Adventurous eating has many layers. The courageous eater’s starter kit begins with sushi and escargot before graduating to authentic Chinese dim sum (chicken feet, anyone?), blowfish, and game meats. Then, you’re on the level of fried insects, live octopus, and the infamously stinky durian fruit. But to really get a taste of local favorites, gastronomic adventurers should turn their attention to snacks; they’ll sample the sweet and savory treats that locals eat on the go, at the movies, or to quell that afternoon slump (we’re sure that’s universal). Popcorn, chips and dip, and cookies seem more than normal to us, but what are other countries’ versions of those ubiquitous snacks?
When we might crave candies and sweets, kids in Cambodia pop deep-fried tarantulas as addictive afternoon snacks, and while we may be partial to a lox spread on our bagels, breakfasts in Wales consist of a boiled seaweed, called "laver," spread on toast or baked into cakes. And despite looking like a tiramisu or creamy bread pudding, the Turkish dessert tavuk göğsü combines sweetened milk and cinnamon with… chicken, of course.
These snacks may seem strange (or they may not), but they’re incredibly popular in countries around the world; they’re found at roadside stands, in shopping malls, at home-cooked meals, and in local grocery stores, which makes them easy to track down for brave souls. Of course, Japan boasts some of the most off-the-charts bizarre treats in the world, which is why Japanese snacks appear on this list twice — once for the most innovative (and slightly scary) ice cream flavors we’ve heard to date and the second time for tiny baked fish skeletons that reportedly make popular movie snacks. But no matter which country’s quirky snacks you dive into first, walking the streets with these eats (and no map) will make you instantly feel like a local. Even if you try them once and never go back.