The 20 Most Disgusting Canned Foods in the World?

Whenever I travel, I will occasionally visit a grocery store at some point to purchase items which I may want or need in the country which I am visiting. For example, if I rent a car or stay in one place for a few days, I might purchase a large container of water to take with me — not so much because I will not drink the tap water; but the container itself to hold the water is something which I find convenient if I do not have to physically lug it around. I then pour water from it into a smaller bottle for portability. This little system has worked for me in places like southern Africa and the Middle East.

The 20 Most Disgusting Canned Foods in the World?

I rarely ever go to the canned goods section of a grocery store during my travels — primarily because I do not have a can opener; but more so because canned food is usually not appealing to me. If the can has a top which is easy to open without a can opener and the hotel room in which I am staying is equipped with a microwave oven — should the food need to be cooked — that may change things…

…but I never realized what is a potential novelty in visiting certain sections of a grocery store which I would otherwise skip, as I could run into some interesting items about which I could write.

I accidentally stumbled across this article — which was written by Mark Holmes for Ranker — that also contains photographs of the products in question:

For many of these canned foods, the dish is considered a delicacy in one part of the world or another. Haggis is wildly popular in Scotland. Duck fat is big in France. Silkworm pupae is sold on the streets in Korea. None of the above are considered close to normal in these parts and we would probably never seen them in cans in the US. Then again, the people who enjoy those weird foods probably frown on the canned buzzard gizzards and canned creamed possum, two foods that also make this list.

What are the most disgusting canned food in the world? Other foods on this list are just weird. Canned huitlacoche is something along the lines of hibernating excrement fungi that grows on corn. Canned birds nest drink is made from actual birds nests. Canned Russian herring is literally a can of fish mouths, complete with big, scary teeth. Whoever decided these things are edible needs to get their head examined.

According to that article, the twenty most disgusting foods in the world are as follows:

  1. Cheeseburger in a can, of which I wrote this article back on July 7, 2016
  2. Creamed possum with sweet potatoes garnished in coon fat gravy
  3. Fish assholes — I normally would not use that word in an article; but I really wish I were kidding when I tell you that that is the name of this product
  4. Pork brains — and if that was not enough, they are soaked in milk gravy
  5. Russian herring mouths — complete with teeth and gums; but do they come from those roly poly fish heads?
  6. Haggis. In a can. Need I say more?
  7. Silkworm pupae with BBQ flavor may as well be silkworm poop; but insects and other vermin as food have been gaining popularity in recent years in the United States
  8. Armadillo on the half shell — road kill, anyone?
  9. Lamb tongues — some people might feel sheepish about eating these; but at least the company is not trying to pull the wool over our eyes
  10. Smokey BBQ roasted scorpions — after all, they do look like miniature lobsters with a pointy tail
  11. Bird’s nest drink may be the canned beverage needed to help wash down all of the other items which are included in this list
  12. Buzzard gizzards marinated in cream sauce — before you react in disgust, know that this product is new and improved; and besides, many people eat turkey gizzards, which cannot be that much different from buzzard gizzards
  13. Reindeer paté — if the product does not turn you off, then the $30.00 price tag for a small can might
  14. Sandwiches in a canister whose flavors include BBQ chicken and peanut butter with either grape or strawberry jelly; but be careful not to mistake the container for a canister of Pringle’s potato crisps
  15. Huitlacoche — mushrooms are a form of fungus; so why not eat the fungus which grows on corn?
  16. All day breakfast is as close to a “Full Monty” — which is an English breakfast — as you can get in a can: baked beans with sausages, mini ‘Scotch’ eggs, mushrooms and bacon in a tasty tomato sauce
  17. Hot dogs — even if this product were Kosher, I would not eat it
  18. Duck fat — I knew many people in New York who used chicken fat for different kinds of food; but unlike that schmaltz, this jar will set you back $60.00
  19. Brown bread — I have heard of brown bread in a can; but why would it be gelatinous?
  20. Grass jelly drink — this concoction might actually sound better than the bird’s nest drink; but only marginally at best


I have tried such items as escargot in France and chicken feet at a Chinese restaurant in the United States. I have actually sampled — and even like — different types of caviar. I do not have any inclination or desire to eat any of the aforementioned products; but if you are based in a part of the world which contains some of them, you might not find them strange at all — and, in fact, you might actually defend them and talk about how tasty and delicious they are to eat…

…but as I am based in the United States, I would be remiss if I did not say that this country does have its own delicacies which other people might consider disgusting.

As one of countless examples — in this article I wrote pertaining to the continuing decline of the Kosher delicatessen — I imparted about how I introduced my girlfriend at the time to the Kosher delicatessen experience. She had never sampled a pastrami sandwich simply because she did not like rye bread or brown mustard — and probably would not like pastrami. After overcoming her trepidation, a simple taste quickly turned into a devouring of the sandwich…

…but what I did not reveal was that I told the man behind the counter at the delicatessen that she could not believe that people in New York eat tongue, as she thought that was disgusting. After asking us to wait a minute, he disappeared through a door at the rear of the delicatessen and reemerged with a devilish smile and the whole tongue of a cow — complete with its entrails hanging from the rear of it.

I was never a connoisseur for tongue in any form; and that display did not help matters at all, to say the least — but her reaction of disgust was priceless and etched in my memory forever.

I just might scan the canned food aisles at a grocery store near where I am based to see what disgusting options I can find — deviled ham may be one of them — but this article serves as a reminder that what some people may find disgusting and gross, others find comforting, delicious, and perhaps even as a gastronomic experience.

Is this list complete — or even accurate? I am certain you can add more of what you consider disgusting food products — whether canned or not — to the list; and if you can, please post them in the Comments section below.

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

20 thoughts on “The 20 Most Disgusting Canned Foods in the World?”

  1. Christian says:

    Spam suddenly sounds much better.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I still do not intend to go near Spam, Christian.

  2. Cathy Krasnianski says:

    I agree with all, except #20. It does indeed sound disgusting, but it’s actually quite tasty; sweet and just a teensy bit herbaceous.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Where did you try the grass jelly drink, Cathy Krasnianski?

      1. Cathy Krasnianski says:

        Here in Los Angeles, we have access to a great many types of ethnic restaurants and markets. My daughter first tried it over a year ago, and she turned me on to it. Truly, it sounds awful, but it’s not at all.

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          Hmm…I might have to try that one day, Cathy Krasnianski.

          Now you have piqued my curiosity…

  3. JamesP says:

    Back in the day, they used to have canned hummus in Israel. That sheit was gross

  4. John says:

    #2 and #8 are fake

    From Amazon
    Canned Creamed Possum with Coon Fat Gravy and Armadillo Picante on the Half Shell
    Only the Freshest Roadkill Used in Our Cannery!
    A Gag Gift That Will Have Your Friends Rolling with Laughter!
    A Pair of Original Southern Delights!
    True contents: Composted Organic Material – Not Edible

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Good detective work, John. Thank you for clarifying that.

      That question mark in the title of this article suddenly became more useful, as I was somewhat skeptical of a few of the items on the list…

  5. Benji says:

    Spam is actually delicious. Honestly. Anything with that much fat and sodium is gauruteed to taste good

  6. Sven says:

    The list can’t be complete without Surströmming:

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I have never heard of Surströmming, Sven. Thank you for the link.

      Is that similar to lukefisk?

      1. Sven says:

        As far as I can see the lutefisk is lacks the fermentation process that makes the smell of Surströmming so “unique”. The cans even bulge significantly as the fermentation continues after canning. Afaik you’re advised to open the cans in a bucket of water and outdoors because of the smell. Maybe it’s slightly comparable to Pla Ra (ปลาร้า) from Northern Thailand

  7. Sam says:

    Brian I think you got #20 mixed up. Its a very common dessert kinda like a firm jello. I used to live in SE Asia and its not really a grass its a jelly that’s in alot of desserts there that u might find gross like ice kachang which starts off like a hawaiian shave ice then goes off script ……….

    But nah its not gross unless u think something like boba is disgusting so not in the same league.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      The information I got was from the original article linked in this article, Sam — but thank you for the clarification.

      The comment about ice kachang reminded me of the Halo-Halo I had in Manila; and you might be interested in reading about my experience:

  8. r m a h says:

    ~~at some point~~?

    “Whenever I travel, I will occasionally visit a grocery store ~~of some time~~ to purchase items which I may want or need in the country which I am visiting.”

    ~~it is~~?’

    “…but I never realized what a potential novelty ~~is~~ visiting certain sections of a grocery store which I would otherwise skip,”

    ~~can~~? (ha!)

    “I just might scan the canned food aisles at a grocery store near where I am based to see what disgusting options I ~~could~~ find — deviled ham ”

    you love – punctuation – which; in some instances, i can appreciate…but….sometimes; less is more!!

    i’m not a troll. just a grammar guru.

    as always, thanks for your posts. appreciative for your site!

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I have never ever considered you to be a troll; and I always appreciate your corrections, r m a h. Thank you.

      I am updating a travel alert; but I will get to your corrections…

  9. Jay says:

    I hope you try Huitlacoche once, its freaking awesome, and its not cheap either…

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      What does it taste like, Jay?

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