Home DestinationsEurope The weirdest but dedicated European foods

The weirdest but dedicated European foods

by Chloe

1. Goose barnacles

Goose barnacles live attached to rocks, ships, ropes or flotsam floating out at sea. They’ve even been spotted on a chunk of spaceship that washed up in the Isles of Scilly! They are also known as a Gooseneck barnacle and have a long fleshy stem that looks like a black neck. The stem or peduncle is topped with a chalky white shell that houses the main body of the barnacle. Barnacles are a type of crustacean, related to crabs and lobsters. Goose barnacles filter feed on plankton and detritus, capturing it from the water with their specially adapted legs. In many places in the world they are a delicacy – in fact, in days gone by, any ships arriving in Cornwall with Goose barnacles on the hull were a real moneyspinner. The Goose barnacles would be scraped from the hull and sold for food.

closeup photo of brown animals claws

Europeans call the barnacles percebes, and in Spain and Portugal, they fetch a pretty penny. Combined with a lack of economic opportunities, this lures fishermen in Galicia, Spain, to Costa de la Muerte—the Coast of Death. As the name suggests, multiple sea-battered men have died among rough waves and strong tides while prying these prized morsels from beneath the water line.

Connoisseurs regard gooseneck barnacles as such a delicacy that the price—up to 100 euros per plate, and the occasional human life—is worth the risk. Diners grasp freshly steamed barnacles by their shelled foot and dip them in bowls of hot, melted butter. They taste like sweet lobster and have the characteristic chew of bivalves. 

To eat a percebe, grasp the shell, tear off the skin encasing its neck, and be aware that you’re sitting in a splash zone. Each time you remove a gooseneck barnacle’s casing, expect a spurt of brine. If you find a baby goose inside, then the medieval naturalists were onto something after all.

2. Surströmming

Är surströmming ett nyttigt livsmedel?

Most of the time, it is hard for people to take an even single bite. Due to the putrid stench, manufactures recommend to open cans of Surströmming underwater. Surströmming is a dish that makes from Swedish fish ferments for weeks which still continues to ferment in the can. Allegedly, some airlines even prohibit the rotten fish on planes due to the risk of explosion.

3. Hákarl

Đây là món ăn được xưng tụng là "kinh sợ nhất thế giới" mà nếu có thể thì  đừng có dại mà nếm thử

Basically, Hákarl is made from 400 years old shark’s meat that has been buried or rotted in a box. While the shark’s meat is actually poisonous when fresh, it becomes edible if you enjoy it this way. Dubbed by some the worst tasting food in the world, hákarl has a rubbery consistency and an ammonia-like flavor. It’s a traditional specialty in Iceland.

4. Bull testicles

Ready for some Rocky Mountain oysters?


When you heard about bull testicles, it might be a challenge for you to take a bite. However, they were a delicacy in Central Europe, but today – if you feel savor for it, you must be an experimental gourmands because not many people can enjoy this dish and it is also rarely appear on menus. Which might be a pity, as connoisseurs describe the dish’s very delicate consistency and a subtle nutty taste. In addition, bull testicles are rumored to boost libido.

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