The Craziest Things You Can Buy Canned

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The Craziest Things You Can Buy Canned

When you think of the canned food isle in the grocery store, you probably think of beans, canned peas, and other staples preserved for our enjoyment year round. However, it's not all beans and soups. We searched the globe looking for some of the strangest canned foods available, from cheeseburgers to a whole chicken shoved into a 50-ounce can. 

So whether you are looking for a cheap and easy way to incorporate more exotic foods or are just curious about what bag of tricks the canning world has up its hermetically-sealed sleeve, check out these crazy canned foods that you probably won't find on the shelves of your local Kroger or Winn-Dixie.


Alligator meat, not often seen outside of Cajun restaurants, might sound exotic, but it tastes a whole lot like chicken. The meat is brined, canned, and perfect for adding to gumbos, étouffée, or served stewed on top of grits.

Baby Conch

Conch, a popular food in South America, can now be enjoyed anywhere with this canned variety of petite conch, which closely resemble a snail. Deep fry or stew this canned delicacy from the sea in wine.

BBQ-Flavored Bamboo Worms

In Thailand, larvae, and other insects are part of a regular diet. Worms in particular are a high-protein snack full of healthful B12 and fiber. These worms are described as having a "taste and texture similar to corn puff snacks," according to the Thailand Unique site that sells them. 

Buffalo Au Jus

Canned buffalo — we imagine — is similar in theory to canned beef or chicken. Not something we are particularly excited to try, but edible. This wild game meat in a can promises to be a simple, untainted way to enjoy lean buffalo, and requires only a bit of seasoning, and a quick warming on the stove.


We aren't sure how well a canned cheeseburger would go over in America where a hot fast food burger is just a dollar and a short walk/drive/metro trip away, but in Germany, one company is marketing a cheeseburger in a can designed for a quick meal on a weekend camping trip. Note: bun, lettuce, tomato, and pickles are included.

Fish Balls

Popular in Sweden, China, and Southeast Asia, canned fish balls come in a variety of sauces, including bouillon and lobster sauce. Made from a fish paste of cod or haddock, they are often served in soups, with noodles, or in curry.


Gizzards, the thing you usually toss from your turkey, or sauté to add flavor to gravies are also something you can find in the canned food aisle. Turkey gizzards are usually brined in vinegar and then packed into cans fully cooked.

Elk au Jus

This canned elk meat from Meat Maniac, promises that this canned game is the perfect substitute for more common meats like chicken and beef. The game meat can be added to pasta, soups, or warmed and served alongside potatoes.

Frogs Legs

Canned frogs legs aren't exactly like the deep-fried French-style frogs legs you are probably familiar with. These canned frogs legs are popular in Thailand, and are wok-seared in with spices and peppers before being pasteurized and canned.

Giant Bug Chile Paste

Known as Nam Prik Maeng da in Thai, this edible insect snack is packed with protein, and is the perfect dip for crackers or vegetables, or can be served with rice.


The classic Scottish dish, a savory pudding made from sheep's heart, liver, and lungs, is canned whole here, and advertises a "synthetic skin."

Mole Crickets

These canned crickets are dehydrated before being sealed into their can so that the stay fresh and crunchy. 

Pork Brains

Brains are high in protein, and these pork brains are preserved in milk gravy for extra flavor before canning. Serve this Southern delicacy with scrambled eggs or add it to your favorite chili recipe.

Potted Possum Sauce

What is potted possum? Well, potted meat in general refers to the process of cooking meat in a hot pot, covered in fat. Then, as the fat cools and hardens it forms an airtight seal to prevent spoilage. The possum is then canned and ready for use in recipes, like stew.

Powdered Horse Milk

Did you know people drink horse milk? This powdered horse milk is ideal for people sensitive to the lactose in cow's milk and also promises to improve dry skin. You can reconstitute this canned, powdered horse milk with water, or use it powdered in dessert recipes that call for milk powder.

Preserved Scorpion

This canned delicacy is brined in salt water. These insects are popular to eat in Thailand, and reportedly taste similar to prawns with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Enjoy these bugs straight from the can or use them to flavor sauces.

Quail Eggs

While you may find fresh quail eggs in specialty or high-end grocery stores in the U.S., such as Dean and Deluca and Whole Foods Market, canned quail eggs are a popular grocery item in Taiwan. The eggs come pre-cooked, shelled, and ready to enjoy straight from the can.


Rattlesnake is enjoyed in the U.S. in certain parts of the country, and while canned rattlesnake hasn't made it into the mainstream, specialty food purveyors do offer this preserved rattlesnake packed in a rich broth that is ready-to-eat straight from the can (if you dare) or served for dinner over rice.

Reindeer Pâté

You probably won't find this in your local supermarket, but if you find yourself with a hankering for reindeer meat, British food purveyor Edible specializes in unusual foods such as this reindeer pâté. The pâté itself is best served on warm milk bread or buttered toast.

Roasted Eel

Canned eel, popular in Japan, is packaged similarly to anchovies. You can use the preserved eel that has a lightly smoked flavor in sushi, added to broths, or enjoy straight from the can.


Mmmm. Tongue, just what you were craving for lunch. Canned tongue (cow, lamb, and ox) used to be a more popular food item than it is today, but you can still find canned lamb and ox tongue fairly easily in Great Britain.

Weaver Ants’ Eggs

This canned ants' larvae is a considered a delicacy in Thailand. The eggs have a jelly-like texture, and are often prepared with shallots and chiles, and served with rice.

Whole Chicken

These monster, 50-ounce cans, hold an entire, fully-cooked chicken, for those days when roasting a fresh bird feels like too much work. However, one look at the slimy creature that emerges from the can, and you may decide to skip dinner.