Whether you are in a local restaurant, at the street stalls or in private homes, when it comes to food the greeting is the same: Enjoy your meal! However, how big is the appetite when the contents of the plate reserve you a… bigger surprise?
In France dare to experiment! Considered in ancient times a delicacy for the true gourmets, the snails (escargot) are cooked in dozens of ways, still retaining the distinctive taste. Served as an aperitif, the snails are prepared with garlic and butter sauce, but the recipes vary from region to region. If you’ve never tried this dish and if you serve them with the shell on, you’ll have a great time trying to grab and get them out of their shell.
Now, if you go to the villages in the southern parts of China instead, as special guests, you’ll be served with one of the delights of the place that it is harder to swallow – fried baby mice. Considered a special dish, blessed by local spirits the grilled mice are a preferred food source not only for residents in South China but also in Thailand. Served with a mixture of garlic, ginger, chili, coriander, fish sauce and rice vinegar, the mice – as it said by the Chinese – are tastier when prepared during the rice harvest season. However, maybe it is best to declare yourself a vegetarian during the visit in this country.
In the Philippines and Vietnam taste some fried bats. They are eaten with garlic sauce and considered a natural remedy for improving eyesight. In addition, the challenge is yet to come – try the national preferred snack: the famous Balut. What, you do not know what Balut is? Take hatching duck egg that has been nested for exactly 16 days, put it to boil for a few minutes and voila: Balut! Sold at every street corner, Balut is extremely popular among locals, but as a tourist, you might have a shock when you break the egg. The taste is similar to the cooked chicken, therefore, close your eyes and everything becomes easier. As for Vietnam, here, watch out for the little red cubes sold as snacks. They are made from chicken, duck, bison, dogs and pig’s blood and are highly appreciated for their energizing qualities. Or at least, that’s what the locals tell you :).