When Amazon first launched as a modest online bookstore, the founder Jeff Bezos already had an inkling that the digital marketplace was destined to be an online store for everything, and by everything, we mean EVERYTHING. But could he ever have imagined that this would extend to live Madagascar hissing cockroaches, afro wigs for cats, and even glow-in-the-dark toilet seats? In fulfilling Bezos’ forecast, Amazon has become a treasure trove for not only home decor, electronics, and other predictable purchases, but also the wild world we could never have dreamed of. And when it comes to unusual products, Amazon’s strange side shines in its groceries and gourmet food department. The food department often gets passed over by Amazon shoppers clicking their way straight to the electronics or fashion section. However, for the brave adventurers who do explore the dark recesses of groceries and gourmet food land, there are wonders to behold. Of its vast sea of edible oddities, here are some of the strangest foods you can buy on Amazon.
Preserved Century Duck Eggs
Granted, there’s a large portion of the world who may not find this Amazon order strange at all. In China, century eggs, also called “preserved eggs” and “millennium eggs,” are a familiar, celebrated sulfurous snack found across the nation. Preserved eggs are cured and boiled for days or even months (the terms “century” and “millenium” being slight marketing exaggerations) until they ferment. After a lengthy fermenting process, eggs turn a greenish, dark brown color and emit an ammonia-y smell that earned them another appetizing nickname: “horse urine egg.” If all this sounds delicious, you can order Golden Plum Preserved Duck Eggs, vacuum-sealed and ready to eat, on Amazon right now.
Roasted Thai Zebra Tarantula
Foregin cusinie is becoming increasingly trendy in the western world, take edible insects for example. With restaurants like the Black Ant NYC in New York and Bug Appétit in Louisiana have dedicated menus to creepy crawly cuisine like ant salt guac and cricket-encrusted shrimp. Edible tarantulas themselves, even, are not unheard of — in Cambodia, garlic fried spiders are a popular snack. That said, we bet if you bust out a batch of roasted Thai zebra tarantulas at your next PTA potluck, you’re bound to get a few squeals. Thai Zebra tarantulas, one of the 850 species of tarantulas on earth, are known for being quite aggressive until they’re caught, roasted, packaged, and shipped to your door, courtesy of Amazon.
Corn smut is one of the many aliases of huitlacoche, along with “Mexican truffle,” “devil’s corn,” and simply “fungus.” Huitlacoche is both a plant disease and delicacy that has been revered since ancient Aztec times. The fungal infection looks like fluffy grey clouds and gives the corn a unique, mushroom-like flavor. To this day, in modern Mexico, corn cob with blue-black spores is worth more than a non-infected ear to many chefs. Mexican cocineros fold huitlacoche into a wide range of classic dishes, from enchiladas to quesadillas, to flan. Now, you can purchase huitlacoche on Amazon by the jar to use in your own cooking. Get creative and flip-up some huitlacoche burgers! How about shaking up some huitlacoche cocktails? Or, show up at work with some huitlacoche muffins and surprise your coworkers by telling them the secret ingredient is corn fungus after they’ve taken a bite.