- Kate Z. / Foursquare
Travel takes us out of our comfort zones.
So, too, will these wild delicacies found served on streets all over the world.
From fried scorpions in China to stretchy ice cream in Turkey, don’t let the weirdness of these foods fool you: they’re definitely worth a taste test.
Dorilocos in Mexico
“Dorilocos” (or “tostilocos”, or any variation on the theme) are Mexico’s crazy after-school snack. It’s a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos topped with pork rinds, hot sauce, gummy bears (?!), jicama, cucumber, carrots, peanuts, lime, and chili. If it sounds like flavor overkill, it probably is – but it’s apparently a national favorite.
Fried scorpion in Beijing
You’ve got to be bold to take a bite out of a scorpion, but people seem to love the crunchy, salty flavor of the killer insects. Considered a delicacy in China, they apparently taste rather like crunchy potato chips. Fried insects are popular in many countries: the spider variation in Cambodia is supposed to be good, too.
Completos in Chile
A “completo” is just a hot dog in a bun – but served up with ketchup, mashed avocado, and the kicker, a hearty helping of mayonnaise. Despite the unorthodox toppings, it’s a delicious street snack beloved by Chileans and tourists alike.
Egg waffles in Hong Kong
Egg waffles, or gai daan jai, are a sweet treat that may look a little odd – what with the bubble wrap-like texture – but are universally liked by anyone who’s given them a shot. Traditional egg waffles have a French waffle-like consistency and are served plain, but new outposts around the world have added fancy dessert toppings like ice cream and sprinkles.
Biltong in South Africa
- Shutterstock/Blue Pig
Biltong is like beef jerky. But in South Africa, that “beef” can mean any variety of meats: kudu, springbok, wildebeest, and ostrich are all commonly found. It has a distinct cured, spiced flavor and dry texture.
Salep dondurma in Turkey
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On the streets of Istanbul, you might see people behind an ice-cream cart, stirring and pulling at a gelatinous, stretchy substance, rather like kneading dough. But it’s not dough: it’s ice cream, and it’s delicious. The rubbery, stretchable texture comes from a resin called mastic and an ingredient called salep, which is the powdered bulb of wild orchids. It’s served sliced all over Turkey.
Cuy in Ecuador and Peru
- Nestor Lacle/Flickr
“Cuy” is the name for guinea pig, and if you can get over the idea of chowing down on your childhood pet, then you just might love the tender, roasted meat. It’s said to taste a lot like rabbit, and is a staple of Andean cuisine.
Halo-halo in the Philippines
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There’s no need to be scared of halo halo, which is really just a concoction of great sweet things all piled into one cup. The many-layered Filipino specialty is composed of a base of shaved ice and evaporated milk, topped with any number of things: sweetened kidney beans, chickpeas, sugar palm fruit, plantains, jackfruit, tapioca, sweet potato, cheese, and rice are just some of the options. It’ll be finished off with sugar, flan, purple yam, or ice cream.
Laverbread in Wales
Laverbread is a traditional Welsh dish of seaweed that’s cooked into a soft, green-black paste. It can be served any number of ways: spread on toast, as a dollop along with a hearty breakfast, or mixed with oatmeal and fried up until crispy. The savory dish is actually quite healthy, too, as it’s chock-full of minerals and vitamins, thanks to the seaweed.
“Taco in a Bag” in Chicago or “walking tacos” in the US southwest
“Taco in a Bag” is a food truck-turned-restaurant concept based out of Chicago that deconstructs classic tacos and sticks them into, well, bags – to be eaten with a fork, rather like the Dorilocos. You might wonder why you’d ever want to change up a taco, an already-perfect street food, but reviews rave about the new take on an American favorite food. Another close relative is the “walking taco,” which traditionally is a bag of Fritos amped up with chili toppings.
Salty roasted ants (“hormigas culonas”) in Colombia
These “big-butt” ants, roasted and salted, are a popular Colombian snack. The huge ants are a delicacy and can be found everywhere from roadside stands to gourmet restaurants, often served as a pizza topping. Salty and crunchy, they’re mostly eaten just like peanuts, but are somtimes compared to caviar as they’re rich in protein and can be expensive to find and consume.