Most of the items on this list are still edible to the average adventurous eater, but balut is a whole new ball game. That's because eating balut requires eating a fertilized duck egg — fetus and all. Even in the Philippines, where it is considered a national delicacy, residents are mostly divided on their opinion of the food. Those that enjoy the snack say the unborn bird is savory and crunchy, with the yolk providing a rich, creamy and sweet contrast.
While a small number of specialty stores may carry balut, you'll probably have to order it online if you're brave enough to try it. To cook, simply boil the egg for ten minutes, put it in a water bath to cool it down and then chow down — if you can.
Americans just aren't fond of the idea of eating bugs, but it's standard practice in many other places throughout the world. In fact, tarantulas on a stick are a common street food in many Asian countries. Fans of the hairy spider claim they taste similar to crab or lobster, only without any fishy flavor.
Most sources selling tarantulas online offer them pre-cooked or canned, but they are almost certainly more delicious when prepared at home.
Sometimes you want a meal that says "here's looking at you, kid" — literally. Tuna eyes may not be a huge draw in America, but they are quite popular in Japan and are said to taste a bit like squid.
You can find tuna eyes in most Japanese markets, but if you don't have one near you, you will probably have to go without because it's hard to find a place that sells them online. They can be prepared in all number of ways, including raw, steamed, fried or cooked in soup. Of course, if you can't get your hands on tuna eyes, a fish head soup can also be an alternative when it comes to a horrific Halloween dish.
Americans may not be big on eating chicken feet, but in Asia and many Slavic countries, they are a favorite source of protein served in a variety of dishes. Because there is no muscle in the feet, they tend to be gelatinous, which can be a bit of a shock if you're not expecting it.
If you want to surprise your guests with chicken feet this year, you can probably find them at your local Asian market, or you may have to order them online. You may way to order them pre-made since you probably don't have any experience preparing chicken feet properly.
If you're not quite brave enough for chicken feet, but still want to serve a creepy-looking dish made from chicken, consider dark meat — REALLY dark meat. A few breeds of chicken, including silkies and Ayam Cemani, don't just have black feathers or even black skin, but completely black meat, bones, and organs. They taste the same as your every day white-meat chickens, but the sight of pure black chicken meat can still be a pretty big shock, and a great Halloween surprise.
These chickens are rare, which means you should expect to pay a pretty penny for their meat. You will have a hard time finding them for sale locally, but you can buy them online. Once you have your meat, just cook it the same way you would ordinarily prepare your favorite chicken recipe.
Corn smut, known as huitlacoche or cuitlacoche, is a black fungus that destroys corn crops, which farmers discovered is entirely edible and surprisingly tasty. Huitlacoche tastes like rich, dark mushrooms.
While it can be easy to find huitlacoche in Latin countries, finding it in America can be a bit of a challenge. You may want to shop your local Mexican market, but otherwise, you'll have to order it online. It is widely available in its canned form on websites that sell gourmet and ethnic foods. Once you have it, cooking with huitlacoche is easy, just add it to quesadillas or cheese enchiladas.
Beef tongue is one of those cuts of meat that people have been eating as long as they have been eating cows. Poor people have eaten throughout the centuries, and there are a lot of ways to prepare it to make it soft and delicious.
This is quite possibly the easiest food to source on this whole list as many grocery stores carry cow tongue. If your store doesn't, a local butcher will always be happy to sell it to you. When it comes to preparation, perhaps the biggest downside of cooking cow tongue for a Halloween party is that once you cut it up to serve it, it loses a lot of its distinctively disgusting look. You'll want to keep this in mind when deciding on your cooking method and only chop it up just before eating so everyone can appreciate the visual appeal of a real tongue just sitting on the table.
Admittedly, octopus isn't even that scary to many Americans, but there's no denying that the animal's tentacles always look creepy. For those who have yet to taste the meat, it's similar to a more chewy scallop.
Octopus can be found at many grocery stores. If you don't have a store that carries them, there are ample places to order them online. If you want to make your Halloween party scary, you can always try to get your hands on live baby octopuses. Chop them up, toss them with some sesame oil and serve immediately. But be careful — the tentacles fight going the whole way down and have even suffocated some unlucky eaters.
If you want your party to smell like the pits of hell, durian is a good way to go. While the fruit looks intimidating with its spiky exterior, it's the smell that makes it scary. Durian smells so bad that in many parts of Asia, you cannot carry them on public transportation or take them into a hotel. The fruit has a high sulfur content, but an incredibly rich, savory and sweet flavor that is challenging to the palate — you'll find that most people who have eaten the fruit either love it or hate it.
Durian can be found at most Asian markets and some major chain markets as well. The fruit can also be ordered online. Just cut up the fruit and just plate it raw to serve.
Squid ink is a popular addition to many fancy risottos and pastas. Having a secret weapon that can turn many foods pitch black is a welcome addition to any Halloween dinner arsenal. The ink doesn't add much besides a nice salty enhancement to the dish's other flavors.
Squid ink can be found online and in grocery stores. As for preparing it, there are many recipes online — just add a few drops to your favorite pasta or risotto recipe.