The concept of candy – a sugary, sweet treat – is universal. What is not universal at all is what foods and flavors are considered candy-worthy. From meat and fish flavors to spicy, salty, or smelly, some of these don’t sound very appetizing to my vegetarian sweet-tooth palate but are quite popular in their home countries. Would you consider eating flowers or bugs? How about mixing your own candy in a toilet bowl? Read on to discover some of the coolest, weirdest, and maybe a little cringe-worthy candies available around the world!
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Burnt Rice Candy
You can find this candy in other countries and several forms. It is most common, however, in Korea as hard candy. It’s made from scorched rice and corn flavoring. Sounds like an appetizing treat, right? It ends up tasting a bit like smokey, buttery popcorn, however, which actually doesn’t sound too bad!
Genghis Khan Lamb Caramels
These unassuming candies look like normal, square caramels and they are slightly sweet. The predominant flavor, however, is lamb curry. Great if you are looking for a more savory treat or appetizer. Or trick your friends and only show them the meat on the box after they’ve scarfed down the “caramel”.
Durian is a notorious fruit in Southeast Asia. They are quite large (bigger than your hand) and spiky but the defining characteristic of durian is the smell. It’s very powerful and not especially nice… I’ve heard it described as “old gym socks” and “vomit”. Durian has even been banned in many establishments because the smell is so powerful and hard to get rid of. Despite all that, some people have grown to love durian and durian candy is actually pretty common! You can get it as hard candy or a soft chew. The smell isn’t as powerful in candy form but a light scent may linger on your breath…
Gold Coast, Africa
While these are not really candy, they make normal foods taste like candy! Like something out of science fiction, these all-natural dried berries actually change the way your tastebuds perceive flavors for 30-90 minutes after you eat one. Especially good with sour & spicy foods, they turn lemons instantly to lemonade, hot sauce to hot donut glaze. They are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without actually eating a bunch of sugary foods or candy. Host a “flavor-tripping” party for you and your friends to experience a bunch of normal foods together in a whole new way! They come in dissolving tablets or the full freeze-fried berries.
Made of gelatin and icing sugar, these pink candy sticks slowly melt in your mouth. The unusual thing about them is the “musk essence” used to flavor them. Reminiscent of a strong, musky cologne or perfume, they might remind you of your granny but are pretty popular Downunder!
Salsagheti is a popular Mexican sweet and sour candy. The package comes with gummy rope “spaghetti” and a packet of chili-tamarind & sugar crystal “salsa”. You mix the two to create your salsagheti. The most common flavor for the gummy spaghetti is watermelon but you can also get other flavors like mango and pineapple.
Cheese & Onion Crisp Chocolate Bar
Potato chip/crisp brand Tayto took their popular cheese & onion flavored chips/crisps and put actual pieces of them into a milk chocolate candy bar. It’s one of the more unusually flavored chocolate bars you can find around the world. It was meant to be a limited-edition flavor but demand was so high they had to make more!
DIY Candy Kits
Japan has some pretty out-there pop culture, so their crazy candy options shouldn’t be a surprise. These are pretty standard candy items, lollipops and gummies. What makes them unusual is the way they are presented or made. You can get a toilet full of sour powder with a plunger lollipop. You lick the plunger then plunge the toilet. The sour powder sticks to the plunger for added flavor on your next lick. Or try one of several DIY candy “food” kits. You mix the candy powder with water and mold it into cakes, hamburgers, sushi, or even ramen! They’re a fun activity with a treat at the end ?
It may sound disgusting to find ants all over your candy treat but in many parts of the world eating insects is commonplace. They have great nutritional value, protein, and there’s certainly no shortage of them! These candies make eating insects fun. You can get a lollipop with a visible worm, cricket, even a scorpion! Or try chocolate-covered crickets ?
While you typically think of them as decoration rather than food, there are actually many kinds of edible flowers. If you cover them in sugar, they become candy! Sugared/candied violets are probably the most common (especially in France) but you can also easily find other flower candies such as rose and hibiscus.
Crazy Flavor KitKat Bars
Yes, a KitKat is a pretty normal, standard chocolate bar. But in other areas of the world (especially in Japan!), you can get some pretty unusual flavors of KitKat. In fact, they make over 200 unique flavors! From the slightly different rum raisin and matcha to the definitely different sweet potato, purple yam, and pancake and the very Japanese sake and even wasabi, there are some crazy options out there for this traditional candy.
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