The world's a crazy, repugnant place. As such, it's full of crazy, repugnant people consuming crazy, repugnant foodstuffs. I'm sure it goes without saying, but if you're at all squeamish, you'll probably gonna want to stop reading right about here.
Balut sounds like the name of a Disney villain – in reality, however, it’s something far more sinister. The Filipino street treat is – wait for it – nothing more than a fertilized duck embryo. It’s made by burying a duck egg in the ground for two to three weeks and waiting until the embryo within is almost fully developed; said embryo is then boiled and eaten in its own shell. And when I say almost fully developed, I mean almost fully developed – feathers, beaks and bones are all up in ‘dat husk. Mmm…needlessly cruel…
Plenty of mammals eat their young's placenta after childbirth – this is because the placenta is a nutrient-rich, vitamin- and antibody-packed superfood. (Y’know, like kale!) Most human beings, while still mammals, really don't really consume placenta all that much anymore; that doesn't mean some freaky folks don't partake, though. While the majority of doctors argue that people don’t need to nosh on placenta because we already get enough nutrition, hippie-dippy types swear that it has profoundly positive effects on the health of new mothers – they say it makes them stronger and increases milk production. The Chinese also use dried placenta in some medicines (it's one of the seemingly hundreds of things they use to "cure" erectile dysfunction).
Literally translated, casu marzu means "rotten cheese" in Italian. How rotten, you ask? Rotten enough to have live larvae in it, that's how. The cheese, found mostly in Sardinia, was outlawed in the EU for a while due to health regulations; it's now been declared a "traditional" food and, as such, is exempt from the law. The cheese can be eaten two ways: with the maggots still crawlin' around inside, or without. (Choose your own adventure!) Said maggots can jump up to six inches when they're disturbed – so, if you wanna eat the cheese with them in it, you've gotta put your hands over each slice on its way to your gullet to prevent 'em from escaping. If you don't want to eat them, put the cheese in a paper bag and wait for 'em all to jump out. They'll wiggle around in the bag for a while – when they no longer make noise, it's OK to eat the cheese. People who chomp on the stuff consider it to be an aphrodisiac – that explains why I'm so turned on right now.
You heard me, bro. Monkey brains. In a handful of Asian countries, they're devoured with aplomb; as a matter of fact, they're so popular in Indonesia that it's lead to over-hunting. As is the case with tons of other ridiculous foods (human placenta included), folks eat 'em 'cause they think they're gonna make their boners work again – eating monkey brains, though, could be hazardous to your heath. (I know that may seem hard to believe, but it's true!) You could contract some messed-up, fatal-ass diseases by snacking on simian smarts – is it really worth all that just for a four-hour erection? (Guys, don't answer that question.)
If you thought this article was just an excuse to rag on the curious culinary predilections of other countries, you were wrong – dead wrong, pendejo. Del Taco is the most American thing on this list; that being said, it's just as bad as a Filipino fertilized duck embryo. Every time I've eaten there, I've either felt like throwing up or actually threw up. Which begs the question, "Why did I go there more than once?" To which I reply, "Have you seen their prices?" We're in a damned recession here, people…my hands are tied! Apparently my guts are not alone – if you Google the phrase "Del Taco food poisoning," you get a buttload of personal narratives from other dummies who have ralphed as a result of eating crap like crinkle cut fries, Caramel Apple and Mac n' Cheese "Crunch Bites". Del Taco does deserve an award, though, for somehow making a single burrito (their Macho Beef Burrito®) have 1010 calories. Bravo, monsters.
What’s the gnarliest thing you’ve ever stuffed in your pie hole? Let me know in the comments!