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.
As a non-sports aficionado, my attraction to game day festivities has been solely food focused. So naturally, I noticed how potato chips have taken less and less space on the snack table to make room for tortilla chips and guacamole.
Although potato chips continue to be the top-selling salted snack in terms of pounds sold, tortilla chips have been increasing in sales at a faster pace than potato chips, especially during this time of year, according to Tom Dempsey, CEO of the Snack Food Association.
And, it's not just tortilla chips selling at such high rates either.
One reason Sicilians tend to identify with Sicily first and Italy (a distant) second?
The same goes for Veneto in the north or Puglia in the south.
Italy is a young country - it only celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2011.
Despite the successful export of the "Italian restaurant," the idea of a unified Italian cuisine is something many Italians reject.
Instead there are regional dishes, sometimes with tastes as different as you'd find between countries.
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.
In Egypt, the words "street food" and "gourmet" don't often go hand in hand.
Street food is not about style; it's meant to be quick, cheap and filling. However Chris Khalifa, a 30-year-old owner of Zooba cafe in Cairo, has tried to change that.
He saw a trend elsewhere in the world: chefs hit the streets and serve dishes out of food trucks.
"I noticed no one had ever tried to do this with Egyptian street food," said Khalifa. "I try to create a brand around a more gourmet Egyptian street food."
As New Year's resolution, Seattle resident Beautiful Existence challenged herself to eat only food from Starbucks for all of 2013. She achieved that. Year-long challenges are a thing she does.
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
Now is the start of a brand new year
Let’s look ahead to what this next year will mean
Okay, enough with the tortured rhyming. More on the new beer cuisine later (just be on the lookout for more great chef and brewery partnerships, plus breweries in hotels). Here are five things we’re excited about in 2014.