Roasted Guinea Pig – Peru and Bolivia
When I think of a guinea pig I think of the little critters people own as pets. I do not imagine eating domesticated guinea pigs from Peru and Bolivia. Sadly, in these areas guinea pigs are easier to keep and care for and are a major food source.
They’re typically larger than the furry guys we keep as pets, but it appears as though size does not matter when it comes time to prepare dinner.
Live Octopus – Korea
In Korea Sannakji is a raw dish consisting of live octopus. The octopus is cut into pieces whilst still alive, lightly seasoned with sesame oil and served immediately whilst the tentacles can still be seen squirming on the plate.
Eating live octopus is a challenge not only mentally trying to get your head round eating something that’s still alive, but physically, as the tentacles stick to any surface they touch. You actually have to fight with your food before you can devour it and savour its taste.
The first hurdle is to get the tentacles off your chopsticks, and once the octopus is in your mouth it will suction to your teeth, the roof of your mouth and your tongue essentially trying to preserve its own life. It is supposedly enjoyable to experience the party in your mouth as the tentacles wriggle around and stick to your mouth as you chew it. Special care should be taken to chew thoroughly, however, because if the suction cups stick to the mouth or throat, this can be a choking hazard.
Bird’s Nest Soup – China
Bird’s nest soup is a delicacy in Chinese cuisine. A few species of swift, the cave swifts, are renowned for building the saliva nests used to produce the unique texture of this soup.
The edible bird’s nests are among the most expensive animal products consumed by humans. The nests have been used in Chinese cooking for over 400 years, most often as bird’s nest soup.