Arts & Culture

8 Foods From Around The World That Are As Weird As Egypt’s Fesikh

8 Foods From Around The World That Are As Weird As Egypt’s Fesikh

seafood051

According to the ancient Egyptians, Sham El Nessim marks the official beginning of spring. In celebration of this glorious day they ate a dish of stinky fish referred to in Egypt as fesikh. To our great ancestors, fish in general, among other things, represented the prosperity and fertility that spring brought along.  Out of all other ancient Egyptian practices, eating fesikh on Sham El Nessim has survived the tides of time to become a pivotal element of Egyptian spring celebrations.

Simply put, fesikh is fermented grey mullet that has been dried in the sun and then salted to levels that are probably dangerous to any person’s blood pressure. There’s a certain art to making good fesikh as there’s a very thin line between fermentation and rot. Dancing around that line, may have fatal health consequences. The warnings that the Ministry of Health releases every year regarding the consequences of eating bad fesikh are yet to unnerve the Egyptian people who refuse to let go of this very stinky yet apparently tasty dish.

Personally, I have never tasted fesikh and probably never will either. Every time I am on the verge of trying it, the smell puts me off. Of course, I have become the target of the family’s elders’ snarky remarks on how I’m too “Dubai-ian” to eat fesikh. Ironically enough these very same people would rather die than have to ever eat sushi. Although unlike fesikh it is neither almost rotten nor smelly, they have permanently labeled sushi as “disgusting raw fish that is probably poisonous.” To a lot of people around the world, including many Egyptians, sushi is considered neither disgusting nor “probably poisonous”. However, my family has chosen to label it that way because it is unlike anything they have ever tried, which is exactly the same way I feel about fesikh!

Below is a list of dishes from around the world that YOU will probably label as weird, to say the least, if you have never tried them before:

1. Witchetty grub, Australia

australia

Fancy some scrambled eggs? Don’t know how to make them? How about a couple of moth larvae? Apparently they taste the same! These can be eaten boiled, grilled or even alive.

2. Fried spiders, Cambodia

fried-spider-sack

This dish is exactly what its name suggests. It is considered a delicacy in Cambodia.

3. Century eggs, China

Photograph by Yvonne Ruperti
Photograph by Yvonne Ruperti

The name of this dish is slightly misleading as the eggs aren’t really a century old. This dish is prepared by soaking the eggs in salt water for a couple of months until they turn almost black in color.

4. Beondegi, Korea

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This popular snack is made of boiled silk worms. Yum!

5. Escargots à la bourguignonne , France

Credit: Landon Nordeman
Credit: Landon Nordeman

Got a couple of snails in your backyard? Add a little butter and some finely ground garlic, toss them in the oven and voila!

6. Chapulines, Mexico

Credit: México Desconocido
Credit: México Desconocido

Grasshoppers are eaten in many places around the world, but are perhaps most popular in some places in Mexico.

7. Rocky Mountain Oysters, US

Credit: Lauren Hendrickson
Credit: Lauren Hendrickson

Basically deep fried bull, sheep or pig testicles.

8. Hákarl, Iceland

shark

This is considered one of Iceland’s national dishes. It is fermented shark meat that is left to dry for a few months.

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