Foods we love to hate: Vote now!

Foods we love to hate: Vote now!

Are you really gonna eat that foie gras and durian? It's lip-smacking for some, loathsome for others. What about you?

There's nothing like a controversial food to split marriages and divide nations.

One person's dog steak is another's foie gras. And one person's foie gras is another's durian.

Whether it's about belief systems and principles, or simply what makes your tongue twist and your stomach flip, we want to know: what foods would you never eat?

Take a look at some obvious contenders for foods some love and others hate -- then head to our Facebook poll and tell us about the dishes you can't stomach. 

Dog meat

foods we love to hateI am not what I wear.It dates to the ancient Romans -- dogs have provided both friendship and nutritional sustenance to humans throughout history.

Chinese and Vietnamese are the most active dog eaters today. While dog meat enjoys a following in South Korea as well, it's not technically legal there, although enforcement is loose.

Most Western countries see dog-eating as barbaric, but some rural cantons in Switzerland are known to enjoy pooches on plates.

Why dog meat is loved: Hindus see cows as holy, nomads see horses as friends, vegetarians feel for all animals -- the line between livestock and pets is very fine and very culturally specific. So who's to say that dog eaters are barbaric? 

Dog meat is also believed to have medicinal properties in traditional Chinese medicine, and fans say eating it makes them feel invincible.

Why dog meat is hated: It's hard to imagine slaughtering your own childhood playmate and serving it at the dining table. 


Fast-food

foods we love to hateForever on your hips.Fast-food enjoyed a better reputation in the Middle Ages when it meant pies, waffles and pasties.

Today it's commonly known as mass-produced food with poor nutritional value.

Why fast-food is loved: Greasy, crispy and unhealthy are synonyms for "delicious."

Why fast-food is hated: The slivers of lettuce in a burger don't make up for the fact that the burger is generally a calorie and fat bomb. And ketchup doesn't count as one of the five-a-days.

Let's face it -- it's junk food. If you have seen "Super Size Me," you should be on this side of the fence.


Durian

foods we love to hateSmell it yet?Known as the "king of fruits," the durian is a national treasure for many Asians.

The spiky appearance may be intimidating to some but the most lethal quality is its striking smell.

The durian stink -- somewhere between garbage and toilet -- is so offensive to some people that it is banned from many hotels, shops and aircraft.

Why durian is loved: Its lovely smell and its challenging husk.

Why durian is hated: Its horrible smell and its threatening husk.


Balut

foods we love to hateDon't look, just swallow.Balut is a fertilized duck or chicken embryo with the fetus half-formed and still in the shell.

Simply cooked by boiling, balut is a delicacy in the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. To eat it, peel away a bit of the shell and sip the broth embracing the embryo. Then peel away the rest of the shell and eat with preferred seasonings.

Why balut is loved: It is seen as an aphrodisiac. We are not sure whether it works biologically but as least guys can show off their manliness when gorging on the fetus.

Why balut is hated: If the crunching sound of the brittle bones is not revolting enough, how about a few newly grown feathers that occasionally come with the curled-up chicken fetus?


Shark fin soup

foods we love to hateWithout taste but comes with a high price tag.Shark fin soup is traditionally a luxury food in Chinese culture. It is usually served at special occasions like weddings.

The shark fin itself has a gelatinous texture and is almost tasteless. It is served in a rich flavorful broth made from meat or chicken. 

In response to controversy over rapidly decreasing shark populations, many Chinese celebrities like Yao Ming have pledged to stop eating shark fin soup.

Why shark fin is loved: Shark fin soup is a status symbol at Chinese banquets. Dried shark fin can cost up to HK$10,000 (US$1,290) per kilo in Hong Kong.

Why shark fin is hated: Cruel fishing methods, such as cutting off the coveted dorsal fin of a shark and throwing the body back into the water to drown, has given shark fin soup a bad rep.

Many types of sharks are becoming endangered due to overfishing. Consumption of shark fin soup is said by conservationists to be the root cause.


Foie gras

foods we love to hateA beautiful setting doesn't help this French delicacy get uncontroversial.Foie gras, literally meaning "fat liver" in French, is the engorged liver of a duck or goose.

The liver is enlarged due to forced-feeding of ducks and geese. A fattened liver has a buttery, rich flavor.

Having first become popular in ancient Egypt, foie gras is now known as a French gourmet food. 

Why foie gras is loved: It tastes like butter and cream and the fat of a juicy bird all mixed together. Simply delicious.  

Why foie gras is hated: The force-feeding of geese, which results in the desired fatty liver, is seen as cruel by animal-rights activists. 

Now let us know: which foods would you never eat? 

Hiufu Wong is CNN Travel's staff writer.

Read more about Maggie Hiufu Wong

After traveling around the world on a fistful of dollars, Zoe returns to Hong Kong, where she grew up, to discover and write about all the inspiring stuff that happens here on a daily basis.

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