5 Exotic Foods from Around the World

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Singaporeans love our food and some may even go as far as to say they live to eat, rather than eat to live. There are so many types of food in this world that we have yet to try — how far are you willing to venture? Bringing to you five exotic foods from around the world, brace your stomach and continue reading!

1. Indonesia – Kopi Luwak

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Did you know that the world’s most rare and expensive coffee comes from the faeces of a cat? Also known as Civet coffee, they are derived from the poop of civet cats after eating berries from a coffee tree. Farmers or coffee harvester then collect these poops and begin processing the world’s most expensive coffee — sold for as high as $80 per cup!

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Taking into consideration that the coffee beans go through different cats digestive system, every cup of coffee has a unique taste since every cat’s overall diet and health is different.

2. Italy – Casu Marzu

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If you’re up for a cheesy adventure, have a taste of Sardinian’s specialty in Italy. Casu Marzu, otherwise known as maggot cheese, is a traditional Sardinian sheep milk cheese containing LIVE insect larvae. Yikes! 

The maggots were deliberately placed in the middle of the cheese block to aid in fermentation and softening the texture of the cheese. With a tinge of Gorgonzola and black pepper that may leave a thick film in your mouth, the strong taste of Casu Marzu is challenging enjoyable.

Photo credit: Viaggiando nel Mondo

Since the maggots are meant to be eaten alive, keep your eyes on the cheese because maggots can jump at a great height when disturbed. Take your time to chew the maggots very thoroughly before swallowing to prevent them from ripping holes through your intestines! When you're done, clear your palette by washing it down with a swig of red wine.

Maggots and merlot anyone?

3. Scotland – Haggis

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We love pudding! But this is not just any pudding Scotland’s national dish comprising of the liver, heart and lungs of a sheep, Haggis is minced and mixed with oatmeal, onion, cayenne pepper and other spices, and finally encased in the stomach of the sheep and simmered. Oh yes, we can already hear some of your stomachs doing a double flip.

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Although this dish doesn’t sound or look appealing, it is said to possess great texture and taste — soft and crumbly with an earthly flavour, combined with salt and spices giving it a spicy and peppery kick.

Fun fact: Haggis ice cream is a thing in Scotland!

4. Korea – Sannakji

If you can stomach maggots wriggling in your mouth, Sannakji will be a piece of cake for you.

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Sannakjis are the tentacles of live small octopuses cut into small pieces, and dipped into accompanying sauces. Since the tentacles are separated from its body while they were alive, the limbs of these octopuses will still be wriggling on your plate like a pile of maggots.

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If you’re strong enough to attempt stomaching this exotic delicacy, be prepared that the tentacles’ suction cups that will stick to the insides of your cheeks and throat like crazy!

5. Japan – Fugu Fish

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Fugu is a Japanese word for pufferfish, a fish synonymous with risk-taking. The pufferfish contains a toxin called tetrodotoxin in its liver, ovaries and eyes, and paralyses the muscles of the victim while fully conscious. If not dealt with properly, this culinary Russian roulette might just be the last meal for you, killing you in seconds.

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Despite its deadly risk, the dish is evidently still well received by people because its flesh is indescribably delicious.

If you are not adventurous with food, consider:
> whipping up your own Italian cuisine with an exclusive cooking lesson in Italy
> visiting one of Scotland’s Whiskey distillery 
> experiencing an ultimate food tour in Seoul

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