By Caroline Chesterman
Put down your pizza, paella, and baguettes, and give these unique European foods a whirl! While these may not be your traditional food choices back in the states, they are sure to make your taste buds go wild. Bring out your inner Anthony Bourdain and munch on some of these tasty dishes. Brace yourself for some heart, lungs, blood, and other crazy animal parts. Bon appetit!
Black pudding: A sausage made of animal blood and oatmeal. While a delicacy in the United Kingdom, it is often also eaten all across Europe. This dish is usually served with breakfast and is prepared as cold as Ursula’s heart.
Kokoretsi: This dish consists of kidneys, lungs, hearts or sweetbread wrapped in goat intestines. This Greek combination is then put on a skewer and grilled to golden perfection. Don’t be shy, eat up!
Haggis: Brace yourself for this one. In order to make this pudding in Scotland, they mix together a sheep’s liver, heart, and lungs along with suet (animal fat), onions, and oatmeal. This concoction is then cooked in an animals stomach. Yum?
Escargot: Many of you may have heard of this meal, but how many of you have tried it? Next time you are in France, try this dish consisting of snails cooked in white wine, butter, and garlic. Escargot is a must to check off your bucket list.
Frog legs: This French dish is just what it sounds like. With a taste between a cross of chicken and fish, it can be grilled, baked, or fried. The texture is like a chicken wing, so order up a dozen of these babies and go to town!
Casu marzu: Famous in Italy, this cheese is made of sheep’s milk. What makes it different is that it is filled with live insect larvae. The purpose of doing so is to break down the fat in the cheese. Sounds reasonable, right? So grab your crackers, cheese knife, and one helping of larvae filled cheese!
Lutefisk: Found mostly in the Nordic countries, this cod is prepared by first drying it out and then soaking it in a lye solution for a few days. Lye is a chemical often found in cleaning products. Afterwards, it is soaked in water and voila, you have delicious fish with the texture of Jello…
Leberkäse: The translation for this food is “liver cheese.” In Austria it is made up of horse meat, but looks like bologna. It can be prepared on a sandwich and served to your delight. Nay, to your complete satisfaction. Get it!
Hideg Meggyleves: Need to throw a dessert in here for all of the sweets lovers out there. This dish is translated to sour cherry soup. It consists of sour cream, sour cherries, and sugar. In Hungary, it is served in the summer and is prepared chilled.
Janjeca glava: Fancy some lamb head? Well if you happen to be in Croatia, you’re in luck! Your dish will be made up of a combination of eyeballs, tongue, brains, and cheeks. Take your pick and start chowing down.
So, do think you are ready to try some of these exotic dishes? Never be afraid to try something new! Ready, set, eat!