10 Weird and Wonderful Candies From Around the World (Slideshow)
Barratt Shrimps & Bananas, England
So many questions when it comes to Barratt’s Shrimps & Bananas of England. First, don’t the English call shrimp “prawns?” This makes things confusing from the get-go. Also, why would anyone associate shrimp with candy? (Although, thankfully, the foamy little shrimp taste more like raspberry than seafood.) And pairing shrimp with fruit is also a curious move, especially when the fruit is banana, a notorious flavor in the candy world that’s probably best known for being the least popular type of Runts. Even Hannah Hoskins, our Entertain Editor from England, says she has always been perplexed by this peculiar pairing.
Black and Gold Musk Flavoured Sticks, Australia
When it comes to candy colors, black and gold have to be two of the least conventional around — but thankfully (I guess), the candies are actually pink. Additionally, “musk” is rarely used as a positive description of anything, especially when it comes to food. Good thing it’s in stick form though, as that’s obviously the most appetizing form for any food. As for texture, it has been described as akin to Altoids or those little heart-shaped antacid candies with lovey phrases on them, and the smell and flavor features bits of rose, orange blossom, and skin lotion. As one reviewer pointed out, Australia’s Musk Flavoured Sticks are probably better off in a drawer or cabinet as a scented air freshener than a snack.
Caramel Rokovye Sheiki, Russia
Our friends from Maine might disagree, but the idea of eating lobster candy just seems wrong. Especially since the full name is actually “Caramel Lobster Necks,” which brings up numerous questions, namely, do lobsters even have necks? Unfortunately, my degree is in journalism, not marine biology, so I can’t help much here other than to point out that even if they do have necks, should we really be eating them? In candy form, mixed with caramel, no less? Then again, we’re really can’t judge, as the Russian company behind this candy has been successfully operating since the early nineteenth century, and has also released candies called “Goose Feet” and “Duck Beaks.”
Genghis Khan Caramel (Lamb Flavor), Japan
What do Genghis Khan, caramel, and lamb have in common? They’re all part of a single Japanese candy. From Hokkaido, these Genghis Khan Caramels are indeed flavored like lamb curry, with a hint of meat bullion, and some slight sweetness. The look is unassuming, resembling a tan-colored Starburst, which makes it a great “treat” for surprising unsuspecting friends, family members, and coworkers.
It turns out that meats and sweets can coexist harmoniously. To see for yourself, try this recipe for slow roasted lamb with Bordeaux caramel.
Lucas Salsagheti, Mexico
I wish I could meet the person at Lucas Candy who first pitched the idea of a spaghetti-themed sweet treat — especially since the company is located in Mexico, not Italy. Regardless, Salsagheti made it to store shelves, and the flavor is composed of watermelon-flavored candy ropes and a packet of tamarind sauce that can be added to the top. Oh, did we mention the watermelon is also spicy? Have fun with that.
Orion Kočiči Jazyčky, Czech Republic
Unless you speak Czech, you probably don’t know that the translation of this candy is “Kitten Tongues.” And unless you’ve actually tried Orion’s Kočiči Jazyčky, you’d probably expect the flavor to be tuna with a sandpaper texture. Luckily for all of us, these little treats are actually just small chocolate bars — sweet and milky European-style chocolate bars at that. They’re not even shaped like kitten tongues, but still prominently feature two fluffy white kitties on the packaging.
Super Osama Bin Laden Kulfa Balls, Pakistan
After 9/11, most Osama bin Laden-themed novelties produced around the world were of the toilet paper, condom, and dart board varieties. Unless you’re Pakistan, in which case you make coconut-flavored Super Osama Bin Laden Kulfa Balls in a pink and purple box adorned with the face of the former militant and a few images of military jets. I’m honestly not sure whether these treats are pro or anti-bin Laden, but I’m fairly certain these were only made as a novelty item — until they inexplicably became a hit in China!
Tayto Milk Chocolate Bar With Cheese and Onion Crisps, Ireland
What’s the strangest part of this saga: Irish potato chip manufacturer Tayto creating a chocolate bar crossed with cheese and onion crisps… or the fact that is was actually a huge hit? The bars were first developed in response to a 2013 social media campaign calling for the invention, and were released in a limited-edition batch of 100,000 bars. They sold out in shockingly quick fashion, proving to be popular in both Ireland and Australia. The story of the cheese and onion crisp chocolate bar might not be over either, as there are calls to make this a permanent member of the Tayto family.
Thrills Gum, Canada
Wikimedia Commons/ JimBarbasol/ CC BY-SA 4.0
Leave it to the Canadians to weird-up something as simple as gum. Over a hundred years ago, the oddly-named O-Pee-Chee company of London, Ontario, started producing bubble gum that would soon polarize the country. Although many residents adored the purple product called “Thrills,” many spurned its distinctive rosewater flavor, claiming it tasted like soap. Nestlé bought the company in the 1980s and moved production to Spain, where it is currently produced under the Willy Wonka brand, with recent packaging proudly stating: “It still tastes like soap!”
Victory Creamy Corn Candy, Malaysia
For Victory Creamy Corn Candy of Malaysia, I’d like to post quotes from an actual website advertisement, along with what it probably really means: “A perfect blend of smoothness and rich taste that has a long-lasting aroma and flavour.” (You won’t be able to get the taste out of your mouth for weeks.) “Have plenty of Victory Creamy Corn in your pocket wherever you go, so you can take pleasure from the flavourful and mouth-watering taste any time.” (How often have you thought to yourself: “You know what would make my pockets better? If they were full of creamed corn.”) “And don't forget to share this delicious, smooth, and rich candy with your friends and the whole family too.” (You’re going to want to get rid of these quickly.)