Did you watch the campmates on ‘I’m a Celebrity…’ munch their way through some rather undesirable delicacies last night? Once the waves of nausea had passed and our stomachs had returned to their rightful place, it got us thinking about food that you encounter on holiday that you’d prefer didn’t touch your tastebuds.
Here’s our top 5 things of weird foods to enjoy (or avoid!) in Europe. P.S If you’ve got a weak stomach, don’t go googling strange foods around the world. Not sure I’ll be able to eat for the next week…
Frogs legs, France
Synonymous with a holiday in France, this is one food that really splits people’s opinions. Some people love them, some people hate them. They come grilled, baked, fried or stewed and are said to have the same texture as eating chicken with a faint fishy taste. Although associated with the French, frogs legs are also enjoyed in Vietnam, Thailand and Brazil. They’re apparently pretty good for you – they’re rich in protein, omega-3’s, vitamin a and potassium.
Escargots (snails), France
Snails aren’t just served in France, but also in Portugal and Spain. Traditionally in these countries, they’re served as a starter but you can enjoy a large plate for your main course too. They’re a great source of protein and low in fat, making them a rather healthy choice – although that’s before you cook them in the delicious flavourings of garlic butter, wine or chicken stock.
Angulas (Baby eels), Spain
Angulas is Spanish for young eels and can be found on any Spanish market stall. They’re around 8cm long and thin, like a strand of spaghetti. Traditionally they were eaten in the northern parts of Spain, typically the Basque region and were known as a common fisherman’s dish. Recently their popularity has risen due to their growing appeal in other parts of Spain and Asia which has caused the prices to increase dramatically.
Crni rizoto (Cuttlefish ink risotto), Croatia
You’re no doubt familiar with a traditional creamy risotto and this one doesn’t vary too much apart from its appearance. Instead of being white, Crni rizoto is black. To achieve the dark, inky colour, chefs preparing this Croatian delicacy add black ink from the ink sacks of a cuttlefish to the rice. A good Crni rizoto will have a slightly gentle earthy taste but I’ve been told that it does indeed taste delicious!
Lampredotto, Florence, Italy
Lampredotto is a staple part of Florence’s street food scene. While perhaps not as appealing as other traditional street foods such as a hotdog, Lampredotto definitely brings something different to the table (or picnic bench). The dish is made from part of a cow’s stomach which is slowly cooked in vegetable broth and seasoned with various herbs. Once cooked, it’s served on a bread roll and topped with hot sauce. The Lampredotto was traditionally a peasant’s food but it’s popularity has risen due to the sheer number of sellers, known as Lampredottai in the city.
Are there any foods that you’ve encountered that you want to tell us about? We’d love to hear!