The topic of this article comes from an inquiry from one of my readers. Knowing that I’ve been around the world has led some people to wonder about the different foods that I’ve tried. Especially since I’ve lived in a remote village in West Africa for two years. And seeking out new and exciting foods is one of my favorite things to do during my travels. So for this article I’ll be sharing the top 3 craziest foods that I’ve eaten so far. And I’ve ranked these based on what I believe to be the least to the most crazy!
3. Assorted Insects
For this one we go to London, England. A city that I like to refer to as a Culinary Capital. Just about any food that you can find anywhere in the world can be found in London. This was something that really intrigued me. And I made it a point to scope out something that I’ve never tried before, something unique. This search led me to a small restaurant called Archipelago.
This restaurant specialized in exotic eats, and their menu consisted of things that I’d dare say that only an adventurer would order. So I was certainly in my element! I decided to order some of their dishes that included insects as ingredients. Some of which included; their love bug salad, pan-fried crickets, and chocolate covered locusts for dessert. All were actually quite good! Not to mention that these tiny creature contain a great amount of protein. Which helped me get a nutrition boost so I could continue to explore the city!
2. Pouched Rat
For the last two we’re going back to my Peace Corps service in The Gambia. During my service I worked at the school in my village. One of my roles there was co-coordinating the school’s scout program. During a weekend camp one of my scouts approached me and another teacher and showed us this massive dead pouched rat. It turned out that he killed it by literally flushing it out of its hole with a bucket of water. Once the rat scurried out of its hole, he grabbed it and tore its throat out.
I told him to get rid of it. But the teacher there told me that the rat was edible and that they eat them. At that point I was more fascinated than anything else. So I told him that he needs to bring me a piece once it’s ready. After they finished cooking it they brought me the front leg, and it was quite tasty! This may sound rather cliché, but it did actually taste like chicken! Just DO NOT bite into the skin, the skin is very much rat flavor!
I published an earlier article talking about this experience in greater detail. You can check it out here!
1. Ram Testicle
Unfortunately I don’t have a photo for this one, as I kind of ate it unknowingly. While living in my village in The Gambia I joined my host family for their celebration of Tobaski, or Eid al-Adha. This is a Muslim holiday that commemorates Abraham’s willingness to submit to God’s command and sacrifice his son. Of course as the story goes, God intervened and made it so that a sheep would be sacrificed instead. So for Tobaski, my host family had bought a large ram that they would slaughter for the holiday and have a feast to commemorate.
Now I’ll spare you all the gory details as to how they went about slaughtering the ram. But there was a certain point when the testicles were removed and my six-year-old host brother carried them away in a small bowl. I ended up losing track of them from there. When we had our feast I was excited to have a great amount of meat. Most of the time we didn’t have much meat to eat, or other protein sources for that matter. So I ate a lot of it from the food bowl that I shared with my host father and host brothers.
However, it wasn’t until after dinner when I thought about where the testicles might have ended up. So I ask my six-year-old host brother if they were in the food bowl. And he said yes with a big smile on his face! At first I thought maybe I had asked the question wrong, since I spoke in Sarahule. But then I asked my older host brother who spoke some English, and he confirmed it. So I ended that night with ram testicle in my stomach! Gosh that sounds so wrong saying it out loud!
To Sum Up
So there you have it! The 3 craziest foods that I’ve eaten so far. Though I’m determined to indulge in even crazier things as I continue my adventures. Because I believe that trying new, and often unusual, foods is an important part of any travel experience. And I encourage anyone else to do the same, even if it involves stepping outside of your comfort zone! After all, the edge of your comfort is where life begins!