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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Joshua Tree National Park is a gigantic desert located at the crossroads between Palm Springs, the Mojave Desert, and Colorado.

Ever wanted to visit it? Here's what you need to know.

When you first visit Joshua Tree, you're going to want to make a pitstop at one of its three visitor centers—the Joshua Tree Visitors Center (in the northwest), the Cottonwood Visitor Center (in the south), the Oasis Visitor Center (in the north), or the Black Rock Campground (in the northwest, open from October through May). Be sure to call in advance before you go.

In general, it's best to visit the park in the spring or fall. A popular stop-off for hikers, rock climbers, and road-trippers, the park is a surreal and unforgettable area beloved for its unique Joshua trees and so much more.

Must-See Highlights

If you only have a short time in Joshua Tree, you'll want to see its most famous destinations. The Cholla Cactus Garden is a highlight—located 20 minutes north of the Cottonwood Visitor Center, it's a must-see, and if you can make it out for sunrise, the experience will be extra unforgettable.

Steve Sieren Steve SierenFlickr

Consider paying a visit to Parker Dam, a rare watery oasis in the middle of the desert. You might also take a trip to the Cottonwood Spring Oasis for more watery views, possibly complete with views of bighorn sheep.

History and Culture

For some history, be sure to check out the Keys Ranch, to hear the story of Bill and Frances Keys, who built a town—including a schoolhouse and ranch—in Joshua Tree for their five children. Don't miss Keys View while you're at it.

keys view Keys Viewalexvy.org

Keys View

Joshua Tree is well-known for drawing all sorts of alternative types, and it has the lore to match. Rock and roll fans often visit Cap Rock, the place where rocker Gram Parsons' body was cremated.

Cap RockJoshua Tree 3D

Natural Wonders: Trees, Stars and Rocks

Joshua Tree is one of the best places in the world to see stars. With some of the darkest skies in the world, it's a great chance for desert photography or possible UFO sightings.

Joshua Tree Night Sky Joshua Tree Night SkyShaina Blum

It's also well-known for its many rock formations. There's Split Rock, a giant boulder that appears to be literally split in two, located off Park Boulevard.

There's also Skull Rock, a rock that, naturally, resembles a fleshless human face.

Skull ROck Skull ROckProtrails

Then there's Arch Rock, which you can climb on in order to see the desert from a brand-new angle.

Arch Rock Arch Rockfollowyourdetour.com

And of course, there are the Joshua trees. In addition to the famous trees, the park has a variety of other desert plants, including the gorgeous red-plumed Ocotillo.

Ocotillo OcotilloiStock

Hiking and Adventure

Rock climbers (or anyone who wants to watch in awe) can pay a visit to the Hidden Valley Campground, a world-renowned climbing center. Hidden Valley also offers gorgeous views of Coachella Valley. Climbers also love visiting the Jumbo Rocks Campground, with its many challenging formations.

For a slightly less strenuous day, visit the beautifully descriptively named Oasis of Mara, a stretch of honey mesquite and playas that offers a short-half mile loop which will let you experience the desert's wildflowers and nature. Mara was named by the Serrano Indians, who called this location their first home in this world.

Oasis of Mara Oasis of MaraSCPR

Another popular Joshua Tree hike is the 49 Palms Oasis hike, a 3-mile trek to an oasis. The Ryan Mountain hike is also a 3-mile uphill trek that will take you around 3 hours, but it'll lead you to a dramatic 3000-foot elevation with 360 degree views.

Finally, the also-3-mile Mastodon Peak Hike will take you to views of the Salton Sea and Eagle Mountains. If driving is more your speed, the park is definitely best for four-wheel drives; if you've got one, check out the Geology Tour Road, an 18-mile stretch that offers 16 stops and plenty of access to scenery.

Camping and Lodging

Camping is a popular attraction in Joshua Tree, so be sure to reserve your campsite ahead of time.

There are 9 main campgrounds in Joshua Tree—Belle Campground, Black Rock Campground, Cottonwood Campground, Hidden Valley Campground, Indian Cove Campground, Jumbo Rocks Campground, Ryan Campground, Sheeps Pass Campground, and the White Tank Campground.

You can also try staying at a Bureau of Land Management-owned area, or backcountry camping if you're prepared to really fend for yourself—just be sure to register at one of the backcountry boards.

If you're not up for camping, check out a local motel or Airbnb—there are plenty available near the park.

Tips and Tricks

Joshua Tree National Park has no cell service, so you'll really want to plan ahead before you go. There are no restaurants or grocery stores in the park, so be sure to pack food and water.

Food & Drink

6 NYC Food Trends You Can Try at Home

From Raindrop Cakes to Ramen Burgers, these New York City food crazes are available in your kitchen.

Back when a world outside your home and the grocery store existed, New York City had a habit of getting swept up in food crazes.

Sometimes those crazes have involved a burgeoning appreciation for an established cultural tradition from around the world -- arepas, poké bowls, Korean barbecue. At other times these crazes have just involved particular purveyors taking a familiar item more seriously -- like the doughnut renaissance spurred by Doughnut Plant and Dough.

But the most alluring and often ridiculous food trends in New York City tend to involve something truly novel, eye-catching, and sometimes just weird. Fortunately, for those of us who are taking pandemic conditions seriously, there are options to bring some of the novelty of those trends home for the Instagrammable weirdness you may have been missing.

These are some of the recent New York City food trends that you can try for yourself.

Raindrop Cake

raindrop cake

Like a lot of food trends that sweep New York, the Raindrop Cake can be traced back to Japan. Created by the Kinseiken Seika company outside Tokyo, the clear, jiggly cake was originally introduced as water mochi. In 2016 a Brooklyn-based digital marketer named Darren Wong set out to introduce the strange "edible water" to New York at the Smorgasburg food festival, and the strangely beautiful dessert took off.

Now Wong sells kits with everything you need to create your own low-calorie jellyfish/breast implant confection at home. For $36 the kit includes ingredients, molds, and bamboo trays for six raindrop cakes served with brown sugar syrup and Japanese Kinako flour.

Cronuts

cronuts

Dominique Ansel Bakery

When French pastry chef Dominique Ansel introduced New York to his chimera dessert blending a croissant with a doughnut, it was an overnight sensation with lines around the block to try the flaky fried goodness. They were such a hit that a more pedestrian version of the cronut made its way to Dunkin around the country.

Since then, Ansel has unveiled a number of buzzworthy and inventive creations, like What-a-Melon ice cream, Zero-Gravity cakes, and frozen s'mores. But if you want to try the sensation that started it all, Ansel has shared his original cronut recipe.

And if it turns out that you're not quite at the level to emulate a world-renowned French pastry chef, you can always try the knock-off version with these simple biscuit dough donuts you can make in an air fryer.

Ramen Burger

ramen burger

Here's another food craze imported from Japan. The ramen burger has popular in the Fukushima region for some time, but it was first introduced to New York by chef Keizo Shimamoto's restaurant Ramen Shack in 2013.

The simple fusion of Japanese and American cuisine is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Instead of a standard white bread bun, ramen noodles are cooked to chewy perfection, pressed into a bun shape, then seared in sesame oil until the outside is crispy.

Inside that bun you can place whatever kind of burger you like, but Shimamoto's version involved a beef patty served with arugula, scallions, and a signature sauce. While your results with instant ramen are unlikely to match the quality of Shimamoto's buns, this recipe should help you get close.

Ube Ice Cream

Ube ice cream

Gemma's Bigger Bolder Baking

The purple yam known as ube is a staple of Filipino desserts. In recent years its distinctive, almost floral sweetness has grown in popularity in NYC, showing up in a variety of baked goods and in the Philippines's signature take on shaved ice -- halo-halo.

The fluffy ube mamons -- sponge cakes -- at Red Ribbon Bakeshop are a great introduction to what has made it such a popular ingredient. There is also the delicious flan-like ube halaya. But maybe the most craveable and craze-worthy uses of ube is as a flavor of ice cream.

This simple recipe calls for ube extract or powder, rather than using actual yam -- but the distinctive ube flavor still comes through in the delicious results.

Grasshoppers

Tempura grasshoppers

Food Republic

Speaking of climate change... oh, were we not talking about climate change? It's always just lingering in the background -- a portent of doom hovering over all our thoughts about the future? Cool.

Anyway, speaking of climate change, one of the most important changes our society will need to make in order to mitigate its catastrophic effects it to shift our food supply to a more sustainable model. And one of the keys to that effort will be a shift away from meat to less wasteful protein sources.

Plant-based alternatives like impossible burgers and beyond meats are a likely component of that shift, but one of the most efficient forms of protein on Earth is also one of the easiest to come by -- bugs. With that in mind, restaurants like The Black Ant have introduced insects as a fashionable part of NYC dining.

You might be thinking that's gross, but in reality...it absolutely is. Bugs are weird and gross, and the idea of eating them is not appetizing.

But chances are there's already something in your diet that would be gross if you weren't used to it -- aren't lobsters basically sea bugs anyway? So if you can find a way to get over that mental block and make those bugs appealing -- as cultures around the world have been doing throughout history -- you might be ready for the Snowpiercer dystopia that lies ahead.

With that in mind, you can buy a bucket of crunchy dried grasshoppers to start experimenting with cooking. And, while not as inventive as Black Ant's grasshopper-crusted shrimp tacos, these recipes for curried tempura grasshoppers and Oaxacan chapulines tacos sound downright edible.

Hot Cocktails

hot toddy

Okay, this is hardly a new or a specifically New York trend, but with restaurants and bars moving outdoors in the middle of winter, people have been warming themselves with hot beverages. But there's nothing to stop you from bringing that heat home to enjoy a tipsy winter night on a balcony, rooftop, or fire escape.

From hot toddies to hot buttered rum, spiked hot chocolate, and mulled wine, the possibilities are endless. A hot cocktail can be as simple as Irishing-up a cup of coffee, but we recommend getting your hands on some citrus peel and mulling spices -- cloves, cinnamon sticks, allspice, stare anise, and nutmeg -- and start experimenting with some cheap red wine or apple cider spiked with your favorite brown liquor.

Travel Tips

Best Jobs for People Who Love To Travel

If you want to travel but have a job that is currently holding you back, here are a few of our suggestions for the best jobs for people who love to travel.

For many people, traveling is an amazing experience, but traveling is not always feasible because of responsibilities to work.

One way to get around this roadblock is to get a job that will let you travel and see the world. Here are some of the best jobs for people who love to travel.

Hostelworld HostelworldHostelworld.com

Translator

A translator is a wonderful job for those who want to travel. It will bring you to many places as you work, so long as those places speak the language you can translate. The great thing about translating is the variety of work you can get by translating for specific clients or just translating for tourists in the area. You can choose what type of scene you wish to work in very easily.

Pilot

A pilot fits the definition of a job that gets to travel perfectly. Now, whether you are a private pilot or a commercial pilot, you will still get to fly all over the planet. The only major problem with this job is the requirement of flight classes. But once you get your license, you can fly freely around the world while making yourself money to fund your trips.

Travel blogger

Being a travel blogger is a temperamental job but, if done correctly, it will allow you to visit anywhere you want. Writing to fans as you travel the world can be a fun and exciting way to engage with the planet. This job can be difficult to do, though, as you must be able to write consistently and capture your audience with each post.

English teacher

This may not sound like a job that allows you to travel, but schools all around the world are always looking for more people to teach English.

In this career, you would move near the school that you would teach at and live there over the course of your time there. The interesting thing about this job is that it does not necessarily require a teaching degree, depending on the school and country in question. You also get to live in a new country for an extended period.

When it comes to the best jobs for people who love to travel, these are just a few of our suggestions. There are plenty of jobs where you can travel around the world, but these ones are far-reaching and cover a lot of different lifestyles. They might seem like pipe dreams, but hey, you never know!