Beijing penis

China is home to just one restaurant specialising in penises. Guolizhuang, in Beijing, dishes up penis platters with members from animals including dogs, donkeys and tigers (at £3,000 a pop).

Chernobyl cep

They look and taste like standard mushrooms, but the ceps that grow in the Ukranian town of Slavutych exhibit eight times the level of radiation poisoning considered safe for humans.

Icelandic fermented shark

The chef Anthony Bourdain has described shark thorramatur as "the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing" he has ever eaten. The gutted fish is fermented in sand for 12 weeks. The meat is then cut up and hung to dry for months, and a brown crust is removed before eating.

Indonesian kopi luwak coffee

These Sumatran coffee beans earn their delicacy status after their long journey through the digestive tract of civets, small, cat-like animals. Once collected, they are scrubbed clean and, when brewed, have a chocolate-like flavour.

Italian maggot cheese (casu frazigu)

The Piophila casei fly deposits its eggs in the cheese. Maggots hatch and move through the cheese, excreting enzymes that give an overwhelmingly pungent smell and rotten taste, offset by a soft and creamy texture.

Japanese blowfish

It's thought that blowfish, which have an organ containing poison, kill 300 people a year. So deadly is it that only licensed chefs can prepare it. Get it wrong and paralysis follows until the lungs seize up and you suffocate.

Korean baby mouse rice wine

Advertised online as a traditional Korean health tonic, it is simply rice wine stuffed with baby mice. Apparently it tastes like petrol.

Mexican escamole

Escamoles are made from the eggs of black ants harvested from the agave cactus or maguey tree. Their taste is close to that of corn and are used as a taco filling. The ants do sting, though, so if you go escamole-collecting, make sure you wear some thick gloves.

Rocky Mountain oyster

Rocky Mountain oysters don't have the same aphrodisiac properties as their marine namesakes. Not surprising really, considering they are buffalo, boar or bull testicles coated in flour, peeled, pounded flat and deep-fried.

J amie Merrill and Simon Usborne