The Map of European Culinary Horrors.

Map created by Yanko Tsvetkov from Atlas of Prejudice 2: Chasing Horizons.

Map created by Yanko Tsvetkov from Atlas of Prejudice 2: Chasing Horizons.

I have to say, this made me laugh. One of my great grandmothers had a great love of blood based dishes, but I never did develop a taste for them. Out of all these, I don’t think Kyselo sounds bad at all, and that’s coming from someone who is not a fan of cooked mushrooms.

While European food has a very positive international reputation, it’s not all steak frites and pasta. As the map above shows, the continent also has its fair share of disgusting dishes and culinary horrors.

The map is the work of Yanko Tsvetkov and appears in Atlas of Prejudice 2: Chasing Horizons (also be sure to check out his first book Atlas of Prejudice: Mapping Stereotypes, Vol. 1)

You can see a linked list of all the foods in the map here, if you’re looking for more culinary info. Interesting reading all the way around! One thing is absolutely certain – there is absolutely nothing which would induce me to try maggot cheese. There are just some lines not to be crossed. :D


  1. Ketil Tveiten says

    There’s some exaggeration going on here, what this map calls “liver paste” (mistranslation of danish “leverpostej”) the French call “paté”. Not quite a gross-sounding I’m sure you will agree. Also I sense more than a bit of prejudice against things with “blood” in the name (all the ones of which I have tasted are delicious).

    I do love “Nestlé” in switzerland though.

  2. says

    Ketil Tveiten:

    The books are called Atlas of Prejudice. :D Oh, I knew what the liver paste was right away, anyone who grew up reading Agatha Christie books would have recognized the British use of ‘paste’ for paté.

    When I was young, I ate a fair amount of different blood based dishes, but as I said, I never developed a taste for them.

  3. says

    Blutzungenwurst, blood tongue sausage is quite tasty.
    It’s basically a combination of Blutwurst (think black pudding but more meat less other things) and tongue, though I prefer tongue in the pure form. Haven’t had any in ages.
    Apart from France you could also call it “map of what poor people ate and hasn’t been gentrified yet”.

  4. says


    you could also call it “map of what poor people ate and hasn’t been gentrified yet”.

    That’s the history of food everywhere. Whatever poor people eat, it’s disdained until someone decides to ‘elevate’ it into “exotic cuisine”. Lobster is a fine example of that -- for ages on end, it was considered to be an utterly low, disgusting food which only poor people would eat.

  5. rq says

    They went with blood sausage? I would have thought pig’s ears or pig snout would have made the grade. Disappointed. ;)

  6. Nightjar says

    rq, that’s funny, I was thinking something along those lines too:

    They went with rice in blood? I would have thought pig brain or cow stomach would have made the grade! :D

  7. says

    My father really liked kyselo. He grew up as a child in Krkonoše, before they had to move out after the WW2 (for reasons unknown). So it probably reminds im of some of the better aspects from his childhood, i.e. the times when his mother was still alive.

    But it got rather difficult to get hold of the proper ingredients as time progressed. You need to have your own dough and yeast culture (kvásek) grown in dark rye flour. So he had to do without it for years, before the markets opened up after the fall of iron curtain and some things got more accesible to buy again. He has not cooked any for years now, afaik. I do not know why, but probably he does not want to bother when there is enough other tasty foods available. The recipe is all over the czech internet, as I just found out.

    I never ate it because sour foods (even foods smelling sour) often make me nauseous. There are exception to this rule, but I found out pretty quickly that kyselo is not among them.

  8. Ice Swimmer says

    I wonder what do the rest of the world eat with blood sausage or blood pancakes. Here, lingonberry jam or compote is the norm. Cranberry sauce?

  9. says

    My great grandma had a fondness for pig knuckles

    One of the family recipes we have is “Murte, Klees un Seifies” Carrots, dumplings and pig trotters.
    Of course, during my childhood the family had advanced economically so the pig trotters got replaced with Eisbein (ham hock).
    The trick is that everything gets cooked in the same pot, so it gets deliciously flavoured.

    One of my professors in Ireland once remarked how one of his old aunts used to remark how they only had pig knuckles when she was young and how it was good.
    He always wondered who ate the rest of the pig.

  10. jazzlet says

    Head cheese, or brawn is eaten in th UK too, it’s delicious, basically another kind of pate made wth the meat from the head of a pig. Although I like haslet even better …

  11. Gorogh, Lounging Peacromancer says

    Haha yeah I chuckled at the Nestle, too. Not sure what would be wrong with horse steak… I mean, how does it differ from any other steak?

  12. Ice Swimmer says

    Giliell @ 14

    Murte? It seems that Germanic languages don’t agree what to call those colourful roots, but murte sounds quite a lot like Swedish morot(s)/morötter(pl) (the “o”:s are like “oo” in English or “uh” in German).

  13. derek lactin says

    Try the orient, if you are looking for …er… Strange. While in China I ate (among other things) hatchling birds (size of a pea with a head attached), sliced pad of mule hoof, sheep intestine rings, crow (I think; the dish included the head), dog (accidentally), cat (I ordered rabbit but the chef cleavered the animal into bite-size pieces so I was able to reassemble the head). Duck blood. Stores sell (as snacks) mustard roots in chili, barbecued fish skeletons, sliced pig nose….. I never had the ooomph to eat the brain out of the Peking duck… China is a culture with a long history of famines. Waste of food is sinful (and possibly suicidal).

  14. says

    People with money. Poor people got the scraps.

    Yeah, his point was the romantisation of poverty.

    crow (I think; the dish included the head)

    My grandma caught and ate crows after WW2. She did not long to repeat the experience

    cat (I ordered rabbit but the chef cleavered the animal into bite-size pieces so I was able to reassemble the head)

    Dachhase, roof rabbit. That’s what people occasionally call cats here and which is the reason why rabbit is always sold with the head still attached (apart from the fact that the cheeks and tongue are the best bits, though I don’t eat rabbit anymore)

    I did buy tofu and minicucumbers.

    Now the real horrors begin*.

    *Standard disclaimer: I used to buy, prepare and eat tofu, but then I became allergic to soy. By now I can’t even dip my sushi in soy sauce anymore.

  15. says

    I would have expected Haggis to be the choice in Scotland. But if they had to choose a deep fried food, the icon one is surely the deep fried Mars Bar.

    And blood pudding? That’s remarkably innocuous for England and Ireland. Tripe would surely be a better choice.

  16. jazzlet says

    Ooooh haggis on baked potato, if you are going to have more than just salted butter the best topping ever.

  17. wereatheist says

    I like tripe soup, the turkish variant, called işkembe çorba.
    Germans don’t eat Blutwurst with lingonberry, but with sauerkraut (and potatoes). But next I will try with lingonberry! Thanks skandy folks!

  18. wereatheist says

    BTW sour dough soup is common in central Europe. Kyselo in Chechy is very similar to żurek in Poland. And I like sour dough soups.

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