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Exotic Foods of the Worldly Traveler

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Part of traveling is sampling the local fare. Now many of these delicacies can be ordered online. So my question is: without a few tequilas and the feeling of exploration, will we order these things online and try them at home? Will our cornflakes taste better with a few crickets? Will your sweetheart believe lizard wine will liven up your love life? You be the judge. Here are my favorite exotic edibles available for purchase.


The Giant Japanese Hornet is the largest species of wasp in the world and it contains special enzymes in its body which are reputed to increase strength and energy levels. It supposedly has a “pick me up” effect.


The scorpion is first put through a special detoxifying process and then infused in the vodka for three months before hitting the shelves. The scorpion imparts a pleasant, soft woody taste to the vodka; it also effectively smoothes the sharp edge of the vodka. Alcohol infused with a scorpion is said to possess many excellent health properties. It helps increase libido, lowers blood pressure, and helps remove toxins in the bloodstream. Best served cold.


This brandy-like liquor is produced by steeping rice wine in a clay vat full of Tokay Gecko Lizards and ginseng. After a twelve-month fermentation process has taken place, the liquor is then strained, resulting in this green-colored drink. Consumption of Lizard Wine is said to ward off evil and improve vision!


For those that like their coffee better the second time around, I give you the Civet Coffee. The Common Palm Civet Cat (Paradoxurus Hermaphroditis) prowls the Sumatran coffee plantations at night, choosing to eat only the finest, ripest cherries. The stones (which eventually form coffee beans) are then collected by cleaning through the droppings by the natives who collect it. This has to be among the weirdest jobs in the world. 






I guess if coffee from the bowels of a Civet is too much, you could try Weasel Coffee. This coffee is first eaten by weasels and then regurgitated—no one knows why they do this, but it is collected by locals in remote forest areas who then clean and roast it. The coffee has a unique, rich chocolaty flavor and is best served as an espresso with a dash of condensed milk, just as they do in Vietnam.




Pearl Lollipops are made from raw cane sugar, wild Madagascan vanilla essence, and ground natural pearls. Since ancient times in China and Japan, pearls have been used in child-bearing rituals and foods were often decorated with tiny pearls, which were to be eaten in order to secure a pregnancy prior to sex. Caution: do not eat if allergic to shellfish.




Supposedly these baked worms taste similar to popcorn. Make sure you buy the ones raised for human consumption. I guess what I’m saying is no freelancing cooking up the ones in the backyard.


And lastly, for the faint of heart, how about a lollipop with a few ants? I’m pretty sure I could achieve this by leaving a previously licked one on a counter at home. 


This one is a peppermint-flavored lollipop that contains real farm-raised ants. The ants are specially bred Polyrachis Black Ants and they have a spicy, peppery taste similar to chili peppers. Ants are said to be good for giving you an energy boost, and the peppermint is great for freshening your breath

So if you are thinking about trying these items yourself, I found most of them (and more) for purchase at edible.com. Please let me know if you try any of them. I think I could pull off the liquor and the lollipops; I’m not sure about the rest.

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