10 disgusting local delicacies you can’t not try

Published On 12/03/2013 Published On 12/03/2013
digging in to gross food from around the world
Alexander Trinitatov/ Shutterstock

You’re a man. As such, you pride yourself on eating, well, anything. That sandwich from the back of the fridge you don’t remember buying? Delicious. Cheetos from between the sofa cushions? Yum. Expired milk? Come at me, bro. Now it's time to treat that iron gut of yours to some global dishes that'll truly test your intestines.


Casu Marzu
Where they love the stuff: Sardinia, Italy
You’ve eaten blue cheese burgers, which’re literally mold-topped meat patties, so how bad can this be? Glad you asked, because casu marzu -- more colorfully known as "Italian maggot cheese" -- is left to decompose until it’s crawling with cheese fly larvae. Those squirming maggots in your meal allegedly break down the cheese fats, making the Pecorino super soft and… delicious?
Watch someone else try it instead: Gordon Ramsay's correspondent likens it to a strong Stilton after tasting at 5:19. 

Flickr user Narith5

Where they love the stuff: The Philippines
A Balut egg -- or, let’s call it what it is, an aborted baby duck -- is a fertilized duck egg with a nearly developed embryo inside, which was boiled alive. Some people even prefer their duck a little more mature, with just-developed beaks and claws. Eaten all over Southeast Asia, this egg is often considered an aphrodisiac -- we’d like to see you try and convince your girlfriend.
Watch someone else try it instead: This British dude tries to stomach it at 1:36, then nearly chunders.

Flickr user Rob Hogeslag

Where they love it: Iraq
This dish could come straight from a Tarantino movie, or maybe a heavy metal music vid. To make it, a sheep’s head, hooves, and stomach are boiled, and the stomach is then stuffed with rice and meat. The whole dish is served with bread. Delish!
Watch someone else try it instead: In less than a minute, this butcher slices up a head (guessing it's a to-go order).


Where they love it: Greenland
In theory this local fave takes a page from the turducken, but is a billion times further from anything nature ever intended. Basically, it's a hollowed-out seal carcass stuffed with 500 whole auks (birds) -- feathers, beaks, claws and all. Then, as much air as possible is removed from the seal’s skin, which is then sewn up, sealed with grease, and weighed down by a giant rock for seven months. Now your decayed flesh full of fermented birds is ready to be served.
Watch someone else try it instead: After nonchalantly de-winging the auks for two minutes, this lady can't help but pop one

Flickr user Karawho

Where they love it: Iceland
Here, a sheep’s head is sawed in half, singed to remove fur, then boiled with the brain removed. It’s served daily at a cafeteria at the BSI bus terminal in Reykjavik, and allegedly 10,000 are ordered each year.
Watch someone else try it instead: Dude pops out the sheep's eyeball like it's nothing at around 0:35.

Flickr user Goosmurf

Baby Mice Wine
Where they love the stuff: Korea and China
Exactly what it sounds like -- mice no more than three days old, stewed in rice wine for a year. Bottom’s up, buddy!
Watch someone else try it instead: Couldn't find any takers. But if you're up for 1:40 of some American Horror Story: Asylum shiz, here's a walk-through of all sorts of baby animals fermenting.  


Where they love the stuff: Iceland
Much like the Swedish Surströmming or Norwegian Lutefisk, Hákarl is seafood that’s been fermented for months. The twist? It’s shark. The smell is all ammonia, the taste super fishy. Better hope karma doesn’t, uh, bite you in the ass with this one.
Watch someone else try it instead: NatGeo spends 3:01 going through the entire process of making Hákari, and at 2:21 a pretty blonde pops a bite, saying "It's like ammonia!"

Flickr user Maureen Didde

Jellied moose nose
Where they love the stuff: Canada
Recipes for this delicacy state that a moose’s upper jaw must be plucked of all hair, then boiled in water with onions, herbs and spices until the meat's tender. Then, let it cool overnight in the liquid, after which bones and cartilage are to be removed, the nose sliced, and the slices cooled until set into a jelly. Enjoy, eh.
Watch someone else try it instead: Crazy food connoisseur and Thrillist contributor Andrew Zimmern samples snout at 2:28

Flickr user Kent Wang

Where they love the stuff: Mexico
Friggin love tacos so much you don’t even care what’s in them? Think again. Escamoles, or “insect caviar” if you’re fancy, are a Mexican delicacy in which giant black ant larvae -- which apparently have a cottage cheese-like consistency and a slightly nutty taste -- are either eaten as a side-dish or thrown on a taco (three of which will set you back $25).
Watch someone else try it instead: A chef adds the ant eggs at 2:37 after waxing poetic about this dish being the food of the gods. 


Where they love the stuff: Korea
At this point, the thought of eating a live octopus can only make you smirk. Well, wipe that smirk off your face because six people a year die eating this dish -- in which a live octopus is chopped up and dropped onto your plate still writhing -- since the tentacles are still active and can choke you to death FROM INSIDE OF YOU.
Watch someone else try it instead: This guy's octopus tries to make a mad dash from the dish at 0:26, but he's able to capture his dinner and down it at 0:38. A minute later he's still chewing, with no words, before requesting the camera be cut.