like fruit bat soup. But alas, there’s no fruit to be found. Instead, people in Palau place entire fruit bats in a pot of boiling water, cooking them with coconut milk, ginger, and other spices.

The good news for Americans? You’ll find plenty of options on Palau’s restaurant menus that aren’t fruit bat soup. Whereas this dish used to be a staple, it’s now more of a delicacy.

15: Svio

Photo Credit: Patrik Stedrak via stock.adobe.com.

Svio is an Icelandic dish that resembles something most Americans have seen in real life: A sheep’s head. And let’s face it, from fish fillets to chicken nuggets, it’s clear that Americans don’t like being able to tell what kind of animal is on their plate.

When dining on svio, people eat the entire sheep’s head. The eyeballs, nose, and ears are all edible.

16: Frog in a Pond

Photo Credit: Zach via stock.adobe.com.

Frog in a Pond is an Australian dessert that feels relatively PG compared to other foods on this list. Nevertheless, the green jelly with a chocolate frog jammed into it is something that’s a better fit for kids than adults.

What makes Frogs in a Pond even more disappointing to well-traveled Americans is that they might be expecting a version of the United Kingdom’s Toad in the Hole, a sausage dish cooked in delicious batter.

17: Frog Juice

Photo Credit: Michael via stock.adobe.com.

Hold your nose: Frog juice is in an entirely different body of water from Frog in a Pond. Some Peruvians drink literal frog juice with a special frog from Lake Titicaca in the Andes Mountains.

To make frog juice, locals blend skinned, uncooked frogs with ingredients like maca root and honey. Fans of frog juice say there are many medicinal benefits to drinking it. However, there’s yet to be scientific evidence supporting it.

18: Sheep Eyeball Juice

Photo Credit: Steven Whitcher via stock.adobe.com.

Why not keep going with our juice kick? Sheep eyeball juice is a dish that comes from Mongolia. It’s a hard one to look at, mainly because a single sheep’s eye will be looking at you as it floats in tomato juice.

As if things couldn’t get worse, the sheep’s eyeball comes in pickled form. On the plus side, Mongolian men are known to drink a glass of sheep eyeball juice to cure a hangover.

19: Iguana

Photo Credit: leisuretime70 via stock.adobe.com.

In Florida, iguanas are a nuisance, sunbathing on golf courses and falling out of trees when it’s too cold outside. In countries like Panama, where I’m based, they’re a delicacy.

Iguanas are such a sought-after meal in Panama that there are regulations around hunting them. Egg-laying season is an especially challenging time for environmentalists, for Panamanians like to capture pregnant iguanas, eating the meat of the mom and the unborn embryos.

20: Tarantulas

Photo Credit: Rick Neves via stock.adobe.com.

The only thing worse than a person with arachnophobia seeing a spider is eating one. If you consider yourself among these people, you might want to avoid the street markets in Cambodia.

Fried tarantulas sell for around $1 each in Cambodia, which is expensive for the Southeast Asian country. If you’re unsure how to eat a tarantula but want to try, locals may advise you to eat its body first, for they say that’s where the most flavor is. I’m more than happy to let this life experience pass.

21: Kopi Luwak Coffee

Photo Credit: Akkharat J. via stock.adobe.com.

If you’re not willing to drink kopi luwak coffee, you might want to re-think your definition of “coffee lover.” This coffee originates from the Asian Palm Civet, an animal that loves eating coffee cherries.

Somehow, Indonesians learned that collecting the whole coffee cherries that civets leave behind in their feces can yield a supposedly tasty and expensive coffee. A cup of kopi luwak coffee costs anywhere from $50 to $100.

22: Kumis

Photo Credit: alexey_arz via stock.adobe.com.

Most Americans won’t turn up their noses to regular cow milk. But fermented mare’s milk from donkeys, horses, or camels is a different story.

Kumis originates from the Central Asian steppes. People have been drinking it for 25 centuries and learned the importance of fermentation. Drinking mare’s milk raw can have a laxative effect.

23: Snake Wine

Photo Credit: Kali Justine via stock.adobe.com.

I was offered snake wine in Vietnam, and a non-hesitant “No, thanks” rolled off my tongue. After that point, it felt like snake wine was everywhere, with whole snakes looking at me from wine bottles sitting on market shelves.

Snake wine isn’t exclusive to Southeast Asia; it’s also popular in South China. It’s safe to say that wine with snakes in it will not catch on soon in the U.S.

24: Rocky Mountain Oysters

Photo Credit: Fotopogledi via stock.adobe.com.

We’re ending this list with something that’s more American, though not many Americans venture to eat them: Rocky Mountain oysters.

Rocky Mountain oysters are fried bull testicles, complete with salt and pepper seasoning. If you want to try this dish, which restaurants often serve as an appetizer, you’ll need to head out west or to Western Canada.

15 “Yummy” Bugs That Some Cultures Eat Every Day

Photo Credit: Freepik via stock.adobe.com.

Eating bugs might not fit your idea of a gourmet meal, but in many cultures, these critters are dietary staples. Considering their numerous health benefits and minimal environmental impact, perhaps it’s time for Americans to start considering incorporating insects into our diets.

15 “Yummy” Bugs That Some Cultures Eat Every Day

The World’s 21 Priciest Food Items

Photo Credit: charnsitr via stock.adobe.com.

Items such as caviar and truffles are commonly associated with opulence, but we bet you weren’t expecting some of the items on this list. From rare delicacies like moose milk cheese to unconventional treasures like black watermelon, the culinary world’s priciest offerings never fail to astonish.

The World’s 21 Priciest Food Items

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *