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Anyone Hungry? Six Strange Ready-to-Eat Canned Foods

by Jared Stenzel on 30/01/08 at 10:50 am

A list of six of the strangest canned foods you can find around the world.

The world is buying more and more food all the time. One hundred years ago it was being cooked by the family over the course of a day for some meals. Now we simply go to the store and buy canned or frozen food.

Here are 6 of the strangest canned foods you can find being distributed at your local supermarket. I left out food meant for animals as that is completely different.

  1. France – Canned Duck Fat

    This is a product that doesn’t get much attention in the United States food markets. Canned duck fat is actually a rather rare treat for people in France. For 67.5 oz of duck fat you can expect to pay around $60. We usually cut the fat off of our meat which makes this a very weird canned food.

  2. Sweden – Canned Cheeseburger

    This delicious cheeseburger originates from Sweden. It is strange simply because of the pieces used to make the cheeseburger. I would be worried about the quality of the bread, cheese, and meat after getting this shipped across seas. For the price of $6 you can get a cheeseburger in a can, or you can head over to McDonalds and get 6 of them for the same price.

  3. New Zealand – Canned Tongue

    New Zealand lamb tongues are definitely something that is not seen in many American grocery stores. However in New Zealand this is a great delicacy that is a very common item at a dinner table. The prices range depending on the brand, expect to pay around $5 for this can of tongues.

  4. Korea – Canned Silkworm Pupae

    These silkworm pupae are very popular snacks in and around Korea. They are prepared simply by stewing and seasoning them. You can get these at just about any supermarket or gas station in Korea as they are to them as something like peanuts are to us. Silkworm pupae are generally a cheaper food, you can pick up a can like this for around $4.

  5. Scandinavia – Canned Reindeer

    This delicacy is actually very healthy for you compared to other red meats. Since reindeer are raised on a farm on diets of moss and lichen these animals have only a 2 percent fat content. Due to the time and costs in farming these animals you will have to dish out close to $30 for a can of this arctic delicacy.

  6. Thailand – Canned Scorpion

    Scorpions are a delicacy in most of Thailand. These are already cooked and they can be eaten whole without risk of poison from their venom. There are thousands of different species of scorpions and you can eat a good percentage of them. Expect to pay around $6 for a can of scorpions.

Most of these are delicacies from other countries that are available in the United States as well. They are all eaten without disease however they may not look that appetizing to us. Next time you go to the supermarket look at all the different kinds of canned food you see. Did I miss anything?

Liked it

jung hoon

Jan 30th, 2008

i can’t say for the rest of the items posted; but, silkworm pupae is definitely not comparable to eating peanuts in korea. not everyone wants to eat them.

b. radley

Jan 30th, 2008

omg, i’m just craving for a canned cheeseburger..my favorite…

great idea for an article.

Dee Huff

Jan 30th, 2008

Jared, I think I’ll pass on all of those, even the cheesburger. I’m sure the bread must go soggy inside that can. As for scorpions, I’ve had run-ins with them in the past, and don’t think I’d like to eat them, yuk!

Nick Kenney

Jan 30th, 2008

ABSOLUTELY NOT on any of them! I’ll stick to American food and snacks. Great article, Jared!
This is a problem when you travel abroad…the foods and seasonings are much different than our own.

Lucy Lockett

Jan 30th, 2008

Sheep tongues oooohh. Are you sure you didn’t photoshop this? I have never heard or seen it in a can or in our butcheries.

Alexa Gates

Jan 30th, 2008

canned scorpion? that sounds gross!! and deadly at the same time ;) and the canned cheesburger…hmm…something is off in some of these foods! Great article!


Jan 30th, 2008

silk worms? Hmmm..I think I’ll pass…

R.B. Parsley

Jan 30th, 2008

I found your article quite interesting. You just reminded me why I would not want to vacation in a foreign country. They put so much into cans these days, it doesn’t surprise me they can cheeseburgers. Great article! I love reading about this kind of stuff. It really picks my interest.

Liane Schmidt

Jan 31st, 2008

Another great article Jared!

Best wishes.


-Liane Schmidt.

Anne Lyken-Garner

Jan 31st, 2008

I had a bit of the duck fat when I lived in Paris. Fat across the board isn’t bad for you,contrary to popular beleif. Unsaturated fats as the one in duck/goose fat is proven to greatly improve your health. This is why the French people in the South West who actually use this fat to cook with, have been shown to have the lowest mortality, coronary problems and enjoy a better life.

I always have full-fat versions of every thing I eat, but in small quantities. You will find that the poisons put into food to get the fat out of it, are worse for your body than the actual fat is.

I love travelling and eating different foods. This is a large part of the way we share and accept other peoples and cultures.

Western nations may not can these things because there won’t be a market for them obviously, but a recent research has shown that a very large percentage of all the foods Americans eat are processed, genetically modified, or force fed/grown.

All the foods represented here, apart from the cheeseburger(though not to the taste of everyone)are healthy, natural and good for your health.

I’d rather have them than over processed,fattening food.

Very good and interesting article. It’s a lot to think about.

Erica Barton

Jan 31st, 2008

You are hysterical. Where do you come up with this stuff?


Jan 31st, 2008

Amazing, you do come up with such interesting articles and pictures! Good job here! YUK! on the food.


Feb 1st, 2008

The duck fat is usually used in place of butter for sauteeing, it adds flavour and has a higher smoke-point, so it can be used to sear foods quickly at a higher temperature. That, and it’s used to make duck confit, which is duck meat preserved in duck fat.

Nelson Doyle

Feb 1st, 2008

Jared, you’ve done an excellent job writing this article. I really like the interesting subject. Honestly, I have never ate any of these canned foods and probably would not now. I have eaten foods that was barely classified as food, but that was school food in the 70’s.

Keep up the good work and much success with this article, Jared.

Nelson Doyle

Ruby Hawk

Feb 1st, 2008

It’s interesting to see the types of food different cultures eat.Very well done. Best wishes, Ruby


Feb 3rd, 2008

Duck fat should not be on this list. Anyone will tell you that duck fat or goose fat is used for making fantastic roast potatoes. Most people I know have a can of duck/goose fat in their fridges. Try it, i promise you that you will never use oil for your potatoes again


Feb 7th, 2008

rayrain. I 2nd your comment. It is for roasting potatoes. It is often used when cooking Christmas Dinner here in the UK. As for the $60 price tag try £3 ($6).

It is the fat released from the duck when you roast it. Lasts ages in the fridge. Equivelent of dripping from beef/pork.


Feb 7th, 2008

I am not sure about canned tongue, but fresh tongue is actually quite good. If someone served it to you without your knowledge, you would most likely think it is nothing more than a pot roast, with a more smooth texture. I am from the mid west, and I get my tongue from an Asian grocery store (you could get it form a Mexican grocery, but it might be called lengua)


Feb 7th, 2008

Why is there a scorpion image on the canned reindeer? Did anyone else see this?

There’s also a cobra to the left of it…


Feb 8th, 2008

I’m from New Zealand – Wellington to be precise.

I can say with authority that you’re dead wrong about the tongues. They certainly are not a common addition to the dinner table – perhaps 40 years ago.

The only place I could envision them being eaten here is in the rural areas: way, way down south or way, way up north.

I haven’t met a single person who’s eaten tongue, and I’ve never seen them at any supermarket.


Feb 8th, 2008

The goose fat is used for roasting potatoes. Par boil potatoes for 5 mins, drain and shake the pot to scuff the potatoes. Heat the goose fat at a high temp in oven and put in potatoes. Roast for about 40 minutes. DELICIOUS!!

Judy Sheldon

Feb 9th, 2008

Jared, I think I learned as much from the comments as from the article. Good job. I have had duck for Christmas, and it was quite tasty. We eat some strange things here in the states, that I want no part of, like frog legs. It’s a matter of culture and taste.

An Iranian

Feb 11th, 2008

In Iran we have Kalle-Paacheh which made by sheep’s Head!! and foots !!! & Seeraabi which made by sheep’s belly !!!!
In this times, companies made it conserved !!!!!

Jake marcob

Feb 23rd, 2008

Im always hungry lol

good article I love food


Feb 25th, 2008

These foods are definitely better than the McDonalds and Burger Kings we like. At least there’s no high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity on the plate…they really kill the brain cells.

A Jamaican

Apr 26th, 2008

Re an Iranian. In Jamaica we have a similar dish called Mannish water (Goatshead soup) In jamaica it is considered a delicacy

A Jamaican

Apr 26th, 2008

Sorry I forgot Mannish water is also considered to be an aphrodisiac


Apr 26th, 2008

Lambs tongue and beef and pork tongue are not even considered delicacies in the uk. They are on sale in virtually every single supermarket.


Jun 4th, 2008

those tongues are good!

Karen N

Aug 17th, 2008

Good article, but just a little gross :)


Jun 12th, 2009

The cheeseburger can is on a different language than swedish… FAIL!


Jun 15th, 2009

The cheeseburger must come from Germany or something, it’s definitly not swedish.


Jun 15th, 2009

You’re certainly wrong about the lambs tongues, probably something that was eaten during the depression along with other offal? I have never seen it for sale in the supermarket or the butcher and don’t know anyone who has ever eaten it. Not a common addition at all.


Jun 15th, 2009

the french dont EAT the duck fat, they use it to cook with, instead of oil for saute, or to confit which is to place maybe a whole duck, pork cut, or chicken or vegatables in a large vat of duck fat, heat and then keep in the oven for a few hours on a low heat!
plus stop slaggin off haggis theres nothing weird about it!


Jun 15th, 2009

I don’t know where you heard that canned tongue is common in New zealand, I havnt seen it ever in any shops or butchries and know noone who woukld ever dream of eating it. I know you can by whole cow tongues but these are sold for dog food


Jun 15th, 2009

I smell photoshop..

I can vouch for the lamb tongue not being something on your average New Zealanders plate. I suspect that if that exists it would be for export. A Kiwi that wants tongue would get it fresh, not canned and it would probably end up as pet food.
Im from New Zealand and have never eaten tongue of any animal, and would definatly not eat it canned.

Also, that reindeer pate looks a lot like a university packaging design project..


Jun 15th, 2009

Actually the duck fat is used to fry or saute meats. It’s delicious and even better than olive oil. Instead of paying for it, just cook up some duck and keep the excess drippin fat. It gives a light salty flavour. I recommend it to you all.

Dominique,Mtl, canada


Jun 16th, 2009

why is the reindeer pate label in English? Looks fake


Jun 17th, 2009

Yeah, confusing Sweden with Switzerland is OLD!!! Get over it and for God’s sake pay attention in geography class!!!


Jun 19th, 2009

Canned duck fat is not eaten but used for cooking as a very fine replacement of butter. You use very little quantities to cook.


Jun 30th, 2009

Canned duck fat is popular in Australia, you haven’t eaten sauteed potatoes till you’ve had them fried in the fat. Also in the UK as a kid we used to have tongue sandwiches, ham and tripe as a Sunday treat. I’d pass on the scorpions though!!
Tongue tastes very much like corned beef. In Australia we also eat fried lambs brains. Yum.


Jul 2nd, 2009

Cultural foods can turn into a pretty sensitive topic and if you’re going to prepare an article such as this, I suggest you get your facts straight first. Get your nation of origins right and get the purposes of the food right.
And I speak for other Koreans when I say that silkworms aren’t comparable to peanuts in America. The vast majority of Koreans prefer peanuts over silkworms, hands down (although of course there wouldn’t be as much of a taboo).

Ricky D

Nov 6th, 2009

Duck fat is wasted on this list.
Duck fat produces the most delicious roast potatoes imaginable.
I once made a roast dinner for a friend who was returning to England after a few years abroad. I used duck fat for the potatos.
On asking him what he thought of his first roast dinner for years he replied “Delicious, but I have never had such delicious potatos, how did you make them?” “Duck fat” I replied…..He just looked at me non-plussed.

Most supermarkets stock it in cans or jars and we have recently noticed that local corner shops are also beginning to stock it.
It is fast becoming a staple in most peoples fridges.


Dec 26th, 2009

I’m Scandinavian and for the record, it’s not not a country like all the other points on the list. Also, never in my life have I seen a can of reindeer.
I think you mean Norway.


Feb 25th, 2011

Suddenly I have gone off my supper.Very good post though!


Oct 21st, 2011

I am in NZ (Go the All Blacks!) and I have eaten tongue when young – Im near 50. Tastes just like meat …. poor lambies…. I do see tongue for sale still usually fresh, but a can doesn’t surprise me…


Oct 21st, 2012

This is so interesting. I have never seen such bizarre foods in a can.

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