Start Your Adventurous Eater Bucket List

Open your mind to unexpected flavors.

With so many cuisines and cultures around the world, delicacies can vary widely. What could be considered rare and delicious in one country is considered disgusting in another. If you think yourself an adventurous eater, then put all inhibitions aside and check out this list of exotic eats to add to your bucket list.

Country borders are very much established, but culture permeates them with ease. That means that lots of cultures blend and mix together and many of these foods can be found in multiple countries, communities, and regions around the world.

North America and Australia

Crocodile

Southern USA and Australia

Delicious alligator BBQ on a stick, try it out with these recipes.Valerie Hinojosa

Crocodiles are harvested for their skin and meat all over the world. This delicacy tastes like a mix between chicken and crab, but has a gamey, tougher meat texture than seafood. It can be served a variety of ways depending on where you're eating it. The southern United States is a great place to dip your toes in and try this. I promise it doesn't taste very different from other meats you've had.

Fried Rattlesnake

Southern USA

If you want to make your own from scratch, follow this extensive guide.millenial homesteader

You know we Americans love our fried foods! Rattlesnake has been described as the whitefish of the desert, but with a more sinewy, tough texture. It's worth trying once, but the mild flavor might not win you over.

South and Central America

Chapulines: Grasshoppers

Mexico

This traditional ingredient is increasing in popularity, and it's not difficult to find some Chapulines in American Mexican restaurants.getty images

Grasshoppers are a crunchy delicious part of Mexican cuisine. They don't have a ton of flavor, so they taste like whatever herbs, spices, and sauces they're served with. Most are farmed raised, left to fast and clean out their systems, then toasted and eaten. The salty, crunchy satisfaction that comes with eating a classic Mexican Chapuline taco makes it a local favorite.

Escamoles: Larvae

Mexico

These Escamoles feature different spices and flavors for each recipe.getty images

The Mexican version of caviar, these eggs don't come from fish, but ants. Native to Central Mexico, the light colored eggs are harvested and beloved for their slightly nutty flavor. They can be served alongside any meal or as the star of the show, cooked with butter and spices. This is pretty low on the gross out factor because if you didn't know these little dots were eggs, you'd never think twice.

Europe

Haggis

Scotland

The insides of the Haggis are scooped out of the stomach. It can be served as a side dish or put into other recipes like pastries and pies.getty images

Haggis is a lovely blend of sheep heart, liver, and lungs held together with onions, oatmeal, suet, and seasonings all cooked inside of the sheep's stomach. Sure, it might sound gross, but I highly respect people who can use so much of an animal without wasting anything. The flavor is a little different from other meat mixtures you've tried, but if you aren't interested in going full in, consider trying it out mildly. I went for a small haggis pastry in Edinburgh, and it gave me just enough to try without having to eat a full entree.

Black Pudding

United Kingdom

Though it's called Black Pudding, the blood inside gives it a reddish color.getty images

A staple in a full English, Irish, or Scottish breakfasts these sausages are made up of oatmeal, pork fat, and pig's blood. The sausage has a rich flavor and the little disks are deliciously fried. If you're really adventurous, then give this a try. I promise you won't take a bite and spit it out saying, that tastes like blood. Be sure to order it with a complete fry-up, and a cup of tea so you get the full English breakfast experience.

Frogs Legs

France

The traditional French recipe uses plenty of garlic and butter, but Asian recipes vary greatly by region.getty images

There isn't a lot of meat on a frog's legs, but the meat they do have is tender, juicy, and delicious. There are so many ways this can be cooked based off of where you are and the type of restaurant you're eating at. You could enjoy them grilled, fried, baked, or stewed. They have a chicken like texture, with a slight fish taste. You can't go wrong if you get them the classic French way with butter and herbs, or try something different like an Asian seasoning.

Escargot

France

Escargot usually comes in a specialty plate which holds each snail in a pool of garlic and butter, and a tiny little fork to scoop them out.getty images

Everyone in the world should try Escargot at some point in their lives. The snails cooked in a white wine sauce with butter, garlic, and parsley have the most beautiful flavors. Eating them is a fun little adventure because you have to scoop them out of the shell with little forks. I understand some people are turned off by the appearance, but it is so worth it. I can forgive those that aren't fans of the texture though, because they are quite chewy.

Africa

Mopane Worm

Zimbabwe, South Africa, etc.

Once the worms are cleaned and dried they are ready to be eaten. Learn more about this Zimbabwe farmer and her craft here.Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/ AP

This food is a widespread favorite in Africa for its rich meat and high protein content. Once they are cleaned and dried out you can go ahead and eat them. They have a slight salt and vinegar flavor, like a lot of insects do, and are delicious served a variety of ways. A Zimbabwe favorite is with a spicy or peanut sauce served with the typical maize porridge, but South Africans prefer them dried or smoked, then rehydrated with tomato and chili sauce.

Stink Bugs

South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, etc.

You can try to make stink bugs and other insect recipes at home, just like these professional chefs.Time

High in protein and vitamins, Stink bugs have been eaten in Africa for generations. They are harvested, cleaned to remove the bitter taste of their stinky defense chemicals, boiled, then sun dried. This is a classic technique for preparing insects and once they're dried, they're good to eat. Add some salt for a healthy snack.

Asia

Fried Tarantula

Cambodia

There is actually a tragic backstory of oppression and starvation that is behind this now beloved delicacy.getty images

This is a popular delicacy regional to Cambodia. They are quite expensive for the average Cambodian so they are typically eaten on special occasions. When they're fried they become crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, and have more meat than other edible insects. People have described the flavor as somewhat seafoody, like a mixture between chicken and crab or cod.

Balut

Philippines

Baluts are so popular that you can find them on a stick as a street food.getty images

You like eggs. You like duck. Just combine the two at the same time with Balut, a fertilized duck egg complete with embryo. This is a little touch and go for a delicacy. A lot of people from the Philippines love Balut, but just as many hate it. The mixture of flavors and textures can turn some people off, but others love the combination of fresh duck meat and warm yolk.

If you want to go out there and try all of the wondrous foods the world has to offer, this list is a great start. Just remember that your brain's idea of what something should taste like, might stop you from trying something new. If you go into every new food with a clean slate, an open mind, and a sense of adventure, you're such to find some unexpected favorites!

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It's no secret that the restaurant scene in New York City is one of the most impressive in the world.

Whatever you could want to eat, you can find it in New York—meaning that even if you have a slightly restrictive diet, like veganism, there's plenty of options for you. Local fast-casual chains like By Chloe and Superiority Burger are making New York one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world, but the deliciousness doesn't stop there.


Between Manhattan and Brooklyn, there's been a boom of vegan restaurants that'll satisfy any craving. Here are just a few of our favorites.

Blossom(Upper West Side + Greenwich Village)

vegan restaurant

With two locations serving both Uptown and Downtown, Blossom is a go-to for local and tourist vegans alike. They offer an elevated dining experience (and a wide-spanning takeout radius) that puts a cruelty-free spin on classic main dishes like chicken piccata, rigatoni, and grilled salmon. Complete your dinner with a fresh, fruity cocktail and tiramisu—but reservations are strongly recommended beforehand.

Jajaja (West Village + Lower East Side)

vegan Jajaja

Jajaja is the ultimate heaven for Mexican food addicts. Get your fix of south of the border staples like burritos, street tacos, and enchiladas that'll make you second guess whether or not it's actually vegan (pro tip: The nacho portion is large enough to be a meal for one person). They also have a small but mighty menu of tequila and mezcal cocktails to kick off a night of LES bar-hopping. It gets crowded here quickly, though, so try to schedule your dinner early.

Urban Vegan Kitchen(West Village)

Urban Vegan Kitchen

We get it—eating vegan can get kind of bland sometimes. But that's not an issue at Urban Vegan Kitchen, the type of restaurant that'll have you wanting to order one of everything on the menu (but we recommend the "chicken" and waffles). Co-owned by the founder of Blossom, they boast a menu that's just as edgy and exciting as their decor. Their space is large too, making it a crowd-pleasing option for a slightly larger group.

Champs Diner (Williamsburg)

Champs Diner vegan

Located near the border of hip neighborhoods Williamsburg and Bushwick, Champs is a favorite of many young Brooklynites. Their menu is full of vegan alternatives to classic diner fare like breakfast plates, cheeseburgers, and even milkshakes that taste mysteriously like the real deal, while the decor puts a quintessential Brooklyn edge on '50s digs. Who said going plant-based had to be healthy all the time, anyway?

Peacefood (Greenwich Village)

vegan Peacefood

Conveniently located just a stone's throw from Union Square—near both NYU and the New School—Peacefood is a hotspot for college students, but vegans of any age are guaranteed to enjoy their menu. They specialize in comfort food items like quiche, chicken parmesan, and chili with corn bread—all plant-based, of course. While their "chicken" tender basket is to die for, make sure to save room for dessert here, too; Peacefood's lengthy pastry menu is a dream come true.

Buddha Bodai (Chinatown)

Buddha Bodai vegan

Dim sum restaurants in Chinatown are a dime a dozen, but Buddha Bodai takes the cake for the best veggie-friendly experience in one of New York's most bustling neighborhoods. Bring your family or friends along with you to enjoy this massive menu of buns and dumplings stuffed with any type of mock meat you could want. This is also a great option for gluten-free vegans, too, as much of their menu accommodates a gluten-free diet.

Greedi Kitchen (Crown Heights)

Greedi Kitchen vegan

Crown Heights might not be the first neighborhood people think of when it comes to dining in Brooklyn, but Greedi Kitchen is making the case for delicious restaurants in the area. Inspired by its founder's many years of travel, Greedi Kitchen combines the comforting flavors of southern soul food with the added pizazz of global influences. Try one of their po'boys or the crab cake sliders. Trust us.

Screamer’s Pizzeria (Greenpoint + Crown Heights)

Screamer's Pizza vegan

We know what you're thinking: Pizza without real cheese? Call us crazy, but Screamer's does vegan pizza to perfection. If you're into classic pies like a simple margherita or pepperoni, or you want to branch out with unexpected topping combinations, Screamer's is delicious enough to impress carnivores, too (pro tip: the Greenpoint location is small and serves most pies by the slice, while the Crown Heights location is larger for sitting down).


Learning a second language is one of the coolest and most rewarding things you can do in your spare time.

However, if hopping on a one-way ticket to your country of choice isn't an option for you, it can be difficult to find an immersive experience to learn, especially past high school or college.

The next best thing is language-learning apps.

We wanted to look at the top two: DuoLingo and Rosetta Stone. Duolingo is the new kid on the block; one of the top downloaded, this free app is a favorite. Then, there's the legacy option: Rosetta Stone. For over 20 years, they've been developing their language-learning software, and their app is the most recent innovation.

They're both great options, but keep reading to figure out which one is the best for you.

Key Similarities

  • Both claim you'll expand your vocabulary
  • Both are available as an app for iOS and Android users
  • Both have a clean user interface with appealing graphics
  • Both have offline capabilities (if you pay)

Key Differences

  • DuoLingo has a popular free version along with its paid version, whereas Rosetta Stone only has a paid version
  • DuoLingo offers 35+ languages, and Rosetta Stone offers 24 languages
  • Rosetta Stone has an advanced TruAccent feature to detect and correct your accent
  • DuoLingo offers a breadth of similar vocab-recognizing features, and Rosetta Stone offers a wider variety of learning methods, like Stories

DuoLingo Overview

DuoLingo's app and its iconic owl have definitely found a place in pop culture. One of the most popular free language-learning apps, it offers 35 different languages, including Klingon, that can be learned through a series of vocabulary-matching games.

DuoLingo offers a free version and a version for $9.99 a month without ads and with offline access.

Rosetta Stone Overview

The Rosetta Stone app is a beast. There are 24 different languages to choose from, but more importantly, you get a huge variety of methods for learning. Not only are there simple games, but there are stories where you get to listen, the Seek and Speak feature, where you go on a treasure hunt to photograph images and get the translations, and the TruAccent feature, which will help you refine your accent. Whenever you speak into the app, you'll get a red/yellow/green rating on your pronunciation, so you can fine-tune it to really sound like you have a firm grasp of the language.

Rosetta Stone costs just $5.99 a month for a 24-month subscription, which gives you access to all of their 24 languages!

Final Notes

Overall, these are both excellent apps for increasing your proficiency in a new language! They both feel quite modern and have a fun experience.

When it comes to really committing words to memory and understanding them, Rosetta Stone is king.

DuoLingo definitely will help you learn new words, and the app can be addicting, but users report it as more of a game than a means to an end.

With Rosetta Stone's variety of features, you'll never get bored; there are more passive elements and more active elements to help you activate different parts of your brain, so you're learning in a more dynamic and efficient way.

The folks at Rosetta Stone are extending a special offer to our readers only: Up To 45% Off Rosetta Stone + Unlimited Languages & Free Tutoring Sessions!

Travel

So You Want to Try Workaway

Want to travel cheap, meet locals and kindred spirits, live off the land, and possibly change your life? It might be time to try Workaway.

Sitting in a house on a hill in Tuscany, Italy, watching the sun set and listening to the sound of music coming from the house in which I was staying almost rent-free, I wondered how I had gotten this lucky.

Actually, it was really all thanks to one website—Workaway.info.

Workaway Workaway


Workaway is a site that sets travelers up with hosts, who provide visitors with room and board in exchange for roughly five hours of work each weekday. The arrangement varies from host to host—some offer money, others require it—but typically, the Workaway experience is a rare bird: a largely anti-capitalist exchange.

I did four Workaways the summer I traveled in Europe, and then one at a monastery near my home in New York the summer after. Each experience, though they lasted around two weeks each, was among the most enriching times of my life—and I'd argue I learned almost as much through those experiences as I did in four years of college.

There's something extremely special about the Workaway experience, though it's certainly not for everyone.

Workaway Isn't for Everyone: What to Know Before You Go

I loved all the Workaways I went on, but the best advice I can give to anyone considering going is: Enter with an open mind. If you're someone who doesn't do well with the unexpected, if you're not willing to be flexible, if you're a picky eater or easily freaked out, then it's likely that you won't have a good experience at a Workaway.

There are exceptions to all of this. At the Workaway I stayed at in Italy, one of the travelers was suffering from stomach bloating, and the host helped cure her with a diet of miso. (I'm not saying you should go Workawaying if you're ill—this traveler's mother also came to oversee everything—but still, you never know what you'll find).

Workaway WoIsango.com

You should also probably be willing and able to actually work at your Workaway. These aren't vacations, and some hosts will be stricter and less forgiving than others regarding your work ethic. If you're someone who has no experience with difficult farm work, for example, it might not be a good idea to do a Workaway on a farm.

How to Choose a Host

The Workaway website boasts a truly overwhelming number of hosts. You can narrow your search down by location, but you can also search key terms that can help guide you in the right direction. You might search "music," for example—that's how I found the Italy location. You'll find hosts in busy cities and in the most remote mountains of India; you'll find opportunities to tutor and explore. You'll find shadiness, too, so trust your instincts.

Take time to actually read the host's entire bio before reaching out. Read all the comments, too, and if you're nervous or a first-timer, only reach out to hosts who have exclusively glowing reviews. I had the best experiences with hosts that had left extremely detailed bios—that showed me they were likely going to be dedicated hosts.

I also chose hosts whose bios gave me a good feeling, something like a spark of electricity or recognition. This instinctual method might not work for everyone, but it certainly led me in the right direction in all of my Workaway experiences. My Workaways gave me some of the best memories and deepest relationships of my life, and that was partly thanks to the fact that I chose places that were good fits for me.

For example, I chose to stay alone with a wizened academic in France. Something about his bio and descriptions resonated with me enough to trust him. (I also read some of his many thousand-page-long treatises on peace and compassion and decided that if someone could write this and be a psychopath, this wasn't a world I wanted to live in anyway). It was the right decision—and the two weeks I spent there were some of the most enlightening of my entire life.

When you reach out to a host, particularly if it's someone you really want to stay with, it's a good idea to frame your initial contact email as a cover letter of sorts—make sure you explain who you are and personalize your letter to fit each host.

Ixcanaan A Workaway painting experienceWorkaway


Travel Safely

Especially if you're traveling alone, it's always a good idea to choose a host whose page has tons of good reviews. Aside from that, a quick Google search and a scan of any social media pages related to your potential host can't hurt.

Ultimately, Workawaying requires a certain amount of trust and faith on both the host and the traveler's parts—you're either trusting someone to stay in your home or trusting a stranger to host and feed you.

But that trust, in my experience, also results in rapid and deep connections unlike anything I've experienced in the "real world." When you go and share a home with someone, you're also sharing yourself with them, and in that exchange there are the seeds of a powerful bond.

Participate Fully

Wherever you go, you'll want to open your mind and participate fully. Adjust yourself to your host's lifestyle, not the other way around, and take time to get to know your host and the others around you.

You might find that you become someone you never knew you were. As a lifelong introvert, I somehow managed to develop close relationships with many of the people I was staying with.

This might be because most people who are at Workaways are seeking something for one reason or another. In my experience, you find lots of people who are at junctures in their lives, seeking connection and meaning. With the right Workaway, you might just find it.

Workaway The Broke Backpacker - WorkawayThe Broke Backpacker