Deep Dive: Why Do British People Put Meat in Their Pies (And Other Strange Foods We Don’t Get)?
Photo: Tracey Kusiewicz/Foodie Photography (Getty Images)
Pretty much anywhere you travel in the world, you’re going to find some odd, cringe-inducing foods. While we’d probably eat them, one of these foods is meat-based pies in the UK. What’s the deal with making pies filled with chunks of meat? Pies are supposed to be sweet, sugary, and filled with fruit, not pieces of liver and lungs.
Now that we’re talking about meat pies, this makes us think of some of the other strange foods that can food in various corners of the globe. Check out some of our (least) favorites below.
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Fermented Shark (Iceland)
Also known as hákarl, the national dish of Iceland is literally a Greenland shark cured, fermented, and hung to dry for months. It smells like ammonia and tastes just as bad. It’s best followed with a healthy swig of Brennivín, a spiced aquavit.
You probably remember an episode of The Simpsons where Homer eats pufferfish sushi. Well, it’s real and it’s referred to as ‘Fugu.’ And just like in the episode, it can be lethally poisonous if sushi chefs don’t remove the toxins.
Steak and Kidney Pie (England)
Maybe it’s more of an old timey dish, but what’s the deal with steak and kidney pie? This savory pie is full of diced kidney meat, steak, onions, and gravy. While we might give it a try just to say we did, we’d much prefer fish and chips.
Jellied Moose Nose (Canada)
While this is listed as a food eaten in Canada, we’re willing to bet that most Canadiens have never eaten this boiled moose nose made with various spices until it all turns into a jelly mess. We’ll just leave this one north of the border.
Century Egg (China)
Century egg is exactly what you think it is. While it wasn’t aged for 100 years, it’s literally a rotten egg. What begins as a regular egg is then buried in clay, ash, and salt for several months. The result is a greenish, black egg yolk that smells are putrid as it tastes.
You might have heard of haggis, but you probably don’t know what it is. Simply put, it’s sheep’s heart, liver and lungs, minced and mixed with oatmeal, suet, onions, and various spices that’s cooked inside a sheep’s stomach. It’s a traditional dish for Burns night and is best paired with a few drams of Scotch.
Balut (The Philippines)
If you’re the type of person who can’t even handle eating a hard-boiled egg, don’t read any further. That’s because the Filipino treat consists of a fertilized egg with a partial embryo inside. It’s boiled alive and eaten in the shell. It might be a delicacy, but it’s terrifying to us.
Tuna Eyeballs (Japan)
For many of us, our tuna experience doesn’t extend beyond tuna fish sandwiches and tuna steaks. In Japan, some people buy tuna eyeballs and steam or boil them. They’re considered a delicacy and we honestly can’t understand why.
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