The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World

All of the following dishes are considered healthy in their native cultures, but we still could not be persuaded to sit down to a nice bowl full of this stuff.
The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World

We don't want to come off as ignorant of other cultures. After all, if we eat the eggs of chickens, can we still get grossed out by jellied moose nose?

Yes. Yes we can. We can't help it. All of the following dishes are considered healthy in their native cultures, but we still could not be persuaded to sit down to a nice bowl full of ...

Shirako, aka Fish Testicles With Semen

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World
Alessandro D'Adda/Courtesy Travel + Leisure

Shirako ("white children") is fish balls, often served up raw in the form of sushi. Not fish balls as in delectable little balls of fish meat coated in tempura and fried up nice and crispy -- fish balls as in the genitalia of male fish, all swollen up with milt, which is a less crude synonym for fish cum.

Recipes describe the eating experience like so:

"Steamed, milt is as soft as an egg custard; pan- or deep-fried, the surface crisps up while the interior remains soft and creamy. The taste of milt is subtle; there's a slight sweetness and just the faintest hint of its oceanic roots."

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World
Jupiterimages/ Images

It's a cumucopia of tastes that burst loads of flavor into your mouth.

But Apparently It's Good for You

Shirako often comes (ugh) from cod or herring, and the milt it contains has such a spectacular omega-3/omega-6 ratio that it's even been used to make dietary supplements. The company Nutratec, for example, used it to develop a supplement called Sementis. That's right: They didn't even bother to hide the fact that it was semen, they just put that shit right in the name. So why pop a boring old pill when you can instead (literally) pop shirako into your mouth-hole and savor the sensation of some fish's man juice ever so slowly flowing down your throat (while funk music plays in the background)? It's so healthy, it's practically pornographic.

After all, an ex post facto blowjob is the least you can do to repay that poor fish who sacrificed his nads for the sake of your cardiovascular health, don't you think?

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World
Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

The problem is that you may feel like smoking afterward, thus ruining everything.

Tiet Canh, aka Duck Blood Soup

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The Vietnamese dish tiet canh is a sort of soup made from a whole duck -- the meat, the gizzard, the kidneys, the liver ...everything. And if you felt a cold chill go up your back at the way we italicized "everything," that's because the rich, ruby-red broth in which all of said duck parts are floating happens to be freshly squeezed duck blood.

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World

Gross ... pulp.

Tiet canh is a very popular street food, so it should be relatively easy to order yourself up a serving during your next tour of Vietnam -- the bad news being that slurping down raw duck juice could possibly come with a bonus helping of the H5N1 bird flu. There is good news, however: If you have a hankering for a nice heaping bowl of blood soup but you're afraid of catching Captain Trips, you can still try it ... because sometimes it's made from dog instead of duck. Woof.

But Apparently It's Good for You

A protein-rich diet is a surefire road to packing a Roman-god-like six-pack, if the Internet is to be believed. And nothing packs a veritable bucketload of protein quite like the recipe for tiet canh -- it's fish sauce (protein), duck meat (protein), and duck innards (fuck yeah, protein!), served up with a dash of peanuts (yet more protein!) and fresh herbs for flavor. Oh, and blood. Protein-packed blood.

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World

You can't tell, but there's a buffed-out vampire d-bag flexing in that mirror.

Yartsa Gunbu, aka Fungus Caterpillars

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World

Yartsa gunbu is the Tibetan name for the sac fungus Ophiocordyceps sinensis, which loosely translates in English to OH DEAR GOD IT'S A FUCKING ALIEN MUMMY WORM.

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World
Nicolas Merky/CC-BY-SA-3.0-DE

That's right, burn it with fire.

Yartsa gunbu is a caterpillar fungus that invades the larvae of the (as if this isn't already creepy enough) ghost moth common across Tibet. The relationship is all cool for a while, like that cousin who crashes on your couch but it's not a big deal since he doesn't eat that much. But then you realize that your couch-crashing cousin is some kind of obscene amalgamation of Ed Gein and the face-hugger from Alien.

The fungus mummifies the caterpillar from the inside out, then bursts through its little wormy face with a disgusting stalk of fungus. Then, humans will dig them up, wash off the dirt, and make soup out of them.

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World

It's like if H.P. Lovecraft wrote cookbooks.

But Apparently It's Good for You

Oh, did we mention that people pay thousands of dollars for it?

The magic "herb" has proven so beneficial to the Tibetan economy that it's been known to kick off full-on civil wars among the villagers harvesting and marketing it. Just what's so special about it that makes it worth killing for? Well, for starters, it has the amazing ability to grant you the power to cleave the Red Sea in two with a wiggle of your staff, just like Moses. And by "your staff" we mean "your monumental boner."

Yep, yartsa gunbu is the superpowered Viagra of the Himalayas. If that fails to impress, it's also known to enhance stamina and improve liver function. Hell, a Chinese track coach once used it on his athletes as a type of natural steroid that wouldn't raise any red flags on a piss test. And it worked, too -- right up until people started wondering how said athletes managed to consecutively break five world records, despite competing with what we are assuming were plainly visible erections.

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Scott Barbour/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

He won by a hose.

Boodog, aka Blowtorch-Roasted Goat

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World

As much as it already looks like a Half-Life 2 head crab, the preparation of the dish known as boodog is even weirder. Step 1, behead a goat. Step 2, tie off its neck hole with wire and stuff a bunch of hot rocks where the sun don't shine to cook it from the inside out. Step 3, singe off all its fur with a blowtorch until it balloons up like roadkill after a day on the hot asphalt. If it puffs up too much, you might need to poke a few holes into it to avoid a goatsplosion.

Just imagine waiting at the dinner table -- napkin stuffed into the neck of your shirt, fork in one hand, knife in the other -- while the stench of blowtorched fur wafts out from the kitchen. And if that's not enough to send you away screaming, we should note that sometimes boodog isn't made from a goat, but from a marmot -- an adorable little creature that you can see in this handy before/after comparison:

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World
Jupiterimages/ Images, Bogomolov.PL

You're welcome.

But Apparently It's Good for You

As far as red meat goes, goat has been called the wonder meat. It has "a third fewer calories than beef, a quarter fewer than chicken and much less fat: up to two-thirds less than a similar portion of pork and lamb; less than half as much as chicken." And think of how many pounds you'll lose eating it boodog style, where you're trying to choke it down while weeping tears of horror.

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World
Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

"Look, it fits perfectly! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to curl up in a fetal position."

Akutaq, aka Ground Fish and Moose Fat Ice Cream

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World

I scream, you scream, we all scream for this ice cream. And never stop.

Because it turns out Eskimos have a frighteningly loose definition of the term "ice cream." While the recipe for akutaq varies, since it's passed down by oral tradition and different families might switch their particular version up a bit, all the recipes have a disturbing lack of basically everything you tend to picture when you think of ice cream -- no vanilla, no chocolate, no nuts ... no cream, even.

In fact, the one and only thing akutaq has in common with what we think of as ice cream is the fact that it's frozen. It's essentially fish, fresh berries, and seal oil, all suspended in a base of reindeer or moose fat (modern recipes might substitute lard or Crisco, for a practically vegan version). Take all that, whip it up into a fatty, frothy mess in a traditional bowl called a tumnaq, and leave it out in the cold to firm up, and you're ready to coat your tongue with Ben & Jerry's worst nightmare. If it turns out sweet, you lucked out, because it's totally not meant to be.


We mean that in both the flavor and the existence sense.

But Apparently It's Good for You

Akutaq was to Native Alaskans as beef jerky was to American cowboys: a packable, non-spoiling foodstuff. It was the perfect food for Eskimos to take with them on hunting expeditions because it packed all the nutrients they could possibly need to keep up their energy for knife fighting sea lions and strangling walruses, and the snotcicle-inducing cold worked as a natural preservative. And if they didn't feel like making the stuff themselves, they could just scavenge the Alaskan tundra for frozen polar bear puke.

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World
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"Ehhh, we should just make some pee sno-cones."
"I just ran out."

Tong Zi Dan, aka Urine-Soaked Eggs

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World

Welcome to springtime in Dongyang, China, where the air is filled with the pungent aroma of the local food specialty: tong zi dan, or "boy eggs."

Yes, "boy eggs."

They are made by boiling plain old chicken eggs in a special broth until they're done, then cracking their shells and putting them back into a fresh batch of the special broth to simmer for an entire day, allowing them to really sponge up all that salty goodness.

Just what's in this special broth, you ask?

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World


That's right: You can tell it's springtime in Dongyang when the blossoms open on the trees and the air fills with whiz stench. Tong zi dan vendors place piss collection buckets in the hallways of all the schools (without getting arrested, somehow) and encourage boys aged 10 and under to drain their willies into them (again, without getting arrested, somehow).

Once the buckets are brimming with fresh virgin boy pee, the vendors collect them in order to boil up their whiz-eggs and sell them for about a quarter apiece. And the locals snap that shit right up -- some of them eat as many as 10 a day while they're in season (and no, we're not exactly certain why there's a "season," seeing as how pee is pretty much a year-round crop).

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World

"We can't eat these in winter. That'd just be weird."

The flavor has been described as everything from "so yummy" (by a Dongyang resident) to "very piss-like" (by our imaginations).

But Apparently It's Good for You

Although the actual health benefits of eating these eggs are questionable, locals have long sworn that, according to traditional Chinese medicine, they possess the almost magical ability to "treat yin deficiency, decrease internal body heat, promote blood circulation, and remove blood stasis."

The 6 Most Horrifying Health Foods in the World

Normally we would make a comment about that guy not wearing gloves, but at this point ... fuck it.

That sounds kind of fishy, but if you're dying to find out for yourself, this one seems like a simple enough recipe to whip up at home, assuming you're willing to either overlook the "prepubescent virgin boy" requirement or end up on a government watch list.

Chan Teik Onn writes depressing short stories on Facebook to gather "likes" from his emo friends.

For more reasons to never eat again, check out The 6 Most Terrifying Foods in the World. Or learn about 6 Fake Foods You Will Wish You Didn't Have in Your Kitchen.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 4 Ways to Hold the Douchiest Wedding of All Time.

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