Think that onion and garlic stew you made the other night is likely to cause the worst bad breath ever? Think again. While those ingredients are among the worst offenders when it comes to foods that cause halitosis, they are not nearly the smelliest you are going to encounter if you take the time to travel the world. Each continent has their own stinky delicacies that are sure to launch an assault on your nasal passages, and you should know what they are so you can keep some alcohol-free mouthwash on hand if they appear on your table.
However, when researching rotten smelling foods from throughout the world, one continent in particular sticks out - Asia. So let's take a look at some of the sure-fire halitosis inducers from the east.
The top offenders
Asia is home to some of the smelliest foods, according to Yahoo! Shine, and chief among them is the durian fruit. Of course, when people think of foods that are likely to cause bad breath, they probably don't envision nature's candy as a likely culprit.
Of course, MSN Health even lists citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges as some of the best foods to help fight oral odor because they stimulate saliva production. However, durian is one fruit that is sure to cause halitosis, not prevent it. The smell emitted by this southeast Asian staple has been described as similar to unwashed socks and rotting fish. Strangely enough, durian is also considered an aphrodisiac, but it's hard to believe anyone would want to kiss you after you snack on this.
Another smelly Asian dish is "stinky tofu," which probably speaks for itself. Now, we have to warn you, the description of this dish is not for the faint of heart (or weak of stomach). According to Open Journey, stinky tofu is made by letting tofu sit in a brine comprised of fermented milk, vegetables, meat and sometimes seafood. The brine can often get so rotten that it becomes infested with maggots, and even the people who enjoy it often admit that the smell is similar to human waste.
In fact, even strange food experts tend to have a difficult time nibbling on this nasty dish. On an episode of "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern," the world traveller was asked to try uncooked stinky tofu, and was unable to get it down because of the rotten taste. Instead, he tried stinky tofu salad with scallions, herbs and....1,000-year-old eggs. That's right, in certain countries they actually keep eggs around for thousands of years in order to use them in their more interesting dishes. While Zimmern was able to actually swallow some of the salad, chances are he needed a good rinsing with alcohol-free mouthwash to get the ancient smell - and taste - out of his mouth.
Another, more common smelly dish from Asia is kimchi. These fermented vegetables are a staple in Korean households, yet the dish emits such a powerful odor that many Koreans keep a special fridge in their house just for it. However, kimichi is also considered a great source of probiotics. These healthy bacteria can do wonders for your whole body, especially your dental health. Luckily, if the powerful smell of kimchi is too much for you to handle, there are many oral care probiotics products that can help deliver the healthy bacteria into your system.
So the bottom line is if you're travelling to Asia, you should feel free to taste all of the interesting foods that this beautiful continent has to offer, but be sure to pack alcohol-free mouthwash and oral care probiotics with you on the trip.