Cheap, Gross Delicacies

  • Gross Cuisine or Tasty Treats?

    Some restaurant-goers don’t think twice about downing expensive, fat-filled and calorie-laden meals now and then, but may scoff at these seemingly-strange but flavorful delicacies from around the globe.  But if you're daring enough, you may even find a few of these items at a restaurant or grocer near you. Photo Credit: lfl16
    Balut - A Fertilized Egg
  • Balut - A Fertilized Egg

    Your average, everyday egg is a good source of protein and vitamins.  So are chickens and other birds.  But how about eating something that’s halfway between the two? A fertilized egg, also known as a balut, is an egg with a developing embryo inside, and it’s served as a snack in the Philippines that’s prepared much like any boiled egg and eaten out of the shell. The high-protein snack is said to taste like eggs and liver, and may be served with beer. If you’re a timid first-timer, however, you may want to down a beer before eating one. Price: Less than $1. Photo Credit: Marshall Astor
  • Marrow

    While most beef eaters prize a big, juicy steak, there are plenty of people around the world who focus on a different part of the cow: the bones. Specifically, bone marrow is considered a real delicacy across Europe, Asia and right here at home. Marrow, which produces blood cells from within bones, may be served like paté. You can spread it on toast or crackers and it tastes kind of like meat-flavored fat. Price: $4 a pound or around the market price of beef, give or take a bit, though certain bones may cost more.  A bone marrow appetizer at a nice restaurant can be $15 and up. Photo Credit: Star 5112
    Bamboo worms
  • Bamboo worms

    Popping a fried bamboo worm in your mouth could immediately dispel the common assumption that a squiggly critter must be squishy inside.  Instead, this bamboo worm dish from Thailand is described as dry, “nutty and crunchy.” Price: About $6. Photo Credit: avlxyz
  • Kiviak

    This one might be more of an ambitious do-it-yourself option or require a trip to Greenland.  Kiviak, also spelled “giviak” describes birds known as auks, fermented inside a dead seal. The seal is buried for months, and over time, seal oil liquefies and soaks the bird.  In Greenland, it’s a Christmastime favorite. Jingle-barf. Price: This item is usually prepared by families and from what we can tell, not actually for sale. So, I guess the cost could be calculated by factoring in the price of the gun and bullets used to shoot the birds and seal, plus the price of the shovel used bury and dig up the dead animals, and then the price of whatever medical and psychological intervention is required after you consume this stuff.  Does Greenland have universal health care? Photo Credit: misserion
  • Sweetbreads

    Sweetbreads may be fairly commonplace in some households around the world, but in the United States, these thymus glands from veal, beef, pork and lamb may have to be special-ordered. Sweetbreads can be grilled, sautéed, fried or prepared any number of ways, and are popular in South America, Europe and some parts of Asia.“Sweetbreads from milk-fed veal or young calves are considered the best,” notes “Those from young lamb are quite good, but beef sweetbreads are tougher and pork sweetbreads have a rather strong flavor. Price: About $15 a pound if you order online, less at the local butcher. Photo Credit: acme
    Kopi Luwak
  • Kopi Luwak

    On several of the islands of Indonesia, coffee berries are eaten by the palm civet, a cat-like critter. But the coffee beans themselves pass through, undigested. Those beans, which one might consider naturally processed, are known as Kopi Luwak, and it may just be the most expensive coffee in the world. In the civet digestive system, the beans are mixed with the flavor of fruit, insects and smaller mammals, according to coffee experts, adding to the flavor of the bean itself. Then the beans get pooped out. Now that’s good coffee. Price: $160 a pound. (OK, this one isn't cheap, but we HAD to include it for obvious reasons.) Photo Credit: sejibodo
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