Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world, retailing for $150 - $600 per pound, and certainly considered to be of gourmet quality. However, these beans are special because they are actually coffee berries that have been eaten, digested and excreted by the civet, a small monkey-like creature. The digestive enzymes of the civet help reduce the bitterness of the beans, and enhance the proteins. These rare beans are gathered on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, in the Philippines and in the Indonesian Archipelago. After the beans are gathered, they are washed, and given a light roast to enhance the complex flavors.
Balut is a popular dish in Southeast Asia and in the Philippines. The egg, which contains a partially formed duck fetus inside, is usually eaten raw by cracking open the egg, drinking the fluid then seasoning the fetus with salt and pepper.
In many Oriental nations, ox penis is believed to increase longevity and nourish skin quality. The penis is generally cooked by deep frying, steaming, and is sometimes eaten raw. The taste is rather bland, but cinnamon and cream are often added to dishes to enhance the flavor. Westerners have compared the flavor to the taste of overcooked squid.
Native to Southeast Asia, Durian fruit has actually been banned in some hotels, and on public transportation, because of its terrible stench. It smells like a rotting corpse. However, the flavor is said to surpass the taste of all other fruits in the world. The flavor is described as akin to sweet, creamy vanilla pudding, with a hint of almonds. Truly a treat.if you can get past the stench!
Bamboo worms, the larvae of moths that feed on flowering bamboo plants, are one of the most popular snacks in Thailand. The worms, which are low in fat, high in protein and fiber, are similar in taste in texture to corn puff snacks.
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