Thinking of destinations for your next island vacation? If you need more extraordinary wildlife, natural wonders, endless golden beaches, historic sights, and mouthwatering dishes in your life, these picture-perfect destinations should get on your “to visit” list asap!
The Azores, Portugal — The All-In-One Island Experience
The Azores will steal your heart and fill it with memories of breathtaking views and adventures you will remember for life. This iconic volcanic chain situation in the North Atlantic Ocean can meet virtually any tourist’s needs — from sunbathing and whale watching to hiking the highest peak in all of Portugal (Mt. Pico), you have endless opportunities to make the most of your island vacation.
Bali, Indonesia — The Island of the Gods
Who hasn’t heard of Bali (the Godly island) and its sacred temples, heavenly sights, and scrumptious seafood? If you’re a fan of paddleboarding, Muay Thai, and water yoga, southern Bali is just the spot for you. While you’re there, don’t forget to pay Tirta Empul – one of the most prominent holy temples – a visit.
Paros, Greece — The Ideal Aegean Sea Island Vacation
If you are looking for something similar to the even more popular island of Mykonos, Paros won’t fail to impress you. It has all the charms and the fantastic sun-kissed beaches of Mykonos but lacks the tourist madness, which will allow you to experience this island fully.
Vancouver Island — The Non-Traditional Choice
It is grand; it is a hub of adventure and exploration; it is the unlikely choice but one worth making. Yes, it is Vancouver Island. From quiet fishing villages and unforgettable strolls with cozy dinners to a wine region that can charm even the greatest of wine critics, this place is for those who love to experience more than beaches.
Tasmania, Australia — Make Friends With Kangaroos
Make sure to check Tasmania’s east coast for a rare glimpse of some of the most beloved yet endangered species — Bennett wallabies, wombats, and Forester kangaroos. Wake up to unforgettable sunrises that seem to fire up the entire sky before you. This is one island vacation you will never regret taking!
40+ National Delicacies That Seem Weird to the Rest of the World
Before Christmas, people in Norway gather to eat a very traditional dish called Smalahove. This odd-sounding meal is essentially a sheep’s head, and it is cooked by boiling or steaming it for several hours.
The dish is then traditionally served with potatoes or mashed rutabaga (Swedish turnip). In some cases, people also cook the brain inside the skull and then eat it fried or with a spoon. According to the people who eat it, the eye is the most delicious part.
Basashi, a raw horse meat dish, is very popular and considered quite a delicacy in Japan. The horse meat is cut very finely and then is served with green onions, ginger, and soy sauce (for dipping).
This type of cuisine belongs to a very broad group of sashimi dishes. Unlike more traditional meat options, horse meat is leaner and tastes slightly sweet. Depending on the maturity of the meat, its color ranges from pink to dark red.
People in Singapore enjoy eating durian, which is also known as the smelliest fruit in the world. Some people claim it has a very pleasant and sweet smell, while others say it is as fragrant as rotting onions, or even gym socks.
Nevertheless, the fruit is hailed as “the king of fruits” in some regions. As you can see here, the fruit is very large and has a thorn-covered rind. The flesh of it can also be consumed, and it is commonly used to add flavor to Southeast Asian cuisine.
Some people say that Zwiebelmettwurst is, without a doubt, their favorite German delicacy. This dish consists of raw minced pork with onions. Zwiebelmettwurst is eaten like a spread on bread.
It is sort of like salami, except it is not smoked and looks more like a paste. You can spread it on anything, but bread and crackers are the most common options. The secret to its tasty flavor lies in the onions, which is what makes its flavor different from other Mettwursts out there.
Cuy Asado, Ecuador
Cuy Asado is a very popular dish in Ecuador, but it’s also commonly eaten in Peru and the Andes. The dish consists of a grilled guinea pig. In many South American countries, especially Ecuador, it is considered a delicacy.
It is usually prepared for special occasions, and most people find it very tasty. It is also very popular among tourists, especially among those who are curious, and love experimenting and trying new things.
Sea Egg, Barbados
For people in Barbados, a sea egg is considered a delicacy. Basically, it is a sea urchin that you can eat. Firstly, they are harvested by divers who pick them up along the sea bed. After this, the shells are cracked with a spoon in order to release the sea egg.
The roe is then removed but very carefully as it is the only edible part of the sea urchin. You can enjoy it any way you like – stewed, fried, sautéed, or even raw with just a little bit of lemon juice.
Mopane Worm, Southern Africa
Gonimbrasia Belina, in particular, is an emperor moth species, native to the warmer regions of Southern Africa. It is actually a very big edible caterpillar, and it is also known as the Mopane or the Mopani Worm.
For centuries, these worms have been an available source of protein across Southern Africa. Its name, mopane, comes from its preferred food source – the leaves of mopane trees. You can eat them dry, crispy, drenched in sauce, or even with maize porridge. We don’t recommend the latter option but to each their own!
Balut is very common street food in China and the Philippines, and even in Cambodia. The dish is basically a developing duck embryo. The fertilized egg embryo is first boiled and then eaten directly from the shell – bones and all. Grab that bucket before we do!
The bones are still soft enough to chew and swallow. The egg’s incubation period before cooking it is mostly a matter of preference, but most commonly it ranges between 14 and 18 days.
Arroz De Cabidela, Portugal
Arroz de cabidela is a dish native to Portugal. The dish essentially consists of chicken, or sometimes rabbit, cooked in its own blood, which is added at the very end to the rice, along with a bit of vinegar to prevent clotting. Mmm… how yum!
The blood is what gives the dish its rich brown color. Cooking with blood is an ancient custom that is still present in several cultures. What’s more, the Portuguese Cabidela can be found in written records from the 16th century.
Considered the perfect breakfast food (by Australians), Australian Vegemite is, essentially, very concentrated yeast extract, which doesn’t really sound that appetizing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really look appetizing either.
It is so black it could be mistaken for tar and it smells odd. But luckily for us, it tastes way better than it looks. Lightly smear the vegemite on some buttered toast and you may experience your very own little slice of heaven.
Sago grub, or sago worm, is also known as ‘Butod’ in Sabah, where it is considered very popular. Butod is most commonly eaten as an appetizer at all kinds of social gatherings.
Even though it’s not much to look at, it is a very good and healthy source of protein. Not many are so brave to eat the wriggling worms as it is. Luckily for those who are less adventurous, you can have Butod sushi or even Butod pizza.
Shark Fin Soup, China
Shark fin soup is considered one of the many traditional soup or stew dishes in Chinese cuisine. Because it’s regarded as a delicacy, the dish is served on special occasions like banquets or weddings.
The shark fins actually only provide the texture, while the flavor itself comes from other ingredients from the soup. Fortunately, substitutes for shark fin soup are now available on the market. This helps avoid the environmental damage which is caused by shark finning practices.
In Japanese cuisine, Shiokara is a well-known, popular dish that is made from different marine animals. That actually doesn’t sound so bad. The dish consists of small pieces of meat served in sort of a viscous, brown paste of the animal’s fermented, and salted viscera.
The viscera (which is raw), is mixed with salt and malted rice. After that, it’s packed into a closed container and left to ferment for up to one month.
Algerian dishes are considered North Africa’s hidden gems. Algerian cuisine is best known for its wide variety of flavors and spices. Some authentic Algerian recipes even date back to ancient Berber and Roman times.
One very popular dish in Algeria is Kercha, or also known as stuffed sheep’s stomach. Yes, you heard that correctly. The dish is served after Eid, and once the sheep is slaughtered, all the meat has to be used. The sheep’s stomach is cooked until it’s very tender.
Frog Legs, France
Frog legs are one of the most well-known delicacies of French cuisine. The frog legs are most commonly fried with parsley and another staple of French cuisine – garlic sauce. Their flavor is not overbearing.
Quite the opposite really, it is very mild, and texture-wise, they sort of look and feel like chicken wings. Most people claim they taste like something between chicken and fish, and that they’re quite delicious.
Soused Herring, Netherlands
The Dutch version of this delicacy is soused herring. It is basically a raw herring, which can be soaked in preserving liquid or preserved in salt. There are lots of options when it comes to flavor, varying from vinegar to marinades, wines, and spices.
Because of its preparation method, the herring is very tender. Most people swear that it’s delicious either way, but if you’re in a hurry, you can simply eat it with a slice of bread.
Tuna Eyeballs, Japan
You’re most likely to find tuna eyeballs at Japanese izakayas and restaurants which specialize in tuna dishes. The taste is pretty tame, and it’s said to be similar to octopus and squid. The eyeballs are cooked as bar snacks or appetizers.
The hard exterior of the eye, sclera, is too chewy when cooked, but the inner contents of the eye can be sucked out. The eyeballs can also be braised in soy sauce and mirin, or sautéed in sesame oil and ginger.
Salty licorice, also known as Salmiakki, is Finland’s most popular delicacy. Its distinct and delicious flavor comes from ammonium chloride, which forms by combining ammonia with hydrogen chloride, or hydrochloric acid.
On their own, all three are deadly chemicals. What we get by combining them is a white powder called ammonium chloride. The powder is then added to black licorice, and the end result is Salmiakki. One might say it’s dangerously sweet.
Century Eggs, China
A lot of people in China enjoy eating preserved eggs, also known as century eggs. The dish is made by preserving quail, chicken, and even duck eggs in a mix of ash, clay, quicklime, salt, and rice hulls for several weeks or months.
Over time, the yolk turns dark green or grey, with a very creamy consistency, and a strong flavor, while the white protein turns into a dark brown, translucent jelly, with a salty flavor.
For the people of Israel, P’tcha is much more than a delicacy, it is a culinary heirloom. P’tcha is prepared from jellied calves feet. In Eastern Europe, the dish was served with chopped eggs on Sabbath.
During the 20th century, Jewish immigrants brought the recipe with them to the United States. This way, the legacy of P’tcha continued. Nowadays, it’s most often prepared as an appetizer at Jewish weddings. The dish is also popular among people who have Polish or Eastern European heritage.
Flæskesvær is hailed as a delicacy in Denmark. You can eat it as a snack or even as an appetizer. Flæskesvær is a dish that consists of pig skin cut into strips, and some fat is left on them.
If you’re wondering how they’re made – first, they’re boiled and then baked with lots and lots of salt. You have to bake them until they’re almost too hard to eat. That’s when they’re perfect and ready to eat.
As enjoyed by many, Soondae is a popular street food in both North and South Korea. It is basically a blood sausage, and it is usually served with liver, but it can also be served with lungs. How appealing…
Some people in Korea fondly remember it as their favorite meal growing up. The dish is made by steaming pig or cow intestines, which are stuffed with different ingredients. The end result is surprisingly delicious, so they say.
Surströmming is a beloved fish dish in Sweden. The Baltic Sea herring, or Surströmming, is commonly used in traditional Swedish cuisine. The fish is fermented for several months (usually six months), and it is covered in just enough salt to prevent it from rotting.
When the container with the fish is opened, the smell of the fish is known to be overwhelming. The fermentation process gives the fish its distinctive smell and taste which is salty and slightly acidic.
Deep-Fried Oreos, United States of America
A lot of Americans truly love eating deep-fried Oreos. It doesn’t get any more American than deep-fried food. You can usually get them at State Fairs, which makes it a very available dessert that you can enjoy with a chilled beverage.
But if you don’t fancy spending the money, you can quite easily make them yourself at home. You can even add your very own twist to it, making the batter as thick as you’d like. You’re welcome for the tip!
Fugu is a Japanese dish prepared from pufferfish. The dish can be lethal if it isn’t prepared correctly. Fugu must be prepared very carefully in order to remove the toxic part and avoid contaminating the edible parts.
Because of this, only chefs who have been qualified for over three years and who went through rigorous training, are allowed to prepare fugu. A lot of people swear by the fact that it makes a perfect little sashimi dish.
Haggis, Scotland’s very own delicacy, is a savory pudding, made from sheep hearts, liver, and lungs. It is minced with onions, suet, oatmeal, and seasoned with spices and salt. It is then cooked inside the sheep’s stomach.
Although it doesn’t really sound appetizing, Haggis actually has a delicious savory flavor, with a nutty texture. It is also traditionally served during the Burns supper (January 25th), which is the birthday celebration of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet.
Hákarl is an Icelandic national dish. The Greenland shark or some other sleeper shark is cured with a very particular fermentation process, after which it is hung to dry for several months.
But first, the shark is buried underground in a shallow pit and pressed with stones to drain out the poisonous internal fluids. After drying for several months, it’s cut into strips and served. The dish is mostly served during the midwinter festival.
Jing Leed, Thailand
Jing leed is a very common street food in Thailand. It also refers to one of the most commonly used insects for snacks in Thailand – grasshoppers.
The dish is made by frying the grasshoppers and then seasoning them with lots of Thai sauces, and spices like salt, chili, and pepper. The insects are usually fried in very big woks. Some people described the dish as something akin to eating a hollow popcorn skin.
Fried Spider, Cambodia
Fried spider is hailed as a regional delicacy in Cambodia, especially in Skuon. The spiders commonly used for this dish are a tarantula species known as ‘a-ping’ in Khmer, and they’re roughly the size of a palm.
The spiders are first marinated in MSG, salt, and sugar, and then fried in garlic. Most people would describe the taste as bland and something between chicken and cod. The texture is interesting, since it’s crispy on the outside, with a gooey, soft center.
Casu Marzu, Italy
This Sardinian dish also called ‘maggot cheese’, is sheep’s milk cheese, which contains live insect larvae. This cheese is derived from pecorino and reaches a decomposition stage, which is caused by the larvae.
According to those who eat it, these little guys are supposed to enhance the flavor of the cheese. Unfortunately, they’re prone to jumping when they panic, so make sure to watch out. A safer option would be to suffocate them in the fridge before eating them.
Pickled Egg, UK
This is pretty self-explanatory. The eggs are hard-boiled first, after which the shell is removed. Then, they’re submerged in a solution of salt, spices, vinegar, and other seasonings.
The sour liquid reaches the center of the eggs, meaning the egg yolks will taste sour. However, the end result mostly depends on the mixture of the pickling solution. Nevertheless, pickled eggs have become a very popular snack in bars, taverns, and pubs.
Wasp Crackers, Japan
Talk about creating a buzz, get it? We’re trying to use humor to hide the grossness of this next food. Basically, it’s like a biscuit. Except, instead of adding chocolate chips, swap them out for wasps.
Wasp Crackers, Japan
Making them is quite the process. Wasp hunters first set up traps all along the countryside to catch them. After that, the wasps are boiled in water. Once they’re dry, they’re added to the cracker mix, which is then stamped in a hot iron cracker cutter.
Chapulines is a very unique and unusual dish, and it is commonly eaten in certain areas of Mexico. If you’re struggling to make out what insects you’re seeing, they’re actually fried crickets (grab the bucket)! The crickets are collected at certain times of the year (from May to early autumn) and then they are cooked on a flat, smooth griddle called a comal.
Chapulines are usually seasoned with salt, garlic, and lime juice and sometimes with Maguey worms extract. This is supposed to give the dish a spicy-sour-salty flavor.
In several Nordic countries, people enjoy eating Lutefisk. The seafood dish is traditionally made for a Christmas feast. The whitefish (mostly cod) is first dried, put in lye, and then in cold water to remove toxins in order to make it safe for consumption.
After this, Lutfisk is ready to be cooked. It is commonly served with peas, potatoes, Allspice, and béchamel. The texture of Lutfisk is best described as gelatinous.
Cobra Heart, Vietnam
In Vietnam, Cobra heart dishes are very popular, and you can find them in almost any restaurant. As for the dish itself, the cobra’s neck is broken on the spot.
After that, the heart is located and an incision is made with a knife, which drains the cobra’s blood out into a bottle. Then the heart is cut out and dropped into a small glass, which is then filled with a mixture of snake blood and rice wine. Bon appetite!
Escargots à la Bourguignonne, France
This culinary gem of French cuisine consists of cooked land snails. The snails are purged and removed from their shells. After that, they’re cooked in garlic butter, stock, or wine.
Once cooked, they’re placed back into their shells with butter and sauce for serving. Garlic, thyme, pine nuts, and parsley can also be added. Their consistency is similar to clams or mussels, although some people find them a bit more rubbery.
Stink Bugs, Africa
Stink bugs are often used to add flavor to soups, but you can also eat them on their own. Most people say they have a bit of a crunch to them and some even swear they taste like apples.
While they’re boiling, the bugs start to release defensive pheromones in a last attempt to survive. It does hurt the eyes a little, but it is as successful as an onion’s attempt to escape.
Steak Tartare, France
Whenever foreigners order steak tartare, French waiters repeatedly ask them if they know what they’re ordering. Most of them know what they’re getting themselves into.
The French dish is made out of raw, top-quality ground beef and is served with onions, pepper, capers, Worcestershire sauce, and various other seasonings. These extras are presented on a separate tray to be added for taste. It’s also usually presented with a raw egg yolk on top of the tartare.
Kangaroo meat has long been a staple for indigenous Australians. It’s very high in protein and low in fat. Its flavor is described as gamey, and it’s served in lots of ways. You can have kangaroo steak, burgers, and even sausages.
Some animal rights groups are very much against hunting and harvesting kangaroos for their meat, but lots of ecologists think farming native animals is better for Australian rangelands than cattle. They also claim this could reduce greenhouse emissions.
Southern Fried Rattlesnake, United States
Although it’s not as tame as deep-fried Oreos, it is deep-fried. Southern-fried rattlesnake is a dish many Americans enjoy (believe it or not). When it comes to the actual flavor, some people say it reminds them of frog legs – both flavor and texture-wise.
Most experts advise first boiling the meat off the bones, then dipping it in an egg. After that, you can cover it with a mixture of seasoned salt, flour, and breadcrumbs and then deep-fry it. Very crispy.
Starfish is served dry, and it’s covered in a spiny and hard exterior, making it difficult to bite into. According to experts, you have to break off a leg, then use your fingers to pry open the skin to get to the insides.
The center is a green, meaty substance. In order to eat it, you hold the leg open and dig out the meat with your tongue. Sounds like a lot of work! Most people say it tastes like sea urchin or crab.
For a long time, people in Africa have hunted monkeys, rats, bats, snakes, and other kinds of wild animals for food. Dried, cooked, or smoked, the meat provided a good source of protein for the people living in rural areas, where farming domesticated animals was considered too impractical and expensive.
Bushmeat is basically a catchphrase for meat from all sorts of forest and savannah wildlife like lemurs, giraffes, and even apes.
Witchetty Grub, Australia
Witchetty grub is a staple of indigenous Australians in the desert, so in a way, the dish is part of the Australian ‘bushmeat’ family. You can eat them however you like, there are lots of possibilities. When you eat them raw, they taste very similar to almonds.
When they’re lightly cooked, their skin makes that satisfying crispy sound like roast chicken, and its insides look similar to a light yellow, runny scrambled egg.
Bird’s Nest Soup, Southeast Asia
Bird nest soup is an Asian delicacy, which is made from the swiftlet bird’s nest. The swiftlet bird doesn’t collect twigs for its bed but builds it from its own saliva.
The gummy substance goes hard after it’s exposed to air. Since they’re usually located very high up on cliffs, harvesting swiftlet bird nests is very dangerous. In fact, a lot of people die each year trying to do so.