Five Exotic Cuisines of the World CheapOair Staff May 5, 2010 Interests Plate of dog meat in Vietnam, head, tail, and internal organs! Remember when you were a kid and you and your buddies would take anything and everything you had left-over from your lunch bags and mix it all together to make the ultimate, untouchable, lunch concoction? Then someone would be dared to eat it for a dollar, they would, you’d all gasp and make faces of disgust and then you’d pitch in and chalk up a dollar, knowing that tomorrow you’d all do it all over again. Well, that was nothing. Those concoctions in your elementary school cafeteria pale in comparison to any of these intense cuisines. Dog Meat in Vietnam: Mostly consumed in the north of Vietnam, dog meat is widely accepted in the country. Dishes usually include the head of the dog, its feet, and its internal organs. Dog meat restaurants can be found throughout the country but are a plenty in Hanoi, in the Tay Ho District. Dog meat is said to raise the libido of men (ooh la la), so you’ll often find groups of men sitting on mats around Hanoi’s dog meat restaurants, chowin’ down dog meat and drinkin’ beer! Yum! Balut in the Philippines (Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam also serve Balut): Usually eaten with a pinch of salt and lemon juice, Balut is a fertilized duck or chicken egg with a nearly developed embryo inside that is then boiled and eaten from the shell. Some eggs are fertilized for 13 days, others for longer, and depending on the length of time the embryo is either more or less developed. Casu Marzu in Sardinia, Italy: Casu Marzu is a traditional Sardinian sheep milk cheese. Doesn’t sound too strange, right? Well here’s the catch, the cheese is left outside to ferment and is then eaten only after it’s become infested with maggots. If the maggots are dead, the dish is no longer acceptable. Cheese flies are deliberately introduced to the cheese. Eventually their larvae help the fermentation of the cheese. The larvae are translucent and white and about .3 inches in length. Some people separate the larvae from their cheese, others do not. Spread that on some crackers! Grilled Rat in Thailand: There really isn’t too much to explain here. Rats are taken and barbequed. Sometimes the tails are cut off, sometimes they’re not. They are eaten on a stick just like a shish kebab. Fried Tarantula in Cambodia: Fried spiders are sold on the streets of Cambodia and are deep fried in garlic and salt. The spiders are crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. Unfortunately, many vendors sell these interesting treats to make a living, in a place where many people can only afford to survive on insects and bugs. Some even say that eating the spider helps medicinally. How’s that for exotic cuisine? Tempted to travel around the world to sample these unique dishes? Then check out CheapOair for international flights!