While much of the fun of traveling revolves around new experiences, even the most adventurous explorers may draw the line at trying certain foods.
Proving that one man's winged rat is another man's pricey appetizer, members and editors of travel Web site VirtualTourist.com (www.virtualtourist.com) have come up with a list of 10 of the world's most unusual foods. Reuters has not endorsed this list:
1. Pig's Blood Cake; Taiwan
In Taiwan, pig's blood cake is sold on a wooden stick and eaten like ice cream. Easily found at street markets, it's a sweet treat generally made from pig's blood and rice.
2. Live Octopus; South Korea
Unlike calamari which is dead and still, octopus in South Korea often arrives at the table alive and moving. Connoisseurs of the dish say it's best to eat quickly.
3. Grasshopper; Uganda
Caught during the rainy season and eaten cooked or raw, these are a perennial favorite. Sold with or without wings and legs, they are easily found at the local markets.
4. Pigeon; France
While considered a dirty street animal by many, this poultry dish is an expensive and much-loved delicacy that graces the plates of some of the country's finest restaurants. Considered to have a robust flavor, it still struggles to gain culinary acceptance in much of the world.
5. Durian; Malaysia
Some Malaysian hotels put up signs banning the durian. The ultra-strong aroma of this spiky fruit may turn off tourists, but many Malaysians love its doughy taste.
6. Lutefisk; Norway
Marinated in lye, this gummy fish takes days to prepare and is described as one of the most vile-tasting foodstuffs ever created. In spite of this less-than-tasty reputation, it remains hugely popular in this part of the world.
7. Grubs; Australia
These white, high-in-protein snacks are actually the larvae of moths and an important insect food of the desert, once a staple in the diets of some Aborigines.
8. Snake Wine; Vietnam
Said to have medicinal properties, this strong cocktail is best downed quickly. Not only is it made from snake blood, it's bottled with a snake inside and occasionally other creatures, like scorpions.
9. Donkey; Italy
Sliced and eaten much like prosciutto, this sandwich meat can be found — and accidentally ordered — fairly easily in the country's bars.
10. Ostrich; South Africa
Low in cholesterol and considered healthier than other meats, the ostrich is becoming more and more popular all over the world. Everything from ostrich burgers to omelettes made from the bird's eggs are turning up on menus.