My appetite is not small. Hence I have no qualms about delving into the local culture while overseas by shovelling generous portions of the national cuisine in my eagerly salivating mouth.
But, although I have been known to step out of my comfort zone to sample crocodile, snails and even grasshoppers, I have come to realise that I definitely have my limits.
I draw the line at century eggs – any eggs in fact thanks to my ovophobia. And brains, snakes and bats have yet to have a look in on my culinary agenda.
Maybe one day I’ll summon the strength to give them a try, and maybe I’ll even like the experience. But that day is unlikely to come any time soon.
However, unlike me, it turns out that Aussies aren’t afraid to clamp their gnashers around some weird and wonderful dishes when on holiday, a new survey has revealed.
In the study by Wotif.com, 53% of respondents said they had tried an “unusual” local delicacy on holiday.
“Aussies have tried everything from fermented shark, monkey brains, stink bugs, to guinea pigs and even famous one-thousand year old eggs,” Wotif.com spokesperson Kirsty La Bruniy said.
The most commonly sampled dish was escargot (aka snails), with frog legs, crocodile and snake coming second, third and fourth. But insects also tickled the fancy of Aussie travelers with crickets, witchetty grubs, bugs and grasshoppers creeping their way into the top ten list.
“It’s not all scaly and slimy though, with the Scottish traditional pudding made from sheep’s stomach, known as haggis, as well as chicken feet also on the menu for travellers,” La Bruniy said.
Of those that were daring enough to try one of the delicacies, 56% said they enjoyed them.
Meanwhile, 36% said they wouldn’t try anything crazy, for the reason that they preferred to stick with familiar dishes, with concerns about food poisoning the second most highly ranked deterrent.
More drew the line at one-thousand year old eggs (almost 60%), while only 55% would refuse to try potentially deadly puffer fish.
“Birds nest soup was a little more appetising with 67% not counting it out and 11% saying they would try anything,” La Bruniy said.
Here’s a list of the top ten exotic delicacies, as sampled by Aussies on holiday:
2. Frog legs
7. Chicken feet
8. Witchetty grubs