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The Most Exotic Cuisine

posted Aug 13, 2011, 6:13 PM by Simon Nguyen   [ updated Sep 13, 2012, 10:55 PM ]

Taste in food varies by country, ethnicity and culture. This article offers a perspective on three of the world’s most exotic cuisines.

1. Horse Sashimi

One of the major misconceptions foreigners often have with regards to the Japanese is that they only eat fish and nothing else. While it is very true that the Japanese love to eat fish, they crave for other animals as well. In fact, one of Japan’s most popular cuisines is horse sashimi or raw horse meat. Raising horses for their meat is a major industry in some regions of Japan. But why the Japanese pick horses and not cats, donkeys, or better yet llamas?

In ancient times, horses were used extensively in battle by the Japanese military. As food supplies often ran short, Japanese soldiers had had to resort to killing war horses for food. Through time, they became accustomed to eating horse meat. When the war ended, disbanded soldiers continued to this tradition and thus this was how horse sashimi came about.

Horse sashimi is one of Japan’s most popular cuisines, but it is also one of the most expensive dishes. This is largely due to the fact that the Japanese do not view horses the same way as they view common livestock such cows and chicken. Horses are highly respected in Japan. Raising horses to be killed for food has to be carried out in a proper and honorable way. The extra care required to raise the horse is the reason why horse sashimi is a bit more expensive.

2. Dog Meat

If you thought dog fighting is cruel, here’s something that will definitely make you cringe. Eating dog’s meat is one of Korea’s most valued traditions. There are other countries that also allow dogs to be killed for their meat, but the practice is more widespread in Korea. In fact, cooked dog’s meat is one of Korea’s traditional cuisines. Some Koreans raise dogs for the sole purpose of slaughtering them for their meat. Despite opposition from international animal rights groups, most Koreans continue to support this practice.

3. Snake Wine

The Vietnamese enjoy a special type of wine called snake wine. The main ingredients for this Vietnamese specialty include wine made from rice, vegetables and deadly creatures such as venomous snakes (most likely cobras) and scorpions. Drinking snake wine is believed to have many health benefits. Snake wine also makes good souvenir. Importation of such a product, however, is banned in many countries because some cobras are classified as an endangered species.