Food

23 Unexpected Cultural Delicacies From Asia

A small sampling of the most unusual foods from Asia. Warning: may not be for the faint of heart or stomach.

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3. Turtle jelly

Boiling powdered turtle shell with herbs and letting it evaporate will bring you turtle jelly, first made as a medicine in China meant to, as this website describes it, "up your yin and down your yang." Quite right as the bitter jelly is balanced by either honey or condensed milk.

4. Kopi luwak

In Indonesia, the coffee berries eaten and excreted by the Asian palm civet are used to make coffee. Yup, coffee from civet poop. It's sold for a high price which has led to caged civets being force fed the berries by greedy farmers. But it's largely a novelty item; connoisseurs agree it tastes terrible.

6. Bird's nest soup

This soup is literally cooked bird spit. Swiftlets use their own gummy saliva that hardens to build their nests. A single nest can cost up to $100 but all that calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium value must be worth it.