The Not-So Starving Student—Four Exotic and Strange Eats

Are you an adventurous foodie?  Do you enjoy ethnic cuisines and are not afraid to make a statement with the food you’re eating?  Then this article is for you!  Having travelled the globe to seek out authentic palette pleasers, I wanted to share some of the most unique food I’ve had from around the world.

Frog Legs: Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Of all places, I certainly did not expect to find fried frog legs served on a silver buffet platter.  Frog legs are considered a delicacy in Asia and having tried them on the other side of the globe, I was surprised to find deep fried, fully seasoned frog legs with some semblance to buffalo wings in Las Vegas.  Luckily, The Cosmopolitan hotel serves some of the most exciting and unconventional buffet items such as bone marrow and frog legs.  The protein was tender and similar to chicken wings.  My favorite was the buffalo sauce dip that masked any hint that I was holding a frog leg and not a chicken drumstick at the local pub.

Fried Alligator: Orlando Florida

Even before setting foot in Orlando, we were acutely aware that we were entering alligator territory.  From tours of Gatorland to airboat rides through crocodile-packed swamps, we were pumped to see these massive carnivores in action.  However, I was not expecting to wind up chowing down on these beasts.  While at a local diner, we picked up some local favorites like alligator and fries (strikingly similar to chicken tenders and fries).  The protein was muscular, tough, and definitely not your average chicken tender texture.  There was no hint of gaminess or exotic flavor, though, and it could easily have been mistaken for overly cooked beef or chicken.

Curried Camel Brisket: Edmonton Alberta

When I discovered an authentic Somalian restaurant in town, I knew I had to take a chance on African food.  Given this was the only restaurant in the city that served camel meat, I had to order their curried camel brisket.  The camel was seasoned with curry, cumin and a complex mix of spices that reduced the gaminess of the meat.  While the texture reminded me of lamb, the meat was much fattier and had a strong hint of gaminess, one quite unlike goat or lamb.

Stir Fried Periwinkle Snails: Hefei, China

On my recent trip to China, I was enthralled by the growing night market culture and the late-night eats available in almost every city I visited.  Late night eats are so popular, the Chinese give this “fourth meal of the day” a name; yie xiao (pronounced yeh tsiao).  The fourth meal is popular for Chinese millennials who work tirelessly during the day and unwind at night with friends and co-workers.  One of the popular selections at this hour include periwinkle snails.  The snails are similar to pub food in North America, typically ordered with a pint of beer.  You use a toothpick to extract the meat.  The protein is tough and carries a powerful snail scent (if you’ve ever had escargot you will understand).

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