Top 5 Disgusting Delicacies

"Escamoles have a cottage cheese-like consistency and have a buttery yet slightly nutty flavor," said Valladolid. "They are usually served sauteed with butter, garlic, and scallions for making soft corn tortilla tacos."

Valladolid said the larvae are usually harvested from the roots of the agave plant, which happens to be a source for tequila.

"They are considered a delicacy and usually referred to 'insect caviar' or 'ant caviar,'" said Valladolid.

While people eat insects all over the world, escamoles are the larvae from a genus of ant called Liometopum. The larvae are a great source of protein, and usually a cheaper and more sustainable form than meat.

However, according to a 2006 research article in the Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine, the ants that provide escamoles are now threatened species in some regions.

Kopi Luwak, or Civet Cat Coffee

With a name like Kopi Luwak and a price of $300 per pound of pure beans -- it's hard not to wonder how a simple cup of coffee became so expensive.

But it might be better just to drink and not think while enjoying the flavor. Kopi Luwak is harvested from the droppings of the Asian Palm Civet, a type of cat that lives in Indonesia.

"They eat the cherries, (coffee) bean and all, and then it ferments in their digestive system," said Gerbstadt. "When they chew up the cherries, the beans stay intact and whole."

The coffee farmer who thought up Kopi Luwak found black gold of a different sort. All you do is clean up the beans found in the civet cat's excrement, roast and brew them.

It turns out that the civet's digestive system transforms the bean in such a way to change the taste of the coffee into something quite appealing, and rare. Gerbstadt said annual production of Kopi Luwak is 500 pounds a year.

"It's described as having hints of caramel and chocolate; earthy musty and exotic," said Gerbstadt. "The body of the coffee is much thicker and apparently it's very smooth it doesn't have the same bite."

But unlike corn smut, the transformation from a boring coffee bean to Kopi Luwak coffee beans doesn't come with an infusion of nutrients.

"Nutritionally it would be the same as coffee beans," said Gerbstadt.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the jury is still out on whether coffee is good or bad for people.

While long-term studies have shown a lower risk for Parkinson's disease and liver cancer among people who regularly drink coffee, drinking coffee during a meal may also interfere with the body's ability to absorb iron.

Coffee brewed without a filter, such as coffee from a percolator or French press, also contains a substance called cafestol that can increase cholesterol, according to Dr. Rob van Dam of the Harvard School of Public Health.

Birds Nest Soup

The idea of a "bird's nest" soup sounds so peculiar it's hard to take it literally the first time. But the name describes it exactly: soup made from a bird's nest.

But this is not just any bird, but a particular swiftlet found in southeast Asia. For at least 400 years, people have been scaling cliffs in caves to harvest the swiftlet's nest for soup.

Unlike other birds which build their nests from twigs or dig them in the sand, the male swiftlet painstakingly builds the nest with secretions from its mouth.

"The saliva that they spit out makes these nests which make a gelatinous texture in soup," said Gerbstadt, who likened the texture to soups that use eggs as a thickener.

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