From a canned whole chicken to snake soup and silkworm pupae, join us as we take a not-so-salivating look at 15 weird canned foods that shouldn’t exist.
15. Canned Whole Chicken
I’m not really sure why canned whole chicken exists but it does. I guess in a zombie apocalypse this canned monstrosity might be appealing but in the cold light of a fully functioning society this thing looks whack. As advertised on the can the bird does come fully cooked despite its raw, freshly birthed appearance.
I haven’t tasted this myself but according to online blogger and weird food taste tester Dave Chang, the skin is rubbery and overly salty. The meat lacks bite and substance and the whole thing plops out of the can in a chicken noodle soup-esque brine. Mmmmm, one please!
If you’re feeling adventurous you can pick up a canned whole chicken here. (If you do, PLEASE let us know how it goes)
14. Canned Scorpion
You know when you’ve just set up camp after a long day hiking and you think yourself, ‘mmmmm, time to break out that can of smokey BBQ, roasted scorpions!’.
Eaten as a snack throughout Southern Asia, canned scorpions are widely available in countries like Thailand.
According to an online review these canned scorpions are crunchy, bland and taste faintly of prawns.
13. Canned Bear Meat
In the past, game meats, including bear, were a lot more common. The animals were hunted wild and cooked fresh. Canned bear however, not so much. I shudder to think of the conditions these bears would be kept in in order to satisfy a bulk manufacturing process. Are there really bear farms?
The taste of fresh bear meat can vary depending on what the animal has been eating. The meat looks a little like lamb with a rich, earthy flavour. I haven’t tried it myself but I’m guessing the canned variety tastes briny and bland.
Consumers should be aware that bear meat can cause Trichinellosis if not prepared properly. Trichinellosis is a parasitic infection caused by a tissue dwelling round worm. Mmmmm, tasty!
12. Canned Tarantula
This canned zebra tarantula is considered a delicacy in Cambodia. Each can, costing US$15.99, contains one oven baked, lightly salted tarantula.
A customer on ThailandUnique by the name of ‘Jacques’ had this delightful review:
‘Served these high quality Zebra Tarantulas at a holiday soiree last night. My guests enjoyed them so much that they agreed to many future menage a trois at my penthouse. This is the life. Bugs are the future.’
Well said Jacques. Well said.
11. The Candwich™
You’d almost think we’re taking the piss with this one but sadly (or happily?) this product does exist. Peddled as a quick solution for hungry kids this laughable snack comes straight from a can. It’s a sandwich in a can – it’s ridiculous. Coming in a range of mouth-watering flavours The Candwich™ even boasts that it will be ‘soft and sweet after one year in storage’. Mmmmm, who doesn’t want to munch one down? It even suggests that it’s ‘ideal for emergency food storage needs in the event of a natural disaster.’ I know what I’m reaching for when the zombie apocalypse finally descends. ‘Alright kids, shit’s going down, grab your Candwich.’
10. Fish Balls in a Can
Mmmmm, fish balls in their own juice. If that’s not the most appetising thing you’ve seen all day then you must eat like a king!
9. Canned Reindeer
Considered a delicacy throughout Scandinavia, reindeer meat is actually really good for you. It’s high in protein and low in fat due to their lichen rich diet.
It can be expensive raising these animals in captivity so a can of reindeer meat can sell for more than US$20!
8. Canned Fish Mouths
Ever had a can of fish take a bite out of you instead? This tin of Russian herring comes with the fishes’ mouths still intact, chompers and all. I’m not really sure why you’d ever want to dine on pointed teeth. Seriously, what could the gastronomic application of fish fangs possibly be?
7. Silkworm Pupae
This is a can of silkworm pupae, captured in that appetising state between larvae and adulthood. Eaten throughout South Korea, it’s often referred to as Beondegi. They are usually boiled or steamed, lightly seasoned with salt and served at street vendors, restaurants and bars.
SoGoodBlog described the canned variety as smelling like off vegetables and tasting of feet with a gooey texture that pops in your mouth.
If, for some reason, you want to try silkworm pupae – you can get them on Amazon here.
6. Snake Soup in a Can
Mmmmm, snake soup in a can! Ingredients: three kinds of snake meat, mushrooms, winter bamboo shoots, salt, oil etc… What? You didn’t want to know what’s really in it, did you?
5. Canned Cuitlacoche
Cuitlacoche is a black fungus considered a delicacy throughout Mexico. It’s usually eaten as a filling in quesadillas and other tortilla dishes. In northern America Cuitlacoche is affectionately known as ‘corn smut’. It’s a pathogenic plant disease that can decimate crops of corn, causing black, tumor-like growths in the kernels on the cob.
4. Roasted Crickets with Eggs
On a scale of one to weird canned foods, this is definitely up there.
Canned roasted crickets are probably bad enough but with eggs? And what eggs, chicken? Or like the actual pre-larval eggs of crickets? Hmmmm, maybe I’ll pass. Give me a can of fish balls any day.
3. Canned Fish Assholes
Mmmm, nothing like various sized, Manhatten style fish assholes – natural and preservative free!
Myth busting website Snopes did an article on this product back in 2012 and found it to be a hoax. They’re sold as a novelty gift and usually just contain circles of pasta in a tomato sauce. Or sometimes they’re sold as just the label which can be put on any canned product. So thankfully canned fish assholes are not a thing.
2. Canned Bread
Apart from taking this camping I can’t possibly fathom why you’d ever buy canned bread. Might I remind you of the pure delight that is freshly baked bread?
The idea is so ridiculous Spongebob took the piss out of it in the episode titled ‘Squidville’:
If you want to try bread in a can, Amazon have it here.
1. Cheeseburger in a Can
Cheeseburger in a can. Yep, this list just hit it’s low point. Billed as a trekking supply for hikers, this canned abomination probably would hit the spot if you were lost in the woods with nothing else to eat but an old boot.
Selling for as much as 9 euros, this is one pricey burger.
The burger can be cooked in the can in boiling water. Alternatively you can cook it once it’s out of the can in a pan or microwave. Or just wolf it cold?
According to Gizmodo’s review, the burger doesn’t smell that bad. The texture is soggy but looks half edible. The flavour is mostly sweet ketchup on a bland meat patty. Curiously, they noted that it’s not that far off a McDonald’s cheeseburger. I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not.