Exotic cuisine


Exotic cuisine


In almost every traditional cuisine there are dishes that are frankly strange delicacies, surprise with their appearance and a set of unusual ingredients. They are commonly called exotic. But there are cuisines that simply amaze with the abundance of such dishes. The most unusual for us and exotic cuisines in the world are considered Vietnamese, Indian, Thai, Chinese and Japanese. Although, of course, in other cuisines we can meet simply amazing dishes.


Vietnamese cuisine

The traditional cuisine of Vietnam is considered unique and combines several directions of culinary art at once. Here you can find echoes of Chinese, French and Indian cuisines, but in its own special perception. The main ingredients of Vietnamese cuisine are such products as rice, soy sauce, vegetables, fruits, herbs, numerous spices, seafood and even insects. Vietnamese cuisine is perfect for vegetarians, as most dishes here are prepared without meat. Of course, in most hotels you will be served a standard European lunch or breakfast, but the real local food can be tasted in city restaurants or local markets. Among the delicacies of Vietnamese cuisine you can find dishes from boa constrictors, crocodiles, rats, cats, dogs and various snakes.



Of course, not every one of us will be "inspired" by this set, but a true gourmet and connoisseur of Vietnamese cuisine will appreciate it


Indian cuisine

Indian cuisine is known to many, but everyone will confirm its special place in the world system of cooking. India is famous for its sharp spices and unforgettable flavors. The most famous dish in India is curry - a special sauce made from a mixture of spices. And in each region curry is prepared according to its own recipe, and meat or vegetable dishes are served as a side dish. Of course, seafood, rice and meat are also important ingredients of Indian cuisine. For Europeans Indian food will seem too spicy, but for the locals it is so habitual that the sharpness of spices is not noticed.



For Europeans, Indian food will seem too spicy


Popular dishes of Indian cuisine are considered:

- Indian-style beans with ginger, hot spices and tomatoes;

- channa masala - a dish made of peas with chickpeas and spices;

- chiken curry - specially cooked chicken with spices and rice garnish;

- Bombay duck is the name of a small predatory fish. It is cooked in a sauce over high heat as a sauté with hot peppers, onions and tomatoes ;

- rasgula is an Indian dessert of curd balls with rose water;

Another peculiarity of Indian cuisine is that many dishes are eaten with the hands, more precisely with the right hand. Moreover, this is normal even in expensive restaurants in the country.



Roasted "Bombay duck"



In India, many dishes are eaten with the hands, or rather with the right hand


Thai cuisine

Thai cuisine has long been recognized as one of the most exotic cuisines in the world. As in most Asian countries, dishes in Thailand are characterized by sharp flavors and a large amount of rice in almost every dish. Also on the menu of local cuisine can be found pasta, meat and fish, which are served with salads or a variety of sauces. Frogs, grasshoppers, water beetles and crocodiles are among the unusual ingredients found in the country. Mostly such dishes are prepared exclusively for tourists, enticing them with the unusual food and flavors of the seasoned dishes.



One of the most popular delicacies in Thailand are fried, dried and baked insects


Real Thai cuisine for locals is quite simple dishes with the addition of chili peppers and other hot spices, but there are exceptions:

- ant eggs, considered an exquisite delicacy among the locals;

- snake tom yam (although tom yam is usually a sour spicy soup based on chicken broth with shrimp, chicken, fish or other seafood);

- century eggs (eggs that have been aged for months in a special mixture without air access) with a terrible odor, which can be purchased in any supermarket in the country;

- Som Tam salad made of green papaya with raw crab and stinging peppers;

- pomegranate kernels with coconut syrup.



Sliced "century (centennial) eggs" served as a stand-alone appetizer


Just like in India, food here is eaten with hands, only soups are served with spoons. In city restaurants you will be offered a more moderate version of local dishes suitable for tourists, and all exotics should be bought at fairs and markets of the country.



Som Tam salad of green papaya with raw crab and hot peppers


Chinese cuisine

Chinese cuisine is somewhat similar to Thai cuisine. It serves spicy meat dishes and soups with various spices. The main dish in China is Peking duck, which every tourist visiting this country should try. However, there are many delicacies made of duck that not everyone will understand and appreciate. Of course, we have all heard about street markets where they sell scorpions, beetles and other insects fried on skewers, but no Chinese will eat such treats. Such dishes are prepared in order to attract tourists. Although there are plenty of exotics here. For example, in Guangdong province, dishes made of snakes, seals, crocodiles, wild cats, field mice, as well as bird tongues, bear paws and monkey brains are eaten. If you want to appreciate the authentic culture and culinary artistry of Chinese chefs, head to the restaurants of Guangdong.



Street markets in China sell scorpions fried on skewers


The most unusual dishes of the People's Republic of China are: - shark fin;

- sea cucumber (an echinoderm-type marine animal);

- bird's nest soup;

- fried duck necks, tongues, legs and heads, which are favorite delicacies of the Chinese of Hubei Province;

- deep-fried scorpions;

- "Dragon vs. Tiger Battle" a dish of wild cat meat with three kinds of poisonous snake meat seasoned with 20 spices;

- turtle in brown sauce;

- steamed eel in lotus leaves.



"Battle of the dragon and the tiger"


Japanese cuisine

Today, Japanese cuisine has become quite popular all over the world, but we are mainly known for a variety of rolls and seafood sushi. But not only this is famous for Japanese cooking. Everyone knows that the main dish of the country is rice balls with the addition of fish or vegetables. There are among local dishes and dangerous delicacies, which are so eager to try numerous tourists and sophisticated gourmets. There are several popular dishes that are offered to tourists in restaurants in Japan: - "ferocious clam" - they sell it alive, and cook it on an open fire right in the shell;

- poisonous Fugu fish - a very dangerous dish, as the slightest blunder in the cooking process can be fatal for a person;

- "dancing cuttlefish" - a transparent cuttlefish with tentacles, served alive in a glass of water and must be eaten alive;

- red pepper ice cream - it can taste like meat and vegetable dish, seafood and even pickled orchid;

- live octopus - served to guests in live form, so great care is required when swallowing the tentacles to avoid choking on them. Approximately 6 people die each year from eating this dish.



Live octopus



Poisonous Fugu fish


Of course, in other countries, there are individual dishes that pose a significant danger to tasters. However, it is this fact that attracts to them a lot of attention of real connoisseurs of exotic cuisine. - Fried tarantulas are a popular delicacy in Cambodia; - Boiled bat is an expensive treat for Fiji islanders; - Hakarl is the rotten meat of Greenland shark, which is a snack in Iceland. The shark is gutted and cut up and for several months, the meat is soaked in a special leaven. Then it is taken out, cut into strips and hung on hooks and left to rot. The odor of this dish is almost unbearable, so it is advised to try hakarl with your nose clamped shut. But those who dared to taste, say that the flavor is quite delicate; - Fried guinea pig is considered the main dish of Peruvians and Bolivians; - Stuffed rats are common in Paraguay. In Paraguay, rats in general are widely eaten and in many different forms! It is said that their meat resembles rabbit meat or pork. By the way, rat meat is loved not only in Paraguay, but also in neighboring Peru; - The legs of a giant bullfrog, which contains deadly poison. The dish can be tasted in France and Namibia; - Exotic dish of Mexico escamoles from eggs of giant black ants of the genus Liometopum, which live only on the territory of Mexico. It is not easy to get the eggs, because these ants are poisonous. Therefore, escamoles are not a cheap dish. Ant eggs are consumed both raw (in this form they resemble butter with nuts in flavor and cottage cheese in consistency) and stewed, flavored with guacamole sauce. - Sashimi (fillet cut into pieces) made of rockfish (very poisonous) is popular in Japan and Hong Kong.



Hakarl is rotten shark meat


All these are not all the shocking and exotic dishes you can try while traveling. Although, even to taste some of them takes a certain amount of courage.



Exotic Mexican dish escamoles made from the eggs of giant black ants of the genus Liometopum