Quite often, their story will revolve around something that's a little unusual, perhaps a little out of the ordinary: a strange confectionery of some sort, a different type of meat, perhaps, nothing truly mind-blowing, just different. This is a list that will make all of those "stories" pale in comparison and sound like the daily recount of...well...someone really boring.
Starting with only the slightly unusual, we'll work our way towards some truly bizarre dishes from around the world, some of which might even make you feel a bit uneasy, or perhaps even a little hungry.
Also known as a pitaya, it's a variety of cactus fruit which is fit for human consumption and is most notable for its unusual appearance both inside and out, the most common type having a distinctive red mixed with green look for the outer fruit and a primarily white flesh inside, resplendent with many black seeds, which are also edible.
Predominantly cultivated in Asian countries, the pitaya is traditionally eaten by cutting the fruit in half and then either scooping out the flesh inside or further cutting the fruit into watermelon-esque slices.
However, despite the visual feast that the dragon fruit puts on, the taste is considerably blander than one might expect, which might be seen as somewhat of a disappointment, but the dragon fruit remains a popular - if slightly strange-looking - dish the world over.
Considerably less exotic than the Lovecraftian nightmare it resembles, the Buddha's Hand - whilst sounding like an epic martial arts finishing move of some sort - is in reality just a citron that looks really freaky.
Mainly used by the Chinese and Japanese for perfuming rooms - as the Buddha's Hand is very fragrant and has a strong aroma. The zest of the fruit is also used to season cooking, with the peel itself also sometimes being made into a candied variety with a distinct flavor.
Oddly enough, out of everything on the list, the Buddha's hand looks the most inedible (which is going pretty far considering some of the later things on the list), mainly due to the fact that once you get past that it looks like a many-fingered hand coming to choke the life from you, it's quite a mundane fruit.
A truly bizarre and interesting variety of weird food, the durian might be a good example for not judging a book by its cover, as the cover of this particular book is covered with spikes that are sharp enough to draw blood if you're not careful.
Once inside the shell of the durian, you are greeted with something that seems to be a blend of some kind of insect larva with cheese. Then there's the smell. The smell of the durian is more famous than its taste because quite frankly, the smell of a durian is unlike anything most people have ever smelt before and each durian smells a little different, but no less disgusting.
The horrific smell of the durian is legend and has been described in many ways, some of which include that it smells like "pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock" and after eating one, your breath will smell as if "you'd been French-kissing your dead grandmother". Eating the raw fruit has even been banned in many public places in Asia (a prime marketplace for the durian), such as hotels, the street, bars and Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit system.
The taste, however, is agreeable, unlike the smell.
Traditionally a Norwegian dish, lutefisk is a fish-based dish in which you take a normal cod fish and transform it into something that's technically fish, but you wouldn't have guessed it by look or taste.
The process by which cod is transmuted into this hideous blasphemy against food is a strange one and no one is particularly sure of how it came into being - probably as the result of some horrific torture experiment. Lutefisk is made by soaking the cod in cold water for around five or so days allow for it to swell a bit, after which it is then soaked in lye for another few days.
You read that correctly, something which humans intend to ingest (and live through) is soaked in caustic soda, a product that has many uses, including "oven cleaner and drain opener" and can cause serious chemical burns to exposed skin.
The effect the lye has on the fish is to decrease its protein content (effectively semi-digesting it AND making it less nutritious, awesome) but also leaves the fish somewhat caustic at a pH of around 11-12 and so another few more days of soaking in cold water (gloriously lye-free) is required to make the fish less lethal.
The end result is something that's a fish, but also not quite a fish. You're left with a gelatinous, amorphous blob of what used to be tasty fish, but is in actuality now known as lutefisk. Apparently the jelly-like consistency of lutefisk is one of the main trademarks of the dish and one of its most famous attributes, held in high regard by those dedicated few that enjoy eating lutefisk at something other than gunpoint.
The lutefisk itself purportedly has very little in the way of flavor and usually has to be accompanied by a variety of things with actual taste, such as bacon, potatoes, gravy, mustard and various similar foods and sauces.
An interesting dish this one and one that might even possibly taste quite pleasant if you can get past the grotesque ingredients, the undesirable presentation, the awful smell and the disgusting tas- actually no, there's no way that this could be delicious and I reckon that anyone who says otherwise is a liar and is deceiving themselves.
The very simple - and somewhat deceptive - explanation of what an andouillette is, is that it's a sausage. However, the more truthful explanation is that it's a sausage gone horribly wrong. It's essentially a tripe sausage - with tripe being a type of "edible offal from the stomachs of various farm animals" - made with pork and...bits...of other animals, including chitterlings.
What you have in the andouillette is a sausage casing (which is probably a colon or intestinal tract of some variety) stuffed with offal and the parts of animals that slaves in the Dark Ages used to eat because their masters couldn't for the life of them figure out what to do with the most useless bits of "meat" to ever disgrace God's green earth. So they fed them to slaves. Now it's eaten in France and considered a delicacy. Thus somewhat making the transition from "slave food" to "French food" over a period of x amount of years. It also smells like feces due to the contents of the sausage itself. Appetizing.
There are numerous accounts of the brush that people have had with the nefarious andouillette (and quite possibly death), none of which seem to be particularly positive. Some have even been misled by the ominous "AAAAA" by the side of some andouillettes on menus, which instead of being a quintuple A-Class meal of fantastic proportions, is really an acronym for "Association Amicale des Amateurs d'Andouillette Authentiques" which roughly translates as "Friendly Association of Authentic Andouillette Lovers", a probably secret club of Devil Worshippers that have knowingly unleashed the Ultimate Evil upon the world. In the form of a sausage.
The less said about this, the better.
It does what it says on the tin and is a wine, containing the preserved penis of a deer.
Supposedly part aphrodisiac, part energy drink and also banned from the Olympics, this Chinese specialty is really just a strong alcoholic drink that comes in a jar with a giant animal penis in it. Delicious penis.
Another example taken from the wide-ranging varieties of available food from China, this sumptuous delight involves the arduous and protracted process of taking a rabbit, cutting its head clean off and then serving it as a delightful treat on the street, with various herbs and spices.
The resulting cooked rabbit head proves to be a bit awkward to eat and somewhat oily, but due to the nature of rabbit meat, it soaks up any flavors and juices with gusto, so the little meat there is will possibly be filled-to-bursting with flavors beyond your imagination.
The best bit about the whole experience is that you will be eating the cooked head of a rabbit, one of a whole host of creatures that masquerade under the guise of "cute" but in actuality were sent by Satan in order to fill the world with their hatred and evil, ruining countryside the world over.
Hailing from a different region of Asia this time, sannakji is a Korean dish and consists of octopus on a plate, served with some herbs and sesame oil. Now, this might not sound like such a big deal, except that the octopus is fresh. Very fresh. Still alive and wriggling about on your plate, in fact.
The meal involves the chef taking a live octopus and cutting it up into pieces and serving it right away, still partially alive and "kicking". There you have it; squirming sannakji on your plate, and now you must insert tiny moving pieces of animal into your mouth and swallow.
Because the octopus is still somewhat alive, so are the suction cups on the tentacles and any potential sannakji diner has to be careful they don't die whilst eating the dish. Death is probable because any swallowed pieces of tentacle that aren't chewed properly first (i.e. into dust) can sometimes stick to the inside of the mouth and throat, leading to grave choking hazards. Your mother always said to chew your food before swallowing; she was just preparing you for sannakji.
Sold as simple street food in the Philippines, the balut is typically regarded as an everyday item of foodstuff in some parts of Southeast Asia. Commonplace or not, that doesn't stop the balut from being what it is, namely a partially developed duck fetus in an egg, which has been boiled.
Balut has long been seen as one of the more "shocking" foods and with good reason. The balut is the dark heart of obscure cuisine, forever tainting the soul and conscience of the eater, having consumed a potential life which can be seen, partially-formed as you crack open the husk that contains the fetus. I'll say it again, it involves eating a fetus.
Balut eggs are usually eaten by first piercing a part of the egg in order to get at the "wondrous juices" inside, after which the rest of the egg is then peeled away to reveal the inner nightmare contain within the egg, the "duck that never was". The delicious fetus is then sprinkled with salt for seasoning and can then either be placed entirely in the mouth or eaten bite by bite, in case you want to savor the evil, which you can do well enough just by looking at the pictures.
Disclaimer: As a brand, Tripbase are accepting of all global cultures. This article is written from a Western perspective and is meant for humorous purposes only. No offense is intended.