A new show called Around the World in 80 Plates is premiering tonight at 10 pm (EST) on Bravo, and we’re excited to see what dishes will represent the different countries of Latin America. After all, our food is so diverse that it would be hard to narrow the cuisine to just one plate. But there are some foods even we’d be reluctant to nibble. Would you dare try these exotic eats?
1. Weird Latin Food: Chapulines
Chips and popcorn are a great salty snack, but if you live in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, you might choose to munch on grasshoppers instead. Chapulines are a regional treat generally cooked in garlic, lime juice, and salt. They’re delicious (if you can get past insect legs getting stuck between your teeth!).
2. Weird Latin Food: Hormigas Culonas
Can’t stomach the thought of grasshoppers for lunch? Maybe gobbling down a handful of ants will be easier to digest. In Colombia, hormigas culonas are a spring delicacy in the region of Santander. The bugs’ legs and wings are cut off and the body is soaked in salty water and roasted in ceramic pans. Yum?
3. Weird Latin Food: Cuy
Ever own a pet guinea pig? If so, you might want to stop reading. Cuy is a specialty for many natives of Peru living in the valleys and plains of the Andes. The little critter is traditionally served whole, either roasted or deep-fried. We’re not fans of rodents in the house, but on a plate for dinner? Maybe after a shot of pizco.
4. Weird Latin Food: Mondongo
In Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, a tripe stew called mondongo is a favorite. It’s made using cow and pig intestines, slowly simmered in tomato-based broth with a medley of veggies and typically served on top of white rice.
5. Weird Latin Food: Ubre Asada
Hotdogs and hamburgers are great barbecue staples, but a fearless foodie might want to add something new to the mix. In South America no cow part goes to waste — not even the udders! Cooked over an open fire, Ubre asada is a Chilean specialty also eaten in parts of Argentina.
6. Weird Latin Food: Charque de Llama
Trying to watch your figure? Head over to Bolivia and chow down on some llama steaks, a healthy alternative to beef or pork. If calories aren’t an issue you might want to try charque de llama — dried llama meat, fried and served with corn, potatoes, egg and cheese.
7. Weird Latin Food: Bolinho de Frango
When you’re at a bar, fried foods are the way to go. If you’re in Brazil, skip the chicken wings and go for the bolinho de frango instead. It’s still chicken, but not the bits you’re probably used to eating. So what are they? I’ll give you a guess, it starts with “T” and ends in “esticles.”
8. Weird Latin Food: Queso Gusanos
If you thought grasshoppers and ants were bad, then cheese worms will probably make you gag. But for some people in Nicaragua, eating cheese infested with maggots is a delicacy that even most locals can’t stomach.