Desere DavisPublished in November 2020 / Updated in January 2021
Beloved and admired late food journalist and traveling food show host Anthony Bourdain had strange tastes.
Anthony’s TV shows such as ‘Parts Unknown’ and ‘No Reservations’ were very popular because they showed viewers the kind of dishes they would otherwise never even hear of.
As the host of these shows, he would visit unknown places and try the local cuisine. As a result, Anthony was no stranger to odd and weird dishes. However, some of the meals he ate are crazy and downright disgusting.
We’ll be looking at the most insane things the author and chef dared to put in his mouth. Be warned, some of it is really, really gross.
Anthony certainly had a brave stomach. If you want to get a taste of what he ate, you’ll likely become the most talked-about person in your circle of friends.
We kick off our list with something small from Vietnam. Anthony had an avid love for the country, which he said was one of his favorite places on the planet.
Sure, Vietnam has a lot to offer when it comes to culture and food – it has a vibrant mixture of influences from all over. Vietnamese food is popular across the globe and very tasty too.
However, there is one dish that not everyone would appreciate, and that would be cobra heart.
Anthony has eaten many organs during his time as a cook, but the heart of one of the most feared snakes in the world is taking it rather far. It is believed that this extreme meal is not only nutritious or yummy but also positively affects male virility.
If you’re considering giving this meal a try, keep in mind that it is often put on the plate for consumption while it’s still beating.
According to Anthony, he could feel the cobra’s heart still pulse as he swallowed. If that won’t make you a little queasy, you’re braver than most.
Raw Seal Eyeball
Not many folks think the idea of eating seal meat is very appealing, but some prefer their body parts over the meat itself.
For Inuit people, seal meat forms an important part of their diets. When Anthony filmed ‘No Reservations’, he got the chance to try this kind of food for himself. He visited Canadian Inuits in Quebec and they gave him the ‘whole experience’.
He was given a piece of everything, including the seal’s eye. This was described as ‘not bad’ by Anthony.
This is one of those meals that many people hear about but few would actually try for themselves. For the purpose of this dish, the octopus is still alive when it is eaten. Not only is that really weird, but it is also not completely safe.
The octopus can harm the person trying to eat it alive, but it is still seen as a delicacy in South Korea and Japan.
This meal is so alive when it is supposed to be eaten that you’ll have to constrain it to get it into your mouth. While you might feel like you won when you swallow parts of the octopus, it could attach itself to your throat in an effort to avoid ending in your stomach.
Definitely not a meal for just anyone. Anthony tried out this dish in New York City, surprisingly enough. If you’re not turned off just yet, keep in mind that this meal will be very pricey since it’s such a delicacy.
Back in 2004, Anthony tried a meal that he actually did not like very much. For an episode of ‘No Reservations’, the cook steeled himself to try hákarl, better known as fermented shark.
It is basically rotten shark meet and it’s a delicacy in Iceland. However, it is not popular with many people and most can’t stomach the smelly dish. The most noticeable part of this delicacy is its smell – ammoniac. It is excreted from the shark’s skin and is also found in urine…
Anthony called the meat the most disgusting and worst-tasting thing he had ever experienced. That’s a lot, coming from someone with adventurous tastes like him.
He isn’t the only pro chef who couldn’t stand fermented shark – Gordon Ramsey couldn’t even get as far as swallowing it.
Yes, you read that right. Warthog butt. That is likely one of the strangest-sounding things that Anthony has ever eaten.
This…morsel was eaten by the food-lover for his show ‘A Cook’s Tour’, and it helped him stand out from other similar show hosts. How many of those can actually say they tried the anus of a warthog?
And although this was one of his most ‘exotic’ meals ever, it was not one that he particularly enjoyed. Anthony is always telling his fans and viewers to try new things and take chances – you never know if you will like something unless you try it.
Well, that advice is something that he regretted handing out after eating this.
All those years of telling you to eat as the locals do, take a chance, don’t be squeamish, they’re all coming back to haunt me. Behold the worst meal of my life.
The meal was presented unwashed and filled with dirt and poop. However, Anthony did not want to offend the chief who offered the less-than-clean meal.
The chief is there in front of his whole tribe offering you his very best. Show respect. I’m lucky to be there, I’m lucky to see that. I’m lucky to have that experience. Chewing some antibiotics is a small price to pay.
Pig Blood Soup
Thailand is popular for its delicious foods but Anthony tried a meal that not everyone who loves Thai would try out.
Anthony decided to eat one of the most unique menu items at a restaurant that is known for using every single part of the animals it prepares.
Pig blood soup is known as Iuu in Thailand and even there it is not as popular as other meals.
Anthony wasn’t quite eager to try the bloody soup but said that it had a nice flavor when he tasted it. Apparently, it is a little spicy and a little sweet.
Still, it doesn’t look very appetizing, does it?
While most people claim they love Chinese food, they can’t really say that until they’ve actually tried Chinese meals in China. And if they did, they might not be such big fans after all. Many of the meals served in Chinese restaurants outside the country aren’t at all Chinese.
Anthony tried Stinky Tofu while he was in China and it wasn’t all that pleasant. It is a well-known street food and smells really strong. The chef wasn’t a fan and likely wouldn’t have recommended it to anyone else.
Maggot Fried Rice
Lovers of Asian food know and adore fried rice. It offers a nice crispiness that most people can enjoy. It is a meal that can be made very tasty when you add your own favorite ingredients to it such as onion or chicken.
However, there is one ingredient that doesn’t come to mind when adding some extra flavor to fried rice – maggots.
Anthony got the chance to try this truly weird meal when he was on ‘Piers Morgan Live’ and offered ‘adventurous’ food.
He took one bite, washed it down with some wine and refused to eat more. Can you blame him?
This is another meal that Anthony tried while English TV personality Piers Morgan was watching. For many, this one would be far worse than maggot fried rice but Anthony actually liked it more.
Balut is fetal duck egg and it is eaten in the Philippines – it is considered an aphrodisiac. It is a street food speciality and Anthony said the taste wasn’t that bad.
The only thing that put him off was the crunch that the egg had, which is due to the developed duck parts in the egg.
Anthony has tried many strange meals and most of them are from Asia, but this one comes from the home of pasta, Italy.
Cuttlefish ink is a meal that consists of spaghetti that has the ink added to it for a black color. It can be served with vegetables and shrimp or squid. It’s not one of the most well-known pasta meals from Italy, but it’s certainly one of the most unique.
The strange appearance is jarring, but the taste is usually considered fairly mild. People who enjoy calamari will like this meal.
This is for sure one of the less weird meals that Anthony has eaten for our entertainment.
One of the few meals on this list that won’t make your stomach want to hug itself is Frito Pie. Anthony found this odd but not-so-bad meal in a tourist shop in New Mexico. Naturally, he had to give it a try.
The Frito pie is served in an open Frito bag that consists of the chips, cheddar cheese and chilli. Some versions of this ‘pie’ use fresh ingredients.
Although Anthony finished the bag, he said after eating it, he felt ‘a level of self-loathing’ that he associates with drinking too much. Not the healthiest meal, but definitely a lot more appetizing than most of the other dishes that Anthony ate.
Stomach Bile Soup
Anthony tried many strange things in the Philippines, and this is one of them. While in the country, he was talked into trying stomach bile soup. It’s not something that he was very excited about and we cannot blame him.
Basically, this soup consists of chunks of meat that is cooked in a broth that isn’t much more than stomach bile. It is called ‘pinapaitan’, derived from the word ‘pait’, which means ‘bitter’.
The soup is known for being rather spicy and Anthony was pleasantly surprised when he tried it. Despite his initial reluctance, he enjoyed the meal.
The idea of eating testicles is not one that many Western food-lovers have often, if ever. However, many parts of the world feel that you’re being wasteful if you don’t eat all parts of an animal, so testicles are consumed as well.
In some cultures, it is even seen as something that will boost your body, especially sexually.
On that note, it comes as no surprise that Anthony has eaten the testicles of more than one animal during his travels. He tried sheep testicles in Morocco, turkey testicles for Piers Morgan and even bull testicles in Nicaragua.
Another meal consumed during the making of ‘Parts Unknown’ that is seriously gross-looking was the buggy one in South Korea.
Beondegi soup is not recommended for folks who don’t like bugs. The main ingredient for the soup is silkworm larvae.
The smell of the soup adds to the overall yuckiness of the soup but it didn’t stop Anthony from digging in.