We don’t any have major gripes with canned foods, especially since they’re a convenient way to save time while making a complex recipe, an enormous meal, a quick side, or soup for one. However, there are a number of canned foods throughout the ages that crossed the line, in our humble opinion. We’re talking about both odd meat and foods that simply shouldn’t be canned for one reason or another. With that in mind, here are the 20 weirdest foods ever (and in many cases, still) available in a can.
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If you think Barq’s Root Beer has bite (remember that slogan?), try eating an animal with 80 teeth. We know alligator is consumed down South – and proudly, at that – but even fans of the fare are put off by seeing (and smelling, and tasting) it in cans… at least according to some of the reviews.
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B&M’s baked beans have been a New England staple for 150 years—and we’ve driven by B&M’s old Portland, Maine factory countless times—but we’ll take a hard pass on their canned brown bread (and canned brown bread with raisins). Cans can absolutely be used to make the bread, as evidenced by this recipe from Serious Eats, but after that, either eat it or freeze it!
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Making frozen White Castle burgers at home is already a stretch, but canned cheeseburgers? That hurts our hearts (and stomachs). Nevertheless, thanks to a German company called Trekking Mahlzeiten, this product is available, and it’s apparently just as weird, soggy, and processed as you’d think. Plus, you need a double boiler just to cook it – and it’s cooked while still inside the can, by the way.
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You’re probably familiar with conch shells as the big things you find on the beach (or in a souvenir shop) and hold up to your ear in order to hear the ocean. But what happened to the little sea snails that live inside them? Well apparently, in some cases, they end up in a can for culinary purposes.
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If you think McDonald’s all-day breakfast sounds like a bad idea, we’ve got something that will send you screaming into the hills: a full English breakfast in a can, which is called “All Day Breakfast.” It includes a pre-mixed combination of – brace yourselves – baked beans, sausages, button mushrooms, chopped pork, bacon, cereal, and something called “egg nuggets.” On second thought, we’ll take one Egg McMuffin, please.
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Let’s face it, haggis is weird enough already. The Scottish staple is made from the internal organs of sheep mixed with onions, oatmeal, and spices, and stuffed inside a sheep’s stomach or artificial casing. If you can get past all that, it’s actually not a bad dish… but eating it out of a can? We have to draw the line somewhere, folks.
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“Huitlacoche” sounds innocent enough in Spanish, but it’s actually a plant disease caused by a fungus that grows on corn. And people eat it. Maybe this would be more obvious if you heard the name in English: corn smut. It doesn’t look any better either, resembling something you might remove from a clogged drain. However, it’s actually a delicacy in Mexico, tastes pretty good (if you like mushrooms and smoky flavor), is packed with protein, and contains lysine, an essential amino acid. That being said, do you really want to eat fungus out of a can? If so, Goya has you covered.
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We grew up with canned Spaghettios and Beefaroni, but when it came to mac & cheese, we either asked a parent to boil up a pot or we made some Easy Mac in the microwave. And since the latter product has existed since 1999, do we really need canned macaroni and cheese?
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Coming across a can of pork brains isn’t as rare as you might think, as Rose offers a variety complete with milk gravy that’s available at many stores. Not only does it look and sound awful (not to mention the other, more important senses like smell and taste), but pork brains aren’t good for you, either. According to the label, one serving contains 3,190mg of sodium, which, in case you were wondering, is equal to 1060-percent of your daily allowance. How can one small can contain 10 days worth of cholesterol?!
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“Canned” and “eggs” are two words that shouldn’t be associated with each other, yet here we are discussing canned eggs. And not just the common chicken or duck eggs, but canned quail eggs! It sounds strange to many of us, but apparently this offering is quite common in countries like Taiwan.
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The worst part about eating rattlesnake out of a can? There are apparently a lot of bones. Wait, scratch that. The worst part about eating rattlesnake out of a can is the fact that you’re eating a darn rattlesnake in the first place! The only snakes that belong in cans are the fake, springy gag ones that scare unsuspecting people looking for some delicious peanut brittle or beer nuts.
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If a move that would shock and scar kids around the world, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen can all be eaten straight from a can. (But not Rudolph; no one likes to find glowing, red noses in their food.) Again, we know reindeer is perfectly acceptable to eat in many regions of the world – including Alaska – but we’ll stick to consuming animals that didn’t dash through the snow to bring us presents as children.
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Sandwiches are already an easy-to-make, portable meal. Just take something that doesn’t need to be refrigerated, slap it between two slices of bread, and pack it in a plastic baggie or container. Sound like too much work? Well then Candwich (as seen on TV) has the answer for you: canned versions of sandwiches like PBJ, bacon cheddar, and BBQ chicken. Simply pop it open, pop it in your mouth, and start feeling bad about yourself.
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Surprisingly, more than one company sells canned, dehydrated scorpions, which are apparently quite crunchy and packed with protein. If this turns you off already, just know that one company actually sells a variety of scorpion called an “armor tail,” which sounds downright dangerous. It’s sure to rock your insides like a hurricane.
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Silkworms are great at producing silk, as the name suggests, but for a snack or meal…the jury is still out. Personally, we’re apprehensive toward eating silkworms in general, even more so straight out of a can. But don’t let us stop you, especially when these little guys can be obtained on the shelves of Asian markets across the world!
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We don’t care how popular it is in Hawaii, putting ham in a can is still an eternally puzzling concept… especially when Spam (“spiced ham”) is actually mainly made of pork, with some ham meat added. Other than convenience, there are very few arguments in favor of Spam, which is packed with ample amounts of fat, sodium, and preservatives.
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If you’re British, spotted dıck — a traditional sponge cake pudding — is commonplace. Still, you might be a little surprised to see it available in a can. If you’re an American, spotting a can on a supermarket shelf with the words “spotted dıck” on the label is potentially horrifying, or at least downright confusing.
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To be honest, tongue (cow, ox, lamb, sheep, etc.) tastes pretty good, and is served at many high-end restaurants. However, it has to be of high quality and prepared well. Needless to say, cans and tongues don’t mix. We learned that as kids when we tried to lick the sauce out of one-too-many Spaghettios containers. The good news? If you want to try it, it’s readily available.
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Chicken in a can isn’t especially odd, unless it’s the entire bird. Yes, you can literally open a can and pour out an entire chicken. Apparently it doesn’t taste too bad and is handy for soups, stews, and even dumplings. If not, at least the can is large enough to use in place of a barf bag. Just don’t get your hopes up if you’re a giblet fan, as this variety from Sweet Sue is giblet-free!
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White fungus birds nest
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Let’s clear up rumors we’ve seen elsewhere on the internet: bird’s nest fungus is not some sort of mold that grows on birds’ nests. Instead, it’s a type of mushroom, also known as Crucibulum laeve, that resembles a bird’s nest with eggs in it. That being said, selling it in a canned, drinkable form is for the birds — at least in our opinion. On the other hand, in Asian countries like China and Vietnam, it’s seen as a tasty, nutrient-rich beverage.