Americans eat more than 10 billion bowls of soup every year. Whether it’s eating a nice, warm cup of soup from the comfort of your own home or ordering a bowl of hot soup as an appetizer inside a restaurant, soup is a very popular food across the U.S. and the world.
There are all kinds of tasty soup flavors that you can order, most of which will probably taste good but won’t do much for you. Some kinds of soup, however, can change everything.
Perhaps one of the strangest soups available on the market today is called Cordyceps Soup. Cordyceps kind of has a fun ring to it, right? Maybe not. Cordyceps is a genus ascomycete fungi that includes about 400 species.
That’s right. Fungus.
And not just any kind of fungus: caterpillar fungus. Yum!
According to CNBC, for the extremely reasonable price of $688, you can enjoy a cup of caterpillar fungus soup at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. This soup is extremely rare and must be flown in from one of the few seasonal locations where it grows at a minimum altitude of 12,500 feet.
“The broth of the Cordyceps soup has tea-like characteristics with hints of earthiness from the Cordyceps themselves,” said Bryan Flyer, executive chef at the Cosmopolitan. “The recipe includes the highly prized Silkie breed of chicken as well as Chinese dates.”
The soup is served in the resort’s Talon Club, a VIP gambling and gaming room.
“The resort’s high-end casino customers from the Far East are accustomed to having these types of cultural delicacies available to them,” added Flyer. “On average we serve approximately five bowls of the Cordyceps soup per month.”
Though 50% of all the customers who enter a business did so because of signage, if a sign out front of a restaurant read “caterpillar fungus soup,” that might not entice too many people to step foot inside and give it a try. Though curiosity might take over and actually improve a restaurant’s foot traffic.
Believe it or not, caterpillar fungus soup might not even be the craziest soup you can order. Here are some of the mildest and unconventional soups you can actually try:
- Turtle Soup — You read that right! This soup contains the flesh of a turtle. It’s actually a delicacy in Singapore and even some parts of the United States.
- Beetroot Soup — Beetroot soup is actually one of the most common preparations of beets in Poland. Traditional beetroot soup consists of a fermented liquid, which has to be prepared a few days in advance.
- Bird’s Nest Soup — This Chinese dish actually is created with an entire bird’s nest, along with strands of saliva cement. Swiftlet bird nests are a particular favorite for the soup.
- Duck Blood Soup — Also known as “Czernina,” this soup is made with duck blood, poultry broth, and spices, fine noodles, dried fruits, and little dumplings.
Whether you’re eating a conventional cup of chicken noodle soup on a Sunday afternoon or are building up the courage to take a bite out of a tasty caterpillar fungus, sit back and enjoy soup more often, it’s a good snack and apparently, it builds character.