Most Bizarre Canned Foods Around the World

There are some things that you should just never, ever put in a can
These Atlantic Herring fish heads are canned with their sharp teeth intact. Approach with caution.

Overlooking the trendiness of organic fresh food, it’s actually still perfectly alright to eat canned food too. Certain canned foods, like canned vegetables or canned tuna, preserve the goodness for long periods of time and are a more convenient way of eating healthier food when you don’t have easy access to fresh food markets.

Click here to see the Most Bizarre Canned Foods Across the World

That said, there are plenty of food that have no business being in a can — The Daily Meal looked at a few of the ones we’re more familiar with, like canned whole chicken, squid, cheeseburgers, and hot wings. These are the foods that put paid to the adage that just because you can do something (like can roasted scorpions), that doesn’t mean you should.

But that’s just the start; across the world cultures have made it a habit of canning their favorite foods, sometimes in curious ways. In Asia and Southeast Asia there is a longstanding tradition of incorporating edible birds’ nests into cooking — it makes a gelatinous base for many dishes and is very popular. But canning birds’ nests as an energy drink is perhaps a more liberal interpretation of that cooking tradition.

Similarly, in Mexico, huitlacoche is popular in many culinary dishes, though something may have been lost in translation with the canned version of this parasitic fungus that grows on corn.

Other foods like creamed armadillos on a half-shell could make you feel like some people may be taking the option to can their favorite foods a little too far; click through our slideshow to see if you agree.

Grass Jelly — Vietnam

You can get it as canned chunks of jelly, or even as an energy drink. Grass jelly, or leaf jelly, is popular in across Asia, particularly in Vietnam, China, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The pressed juice from a combination of three regional plants is apparently high in nutrients and very sweet.

Reindeer Meat — Finland

While reindeer may be a staple and acceptable food source in Finland, there’s still no good reason the meat should be canned indefinitely. Canned reindeer is also controversial because of its questionably traumatic harvesting process of acquiring the meat.

Click here for more Bizarre Canned Foods Around the World

Serusha Govender is The Daily Meal's Travel Editor. Follow her on Twitter @SerushaGovender

Be a Part of the Conversation

Have something to say?
Add a comment (or see what others think).

Comments 5

Like this story? Get updates by email, facebook and twitter
Get daily food and wine coverage

Latest from The Daily Meal

The Daily Meal Video Network
DIY VS. BUY: Potato Chips



"is popular in across Asia"
Heh, heh "in across"
Nice editing guys :)


that is not herring, might be salmon but not herring.


Grass jelly (cincau) canned drinks are far from bizarre. Super refreshing and cooling on hot humid days, and fun to have jelly bits to chew as you drink. Grew up on this (in Malaysia & Singapore).

A full breakfast fry-up in a can, however, is just plain depressing.


Grass jelly (cincau) canned drinks are not at all bizarre. It's super refreshing and cooling, and fun to chew on all the jelly bits. Grew up drinking this in Malaysia and Singapore.

A full breakfast fry-up in a can, however, is just plain depressing.


What ever that is, it is not Atlantic Herring.

Add a Comment

Upload a picture of yourself no larger than 3MB, please see Terms for details
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human