Crazy Tasty Exotic Foods To Try This Year

Crazy Tasty Exotic Foods To Try This Year

Life is more exciting when you add some spice to it. If you’re into video games, this can mean going outside your comfort zone with new challenges, playstyles or genres. The same adventurous spirit can make you look forward to mealtimes more, too. Depending on your travel habits, you may have tried these foods already or you may be in for a fantastic surprise. Plus, many of these exotic ingredients provide healthy nutrients for a balanced diet.


Travel gastronomically to South Korea with this spicy, tangy veggie side dish. Kimchi is a Korean mainstay, delivering bold flavors and a satisfying crunch. Think sauerkraut but with plenty of heat and umami. The specific ingredients vary, but many varieties of kimchi include fermented cabbage, radishes and onions with a healthy dose of chili pepper, garlic and ginger.

One of the reasons that kimchi is getting attention is the probiotics it contains. Probiotics are positive bacteria for your gut. Yogurt is a popular source of lactobacilli probiotics, but it’s not your only option. Kimchi’s fermentation process also creates several types of good bacteria, including lactobacilli.

Of course, there are other ways to get probiotics if you’re not a fan of kimchi’s tart taste, including probiotic powder. These supplements contain a variety of good bacteria for supporting gut health. They are easy to take, letting you get probiotics any time you want, whether you’re enjoying a morning smoothie or a salad for lunch. Look for live probiotics, active bacteria for your digestive system.

Toasted Grasshoppers

The thought of eating bugs may not sound appealing to you, but many people around the world enjoy these crispy treats as a normal part of their diet. People in Mexico and Central America have eaten toasted grasshoppers for a long time. In some African countries, crickets, locusts and grasshoppers are practically a delicacy.

Toasting the grasshoppers instead of frying them can keep them healthy. According to WebMD, the nutritional profile of these winged insects is pretty incredible. Pound for pound, grasshoppers provide more protein than beans, eggs and chicken. 

You can snack on toasted grasshoppers as if they were popcorn or potato chips, adding a splash of lemon juice and some chili powder for Latino flair. Another option is to sub chicken for cooked grasshoppers when you’re making tacos, burritos or fajitas.

Cucumber Raita

Are you craving a creamy topping but looking to cut down on calories? Instead of reaching for the mayo, try this flavorful and fresh Indian sauce the next time you make burgers or barbecue. Raita is a tangy, creamy sauce that uses plain yogurt as its base.

You have a lot of freedom to customize your favorite raita with fresh herbs, spices and a variety of ingredients. A popular version adds some cool cucumbers, spicy garam masala seasoning, cumin and cilantro. You can swap the cilantro with mint, parsley, ginger, mustard seeds, basil or even paprika!

Like kimchi, the yogurt in raita can be an excellent source of probiotics. You decide whether you prefer whole yogurt or low-fat, but make sure to choose plain, not sweetened.


The first time you see lemongrass, you may think you’re looking at a weird variety of green onions. In reality, lemongrass is its own thing, an exotic plant that grows in many Asian countries. You may have already tasted this herb without realizing it; lemongrass is a popular ingredient in Thai cuisine, Indian cooking and Indonesian dishes.

In the U.S., lemongrass leaves are common in relaxing herbal teas. As the name suggests, this plant has a noticeable lemon flavor and a pleasant hint of sweetness. Remove the leaves at the end of cooking so only the delicious flavor remains.

Use lemongrass to give chicken soup an irresistible citrus flavor. This herb tastes amazing in Thai curries, seafood dishes, veggie stews and Asian soups. Guests may ask you for the secret to the bold flavors the next time you cook for company.

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