When you’re looking for new weird foods to taste test or increase your culinary repertoire, you should think outside the box. Sometimes, we get stuck in a culinary rut and eat the same few things. While this can make it easy to toss together weeknight dinners or plan our grocery budget because of our consistent supply of certain ingredients, it can also block us from having new and exciting experiences with food. When you find yourself growing tired of eating ordinary foods, it’s time to kick the level of excitement up a notch.
Do You Need to Try New Foods?
If you’re not used to eating a variety of foods, you may wonder if there are any benefits to trying new foods — especially ones you consider strange or exotic. For some folks who have health conditions or neurotypes that make it harder to tolerate certain food textures or tastes, trying new foods can be more than simply preparing a novel dish. It can be a whole ordeal that requires planning, increasing coping skills or medical treatments, and even cooking a backup option in case you don’t like or tolerate the food in question. Some foods with particularly pungent flavors may be hard for folks who have bland taste preferences to enjoy.
Unless your doctor says that your diet lacks the variety you need to get a range of nutrients and health benefits from your food intake, you don’t necessarily need to try new foods. Still, you may want to switch up your dietary routine if you’re bored with the foods you usually choose or if you want to see if there are any health benefits to significantly modifying your diet habits. Some folks who are used to eating foods that are high in fat, sugar, and other additives that may impact certain health conditions may benefit from trying to eat new foods that are healthier alternatives.
If you’re always used to eating ice cream for dessert, it can be fun to replace it with a fruit you’ve never tried. For those who want to become vegetarian or vegan, eating vegetarian and vegan items that you consider strange can help you see your new food journey as a fun one instead of a chore. Additionally, if you have a child who is a picky eater, you can show him or her how to be brave in selecting new menu options by facing food fears of your own. You probably don’t need to try anything you don’t want to do, but you certainly may reap the benefits of doing so if you stick with it.
For those who have a hard time deciding between cauliflower and broccoli as their favorite vegetable, romanesco can be a match made in heaven in the vegetable department. You can either grow this plant by yourself or buy it at the grocery store. If you’re health-conscious, it may make a difference if you use organic fertilizer to grow this plant. If that’s not an option for you, you should be okay with using the fertilizer options that your local home and garden store carries.
While some might not see romanescos as new weird foods, most folks who have never tried them may find them a little strange. For one, they are shaped differently than familiar foods like broccoli and cauliflower. This can be a little off-putting. Secondly, the texture isn’t exactly like either of the vegetables that come together to make it. This might make it fun and also strange to use in cooking recipes.
If you’re interested in trying new weird foods that come from the ocean, you’ll love to give this food a try. Made up of squid, calamari is prepared in a few different ways depending on what part of the world you’re visiting. If you’re in one of many parts of the world where it’s fried and you order calamari, you’ll probably have an easier time stomaching it if you like fried foods. Some people could eat any food (or even non-food items) if it was fried because of how it changes anything into a delicious, crispy texture with the perfect amount of grease.
If fried food upsets your stomach, you may have an easier time consuming it for the first time if you opt for a boiled preparation method. When you boil it, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t overcook it or undercook it. If you’ve never cooked calamari before, you should ask a professional chef or another culinary professional for tips so you don’t make yourself sick or ruin this rare ingredient.
When you’re preparing calamari at home, you’ll need to remove the vein in the squid that contains ink. Before you do this, you should schedule a drain cleaning for your home. After all, you won’t want the drain to get clogged with seafood and sit for days. It’ll make your house smell unpleasant and could even create a health hazard if it’s left long enough in the drain unattended.
After you take your new-to-you boat out on the water that you bought in a used boat sale, you may want to learn how to catch all kinds of fish and cook them. Depending on where you live, you might not have this type of fish available to you to catch. What’s more, some places may have restrictions on catching these kinds of fish and consuming them. Still, if you’re on the hunt for new weird foods to try, you can see where you can try them without breaking the law.
While these funky-looking fish may be fun to view in the water, you should respect their spiny bodies when you want to cook them. Before you can prepare them for a meal, you’ll need to safely remove their spines since they contain venom. Although you could try to attempt this as a home cook, it’s much safer to get a culinary professional who has experience preparing lionfish involved in the process.
When you don’t feel comfortable removing the spines yourself, you can either purchase this fish pre-packaged or have it prepared by someone else. Sometimes, getting it at a restaurant makes it feel safer to eat than when you’ve prepared it yourself. Of course, it can also be more expensive if you buy it when it’s prepared for a meal at a restaurant than when you cook it yourself. Still, if cooking it at home makes you ill or even ends your life, it’ll be far more costly to try these types of new weird foods than you may have expected.
4. Frog Legs
In certain parts of the United States like down south, you’ll find that this dish is served in many local restaurants. In areas where it’s common to cook legs from a frog, they won’t see these as new weird foods at all. Still, if you’ve never eaten them before, they’ll feel strange and exotic. Thankfully, they probably won’t taste too different from other foods you have had if you’re a meat eater since most folks say they taste kind of like chicken.
One of the more exotic types of food available to people living in the South is alligator. Though it may be one of many new weird foods to some people, alligators have been hunted for their meat since before the Europeans landed. Nowadays, it’s legal in most of the Southern states to hunt alligators.
Alligator meat can also be acquired through alligator farms. Some common ways of preparing alligators include being mixed in gumbo, sausage, or even fried gator nuggets. Alligators aren’t just used for their meat, though. Alligator skin has become a hallmark of Western wear, particularly in boots. And contrary to popular belief, alligator doesn’t taste like chicken.
One of the most common flowers in the world is the dandelion. Originally from Eurasia, the dandelion has been cultivated for its medicinal uses for thousands of years. One of the most common ways to consume a dandelion is to brew it as a tea. After rinsing off the flowers, put the pedals into a tea ball, boil them in hot water, and add some honey or sugar to sweeten it up as dandelion tea is quite bitter when served as is. If this is something that interests you, just step outside, grab yourself a bouquet of dandelions, and you’re good to go!
7. Chicken’s Feet
For those who butcher chickens and want to use the entirety of the bird without letting any of it go to waste, putting the feet of the chickens you butcher on grills or in the oven can be a great way to use up every bit of the poultry. Although some people find the feet of chicken to be new weird foods because of their texture or appearance, they do taste like chicken in most cases. If you prepare them properly, you might even take a liking to them and prefer them to the wings, thighs, drumsticks, or breasts that you’re used to cooking when you get a whole chicken.
8. Chocolate Covered Ants
These days, some environmental activists are suggesting that we turn to insects as sources of protein instead of traditional animals and other protein sources. For those who want a high-protein dessert that’s good for you and the environment, ants covered in chocolate can be great new weird foods to try. Sometimes, you may want a chocolate-flavored snack without all of the implications it may have on your figure if you overindulge.
While you may be tempted to contribute to ant control measures in your home by covering ants you catch in chocolate, this doesn’t sound like a safe idea. Ants that are killed with pest control measures would not be safe to consume for pets or people. If you want to prank someone by putting chocolate-coated ants on their plate, you should buy them from a trusted retailer instead of making them at home. Otherwise, they could make the person that consumes them ill or even cause their death. This may be an extreme case, but it’s still worth preventing.
9. Turkey Gizzard
For those who don’t know, a gizzard is the part of the animal, typically a bird, that is responsible for helping with the digestion of plants and seeds. Sounds delicious, right? What you may not know is that people have been serving up boiled, fried, and grilled gizzards since time immemorial. They’re considered street food in some countries and served as a stew in others. This may be off-putting to some, but gizzards are a staple of many countries’ cuisines, America included.
Turkey gizzards have been a part of the Southern and Midwestern American diet for hundreds of years, gracing the dinner table of countless hard-working American families. One place where you may run into them is at a farmhouse wedding venue. Very much a cultural dish that’s been embraced by the rural community of America, turkey gizzards are one of many new weird foods you may run into while celebrating the nuptials.
Haggis: the national food of Scotland. To anyone outside the country, haggis is just another one of those new weird foods that no one has any business eating. But haggis itself has been a delicacy of the Scottish people for nearly a thousand years.
If you’re an American, you may find it hard to get your hands on this Scottish delicacy. Haggis can’t even be exported to America for the inclusion of sheep’s lungs in some recipes. To the people of Scotland, it’s always been a reliable dish that’s served in establishments from residential homes to fast food restaurants in place of traditional sausage. As strange as the recipe might be to a non-Scottish handyman, why not try it?
Food is about more than fueling our bodies, it’s also about having enjoyable experiences and pushing ourselves to try new things. If we never try new foods, we miss an opportunity to expand our palettes and potentially try something we’ll learn to love. Some foods may not be enjoyable to eat at first. After you’ve prepared them a few different ways or had them at different restaurants, though, you may surprise yourself and start craving them all the time.