Despite being an object of culinary fascination around the world, balut is no beauty queen.
The 18-day-old fertilized duck egg - a snack widely eaten in the Philippines - has revolted even the most daring foodies with its carnal textures, earning it lofty rankings on many a "most disgusting/strange/terrifying food" list.
While food journalists commonly label balut as the Philippines' "much loved delicacy," in reality Filipinos are decidedly split over their nation's oft-sung snack.
Small eats, and a lot of them, are the big thing in Taiwan.
The culinary philosophy here is eat often and eat well.
Sure, there's the internationally accepted three-meals-a-day dining format, but why be so limited when you can make like the Taiwanese and indulge in gourmet snacking at any time of the day?
The Taiwanese capital, Taipei, has around 20 streets dedicated to snacking.
Every time you think you've found the best streetside bao, the most incredible stinky tofu or mind-blowing beef noodle soup, there's always another Taiwanese food shop that surpasses it.
The first time the South Korean factory owner watched his North Korean employees nibble on a Choco Pie, they appeared shocked - even overwhelmed.
He summed up their reaction to the South Korean snack in one word: "Ecstasy."
Much like what Twinkies are to Americans, South Korea's Choco Pies - two disc-shaped, chocolate-covered cakes, sandwiching a rubbery layer of marshmallow cream - are ubiquitous, cost less than 50 cents and are full of empty calories.
But on the other side of the Korean border, the snacks are viewed as exotic, highly prized treats, selling on North Korea's black markets for as much as $10, according to analysts. Their rising popularity in the north reveals an unexpected common ground between the two Koreas, despite their fractious relationship - a shared sweet tooth.
There aren't many people who can claim that their lives have been changed by an egg tart, but chef Raymond Wong - who heads Macau’s Institute for Tourism Studies Educational Restaurant - says when he tasted Macau’s famous local Portuguese tarts there was no looking back.
“I left Hong Kong when I was just nine years old,” says Wong, who grew up in San Francisco and studied at the culinary program at San Francisco City College.
“But when I came back here in 2004, I went to Macau with my fiancé and she took me to a famous shop for egg tarts.”
Kimchi-making season is upon South Korea, with grocery stores besieged with housewives snapping up buckets of giant cabbages, salt and red pepper powder - or more often these days buying pre-made kimchi so they don't have to go to the trouble.
In one of Seoul's more unusual sights, 3,000 housewives marked the start of the period in which the ingredients are at their freshest, with the country's biggest kimchi-making event to date in front of Seoul's City Plaza on Wednesday.
World-renowned chef, author and Emmy-winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits Tokyo, Japan in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, November 3, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.
"Maybe the most important thing you need to know about Tokyo, from my point of view is, every chef I know – every high end chef, from Spain, France, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles basically every chef I’ve ever met. If you asked them, 'If you had to spend the rest of your life, in one country, eating one country’s food for the rest of your life, where would that be?' They’re all gonna say the same thing. Japan. Tokyo. Period," says Anthony Bourdain.
Seoul's ever-shifting restaurant and bar scene is dependent on the fickle nature of Korean eaters.
This makes the capital a dangerous place to attempt new ideas, yet one that also forces restaurateurs and bar owners to embrace innovation and change.
A dozen noteworthy arrivals have opened in the past year and a half. They're listed here in alphabetical order.
Looking for a drink in Japan?
A bottle of sake or a few pints of a domestic beer are the most obvious choices, but wine drinkers should give the local grape, the Koshu, a chance.
Koshu wine is produced by about 80 vineyards in the Yamanashi prefecture at the base of Mount Fuji.
Ayana Misawa, winemaker at Grace Vineyard, describes the variety as charming, with a crisp acidity and low alcohol level.
“Koshu has a very elegant smell," she says. "Aromas like citrus, white flowers."
Presenting mooncakes to relatives and business associates may be an integral part of China's Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations, but a new law aims to dampen the spirit of mooncake giving - at least among government officials.
As announced by the Communist Party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, and reported by the state-run Xinhua news agency, the Chinese government has announced that officials will no longer be able to use public money to send mooncakes as gifts during the festival.