International cuisine is fascinating, especially when you are looking at the favorite foods among the natives. To our perception, a traditional menu might appear unappetizing or even nauseating, but when we are to appreciate other cultures’ culinary, such a mindset is destructive and self-centered.
Here, we will learn international cuisine that might fall into the ‘extreme’ category. The more we read, the more open our mind should be, and here comes the list.
Deep-Fried Insects from Thailand
Insects are only disgusting because we have been told so, and our society has been accustomed to acquiring protein from livestock. But as the science has found out, insects are the most sustainable protein source, much more sustainable than cattle and poultry.
Also, insects are the ideal nutrition source. They are rich in protein, yet they are the leanest meal. Rice grasshopper and termites are very high in protein and contain almost no fat. If you have them as a snack, there will be no more guilt after you munch a bag full of crispy grasshoppers.
Other bugs that you can easily find on the street vendors in Thailand are giant water bugs, cricket, bamboo & silkworms. Most are salty and nicely fried.
Paniki, Bat Stew from Minahasa
If in Europe bats are associated with vampirism and evil beings, in Minahasa, Indonesia, people cook delicious bat stew, called Paniki. The ingredients include coconut milk, garlic, shallot, ginger, candlenut, lemongrass, turmeric, salt, pepper and other local spices and herbs.
Paniki brings rich taste to the palate of anyone tasting it. It is the combination of spicy, savory, and the chewy texture of bat’s cartilage. Although Paniki is a traditional food, you can find it almost in every Minahasa restaurant. The menu is very popular and famous among Asians who love to taste unusual cuisine.
Basashi, Raw Horse Meat from Japan
Japan does not only serve fish raw, but it turns out red meat too. Basashi is composed of slices of raw horse meat eaten while cold with its middle part being slightly frozen. It is also common to find Basashi garnished with grated onions, spices, ginger, and garlic. The less common way of serving is to serve the sliced meat on top of sushi rice.
Like eating sashimi, dipping it into Japanese soy sauce is a prerequisite eating ritual. Basashi is a delicacy originated from Kyushu island. But in Honshu, the mainland, you can find the menu in Yamagata prefecture, Fukushima prefecture, and Nagano prefecture. Horse meat is known to have a taste that resembles beef. But it is fleshier and soft at the same time. The texture of horse meat is unique, compared to the other meats.