The World's Ickiest Food

8 October 2015


Healthy food and regular nutrition are the most crucial ingredients for a long and issueless life. But sometimes, we just can’t help ourselves. We eat fast food and the so-called junk food only because we lack time for preparing more healthy food; we work a lot or even travel more often than most of other people. Or perhaps we just enjoy eating hamburgers and sandwiches all the time. Either way, once you taste a hamburger, cheeseburger or any other famous ‘burger’, you become an addict. It lures you to eat it as much as you can and as often as you can. Very soon, you forget all about healthy soups, salads, vegetables or fruits. You become a “junk food addict” because the food you love to eat looks amazing. It is full of colors and attracts you just as if it says: Eat me, I am so tasty! There are even expat people, who came to another country and stayed there for good, but are still afraid to try national meals, and so they decide that junk food is a far much better choice. But why are they afraid? It’s simple. They don’t like how it looks like. Namely, there are some kinds of food that don’t look tasty. But remember, they are outstanding once you decide to try them. We often call them icky or yucky food. And indeed, if all the people were the visual types who judge the food only by the way it looks, we would never discover some of the world’s healthiest food ingredients. On the contrary, there are foods that are both: icky and disgusting. Therefore, we bring you a short list of the latter and hope you will still have the courage to try them once you get the chance. They may not be as disgusting as people say they are.


Casu Marzu


Casu Marzu is an Italian kind of cheese that originates in Sardinia. It is made of sheep milk (which is extremely healthy) but also contains live insect larvae. Of course, larvae are not huge, and they are only 8 mm long. However, if you disturb them, they can grow up to 15 cm. This is way too much for cheese since all other cheeses in the world are also full of bacteria and germs. But Casu Marzu can be considered a whole new level when it comes to the gem and bacteria share.


Live Cobra’s Heart


If you think you haven’t tried an odd type of food, you need to visit Vietnam. Namely, people in Vietnam are of the opinion that eating cobra’s heart will make them equally strong. So, if you want to try cobra’s heart, you should know how Vietnamese prepare it. They catch a cobra, behead it and take out its heart. Then they put the heart in boiling water for a few seconds and serve it on the plate. Those who have tried cobra’s heart state that you can still feel it beat while it goes through your throat.



Photo: Tobias Carroll

One of the ickiest food in the world relates to shark meat. So, 'hakarl' is the name for decaying sharks found at the sea coast. The shark meat is then hung to dry out for half a year. Food critics usually say 'hakarl' is not the food for beginners, so you might think well before deciding to try it.


Century Eggs

Photo: Alpha

China is the country where you can try chicken or duck century eggs. Chinese lay the eggs in a mixture of clay, ash and salt and leave them like that for a long period. Such a process handles turning the egg’s albumin to a brown jelly while a yolk turns into a green cream. You can imagine how such a mixture of jelly and cream stinks. The ones who have tried century eggs say that they smell of sulfur and ammonia. Therefore, the choice of tasting century eggs is yours.



Photo: shankar s.

Balut is a Filipino dish, and it is among the ickiest and most disgusting dishes in the world. Basically, ‘balut’ is a developing duck embryo but it is cooked while it hasn’t hatched yet. If they want to prepare them well, Filipinos take seventeen old day eggs because those are not yet feathery, and the bones are not formed. Therefore, in the Philippines you eat a duck that is still in its egg and hasn’t been yet born.


Photo: Kyle Strickland

Nakji is a kind of food that considers eating the whole octopus. Namely, apart from being icky, Nakji is also a dangerous meal. It means that only skilled people can make Nakji since the tentacles of the octopus are known to stick to the tongue. So, the one that prepares Nakji needs to cook tentacles in a way that they will not choke people. Every year, several deaths occur while eating Nakji.


There are bizarre and icky foods in all the parts of the world. However, being icky does not mean the food is not delicious. Some people don’t like its taste, but other people may well think it is the best food on the planet. For that reason, you need to check it for yourself. If you want to try the ickiest food on the earth, you are welcome to start with these from our list. Good luck!



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