Could You? Eating Eyeballs Around the World

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There is no denying delicious delicacies vary around the world. While some interesting dishes include animal testicles (in Canada we call these Rocky Mountain Oysters), heart, tongue and even feet – many cultures from around the world include eye balls on the long list of edible parts.

While many of us in the Western world might get squeamish at the thought of chewing on the eyeball of our favourite animals, we venture through cultures and countries to find eye ball h’orderves, mains and eye ball garnish for your next tasty margarita.

Place: Iceland
Svio (boiled Sheep’s head)
This Icelandic dish has been served and eaten for centuries, with half a sheep’s head with the fur removed, boiled and served with the eyes but sans brains.

Place: China
Fish eyes in wine
In China, being a guest of honour when the hosts are cooking whole fish can be extra special…depending on how you look at it. Tradition has it, as a recognition to the guest, a glass of wine with fish eyes is served and must be drank whole as to not disrespect the hosts.

Place: Middle East, Easter European Countries and Turkey
Khash (Stewed cows feed and head)
Considered a delicacy especially in Aremenia, this stew or hearty soup takes hours to make and incorporates cows hooves and head – including the eyes with lots of spices.

Place: Australia
Eye ball garnished margaritas
What else would you garnish a black margarita with aside from a frozen bull eye ball? I’m sure there are a variety of options that come to mind however, spanish tapas bar Faro Tapas decided to go garnish rogue and choose a rather jolting option. Not meant for consumption – merely gawking,

Place: Japan
Tuna eyes
A very common and tasty ingredient in meals, appetizers or street food – tuna eyes. With a flavour profile reminiscent of squid or mussels, tuna eyes are relatively easy to find in any fish market or stores in Japan and are relatively cheap at 200 yen = 2.34 Canadian dollars.

Place: Alaska
Salmon head & eyes (stinkheads)
Eating local food in Alaska would most certainly include this delicacy. Stinkheads are on the menu and well known to any local which is the fermented head of a king salmon – previously buried for weeks to rot. With a name that says it all – every inch of the fish head is consumed, mini eyeballs and all.

Place: Columbia
Cow’s eye soup
A traditional Columbian style meal, cow’s eye soup has evolved over the years (you can now pressure cook the cow’s eyeballs) but still remains a hearty local favourite.

Place: Indonesia
Nasi goreng with cow eyeball
A hearty breakfast meal commonly eaten by the people in Indonesia – you’ll be happy to note, cow eye refers to a sunny side up egg on top of fried rice and less an actual cow eye! But this goes to show you, places have a variety of names for food that translated can mean some not so appetizing meanings for non locals.

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