Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Thu July 02 2015

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  • Nick and Dariece | July 2, 2015 9:00 PM ET

    5 Strange Yet Surprisingly Tasty Meals

    5 Strange Yet Surprisingly Tasty Meals

    One of the best ways to experience a country is to taste it. Sure, the sights, the history and the people are a big part of the reason why we visit a destination, but there is perhaps no better way to learn about culture, family and community than by enjoying meals around the globe. But not all meals are tantalizing at first glance. Perhaps you'd never look at a foreign menu and be tempted to order the five dishes below, but if you did, you may be surprised at how delicious they are.

    Some strange foods eaten abroad are just too peculiar for our palates to process, but these five meals are actually quite scrumptious!

    Camel Stew in Iran

    When we were traveling in the Iranian deserts near Khur, we spent a couple of nights in a beautiful mud home in the village of Garmeh. The owner of the home cooked us up a delicious traditional Gormeh Sabzi, which is typically cooked using chunks of tenderized beef. But this chef had a healthy collections of camels outside, so our Sabzi was full of camel meat.

    If you ever get the opportunity to try camel, we highly recommend it. It has a texture similar to beef, it doesn't taste too gamey and it actually gets quite tender when cooked for long periods of time. This Iranian desert stew was spicy, fresh and absolutely delicious. We also tried camel burgers and deep-fried camel patties in Iran. Basically, if camel is on the menu, give it a try!

    Bucket of Meat in Mongolia

    OK, so this isn't something I would probably actively search for on a menu, but while traveling in Mongolia, we had the pleasure of being invited in to many family gers (traditional nomadic felt homes) and at a few of them, we were lucky to eat with the families. Typically, a bucket of horse and goat meat, along with some offal, was passed around for each diner to enjoy.

    When the bucket made its way to Dariece, she quickly became a vegetarian, but I decided to dig right in. To my surprise, the horse sausage was quite delicious and tasted similar to dark turkey meat. To make the sausage, the Mongolians stuff a large piece of intestine with a chunk of horse meat and an equally large chunk of fat. They then steam or boil the sausage with little or no seasoning before serving it in a stainless steel bucket.

    It may seem strange at first to eat horse, but Mongolians have been doing it for centuries and the meat is actually very tasty. It wasn't as tender as the camel meat in Iran, but it did have a very nice flavor to it.

    Cow Stomach in China

    The texture and appearance of this Chinese delicacy may put off many potential samplers, but in reality the stomach (tripe), when cooked in all of the delicious spices and broth, is something you may want to order again and again. Not all preparations are the same and you may end up with a chewy meal once in a while, but if you find a place that prepares it properly, cow (or sheep) stomach may be one of your favorite dishes in China!

    Congealed Ducks Blood in China

    It probably comes as no surprise that China appears twice on this list of strange foods, but you have to believe us when we say that some of China's best dishes are what we would consider "strange" in the west. Duck's blood is no exception. Generally you find these congealed cubes served raw with a Sichuan hot pot. Make sure you leave them to cook for at least 10 minutes in the bubbling mixture before taking them out to eat.

    Once the blood is properly cooked, it soaks up a lot of the flavor from the broth and actually has a very unique texture and taste. Once we got used to the idea of eating blood, we would order this plate every time we had a hot-pot.

    Khachapuri in Georgia

    We've gone off the deep end of weird food here, so let's get back to something a little bit more "normal.” Something that your taste buds will be used to. Khachapuri is a traditional Georgian dish and it is as delicious as it is unhealthy. It's a boat-shaped, white bread dough, hollowed out and filled with molten cheese, topped with more cheese and then a raw egg on top of that, all doused with butter and served piping hot on a platter. This dish is extremely addictive and definitely not fat-free, but 88 percent of Georgians prefer Khachapuri to pizza and after you try one, you'll see why.

    Ready to dig in?

    Perhaps the dishes in this list don't exactly make your stomach rumble (in a good way), but if you're up for an experience and a new type of food, these are definitely worth trying. We can honestly say that if we returned to the above countries, we would definitely be ordering these meals. Give them a try! You never know what you might like until you do...


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Nick and Dariece Notes from the Goats

Nick and Dariece Nick and Dariece are the couple behind Goats On The Road, a website designed to inspire others to live a financially sustainable, location independent lifestyle. Masters at making money abroad and turning their travels into a way of life, they've been on the road since 2008 and have explored some of the least visited places on earth, finding adventure wherever they go. They are also full time contributors at Credit Walk where they share their expertise of making money and travelling forever. Check them out at Goats On The and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
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