These hard-boiled, fertilized duck eggs are popular in the Philippines, Vietnam, and other Southeast Asian countries. The fully formed chick – complete with crunchy bones and bits of feather – is reminiscent of soft-shell crab. Although balut may look horrifying, the flavor is as mild as chicken broth, and the large, creamy yolk makes up most of the bite.
A delicacy in Mexico, this fungus is also called corn smut or Mexican truffle. It infects corn kernels, causing them to grow absurdly large and gray, and tinting them with blue-black spores. Sautéed and served in a taco, huitlacoche has a savory, earthy, mushroom flavor along with a spongy, mushroom-like texture and a subtle corny sweetness.
Also called snake fruit, salak is the fruit of a palm tree native to Indonesia. The scaly, reddish-brown fruits grow in clusters around the base of the tree, and their flesh looks similar to garlic cloves but tastes sweet and sour with an astringent bite and an apple-like texture.
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