National cuisines of different countries offer travelers not only original tastes and exotic products, but even dishes for which gourmets are ready to risk their lives. These delicacies combine gastronomic tourism with extreme entertainment, while transforming an ordinary dinner into a dangerous adventure.
Especially for those who love risk and thrills, we watched several episodes of the program "Fancy Food with Andrew Zimmer" and selected seven dishes, tasting which can be a real challenge to your courage and determination.
This national Japanese dish has earned the title of the most dangerous delicacy in the world. The main ingredient in fugu is the puffer, which contains a poison that can cause death just a few hours after eating this fish. Only the best chefs can cook the fugu right and avoid the tragic end of the dinner. The safest option is to try a dish made from fish that were grown artificially and couldn't feed on poisonous starfish. However, connoisseurs of the unique delicate taste of puffer and risk-takers prefer the dangerous type of fish, so every year in Japan more than 10 deaths from this product are recorded (read also: "10 types of fish that are better not to eat").
Casu marzu cheese (Italy)
The names "rotten cheese" or "wormy cheese" can easily discourage appetite, but gourmets from all over the world come to Sardinia for cheese casu marzu. This unusual product contains live cheese fly larvae, which accelerate the breakdown of fats and make the cheese softer. During the tasting, connoisseurs of original tastes are advised to cover their eyes, as the larvae are able to jump out of the cheese at a distance of up to 15 centimeters. But the danger of a delicacy is not only this - it can also cause an allergic reaction and even infection of the intestines. Because of this, many people prefer to try casu marzu after removing the larvae, but the most daring choose cheese with a spicy taste and pungent aroma in its original form.
Cassava is a common plant in Africa, the roots of which are eaten by the locals. In its raw form, the product is poisonous, so it is usually thoroughly cleaned and then boiled or baked. The root vegetable is also dried and ground into flour, from which tortillas are prepared. However, if processed improperly, the dish becomes very dangerous, since cassava contains toxic substances. Although the plant is known as "edible cassava" and resembles a harmless potato, tasting cassava tortillas from insufficiently pure cassava can lead to serious health problems.
The Swiss schnapps called "Goldschläger" are given a spicy taste by cinnamon, and an unusual look - by the particles of gold that make up the composition. This recipe is impressive, but tasting the drink can be not only a luxury but also a health risk. For safety, a special sieve is included with each bottle. However, buying "Goldschläger" in an unverified place or forgetting about the peculiarities of drinking a drink with golden flakes, gourmets run the risk of getting poisoned with unusual schnapps.
The Icelandic national dish "haukarl" is considered a Viking heritage and therefore attracts gourmets from all over the world. It is prepared from the Greenlandic polar shark, which lacks kidneys and urinary tract. Due to the characteristics of the fish organism, all toxins are excreted through its skin, so the shark meat is saturated with ammonia. To make it edible, the meat is processed, washed, stored in gravel containers for 6-8 weeks, and then left in the fresh air for a few more months. The finished dish has a repulsive smell, but an interesting and specific taste. But if handled incorrectly, it can be dangerous due to the content of toxic substances.
Bull Frog (Namibia)
While only harmless frog legs are prepared in France, the people of Namibia are ready to eat these animals whole, even if they are poisonous. For the preparation of a popular dish, a large bullfrog is used here, which itself can easily swallow small mammals, such as bats. The inhabitants of Namibia believe that the frog is less poisonous than usual during the rainy season, therefore it is more often eaten during this period. It is very important to follow the correct cooking process to help eliminate most of the toxins. For example, it is necessary to remove the internal organs of the frog, as they are the most dangerous.
Rambutan (Southeast Asia)
A bright fruit from Southeast Asia, it has a delicate taste that simultaneously resembles strawberries, grapes and raspberries. Many tourists enjoy trying exotic rambutan (read also: "9 exotic jams you must try"), unaware that it can be dangerous. Gourmets should take into account that an excess of enzymes can cause allergies or poisoning, so it is recommended to consume only a small amount of sweet fruits per day.
Photo: Getty Images, press archives
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