Almost everybody likes to indulge in a lump of brightly coloured sugar now and again; after all, those E-numbers sure are delicious. However, influenced by changes in tastes, technology and popular culture, the candy industry has really had to step up its game recently, and as a result various companies have ended up producing a bizarre array of products that elicit responses ranging from mildly baffled to OH GOD NO, I WILL NOT PUT THAT IN MY MOUTH EVEN IF YOU PAY ME. Here follow a few of the weirdest sweets around at the moment: consume at your own peril.
Giant Gummy Worm
The giant gummy worm is alarming for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s three pounds of candy jelly and, if you worried about that sort of thing, packs 4,000 calories. A whopping 26 inches long, one site where it is sold makes sure to point out its “ribbed body” and “five inch girth”. With this in mind, it’s little surprise that a still image taken from their advert depicting one man bravely tackling the worm the only way he can has gone viral (I mean just look at it).
There are lot of rather bizarre jelly sweets, but these are quite possibly some of the most unnerving I’ve ever come across. Granted, jelly skeletons and other such creepy creatures are pretty common, especially around Halloween, but there’s just something about these particular ones that makes them particularly unsettling. Looking at their product picture, I’m pretty sure it’s the way in which they still appear to have shreds of musculature clinging to their bones, their bodies twisted into the unnatural contortions of those who died deeply agonising deaths… or maybe that’s just me.
Blood Energy Drink
I’m torn with this one. One the one hand, it’s actually pretty cool. The drink claims to have the same look, colour and consistency of real blood (which, to be fair, it does to a certain extent), and even the packaging attempts to maintain this illusion. However, here’s where it starts getting creepy: the energy drink’s makers also state that its combination of iron, protein and electrolytes give it a similar nutritional makeup to real blood, while there are even instructions on how to microwave it should you want to enjoy your cruor closer to body temperature (although the packaging does note that “people’s blood isn’t for drinking but this is”). The most baffling thing of all? It’s suitable for vegetarians.
Grave of the Fireflies Candy
As anyone who has seen the film (or read the book) will know, Grave of the Fireflies is a tragic tale depicting the horrors of late World War II Japan as seen through the eyes of siblings Seita and Setsuko. During the course of the film, the pair manage to get hold of a tin of Sakuma drops, a traditional Japanese sweet that has been around since the Meiji period, and even go so far as to fill it with rain water to try and get the last of juice when the sweets are gone. When Setsuko finally dies of malnutrition, Seita cremates her and keeps her ashes in the tin until he also succumbs to the same fate. While putting Setsuko’s image on tins of Sakuma drops could be seen as a touching way to remember the suffering of children such as her and her brother during the War, it’s also rather macabre considering the location of her final resting place.
Foie Gras Bubble Gum
This one is really quite bizarre. Foie gras isn’t exactly the most popular kind of meat product at the best of times, so why you’d want it in sweet form – and as bubble gum, no less – is truly a mystery. Containing “artificial liver flavouring” and a cocktail of equally pleasant-sounding chemicals, I’m dubious as to how long you’d actually want to keep one of these in your mouth for anyway.
Honourable Mention: Maoam
Maoams themselves aren’t actually that strange (in fact, they’re pretty tasty as chewy fruit sweets go); it’s their wrappers that got them onto this list. Featuring the eponymous Mr Maoam in a variety of allegedly compromising positions with other fruit, it’s hard to suppress at least small smirk upon seeing them (or, in the case of some people, an angry letter to your local newspaper).
Ella was pondering ordering a Chinese takeaway, but after rereading this list she’s not sure she feels like eating anything right now…