These Bizarre Food-Flavored Candy Canes Are Turning Heads

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When it comes to holiday treats, do you lovingly hand-craft the most Pinterest-perfect creations, or do you scour the shops for the most exquisite imports? If the message you're trying to send to your loved ones, your coworkers, and your guests is that you really care, or that you are a true sophisticate for whom only the best will do, then perhaps you'll be willing to spend endless amounts of time and/or money in pursuit of authentic Victorian sugarplums or gingerbread re-creations of Buckingham Palace.

If, on the other hand, you're simply trying to cement your reputation as the lovably eccentric one, then all you need to do is open up a box of holiday weirdness such as these one-of-a-kind (we hope) ketchup candy canes. These, and many equally odd (or even odder) flavors, are an annual offering from the one and only Archie McPhee, a retailer whose slogan is "we make weird." If you're looking for that perfect gift for crazy cousin Carl, look no further! If, on the other hand, you're the family wackadoo, this is bound to be your new favorite website (if you're not already well-acquainted).

Bizarre flavors of candy canes from an even stranger store

Seattle Met lists Archie McPhee as one of Seattle's 20 essential shops, which maybe tells you something about Seattle that a shop that sells underpants for hands and Edvard Munch-esque electronic noisemakers could be considered a necessity. Well, if you're living in the town Amazon built, perhaps your definition of "essential" boils down to "anything Amazon doesn't offer." Although, Amazon does carry a wide range of Archie McPhee's products. Still, if you're ever in Seattle, it's probably fun to drop by their brick and mortar storefront so you can experience this ode to oddity up close and in person.

No matter where or how you're shopping, though, the one thing you should definitely pick up before the holiday season is over is a box of their kookiest-ever candy canes. Not only can you get ketchup, but Archie McPhee also sells candy cane flavors like shiitake mushroom, pickle, pizza, pho, mac and cheese, and for carnivores, bacon, "hamdy," and "clamdy" canes. There's even kale for that child who's too naughty for a lump of coal, plus, if you're a Christmas hater, they even offer a Bah, Humbug! cane. This is colorless and flavorless, to reflect those Scroogey holiday feelings.

What do people really think of these candy canes?

Archie McPhee recently posted a short Instagram video providing a "Tour of Our Cursed Candy Canes," captioning it with the question, "Which one is your favorite?" This question, naturally, begets another question such as the one asked by a commenter: "Favorite as in the one we like best, or the one we most enjoy taking out of the box and pranking unsuspecting people with?" In fact, none of the commenters actually admitted to having eaten any of these candy canes, although one person said "terrible, i'll take your whole stock." 

Amazon reviewers were a bit more forthcoming, though. For the most part, both the pickle and bacon flavors were seen as disappointing and lacking in flavor, although one person who tried them alleged that the bacon one "tasted like fart." The mac and cheese was also not too popular as anything other than a white elephant or gag gift, although one reviewer noted that they were "great to teach your children NOT to take candy without permission!!!!" And while most reviewers found the clam flavor to be "just as vile as you would think," one person said it was "surprisingly.....not half bad?" and tasted like "eating clam chowder after eating a Krispy Kreme." So what do you think? Would you buy these candy canes as a stocking stuffer? Or would you consider them more of a "stocking suffer?"