Scotland is infamous for its deep-fried Mars Bars and American state fairs are notorious for frying anything in sight (and then putting it on a stick). But are you daring enough to try deep-fried food when the food in question is a tarantula? Here are seven delicacies worth flying for (warning: you might not fit in your seat when it's time to return):
It's said that the best way to conquer a fear is to face it, so if you're scared of spiders, maybe try deep frying one and putting it in your mouth? You can do so in Skuon, a Cambodian town that's known for its edible arachnids. The legs are apparently the best part, but you can eat the whole thing if you desire.
Guinea Pig (Peru)
In Peru, guinea pigs are less "family pet" and more "main course." Order up cuy chactado and you'll get a rodent that's been flattened and deep-fried. Guinea pig is a popular meat in Peru because of it's high protein and low cholesterol—although, when you get the deep-fried version, the whole low-cholesterol benefit probably does not apply.
Rocky Mountain Oysters (USA)
Seafood fans, don't get too excited. Rocky Mountain Oysters are a misleadingly named delicacy that can be found in the American West. The oysters are not pulled from the ocean, but rather separated from a young animal's very sensitive area (we'll just go ahead and say it—they're bull, pig, or sheep testicles), deep-fried, and served with a dip.
Spam Fritters (United Kingdom)
Pop the Spam out of the can and into a batter, then into the deep-fryer and bam—you've got Spam Fritters, which can be found at fish and chips shops all over the U.K.
How can I say this euphemistically... if caviar is fish eggs, then Shirako is the other half of the fish baby-making equation. You can order this Japanese dish (the name somewhat unfortunately translates to "white children") either raw or tempura-fried.
Scotland, you're putting Americans to shame in the deep-fried food department—and since we're the world's almost literal heavyweight, that's not easy to do. That's because in Scotland, when pizza just isn't enough of an indulgence, you can order one that's deep-fried instead of oven-baked. I can almost taste the greasy goodness from here...
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The Texas State Fair seems to be on a quest to prove that literally anything edible can be deep-fried, laws of physics be damned. This year's winner in the Big Tex Choice fried foods award is Fried Jell-O, an amazing creation that involves flash-frying cherry (a fruit, so it must be healthy) Jell-O and topping it with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and another cherry (hey, two mentions of fruit makes this basically a salad).
More from SmarterTravel:
- 10 Great State Fairs for Deep-Fried Fun
- Taste of Tokyo: 13 Japanese Snacks You've Just Got to Try
- Tastiest Fast Foods You Can't Get in America
Read the original story: Deep Fried What?! The Craziest Fried Delicacies Around the World by Caroline Morse, who is a regular contributor to SmarterTravel.