There are certain foods that Queen Elizabeth refuses to touch. For example, Her Majesty avoids garlic because of the stinky breath problem and doesn’t like starchy sides like pasta with her meals. She also insists on sandwiches with the sharp corners cut off during teatime.
Despite the queen’s very specific demands, she is adventurous when it comes to sampling new foods in foreign countries. As the representative for the United Kingdom she’s often required to sample local cuisine as a sign of respect for that culture.
Fresh fruits and gourmet entrees are delightful. However, at times Queen Elizabeth must try some truly exotic selections — like the time she ate rat stew or when she sampled a sea slug.
The queen sticks to a mealtime routine
At home, Her Majesty expects all her meals served a certain way with a very specific lineup of ingredients. For breakfast, she’ll often choose a simple spread of white toast, marmalade, and tea around 8 a.m., Daily Meal reports. Lunch is a similarly humble affair with a small piece of fish or chicken and a salad full of fresh veggies.
At tea time, the queen enjoys a cup of brewed tea prepared in a precise way. Her hot beverage is served alongside cucumber sandwiches with rounded edges. Finally, her dinner consists of fish or meat and roasted vegetables. She avoids starches on the side.
Queen Elizabeth bends food rules while traveling
Her Majesty sticks to classic cuisine options at home and rarely deviates into more exotic fare. However, when embarking on royal tours of foreign lands, those rules go out the window.
The queen once sampled rat stew in Belize while visiting Central America as the dish is a local delicacy there. Daily Mail reported that Her Majesty declared it tasted “like rabbit” and was perfectly happy to eat it alongside her hosts.
And even now the country benefits from the queen’s adventurous palate. Belize restaurants still advertise the dish as “Royal Rat” and “Rat eaten by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth” to help drum up business.
She ate a sea slug while visiting China
The rat entrée was not the only unique dish Queen Elizabeth consumed for an audience. While visiting China in 1986, the queen was served a three inch long slimy sea slug on a plate and expected to eat it with chopsticks.
The finicky royal would have been well within her rights to politely decline. Instead, she gracefully grasped the ivory chopsticks and took a bite of sea slug, which she called “delicious.” She later described the taste as similar to shrimp but also mild, declaring it “tasted of not much.”
Queen Elizabeth has impeccable manners
Knowing how picky she is at home, it may seem surprising that the queen is so willing to eat such bizarre foods in other countries. But knowing Her Majesty’s driving motivation helps. As a person who is exceedingly polite, the queen is more likely to accept any food offering for fear of offending her hosts.
The queen doesn’t travel much anymore. But if she did, there’s no doubt she’d still be slurping sea slugs and rat stew if her hosts made it especially for her.