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One of the most exciting and enriching aspects of travelling is trying the different cuisines from around the world. There is nothing like sampling the local and authentic delicacies to tickle your taste buds.

But, it’s one thing to sample local delicacies, it is another to try some foods that could cause you harm.

There are many foods around the world that, if they are not prepared properly, could cause serious problems, and may even cause death in some cases.

Below are 9 of the most dangerous foods from around the world:

1. Ackee

This fruit is very well loved in Jamaica. It must only be consume when it is fully ripe, while properly prepared and without the toxic seeds. The seeds contain poisonous substances which can cause vomiting.

2. Absinthe

This sweet drink is made from anise, woodworm, and fennel. Woodworm contains a chemical that contains psychoactive properties, and may cause hallucinations.

3. Blood Clams

All clams bleed, but most of them contain clear blood, so it looks like thick water. But, Blood Clams contains hemoglobin, therefore, their blood is red, like ours.

And like our blood, Blood Clams may carry diseases of the blood, such as typhoid, hepatitis, and dysentery. This is because Blood clams live in low-oxygen environments where a lot of bacteria and viruses thrive.

Blood clams filter about 40 liters of sea water per day, and the water is dirty, like in most of China, the clams absorb these harmful bacteria and viruses, including dysentery, typhoid, or hepatitis.

4. Cassava

A certain variety of cassava known as manioc, which is found in South America and Africa, must be cooked thoroughly and properly prepared. Raw cassava contains a toxic substance known as linamarin which becomes cyanide if consume raw.

5. Cashews

Have you ever tried to get a cashew out of its shell? Probably not, because cashews are never sold raw in the shell. This is because cashews contain anacardic acid, which is the same chemical irritant that makes poison ivy dangerous.

The “poison” is in the oil of the shell, and not in the nut itself. But, when it comes out of the shell the nut is covered in the stuff. Handling the shell, while consuming the raw nut can cause a reaction.

To make it safe to eat, the nut is roasted to get rif of the acids in the shell oil. But, it has to be done at high enough temperature, or traces may remain.

And if you have ever seen a severe allergic reaction to poison ivy on someone’s skin, just imagine that on your inside.

6. Fugu

The blowfish or pufferfish is called Fugu in Japan, which means “river pig.” But you do not get bacon from this pig, instead you might end up dead.

The Fugu contain high quantities of tetrodotoxin, which is a powerful neurotoxin that is used to defend against predators in the wild, and exact revenge on people after the fish is dead. Known to be 1200 times more deadly than cyanide, just a pinhead-worth of tetrodotoxin is all it takes to excuse you from the dinner table permanently.

Fugu is is a delicacy in Japan, and is yes locally known as fugu and only properly-trained chefs can serve it safely. It is mostly eaten fried, raw, or boiled with miso. The deadly poison, which can kill instantly, can be found in the internal organs and liver, therefore, it has to be properly cleaned and prepared before serving.

7. Elderberry

The Black Elderberry shrub can be found or grows all over the world, and contains a number of culinary and medicinal uses, as well as making a lovely hedge. Its berries are used in making syrups, wine, jams, pies, and other extracts.

Elderberries are always cooked before use, because the seeds, and also about half of each tiny berry is seed, contains a glycoside, that induces cyanide, which is a deadly poison. Cooking destroys these glycosides therefore making the berry safe to eat.

If you eat enough raw elderberries, it may cause a toxic buildup of cyanide in your body. You will know it if it happens, when the diarrhea and vomiting kicks in.

Some people recover pretty quickly, but sometimes the poisoning is very bad. But that’s when the coma starts, therefore, you will stop noticing.

8. Live Octopus

Also known as Sannakji in Korea, this delicacy is eaten raw. The danger is, if you do not chew this well, the suction of the octopus can grip your throat, therefore, causing suffocation and choking.

9. Rotten Cheese

Casu marzu, or directly translated as ‘rotten/putrid’ cheese, is served traditionally in Sardinia. During the aging process, the cheese develops (and is noted for containing) live insect lavae (maggots and eggs).

Your travel health and safety depends on you. Be wise, as no tasty dish is worth your health. Therefore, stay safe!

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Sources:
Globelink.co.uk
Insh.world

photo credit: pixabay