This world has some seriously stinky foods to offer. Garlic, onions, leeks, savory meats - all of these things are notorious for their ability to cause halitosis. But they pale in comparison to the all-stars of aroma, the masters of musk, the Olympians of odor: the stinkiest foods on Earth. To combat their smells, you're going to need to arm yourself with the best mouthwash available.
Here, for your cringing delight, is a list of some of the most noxious delicacies known to man, courtesy of Fodor's. Rather than avoiding the members of this pungent pantheon, consider simply rinsing with an oxygenating alcohol-free mouthwash after eating them.
Durian. We've covered this one before, a Southeast Asian fruit so pungent that it is banned on Singaporean public transit. In a smell test, one unlucky volunteer had a harder time standing the scent of durian than he did a mixture of sweaty shoes, dog mess, stale vomit and rotten eggs.
Vieux Boulogne. Scientists recently proved that this French cheese is the most odiferous on Earth. However, another contender is the UK's Stinking Bishop cheese, which Fodor's described as smelling "like a rugby club changing room."
Kala namak. Also known as "black salt," kala namak is an Indian condiment comprised of salt with high-sulfur impurities. It's said to have the whiff of rotten eggs, though at thrice the pungence power.
Stinky tofu. Made with a sour-milk-and-shrimp brine, this East Asian staple apparently tastes like either bleu cheese or spoiled milk.
Hakarl. Oh dear, after eating this one, you'll definitely need the best mouthwash you can find. An Icelandic delicacy, hakarl is made by burying shark meat in gravel and letting it rot for up to three months. Newbies to eating hakarl usually need to hold their nose, since the meat smells overpoweringly of ammonia.
Iru. This is West Africa's contribution to the Halitosis Hall of Fame. To make iru, bury locust beans, let them fester, then dig them up and pound them into small, stinky, brown patties.
Lutefisk. Get ready to gag. Lutefisk is a traditional Norwegian dish made by soaking whitefish in lye for days, resulting in a sticky, gelatinous goo. And yes, it reeks.
Though these dishes may sound disgusting, most of them are time-honored delicacies, which means that many people find them scrumptious. Rather than passing them up, you can chow down like a true intercontinental gastronomer and then rinse afterward with the best mouthwash you can find - namely, an alcohol-free specialty rinse.