Unusual Recipes From Around The World

Every country and culture has its own signature dishes; here in the UK we have roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, Spain has paella and Jamaica has jerk chicken. Yes you truly have to travel the world to experience all the flavours and foods available, some of which will be much more appetising to certain people than others, because different cultures consider different foods acceptable. Eating horse meat, for example, is considered taboo in England, whilst in France it’s considered rather normal.

Below is a collection of recipes containing all kinds of foods, and whilst they might be considered slightly unusual here in the UK, they’re perfectly acceptable in other places around the world.

Poutine From Canada

File:La Banquise Poutine.jpgThis French-Canadian creation originates from Quebec. Its name is slang for ‘mushy mess’, and this dish certainly lives up to that moniker. A combination of chips, gravy and cheese curds, this delectable comfort food is celebrated throughout Canada, so much so that it even has its own festival each year. Want to try this Canadian speciality out at home? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 350g Mild Cheddar, cut into small cubes
  • 3 tablespoons gravy granules (add more depending on personal taste)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 cups chicken broth

(Before you begin, genuine Poutine is usually made with cheese curds, but sadly these are incredibly hard to find in the UK. You can buy it online or make your own though; if you choose to do so, replace the mild cheddar with the curds for a much more authentic taste).

Preheat your oven to 175oC oven (Gas mark 4, Fan Ovens 155oC), line an oven tray with foil and lightly drizzle it with oil.

Put the potato wedges into a bowl and mix in the olive oil, salt, black pepper, and parsley. Ensure that they are thoroughly coated before laying them onto the baking tray.

Bake the wedges for roughly an hour, flipping them every 20 minutes until they’re golden brown.

Whilst waiting for the wedges to cook, whisk the gravy together with the chicken broth in a saucepan, and place the mix over medium heat, until it begins to boil, whisking all the while. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer for a minute or two, then let the gravy thicken by taking it off the heat and letting it stand for a minute.

All that’s left to do next is layer the cheese over the freshly cooked chips in a large bowl and pour your gravy all over the top. Enjoy!

Lamb Brain Tacos From Italy

When you think about cooking lamb, do you also think about cooking its brains? Yes it turns out Zombies aren’t the only ones who like to eat brains, as lambs brains are a popular delicacy all over Europe whether served in a stew or with salad. This apparently delicious offal is actually illegal hear in England, but in case any of our international readers are interested, here’s a quick recipe for Lamb Brain Tacos:

  • 6 Lambs Brains
  • 8 Taco Shells (hard or soft)
  • 250g pitted olives
  • 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic

Preheat your oven to 200oC (Gas mark 6, Fan Ovens 180oC) and drizzle olive oil in an oven-proof dish.

Bring lamb’s brains to boil in a pot of water first before removing them and adding them to the dish. Mix in the other ingredients and ensure they’re coated in oil, salt, pepper, crushed garlic, pitted olives and bread crumbs.

Bake the mix for 10-15 minutes before taking out and adding the brains to your taco shells. Bon appétit!

Lutefisk From Norway

File:ButteredLutefisk.JPGOtherwise known as ‘lye fish’, this Nordic dish is renowned for both its smell and its silver destroying properties. Made from dried white fish and lye (an ingredient commonly used in commercial cleaning products), the strange, gelatinous seafood stains any utensils that in comes into contact with for long periods of time.

Despite its pungent smell and acquired taste Lutefisk has actually proved to be an incredibly popular dish in the states as well as other European countries. It’s also difficult to acquire here in UK, but here’s how it’s traditionally prepared in Norway:

  • 3 lbs. lutefisk, cut into cubes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup melted butter

Preheat your oven to 160oC (Gas mark 3, Fan Ovens 140oC). Rinse the lutefisk and drain well. Place the fish skin side down on a layer of heavy foil and sprinkle it with salt.

Fold the foil in half and seal the edges so that the lutefisk is stored inside. Place the package on a tray and bake at for just over an hour.

When time is up, remove the parcel, hold it up (using an oven mitt) and cut off its bottom corners to drain out excess water.

Serve with melted butter and enjoy, but just be sure to use stainless steel when eating it!

Image Credits:

Poutine from Wikimedia Commons

Lutefisk from Wikimedia Commons