5 Countries, 5 Weird Foods I Dare You To Eat 1 2433

Part of the adventure of traveling is trying things that are weird and different. That also applies to food.

People around the world eat all sorts of strange things – from fried spiders in Cambodia to live octopus in Korea. Often these bizarre delicacies are a part of the culture, perhaps a tradition evolving from necessity and eating what is available. Over the years these odd foods are cooked to culinary perfection and become a fascinating part of the culture of your destination.

I’m a huge advocate of trying new and strange local foods when you travel. Okay, they might not be appealing at first but it’s all part of the adventure. Here are five foods from five different countries that you really should try if you travel there – I dare you.

(Note: I am only recommending weird foods that I have actually eaten. I’m not going to tell you to chow down on a rotten shark in Greenland if I haven’t actually done so myself. These are strange foods that have been tested by yours truly and are not as horrifying as they might sound.)

Peru – Guinea Pig

Fried or roasted Guinea Pig is a Peruvian delicacy. I ate it in Aguas Calientes, the evening before I visited the beautiful ancient ruins of Machu Picchu.

When I tell most people that I have eaten Guinea Pig (or Cuy, as it is called), they are disgusted – in our Western culture this animal is generally considered a cute pet. However, Guinea Pig has been a staple in the Peruvian Andean diet for about 5,000 years.

After all, these creatures are the ideal animal to farm in the steep Andean mountains – they are high in protein, they don’t take up very much space and they eat vegetable scraps. Plus, they are pretty tasty when slow-roasted with a bit of salt and pepper to make the skin crispy. Overall, it tastes a bit like a rabbit or dark chicken meat.

When you order Cuy be warned – it will show up on your plate whole with the ears, legs, snout and tiny feet still attached. If you can get past the horror of this, it is customary to eat the meat with your hands. Watch out, Fluffy has a lot of tiny bones so it’s best to go slowly.

Thailand – Crickets

You know how a handful of potato chips or salted peanuts goes down really nicely with a cold beer? In Thailand, they feel the same way about fried and salted crickets. Crickets have been part of the Thai diet for a long time, the tradition originating in the poor northeast where crops were hard to grow. Plus, crickets and grasshoppers were pests in the rice fields, so eating them was a win-win – pest control and a source of protein.

These insects are usually fried up in a wok and then seasoned with Thai pepper powder and a bit of Golden Mountain sauce. They are only around 1-2 centimeters in length and you can just pop them in your mouth and crunch the entire thing (if you are brave enough).

I ate crickets prepared by a street vendor while on a drunken night out in Bangkok. They really weren’t so bad – salty and crunchy and a bit spicy. However, if I am being honest I prefer potato chips with my beer.

Australia – Kangaroo

Australians like to say that they are the only country in the world that eats its national animal. That’s not really true though, there are a few. Plus, I think your average Australian doesn’t eat kangaroo on a regular basis – perhaps because of the 1960s cartoon Skippy the Bush Kangaroo made everyone sentimental towards these animals.

However, Kangaroo meat can be found in the supermarkets in Australia and I dare you to try it while you are there. You can buy some and cook it yourself, or you can find it in many local restaurants. I tried it for the first time at a “Roo and Wine for $11.99” night at a pub in Melbourne. It was delicious – juicy and meaty and with a slight gamey taste, a little bit like venison or alpaca. My partner Lee even prepared some kangaroo meat in a curry… he called it “Vindaroo.” **groan**

Kangaroo meat is actually really awesome for your health and for the environment. Kangaroo produces less greenhouse gas methane than cattle and there are so many of them in Australia that they are regarded as pests – hunted by professional shooters in a strict quota system. It’s healthy, low in saturated fats, high in iron, high in protein, wonderfully lean, and deliciously tender if you cook it properly. It has been eaten for many generations by the aboriginal Australians, who would roast the tender and succulent tail in a pit of burning embers.

Scotland – Haggis

Great chieftain o the puddin’-race indeed. The Scots love their haggis so much that famous poet Robbie Burns wrote a much-celebrated ode to this dish. They will eat it with everything, including in toasties, on pizza, in a baked potato – but the traditional way of serving it is with neeps (mashed turnip) and tatties (mashed potatoes).

So what is it? In 2003, a study revealed that one-third of American visitors to Scotland actually thought that haggis was a real animal that could be caught. However, it’s not. (Silly Americans!)

Haggis is a sheep’s stomach that is stuffed with the minced odd, random bits of the sheep such as the lungs, liver, heart, etc. Add some onion, suet, oatmeal, salt, and spices and boil it and you’re ready to go. This makes sense historically, it’s a quick way to cook up the offal before it spoils after butchering an animal and it was a nourishing and cheap dish commonly eaten by the poor.

Although it sounds horrendous, it’s actually quite nice. Everything is all minced up, so you don’t really think about the fact that you are eating lungs or heart. It has a nutty and savory flavor and when you add some whiskey gravy it’s quite delightful. It’s a comforting meal perfect for enjoying on a rainy evening in an old pub, or as a part of a gloriously greasy full Scottish breakfast after a night of drinking.

Brazil – Coconut Tree Grubs

Last but not least, we come to THE weirdest thing I have ever eaten.

My partner and I were on a tour in the Amazon jungle when our guide grabbed a coconut from a nearby tree and hacked it open with a machete. Inside there were multiple fat grubs squirming through the coconut meat. The guide pinched one between his fingers and gave it to me to eat.

“Hakuna Matata!” I said as I squeezed my eyes shut and popped the wriggling maggot into my mouth.

Guess what? These are the larvae of a beetle that lays its eggs after burrowing deep into the coconut. The grubs spend their entire life eating the coconut meat all around them – so they taste exactly like coconut.

But before you get excited, let me warn you that they aren’t like some delightful coconut candy. While the coconut flavor is nice, the texture is pretty nasty. Imagine biting down on an overripe grape and having the skin burst and the juices fill your mouth – yet knowing that those juices are maggot insides. Coconut-flavored or not, it’s a challenging snack to appreciate.

Eating grubs and larvae is no big deal to the indigenous people of the Amazon jungle. And why not? They are an important, widely available source of protein and fat. As you’ve probably learned so far, what’s considered disgusting and inedible to one culture is considered a valuable source of nutrients to another culture.

Have you tried any of these weird foods? I dare you to try these foods – or any other strange local delicacies – on your travels. It’s all part of the adventure!

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Kelly Dunning is a Canadian freelance travel writer. She lives a nomadic lifestyle with no fixed address – working from the road since 2011 with her partner Lee, a web-designer from England. They have traveled to over 50 countries and they offer travel tips, stories, and inspiration on Global-Goose.com

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Red Algae as a Skin Care Ingredient 0 225

Red Algae
Sanseti's 4-Step Skin Essentials Kit
Sanseti’s 4-Step Skin Essentials Kit

If you have been following me and by blogposts over the years you know how much I love skin care. And how much I have grown to love and review healthy skin care. Because what we put on our skin effects our health. Hormones, toxicity, skin disorders, and much more. I have found that I am enjoying a lot of amazing skin care with some great ingredients. And Red Algae is one. Below let me break it down to you the greatness of this oceanic plant.

Algae has been used in skin care for thousands of years. It’s been dubbed a “miracle ingredient” and the “ocean’s most potent secret,” and there are even entire skin care lines and brands dedicated to using algae and other marine extracts (you’ve heard about Sanseti, right?). Well I will be reviewing Sanseti. And unfortunately other brands like La Mer have so many chemicals along with its great ingredients that it really has no benefits to speak of. And this is my opinion on my use of this cream and my research on its ingredients. Like I said read your labels. Learn what it good and bad for your skin.

There are two primary types of algae: macro and micro. Macro is large-scale type that’s visible to the naked eye. It’s the stuff you see floating in the ocean and think of first when someone says the word “algae.” This includes seaweed, kelp, and laminaria (the brownish red seaweed that’s typically found in Japan). Microalgae, as you probably guessed, is super tiny. In fact, it’s a “single cell” algae, and you can’t see it without a microscope. This type is often found in freshwater and marine systems in both water and sediment.

Image result for red algae

Algae’s Skin Care Benefits

Micro and macro algae are both found in skin care products and boast numerous benefits. Most notable, perhaps, is its ability to instantly hydrate and condition the skin. Upon using products containing this ingredient, you’ll notice a more supple, moisturized complexion that’s soft to the touch.

Algae is also an antioxidant, meaning it protects your skin from free radicals that cause premature aging. In that sense, it’s an excellent ingredient for those who are worried about aging skin which is, well, most of us! Finally, it is high in essential amino acids, proteins, and a variety of vitamins—including vitamins A, B, C, and E. Talk about a loaded, super ingredient!

Skin types that benefit most from algae-infused products are dry skin, sensitive skin, and those who want to combat and prevent signs of aging.

Now let me name some amazing skin care lines that have this beautiful ingredient. And I do know that they all are amazing for you and your skin health.

Sanseti

Elemis

Algenist

Look for my review and blogpost on Sanseti soon!! I will pick my favorite product from the line next week and post about it on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!!

~Tiffany♥

How to Pack Your Bathroom into Your Suitcase: Tips for Lightweight Traveling 0 6411

Suitcase Packing

Traveling with toiletries in carry-on luggage can be a bit tricky. Between the size restrictions on liquids and trying to stuff all of your liquids into a small zip-lock bag, things get frustrating. Below you can find some tips for packing your bathroom into a suitcase in order to help you travel lighter and smarter.

TSA 3-1-1 Rule
TSA 3-1-1 Rule

Tip 1: Don’t pack it if you are not certain that you need it.

Rethink everything you put in your suitcase, especially when it comes to toiletries. Many people try to put every product they have in their bathroom into their suitcase just in case they might need it. Remember, it’s easy to purchase toiletries just about anywhere you travel. A forgotten item is not the end of the world, simply head down to the local supermarket, drugstore, or pharmacy where ever you’re traveling and purchase that forgotten item.

Tip 2: Small Traveling Toiletry Bags with a clear counterpart

Having all your bathroom items in one spot makes traveling much easier. Find a small, flat, toiletry bag with multiple compartments that can fit your makeup, shower items, creams, brushes, and razors. But most importantly, search for a bag that has a clear compartment for your liquids, so that you can easily remove it from your carry-on when going through airport security.

Tip 3: Forget Travel-Sized Toothpaste

Stop buying travel-sized toothpaste, it is completely unnecessary. Standard-sized toothpaste tubes meet the liquids size requirements. Grab the toothpaste you use every day from your bathroom and bring it along with you, it is already small and lightweight so it won’t take up much space or weight you down, and it will save you a bit of money.

Tip 4: Travel-Sized Face Moisturizer

One of the hardest things to find is usually travel-sized face lotion. Finding a face lotion that fits the appropriate carry-on requirements is nearly impossible in the supermarkets and drug stores. After much searching, we found that Sanseti (https://www.sanseti.com/product/revitalizing-marine-moisturizer/) sells a fantastic face moisturizer that comes in 2-ounce jars, perfect for travel.  Don’t be afraid of the quantity, a little bit of this goes a long way.

Sanseti Skin Care: Revitalizing Marine Moisturizer
Sanseti Skin Care: Revitalizing Marine Moisturizer

Tip 5: When packing makeup: Less is more

Just take the essentials. Don’t take the whole makeup bag which surely has products in there that you never or rarely use. Select the products you use every day and put them into a small makeup bag for travel, ditching the items that you won’t need.

Bitnami