Exotic food does not belong to the regular menu of a cuisine nor does it adhere to any culinary norms. Exotic foods and exotic recipes are novel to people who are not used to them normally. There are many people across various cultures who enjoy exotic dishes. Such people love to experiment with various exotic recipes made with exotic ingredients, but some of them are at times harmful for one’s health. What is acceptable to one culture may not be acceptable to others. Frog heart alive, bugs, beetles, lizards, dog meat, starfish, eyeballs, cow’s intestines, etc., are some classic examples of exotic foods.
How Exotic Recipes Evolved
Exotic food was coined when people from one region/country moved to other countries and started experimenting with not so regular foods, as a result of non-availability of shortage of regular foods. However, there is no record as to the actual time of exotic dishes coming into existence.
Exotic Recipes of Different Cuisines
Exotic foods of various cuisines are specific to the region. Each country has its own set of unbelievable exotic dishes and Asian countries top the list. Some interesting exotic recipes of various cuisines are –
- Asian – Deep Fried Bugs – This exotic recipe of Chinese origin involves frying bugs such as ants, grasshoppers, hornets and caterpillars. These crunchy exotic dishes are generally spiced with chili powder. Other exotic Asian recipes are The Filipino Balut (half-hatched egg), Dog Meat, Singapore’s Turtle Soup, Oriental Chicken Legs, Taiwan’s Rooster Testicles, Indonesian Bats, Filipino Fried Rats, etc.
- American – Grilled Ox Heart – As the name suggests, this exotic dish is quite popular in America, where the Ox heart is grilled like any other meat. Other popular American exotic foods are Caribou and Reindeer,
- Filipino – Dinuguan (Pork Blood Stew) – This exotic recipe of Philippines is quite popular with many locals. It is made from pork blood, meat and pork intestines and that is the reason it is considered an exotic food. Other exotic dishes of Filipino origin are Fried or Roasted Rat, Monitor Lizard Meat, Fried Frogs, Raw Young of a Mudfish, etc.
- European – Offal – This exotic dish is made from offal or the organs that are left behind after an animal is cut for its meat. Many European countries thoroughly enjoy this exotic dish. Other popular exotic recipess of Europe are made from Whales, Horses, etc.
- African – Fried Rodents – This exotic dish of Africa is quite popular, rather a necessity in most of the poor African countries. Other exotic dishes are made of Amphibians, reptiles, Elephants, etc.
Beliefs behind certain Exotic Dishes
Exotic foods made from certain creatures are believed to have certain health effects and a lot of cultures adapt to this belief. Some common beliefs behind certain exotic dishes are –
- Scorpions – They are known to make the blood hotter in cold climates.
- Seahorse – They are known to strengthen sexual ability.
- Snakes – They are known to be a good aphrodisiac.
- Turtles – They are known to be good aphrodisiac.
Exotic Food Trivia
In some cultures, eating exotic food is considered a taboo, which may not necessarily apply to another culture.