Culture

Stank is Dank: Terrific Food with a Terrible Smell

If you’ve ever been to Asia, you probably already know of many of these. And if you were brave enough you may have even tried it, or at the very least smelled it. Well these food items are delicious, and very popular for that reason despite how they smell. So for those who haven’t tried it… well hold your breath cause if you don’t, you’ll most definitely lose your appetite. Let’s start with the obvious!

 

Stinky Tofo

That’s right you guessed it. An iconic street food in parts of Asia like Taiwan where its strong smell is given away in its name. Why the smell? Well the tofu used here is a fermented in a special brine (basically salt water) that gives the tofu its unique odor that’s often compared to blue cheese or smelly feet. This popular snack is a combination of the deep fried fermented tofu (although it can also be eaten cold, stewed, or steamed) with chili sauce and leaves a savory tasted you won’t forget! It’s often said that the stinkier the tofu, the better it’ll taste, so if you’re ever in Taiwan, you know what to smell for!

 

Durian

This one might be controversial. This spiky fruit can be found through southeast Asia. It’s about the same weight and size of a watermelon and it grows on trees. That’s right, if you’re wandering through the forests of southeast Asia, you might wanna wear a helmet. But aside from its unique appearance, the Durian is also known for its extremely strong smell. In fact, many hotels have banned theirs guests from bringing back durian and even enforce heavy fines because of the strong stench it leaves behind. Now the reason I said this was controversial is because many people can’t stand the texture, let alone its smell. However, if it doesn’t bother you, the soft, almost custardy like texture along with its sweet aroma make its a truly a wonderful delicacy.

 

Century Egg

What is that?! The century egg is a Chinese delicacy that basically looks like a darkened egg. Preserving chicken or duck eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls over weeks and up to several years leads to the change in color and sometimes even the pattern of the egg. This popular dish can be served as simple wedges with soy sauce, or mixed in other entrees like congee or steamed eggs to give it flavor. This is a must try food, just be sure to ignore that whiff of ammonia before you take that first bite.

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