No joke: People across Taiwan willingly shell out cash for a snack with the word “stinky” in the title. At Taipei’sXinzhuang Field, the food’s putrid smell wafts through the air meters away from the stands that sell it. Cooks first soften the tofu with brine made from fermented milk, then top it with pickled vegetables. Add-ons can be anything from solidified duck blood to intestines.
Denmark’s national stadium offers a refreshing, if expensive, change of pace. The stadium hosts Geranium, the only soccer-stadium restaurant to have earned a Michelin star. Foodies across Copenhagen know Geranium for its high-quality New Nordic cuisine — perhaps fitting, given that the city is also home to Noma. The restaurant also boasts views over the city’s Fælledparken gardens. Different from chips and beer, much?
The Japanese have picked up America’s love for baseball. But deviating from, say, Yankees fans, fans at the Tokyo Dome munch on grilled octopus, or takoyaki, in the stands. Other Japanese ballpark eats include shrimp burgers, chicken skewers covered with soy paste and pancakes filled with yet more octopus. On the bright side, Orix Buffaloes fans at the Kobe Sports Park Baseball Stadium can enjoy skewers of high-quality Kobe beef.
Sports fans across Quebec, the French-speaking province of Canada, eat a snack called poutine while watching just about any sport. (Although let’s be realistic — this is Canada. That sport is probably hockey.) Basic poutine requires dousing fries with gravy and topping it with cheese curds, although more complex versions, like at Montreal’s Saputo Stadium, for example, call for sausage, meatballs and tomato sauce, too. While the Canadian snack has made inroads in the States over the past decade, poutine still makes many Americans scratch their heads in confusion.
The U.S. is not exempt from bizarre stadium foods. At Miller Park, diehard Milwaukee Brewers fans order a pulled pork parfait — a mixture of pulled pork, mashed potatoes and chives arranged to look like an ice cream sundae. The “dessert” has even spawned a Twitter page.
Snack shops at arenas across China, like the MasterCard Center in Beijing, sell prepackaged chicken feet alongside salted peanuts and cans of Pringles. Sold one-by-one (not by the pair, in case you’re wondering), the foot comes covered in a red, spicy sauce. Opening the plastic packaging carefully is a must — otherwise the sauce is bound to spill on your lap.
While sports fans across the U.K. and Australia enjoy meat pies by the field, those in Adelaide, Australia take things a little further. Carts outside the city’s AAMI stadium sell the area’s traditional “pie floater,” which is exactly what it sounds like: a meat pie floating in a bowl of green pea soup. A swirl of tomato sauce tops off the soggy crust.
Alligators are a little less scary when they’re cooked already, right? At Lumpini Stadium in Bangkok, Thai street vendors sell alligator meat on skewers. The skewers accompany Muay Thai boxing matches, the sport of choice across the country.
What’s so bizarre about sunflower seeds, you ask? They may not be the sports food of choice in America, but you can pick them up at just about any gas station in the U.S., right? But think about this: which of the aforementioned sports snacks were, well, healthy? That’s right: none. So cheers to Greece, Turkey, and a smattering of other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries whose soccer fans prefer sunflower seeds to corn dogs. Less is more, as they say.