It might be the most important meal of the day, but that doesn’t stop some people from making some seriously strange choices at the breakfast table. True, there are plenty of us who will never try anything more exciting than a bowl of stale granola. But a closer look at our morning rituals reveals that there are plenty of people who like to wake up on the wild side of the bed. For these people, a fry up doesn’t go nearly far enough. These are the the weirdest things that are eaten for breakfast around the world.
A firm yellow ear of corn is easily one of the tastiest looking veggies you can get your hands on. As with most ingredients, things start to look a lot less appetising once it begins to rot. However, whereas other foods might end up in the bin, rotting corn is considered a Mexican delicacy. A certain fungi, known as corn smut, causes the vegetables to contort into sinister blistered blue growths. It might look like an alien, but it is apparently delicious in a tortilla.
Just after you’ve woken up is not when most people want to be placed in mortal danger. In Jamaica, however, the national dish requires just that. Served alongside cooked saltfish, the ackee fruit has the distinction of being lethally poisonous if prepared incorrectly. It’s enough to keep even the earliest of birds on their toes.
Of all the strange fermented dairy dishes out there, this Scandinavian specialty must be one of the oddest. Looking like extra thick yogurt, and with a taste somewhere between sour cream and buttermilk, filmjölk is unique in that it can be eaten by people with lactose intolerance. Not bad for a bowl of what is, essentially, rancid milk.
4. Loco Moco
There are many nations that can boast a big breakfast. Few, however, are as eclectic or as awesome as the Hawaiian Loco Moco. This beast regularly tops 1,000 calories and comes complete with rice, hamburger patty, gravy and fried eggs. Traditionalists can even swap out their hamburger for a square of Spam.
5. Cow’s Blood
People do crazy things at parties. But, if you find yourself getting squeamish at the suggestion of a tequila shot or party sub, we recommend you stay away from a Maasai wedding. In Kenya, these celebrations are kicked off at the start of the day by the ceremonial drinking of a mixture of cow’s blood and milk - designed to invigorate and set you up for the day ahead.
Rotten corn isn’t the only oddity that’s earned itself a place on Mexican breakfast menus. Thanks to a steady stream of immigration, menudo is now found across California and the Southwest, though most people are presumably unaware what’s in it. Made from a mixture of cow’s stomach, head and feet, this soup is also rumoured to be one of the finest hangover cures found anywhere.
Milk, eggs, water and spring onions are all great additions to the breakfast table. Mixing them together in a sort of cloudy potion is definitely not the most appetising way to present them. That hasn’t stopped Colombians from falling in love with this weird breakfast soup. Sometimes served with a side of santafereno - chocolate drink with a side of cheese - changua is served hot so that the egg can be added raw and cooked whilst the diner eats.
When it comes to breakfast, people are creatures of habit. We don’t usually opt for anything that’s going to be too challenging to get our heads around. Nonetheless, as these dishes show, there is clearly an appetite for the unusual that refuses to go away.