A delicacy is usually a rare and expensive food item that is considered highly desirable, sophisticated, or peculiarly distinctive within a given culture. Irrespective of local preferences, such a label is typically pervasive throughout a region. Often this is because of unusual flavors or characteristics or because it is rare or expensive compared to standard staple foods.

A black Périgord truffle
Wild Iranian Ossetra caviar
Edible jellyfish prepared with sesame oil and chili sauce

Delicacies vary per different countries, customs and ages. Flamingo tongue was a highly prized dish in ancient Rome, but is not commonly eaten in modern times. Lobsters were considered poverty food in North America until the mid-19th century[1] when they started being treated, as they were in Europe, as a delicacy. Some delicacies are confined to a certain culture, such as fugu in Japan, bird's nest soup (made out of swiftlet nests) in China, and ant larvae (escamoles) in Mexico or refer to specific local products, such as porcino, venison or anchovy.

Examples of delicacies

See also


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  35. Amar 2004, pp. 85, 88: [p. 85] An explicit tradition of eating grasshoppers existed among all the Jews of Yemen, in their various factions. The Jews of Yemen were experts in what concerns the kinds of locust, and they had a regular practice of eating them… [p. 88] ...All Jews in Yemen, in all their dwelling places, were accustomed to eating locusts, city dwellers and villagers alike, as well as among their various factions: those who espouse to the Baladi-rite and those to the Shammi-rite, the kabbalists and the non-kabbalists. In recent generations, there began to infiltrate into Yemen the halachic works of other Jewish centers, and some of them even succeeded in influencing the original customs of Yemen. Thus, for example, the news of Rabbi Ḥayyim Ben Attar’s ruling against the eating of grasshoppers reached Yemen. Although this [specific] ruling had no impact on Yemen, in any rate the rabbis of Yemen made an effort to reinforce their ancient custom. The first to come out in defense of the tradition of eating grasshoppers in Yemen was Rabbi Yihye Qoraḥ (1840–1881), one of the last of Yemen’s sages. (Original Hebrew: (עמ' 85) מסורת ברורה של אכילת חגבים היתה בקרב כל יהודי תימן לפלגיהם השונים. יהודי תימן היו בקיאים במיני הארבה והם נהגו לאכול מהם תדיר... (עמ' 88) ...אכילת חגבים היתה נהוגה אצל כל יהודי תימן בכל מושבותיהם, עירוניים וכפריים כאחד, ולפלגיהם השונים: בעלי הנוסח הבלדי והשאמי, העקשים והדרדעים. בדורות האחרונים החלו לחדור לתימן חיבורים הלכתיים ממרכזים יהודיים אחרים, וחלק מהם אף הצליחו להשפיע על מנהגי תימן המקוריים. כך, למשל, הגיעה לתימן שמעה של פסיקתו של הרב חיים בן עטר כנגד אכילת חגבים. אף שלפסיקה זו לא היתה כל השפעה בתימן, בכל זאת טרחו רבני תימן לבצר את מנהגם הקדום. הראשון שיצא להגנת מסורת אכילת החגבים בתימן היה הרב יחיא קורח (ת"ר–תרמ"א), מחכמי תימן האחרונים.)
  36. Qafih, Yosef (1982). Jewish Life in Saná. Ben-Zvi Institute. p. 218. The Jews of Yemen would collect the locust and eat it – although not all species, rather, only known species accepted by them from their ancestors, based on the tradition passed down generation after generation that they are clean; and there are known species where the tradition held by them from their ancestors denotes as unclean, even though they possess all the signs of cleanness described in the Torah and in the Halacha. Among the unclean kinds are considered the following species: `awsham, ḥanāğir, ġazzāleh, usādat ḥanaš (the snake's pillow), among others. All of the species are known to them by eye-inspection. Usually, the unclean kinds do not come in great swarms, but multiply during the rainy season, especially among the grasses and weeds. However, the clean kinds come in swarms, 'all of them by banding together' (Proverbs 30:27). Also the clean kinds are divided into four types; the best of them all is the one which is reddish in color; below it – that which is called ḥarḍiyyeh, of a grey and spotted color; below it, that which is yellowish in color, while below it is that which is whitish in color. This last one is inferior [to the rest] in terms of eating, on account of its thinness, and its limbs being more fibrous. The most praiseworthy is that which is reddish in color, especially at the time of its reproduction, when it is then fat and its taste is pleasant to the palate. (Original Hebrew: יהודי תימן היו לוקטים ארבה ואוכלים אותו, אך לא כל המינים, אלא רק מינים ידועים, המקובלים בידיהם מאבותיהם, על פי המסורת איש מפי איש, שהם טהורים; ויש מינים ידועים, שמסורת בידיהם מאבותיהם, שהם טמאים, אעפ"י שיש בהם כל סימני טהרה המפורשים בתורה ובהלכה. בין הטמאים נחשבים המינים הללו" "עושם", "חנאגר", "ג'זאלה", "וסאדת חנש", ועוד. כל המינים מוכרים להם בטביעת-עין. בדרך כלל אין המינים הטמאים באים במחנות גדולים אלא מתרבים בימות הגמשים, בייחוד בין דשאים ועשבים. אבל המינים הטהורים באים מחנות מחנות, ויצא חצץ כולו (משלי ל, כז). גם המינים הטהורים נחלקים לארבעה סוגים; משובח שבכולם האדמדם; למטה ממנו – "חרצ'ייה", אפור ונקוד; למטה ממנו הצהבהב, ולמטה ממנו הלבלבן. זה האחרון גרוע לאכילה, מחמת רזונו, ואיבריו סיביים יותר. משובח הוא האדמדם בייחוד בזמן רבייתו, שאז הוא שמן וטעמו ערב לחיך.)
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Works cited

  • Amar, Zohar (2004). The Locust in Jewish Tradition (in Hebrew). Ramat-Gan: Bar-Ilan University. ISBN 965-226-257-9.

Further reading

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