What’s the Weirdest Food You’ve Tried While Traveling?

What's the Weirdest Food You've Tried While Traveling?

What’s the Weirdest Food You’ve Tried While Traveling?

Travel often presents an opportunity to dive into the world of exotic culinary delights, so we’ve gathered insights from CEOs and managing directors on their most unusual food experiences. From the wriggling sensation of tasting live octopus in Korea to the daring indulgence of fugu in Tokyo, explore the intriguing palates of these seasoned travelers through their top four unforgettable dishes.

  • Tasting Live Octopus in Korea
  • Finding an Unusual Texture in Bloomin’ Onions
  • Adventurous Eating with Trying Balut
  • Experiencing Fugu in Tokyo

Tasting Live Octopus in Korea

The weirdest food I’ve ever tried was probably the moving octopus dish in South Korea. This experience was unlike anything I had encountered before. The dish consists of a small octopus, typically a baby octopus, that is served alive and still in motion.

Eating this dish was an absolutely unique and surreal experience. As you take a bite, you can feel the tentacles wriggling and sticking to your lips and the inside of your mouth due to the suction cups that are still active. The sensation of the octopus moving while you’re trying to chew and swallow is both bizarre and intriguing. If you ask whether I would try it again, well, I might, but probably not. Overall, it was a worthy and adventurous experience that made my South Korea trip memorable.

James McNallyJames McNally
Managing Director, SDVH [Self Drive Vehicle Hire]

Finding an Unusual Texture in Bloomin’ Onions

During my travels this season, I ate a lot of different foods, but the one that felt unusual and weird was a dish called Bloomin’ Onions. I was served the dish with a dipping sauce and found the appearance strange.

The taste and texture are very different from the taste I usually get when I eat onions. The outer part of the dish is crispy, while the inside is soft; this gave me a different, weird vibe. The deep-fried nature of the Bloomin’ Onion makes it quite heavy and greasy, which is not appealing to me. Additionally, the size of the dish is overwhelming, and it can be quite filling, especially if consumed as an appetizer before a main course.

In conclusion, the Bloomin’ Onion, with its unusual appearance and contrasting textures, was not appealing to me, perhaps due to its heavy, greasy nature and overwhelming size. It was a unique culinary experience, but not one I would likely repeat.

Gary HeathGary Heath
Managing Director and Founder, Dad’s Own Products

Adventurous Eating with Trying Balut

The weirdest and most unusual food I’ve ever tried during my travels was balut in the Philippines, which was a recommendation from a local during my first visit to the country. Balut is a unique and somewhat challenging delicacy that is essentially a hard-boiled duck egg. However, what makes it strange is that the duck embryo inside the egg is quite mature by the time it’s consumed, which means you can encounter bones, a beak, and even feathers in the dish.

My impressions of balut were a mix of curiosity and trepidation. When presented with the egg, it’s hard to ignore the visual aspect, as you can see the outline of the duck embryo through the semi-translucent shell. The eating process itself was an experience filled with a range of textures and flavors. The broth inside the egg was savory and rich, while the duck embryo offered a combination of tender meat and crunchy bones.

While the idea of consuming a partially developed duck may seem strange to some, balut is considered a delicacy in the Philippines and is enjoyed by many locals and adventurous travelers. It’s often accompanied by seasonings like salt and vinegar to enhance the taste. In the end, I would say, despite its weirdness, it was a memorable experience I’ve had in a country with diverse and unique food traditions.

Danilo MirandaDanilo Miranda
Managing Director, Presenteverso

Experiencing Fugu in Tokyo

One of the most unusual foods I’ve tried on my travels was in Tokyo a few years back. I was at this tiny local joint, and they served me fugu, which is essentially pufferfish. Now, what makes it weird is that if it’s not prepared correctly, it can be lethal because of its toxic parts. But, of course, I was in good hands.

The chef skillfully prepared it, and I have to admit, the texture was unique—a bit chewy yet delicate. The flavor was subtle, with a hint of sweetness. It’s not something I’d have every day, but the whole experience was unforgettable. And yes, I lived to tell the tale.

Jon MorganJon Morgan
CEO, Venture Smarter

Submit Your Answer

Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, “What’s the weirdest or most unusual food you’ve tried during your travels? Share the dish and your impressions.”

Submit your answer here.

Related Articles