Nopales Vendor | Photo: Hole in the Donut
After traveling in Mexico, Barbara Weibel, of Hole in the Donut, came to appreciate the mexican delicacy of nopales, the prickly pear cactus that grows like a weed in the Southwest. "Within a month of my arrival in Mexico I was complaining about the food, saying: "If I have to eat one more tortilla, I’m going to barf.' Fortunately, soon after that I began discovering that there is more to mexican cuisine than beans and tortillas." Read her full post on nopalitos and try out her nopales smoothie recipe.
Spiced Squid Sampling | Photo: LeX Paradise
Travel the aisles of the Korean supermarket, HomePlus, as seen through the eyes of LeX Paradise, in search for ingredients to prepare a Korean recipe. It seems that at every turn, there is something to sample. "As for us, we taste non-stop because it is delicious! Yummy!" Although, after all that taste testing, there may have been no need to cook dinner at home that evening. Check out his carnival post for more pictures of one of the best supermarkets in South Korea.
Lamb Brains in a French Market | Photo: Inside the Travel Lab
For many travelers, finding brains in the supermarket may dampen their appetite. But not the adventurous Abigail King of Inside the Travel Lab. She takes home a container of cervelles d'agneaux (lamb brains) and cooks dinner. "So, I tried to forget about all those infectious diseases transmitted by eating central nervous tissue and tucked in, to discover a smooth, surprisingly melt-in-the-mouth texture." Interested in serving lamb brains for your next dinner? Read Abigail's post on how best to select and cook cervelles d'agneaux the next time you are grocery shopping in France.
Typical Swiss Packaging | Photo: Travel with Den Den
Blogger Denise Pulis of Travel with Den Den has been living in Switzerland for the past eight months. "Upon entering any supermarket in Switzerland, you will immediately be able to pinpoint those products which have been produced locally. Why? Because the Swiss pride themselves so much in the quality of their food that local brands almost universally include the Swiss flag in their logo. This tiny addition often causes the customer to purchase it rather than its cheaper counterpart of uncertain provenance. There is of course an endless amount of packaging sporting cows and traditional countryside scenery. And no lack of the Swiss stereotype to top all stereotypes, Heidi herself, whose name has been appropriated by a Swiss dairy product brand."
Cambodian Market Finds | Photo: First Time Travels
Four days. Four food markets. Claire Algarme of First Time Travels is a truly dedicated explorer of local cuisine. "Vegetables, fruits, root crops, spices, and other raw food materials were placed side by side. As we went further, something suddenly caught our attention. We took a closer look and saw fried crickets, bugs, and tarantulas." Read Claire's full post on market shopping in Cambodian to see if she tried the fried insects.
Elixir of Life in Lebanon | Photo: Ginger Beirut
If you're finding it hard to get hold of a youth potion in your neighbourhood, Georgia's discovery in Lebanon may give you a few ideas on how to make your own. "When I called in to my favourite nut and herb store just outside Beirut, little did I know I was about to discover the elixir of life. The sales pitch runs as follows: 'For everyone who wants to be young with a strong mind, and nerves for every old man who dreams to have his youth back.'" Check out Ginger Beirut for the secret formula of this rather sticky fountain of eternal youth.
Grocery Shopping in Florence | Photo: Alpaca Suitcase
Sometimes it isn't the food items that surprise travelers while grocery shopping abroad. It is the process. Jason of Alpaca Suitcase discovered that the check out in his local supermercato in Florence teaches him to adopt some Italian practices into his daily life. "I fumble with my Euros trying to get the correct change so that I can quickly get to bagging my food. This is the source of stress: trying to bag everything quickly before the next person's things start sliding towards me." Read Jason's full carnival post and find out if he can bag his groceries before the next customer leaves the store.
Placenta Drinks in Japan | Photo: Todd's Wanderings
Fellow blogsherpa Todd Wassel at Todd's Wanderings thought that after 5 years living in Japan like a local he had seen it all. He thought he was beyond shock. So, when he came across Placenta drinks on the store shelf, he thought it was a bad English translation. "So my natural reaction at seeing the drink Placenta, was that some poor office worker was asked to come up with an English word that conveyed health and vitality for their new line of vitamin supplement drinks... To my surprise they new exactly what they were doing! It is blended pig placenta, bottled and distributed all across Japan for your pleasure." Read the full post on Todd's Wanderings and find out whether he drank Placenta.
Sodd | Photo: Sophie's World
When asked her favorite strange food find, Anne-Sophie Redisch of Sophie's World immediately thought of some of the strange products she found while living in the United States. "Spray cheese - how weird is that? Or powdered eggs? And let's not forget, Spam." Products that for some Americans seem quite normal (someone must be buying it). Thinking about the concept of what is strange to one man is another man's comfort, Sophie evaluated the grocery shelves of her home, Norway, and rediscovered Sodd. "A traditional meat and vegetable soup, comprising of lamb, meatballs, carrots and potatoes. There's nothing unusual about the ingredients, nothing odd with Sodd. Apart from the name. British tourists, in particular, seem to be fascinated with this wholesome product." Check out Sophie's World for more pictures of Sodd and the other strange food finds from the USA.
Piggy | Photo: BarefootInked
Traveling in Vietnam, blogger Sash Milne, of Barefoot Inked, tried some bizarre foods. Boiled duck foetus, anyone? But what surprised her the most, were the parts of the pig she has never seen back home in Australia, and definitely not in her current home of Indonesia. When these pigs go to the market, definitely no part goes home wasted. "I've eaten plenty of pig in my life, a delicious pork roast with its crunchy crackling and a big blog of warm sweet apple sauce was one of my favourite child hood meats. But I've got to say, after discovering that no waste attitude toward the animal in Vietnam - I'm really not missing piggy meat... not one little bit. That'll do pig, that'll do." Click on over to Barefoot Inked for the full post and some piggy at the market photos.
Gulas, Faux Baby Eels | Photo: La Tortuga Viajera
My fellow blogsherpa and Californian expat living in Spain, Erin Ridley at La Tortuga Viajera highlights some interesting food finds in Spain. Faux baby eels and whole pig legs may turn your tummy now. But trust her, after a few tries, you will crave them too. "Ahh, these lovely little suckers have an appearance that could put just about anyone off. Apparently the real baby eels, called angulas, are terribly expensive but considered an absolute delicacy, therefore they've created the imitation version to pacify people's passion for the wormy-looking critters." Mosey on over to Erin's full post on La Tortuga Viajera for some more items from Spain's grocery aisles. Fellow Americans will appreciate learning why you don't need to rush home to get the eggs in the fridge.
Stomach Ingredients for Soup | Photo: True Bulgaria
What you throw away Bulgarians put in their soup. Katya Abadjieva of True Bulgaria introduces readers to some true Bulgarian delicacies, including, Shkembe Chorba. "You would probably never want to eat the stomach of cattle but Bulgarians make their favourite soup out of it. It is called Shkembe Chorba and if you want to prepare it yourself this is what you’ll need to buy: jellied stomach of cattle. You can find it in most larger supermarkets. My friend even likes to eat just the pieces of stomach spiced up with garlic and red pepper. She says its yummy!" Over at True Bulgaria, Katya describes more interesting and popular traditional Bulgarian foods.