Food is definitely one of the most important parts of life. While others are satisfied with food choices within their comfort zones, other people are more adventurous and are willing to try new dishes just for the sake of experience.
Self-confessed foodies just love the thrill of trying out new cuisines. Some will even try whatever as long as it is edible! But, I wonder. Will foodies have the guts to try out these 35 odd and gross things that are surprisingly edible though they don’t look like something a person would eat?
1. Ant larvae
Also known as “escamoles” or “Mexican caviar”, these dish consists of larvae and pupae of ants and is considered as a native cuisine in Central Mexico. It is a high source of protein with less fat, making it a perfect choice if you are trying to manage your weight. Would you try this dish if only for health reasons?
2. “Thousand-year-old” egg
The “thousand-year-old” egg, more commonly known as “century egg”, is a traditional Chinese delicacy wherein a duck egg is preserved for a really long time. Although it is technically not preserved for a millennium, this egg dish looks just like it really is. If you ever see an egg as black as this, will you be able to give eating it a try?
3. Fried tarantula
Just imagining a huge, hairy tarantula crawling down my skin already gives me the chills, what more if I try to eat it? Thank goodness the Cambodians fry it really well before consuming it. Although I’m not sure if frying the poor spider will make the dish less horrifying.
4. Tuna eyeballs
Tuna is an absolutely favorite among all the fish in the ocean. It is so delicious as well as versatile! In fact, it is so useful and loved that even the tuna’s eyeballs are being consumed by the Japanese. This part of the fish is filled with nutritious fat that is also quite tasty, if you can ignore the fact that a huge fish eye is looking up at you as you eat it.
5. Fruit bat soup
Now, this dish from Palau is prepared by cooking a stew wherein the main protein is a fruit bat. This dish is considered as a healthy food because of the fruit bat’s healthy diet which is composed of only fruits. Nutritional benefits aside, I still believe that it will definitely take a lot of guts to eat a fanged and winged bat in one’s soup.
6. Live octopus
Eating a live octopus is actually a popular dish in Korea. The octopus is served raw in a bowl filled of other raw delicacies such as caviar. Apparently, the people there loves to eat something that still squirms even after you’ve already eaten it.
Cigarettes are not supposed to be eaten because of the high amount of nicotine in each tube. But still, that does not change the fact that it is edible and if taken in small amounts, it can be a source of antiseptic and anti-parasitic properties.
Cardboard is made of pulp which is, in fact, fiber. It is also made with chemicals so eating it might not be the best idea but if you ever happen to be in a desperate need of food and you only have cardboard with you, eating it might work out since you get to bring some fiber in your system.
9. Unborn duck fetus
In the Philippines and in some parts of southeast Asia, boiling unborn duck eggs and eating it with a pinch of salt or drops of vinegar is considered to be a really delicious dish. It is, in fact, delicious as I have tried it firsthand but, of course, eating a duck fetus still requires a lot of guts.
Okay, this animal might be technically edible but seriously, are you willing to try eating it? It practically looks like a rodent with long nails and thick scales all over and certainly something I would not dare to taste.
If you think cacti are only for display, then you’ve got another thought coming. Cacti are actually edible, especially the larger species of this plant. This plant’s texture is much like an okra and tastes much like an asparagus or beans.
12. Tree bark
Before going out to your garden to grab the tree bark and have a taste test, let me tell you first that not all tree barks are safe to eat. Cinnamon cambium, for example, is safe to eat and is even used for a lot of purposes. For your safety, be sure to know your trees before taking a bite.
13. Bird nest
Believed to have health benefits, Chinese have been placing bird’s nests as ingredient in their soups since time immemorial. The bird’s nest is made of the bird’s dried saliva and apparently, the Chinese do not really care about this tiny detail if eating it meant having a healthier body.
Really? Chalk for snacks? Technically, you can snack on chalk because it is made of non-toxic components. It is not normal for people to consume chalk but for persons with pica, a condition where a person can’t help but to eat non-food items, choosing to eat chalk is a safe decision.
Having edible crockery is not new information anymore. Some manufacturers intentionally use edible materials such as rice, wheat and flour so their crockery becomes part of the entire meal.
Dirt is definitely something that people won’t eat but if someone dares you to eat dirt, you can be sure that this thing is consumable. Of course, soil with chemicals or fecal matter is never a good choice but eating good dirt can actually help in improving one’s protection against certain parasites.
The comb-like flesh on top of a rooster’s head is actually edible! You can fry it, grill it or boil it. You can include it in sauces too, just like what the Italians, French and Chinese do.
18. Edible jewels
The edible jewels found in cakes are actually made of sugar or its substitute known as Isomalt. Bakers create these edible jewel really perfectly that they look exactly like the real thing!
19. Fish sperm
Termed as “shirako” by the Japanese, the sac of the fish sperms actually taste salty, creamy and sweet all at the same time. Its soft texture makes it so easy to eat and it can be cooked through frying or steaming. If you could only forget about the fact that these are sperm sacs, then I bet you would probably enjoy eating this unusual dish.
I’m pretty sure you have heard that some flowers are quite edible and can be added in your choice of salad. I’m also positive that any salad with flowers in it will not only look delicious, but pretty as well.
Earthworms may look really disgusting but let me tell you something. These slimy things that love to burrow the land are actually rich in calcium, protein and iron. We all know that these are much-needed minerals of the body so you might want to reconsider not making the earthworm in your garden as your next snack.
22. Rotting meat
Any rotten food is generally not good for consumption. But, in Iceland, “hakarl” or fermented shark is in fact a popular food choice among the people. Since the shark is poisonous when fresh, fermenting it and leaving it to rot for months can actually kill the toxicity of the shark and will transform it into something edible and safe.
People with pica are just so into eating non-food items that they need to be careful in surrounding themselves with the right objects. Placing a paper around a person with pica is actually a right choice because for one, paper is made of fiber so it can be safe to consume. But snacking on paper regularly is still not a great idea.
24. Stinkhorn mushroom
Right from its name, this type of mushroom really gives out a foul smell that will definitely scare people away. But, once its pores and slime layers are removed, this plant is actually edible.
25. Vegetable peeling
When preparing meals with veggies, make sure that you don’t throw away the peelings. These can still be eaten as long as you scrub the peeling carefully.
If you saw your toddler sample a little amount of Play-Doh in their mouth, there is actually nothing for you to fear of. These play materials are made with salt, water, flour, mineral oil and Boric acid which is non-toxic. Although, you must still keep in mind that the regular consumption of Play-Doh is also not advised so better watch the kids carefully around it.
27. Egg shells
Organic egg shells are really quite useful that even the shells can be used for another purpose. The shells of organic eggs can be boiled and then baked until they get crispy. Once totally crisp, you can now break it down until it is powdery and then, use it a calcium supplement.
28. Maggot cheese
In Italy, some restaurants serve a cheese called casu marzu. Beware of it as you scan the menu because this cheese is full of tiny maggots in it. They are live and you can even choose to leave them on your plate or eat them. What would you choose then?
Hearing about insects being eaten is not exactly something new. Although not all insects are possible for consumption, we have heard too many dishes wherein insects are the main stars. Insects are normally fried or cooked with sauces and most people who love to munch of them come from Asia.
30. Edible nail polish
Nail polish was never seen as something edible until KFC Hong Kong made an innovative approach to their “finger-lickin’ good” products. Two nail polish products were made to taste like “Hot & Spicy” and “Original Recipe”. They stay for two days in a person’s nails or as long as the person wearing them can eat all the nail polish up.
31. Avocado seeds
The hard seeds of avocado may seem too big and too useless because they don’t look edible at all. However, a nutritionist at Real Nutrition, NYC has confirmed that these seeds are actually rich in antioxidants and fiber. You can consume this amazingly nutritious seed by grinding it using a blender and mixing the pureed seed into your healthy smoothie.
Edible gold is also a concept that is not an entirely new idea for all of us. Dishes and desserts with specks of gold in it are truly expensive and high-end.
Leather today are made with chemicals that are not really good for consumption. But, in the early days, leather is actually a part of what people eat. By boiling, tenderizing and chewing on leather hides, early American Indians were able to survive food shortages from long ago.
Not all rodents are fit for consumption. House and sewage rats are definitely not edible but rodents that feed off on insects and plants can be cooked and eaten, if you are looking for something exotic to try on.
35. Raw pulses
Mung beans, chickpeas, lentils and other beans can be eaten raw. Just remember to soak them for at least an hour or two so that they can sprout before you even begin to munch on them.
Have you been grossed out by this selection of weird and gross food possibilities? I bet you have always seen most of these as inedible before but now that you know that they can be eaten, are you brave enough to give them a try?