Category: Seafood

Live Crab Vending Machines

crab vending machine
Live Crab in vending machine

Japan is probably the world leader for vending machines, they have them everywhere offering anything from ready made meals and fresh fruit to cell phones and more. However in Nanjing China they have taken vending machines to a new level, their vending machines dispense live hairy crabs in plastic containers. Continue reading

Canned Russian Herring

Canned Russian Herring
Canned Russian Herring with teeth (Source)

In Russia you don’t eat canned fish, the canned fish eat you! The can pictured here is supposed to contain Atlantic Herring however it looks more like a piranha or snake head to me. Alternatively it could be a wolf herring which is also found in the Atlantic. If there are any fish experts out there that can help identify it please let us know. Whatever it is, it deserves a place in the bizarrefood blog.

Eskimo Ice Cream (Alaska)

Eskimo Ice Cream
Eskimo Ice Cream – Photo by Jon Rowley

Eskimo ice cream may sound like a sweet treat, but traditionally speaking that is far from the truth.  Eskimos have been making this dish for a very long time, and it truly is their own unique take on ice cream.  Locals call this dish akutaq.  Eskimo ice cream is made from reindeer fat.  Fat taken from other animals such as moose or seal may be included in the mix.  For those who live in the more remote villages in Alaska, it really is dependent on what game is available.  Eskimo ice cream may also include dried salmon eggs, berries or fish.  It is cold and creamy, but due to the animal fat this dish will not taste like the ice cream you are likely familiar with.  The traditional version of this dish does not contain sugar or any sweeteners, but if you are a tourist in Alaska who wishes to try Eskimo ice cream you may be able to find a version that has some sweetener in it.

Sannakji – Live Octopus, a.k.a. “Korean Viagra”

Sannakji Live Octopus
Sannakji Live Octopus Dish

In Korea, many men eat different items in order to have more sexual vitality.  Different selections are touted as excellent choices for this desire, such as goat stew, deer antler whiskey, dog meat, red ginseng, the list is never ending.  However, none of these are quite as attention-grabbing as sannakji which is almost alive.  Sannakji is the tentacles of a baby octopus that are so fresh and raw that they are still squirming.  This is a popular food for those who go to bars, which is apparent from many Youtube videos. Continue reading

Hákarl – Putrefied Shark Meat

If you are planning a voyage to Iceland, while you are there you can have the unique experience of biting a shark, instead of having it bite you.  This is one shark you’ll want to bite, as it is putrefied.  Better known as Hákarl, this strange delicacy is worth a try – if you can get past the smell!

Hakarl Shark Meat
Hakarl Shark Meat Iceland

How is Hákarl Served?

Hákarl is one of Iceland’s more well-known traditional offerings, and is perhaps a bit infamous as well. Hákarl is typically served on a small plate, and is cut into small cube-shaped pieces that may look a bit like cheese to the untrained eye.  Using a toothpick, diners spear their fare, and then the true Hákarl experience begins.  Be cautioned that if you are like most people who try Hákarl for the first time, you will gag when you take your first bite.  Hákarl is generally accompanied by a glass of Brennivín, which is a good thing, as it helps to clear the palate of overpowering taste of this extremely flavorful cuisine. Continue reading

Fugu – The Poisonous Puffer Fish?

Fugu edible puffer fish
Fugu is extremely poisonous if not prepared properly

Japanese cuisine includes some unique and amazing delicacies. One of the most interesting and dangerous dishes in Japanese cooking is Fugu, also known as Blowfish or Puffer Fish. Fugu is extremely poisonous if it is not prepared properly, and can be fatal if ingested. At the present time, only a very select number of chefs are authorized to serve and prepare Fugu. Surprisingly, the government in Tokyo is currently preparing to relax restrictions that permit only licensed and trained chefs to serve Fugu. Continue reading