The Top 10 Craziest Street Foods in the World

Editor’s Note: This article is brought to you by Rease Kirchner of, a team of foodie writers delivering a menu of delights to your inbox: daring delicacies, foodie travel tips and easy recipes to re-create in your own world kitchen. Follow the Fugu on Twitter @TheFlyingFugu.

For our money, we’d say street food is usually just as delicious as fancier restaurant fare (if not more so). And we’re not just talking about sandwiches and hot dogs. Take a look at the ten wackiest street food finds from around the globe — each one actually a very common find in one particular corner of the earth.

10. Fruit with Chili Powder — Mexico

You may think it’s odd to put something spicy on something sweet, but Mexicans do it all the time. It is very common to pick up fruit in a bowl or on a stick with some spicy chili powder sprinkled on top. Think of it as a twist on the sweet and salty combo — Mexico has sweet and spicy instead! (Photo: Spotreporting)

9. Chicken Feet — China

These grilled feet may look disturbingly similar to a human hand, but don’t worry, they actually come from a chicken. The meat is described as a bit chewier than a chicken leg might be. On the street, they are generally served grilled with some spices, on a stick or just in a basket. (Photo: Whologwhy)

8. Bugs on a Stick — Thailand

In Thailand,insects like crickets, grasshoppers and worms are fried up, shoved on a stick and served up to anyone with a rumbling tummy. The taste varies by the insect and the spices used to flavor them. In general, the insects are crunchy on the outside and a little soft on the inside. Mmm…soft and flavorful bug guts. (Photo: Star5112)

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Dark Bread. Strong Cheese.

Dark bread. Strong cheese.

I found a few things to adore in Copenhagen. The rampant bicycle usage. The intoxicating friendliness of everyone I met. The abundance of blonde hair and blue eyes and big, burly, bearded Viking men.

But also, the bread. The dark bread, repeatedly punctured with a million seeds. I found this sandwich – smørrebrød – at a tiny restaurant with plenty of seating overlooking a canal. After a few days in Denmark, I could fudge reading a menu, grasping a few recognizable words: bread, cheese. 

I ordered this, asking for a side of mustard. I was not prepared, however, for that translucent rectangle atop the cheese. Gelatinous, with an overwhelming presence of meat, I assumed this was birthed by beef broth. I tried a few bites, but the Jell-O texture and too-meaty flavor turned me against it.

But really, who needs more than cheese and bread anyway?

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Friday Fuck Up: Norwegian Wouldn’t

In the Northwest, which has a large Scandinavian population, May is a very festive time. Why? Syttende Mai is Norwegian Constitution Day. I’m not quite sure what this means historically or whatever, but I know for my community it means we have a huge parade and eat and drink a lot. While I myself am not particularly Nordic, I am happy to join my friends and neighbors in gravlax eating and akvavit swilling.

Although I am not the most confident baker, this year I decided to bake my own cardamom buns, skolleboller. These fragrant, light buns are very delicious and a Norwegian staple, especially around the holidays. I love to eat them with gjetost, brown cheese. (Gjetost is a polarizing cheese: it has a very strong, nutty, caramelly flavor. I think it’s almost reminiscent of peanut butter. To me it is uniquely delicious. Many people hate it though.)

I imagined I would frolic around town with my rolls in a lovely woven basket, handing out celebratory breads to all who crossed my path. Probably some baby deer would be galloping alongside me while little birds chirped along to the traditional Norwegian tune I hummed. It was all quite idealistic. (I don’t even know any Norwegian tunes unless we’re counting this.)

Anyway, with a song in my heart, I started out on my buns using this recipe from the Transplanted Baker, which seems to be very trustworthy. I like her blog and I do not blame her recipe whatsoever. But… something happened. My dough did not rise.


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Four Things to Freeze Before Vacation

I just got back from Chicago for a quick birthday vacation. Besides packing plenty of warm clothing and deciding on restaurants: iNG, The Bristol, The Publican, C-House, XOCO and Bari I also prepared my kitchen for a few days’ absence. But one more Chicago plug — Twisted Spoke, plenty of interesting, local and international beer, plus…inescapable ’70s porn. Enjoy a mustache with your Goose Island.

Anyway, here are some ideas on how to quickly prep your kitchen for a more welcome return.

Four Things to Freeze Before Vacation

1. Freeze Bread

There’s usually some sort of bread around my house looking for a quick toasting and buttering, or a nan looking for a dip in lentils. Either way, I rarely ever finish a package before its time is up. Before you see mold – and before you go away – toss the bread into the freezer. If you don’t have time for anything else on this list, this is the least you can do to save your food for future use.

2. Freeze Fruit

In this time before spring’s strawberries and summer’s, well, everything else, I’ve been leaning on the banana (especially in my double almond oatmeal).  I used to throw the whole banana in the freezer, peel and all. But soon the skin would blacken and turn slimy, and make the whole thing a mess. Now I peel the banana, slice it and throw it in a freezer bag. So far the banana hasn’t turned too dark. I added the frozen banana right into a new batch of cooking oatmeal, letting the banana warm up and soften into the oats. A frozen banana is also fab blended straight from the freezer with some Greek yogurt and topped with raw oats.

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How to Sop Up Guinness: Cast Iron Irish Soda Bread

Believe it or not, the Irish are serious about their soda bread. I absolutely love the Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread’s website. You really shouldn’t mess around with Irish soda bread wanna-be’s. It’s the real deal or nothing. Go traditional or go home. As an Irish girl and a lover of beer, shamrock tattoos, Irish music, and leprechauns, I can appreciate that. Don’t call something soda bread if it’s not soda bread!

So I think I have done my Irish roots justice in this recipe. Ok, aside from the yogurt, which was not available in Ireland in the 19th century. But, there are no raisins in this bread, nor orange zest, nuts, eggs, baking powder or yeast.

Let me explain. Irish soda bread doesn’t contain yeast. The whole point of the bicarbonate soda was that it was used in place of the yeast as a leavening agent. I even used cast iron like they did back in the day. Plus, I love any excuse to bust out my cute little cast iron skillets.

They are cute. Don’t laugh.

This is a basic, delicious, easy, pretty damn traditional Irish soda bread to sop up the beer that you will drink on St. Paddy’s Day.


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How to Make French Toast for a Crowd

You really shouldn’t be surprised that I have another breakfast dessert. After all breakfast is the meal of champions right? Following that logic I’ve whipped up a sweet hand-to-mouth breakfast exercise that will build your biceps and get your day started right with some sweet goodness.

But let’s clear something up first — that’s no muffin. That, my culinary enthusiast, is an Apple Walnut French Toast served in a cupcake liner with a walnut and graham cracker streusel.

My idea was to make French toast for a large group without running two or three pans and trying to time it so everyone is served in unison. Now of course you can opt for a large French toast casserole, but the problem I have with those is the center is always soggy — and well, that’s no good. So I decided to scale things down for more even baking.

Result: Loveliness between the pleats. (I know — it’s a recurring theme for me). No soggy mess and pretty much no leftovers.

Small note – Almost any bread will do for this recipe. You can use a plain loaf like an Italian or French bread type or a flavored one like I did. For this recipe I used an Apple Walnut bread from one of my favorite local bakeries. Alternatively, if you use plain bread, a quick flavor adjustment can be made by using a flavored dairy creamer instead of regular milk or cream.

Apple Walnut French Toast

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