One of the best things about traveling to a new place is trying out the local fare. There are so many different cuisines to experience and many travelers find they are truly foodies at heart. However, some foods are more dangerous than others.
It’s important to know what you’re eating when traveling the world. Not every dish is going to come with an information manual but some have a few more risks than others.
Here are some of the most dangerous foods travelers have encountered around the world.
If you’ve ever visited a Caribbean restaurant, you probably have seen ackee and saltfish on the menu. This tropical delicacy is a favorite in the world of Caribbean cuisine. However, some parts of the beloved ackee fruit can be poisonous.
Ackee seeds are totally safe if eaten after being cooked. But in a raw state, they can be toxic. According to the National Library of Medicine, ingesting unripe ackee fruit can lead to “Jamaican vomiting sickness.” Some cases of the illness resulted in seizures, hypothermia, coma, and death.
Still, fear of illness hasn’t stopped travelers and foodies from indulging in ackee whenever they visit their favorite Jamaican food spot. Just make sure it’s cooked first.
Blood clams, or cockies, are a risky business, yet many people in China will risk it all for a small taste. The clams are harvested in polluted water so eating them could lead to contracting hepatitis A, typhoid, and dysentery. After 30,000 people developed hepatitis A and 31 died in 1988, Shanghai outlawed cockies. However, you’ll still find a few Chinese food markets selling them if you look in the right place.
Folks on the Italian island of Sardinia have spent decades perfecting a cheesy favorite that is grossly delicious. Casu marzu is made by leaving rolls of cheese exposed and uncovered to the elements. Over time, the cheese is taken over by maggots. The continuous production of eggs and more maggots ferment the cheese.
Thankfully, casu marzu is illegal. If you’re wondering why, it’s because the ingested cheese still has larvae on it, and the bugs can eat holes through your intestines.
Dragon’s Breath Pepper
The aromatic, intense flavor and smell of hot peppers are a favorite for spice lovers worldwide. However, the newest holder of the Hottest Pepper In The World title bites back more than the average pepper. Dragon’s Breath has a heat level of 2.48 million, according to Live Science. It beats out ghost peppers, habaneros, and the Carolina Reaper when it comes to heat. Unfortunately, consuming the pepper can be deadly and lead to throat burns, airway closure, and anaphylactic shock.
Given it’s one of the most poisonous foods in the world, fugu, or pufferfish, is banned in the US. Some chefs still get their hands on it somehow. However, unless it is cooked exactly right, the dish will kill you. Pufferfish is 1,200 times more deadly than cyanide, according to National Geographic. Tread lightly if you run across a risky menu created by a chef testing the limits.