Top 10 Weird Food Sold in a Can

As part of my “Less is More” ethos for this year I recently did a major clean out on board. Our wee closet and drawers were thinned out yet again, the cupboard in the head was decluttered and all the holds in the galley were sorted through. What I ended up with was pretty impressive rag pile, several tubes expired of sunscreen, some make-up that is embarrassingly old and enough to canned goods to survive the apocalypse, (zombie or otherwise).

Bring on the Apocalyse

I usually keep a healthy stock of canned goods on board (I write on the tops for easy indentification in my vertical storage compartment). Food in cans come in very handy when you’re sailing in more remote destinations like the Solomon’s and Papua New Guinea, where refrigeration is non-existent outside urban centres and the general population are subsistence farmers and fisherman. And to be honest there is nothing wrong with beans, lentils, tomatoes, corn, soup, mussels, pate, dolmas and tuna out of tin, just to name a few of my regularly stocked items.

However, since we will be sailing in more populated areas when we finally splash provisioning will be a whole lot easier than it has been in the last few years. So, while in the midst of my big clean out, I declared that we will not be buying any more cans until we finish what we have on board. (Let’s hope we stay apocalypse free for at least the next 6 months or so.)

Inspecting and organizing all those cans got me thinking of all the weird and wonderful things we have found sold in cans over the years and I thought I would share them with you. So here, in no particular order, are:


  1. FRUITCAKE – Not so weird I am sure, and it makes prefect sense. But, gosh it would be handy if these were sold in more places.
  2. HOT DOGS – Probably not strange if you are Dutch as every can of hot dogs I have ever seen were produced in Holland. Very handy for camp fires; they come in their own pot!
  3. COLD COFFEE – Thanks to the Japanese for this one, and although usually a little too sweet, a damn fine idea and a much better pick-me-up than Coke.
  4. KIMCHEE – Didn’t try this one, I think it might rank up there with bean sprouts in a tin.
  5. WHOLE CHICKEN – Yep, I said the same thing, and you’d be surprised how small the can was. Nothing about this one said, “BUY ME!”.
  6. DUCK EN CONFIT – Everything about this said, “BUY ME!” but we never found a can that weighed less than a kilo, and that seemed like a whole lotta duck if things went wrong.
  7. QUAIL EGGS – Pick up a can if you ever see these, they are a great additional to a salad, make a mean curried egg sandwich and are just super cutesy on an appetizer tray.
  8. CHEESE – Some really good, some a little better than Velveeta, but when you are on a coral atoll in the middle of the South Pacific and haven’t seen a grocery store in months you are willing to try just about anything.
  9. BUTTER – All I have to say is WTF isn’t this sold EVERYWHERE?!?! Tasty NZ butter sold by the pound and shelf stable until opened. Brilliant idea!
  10. VEGETARIAN MEAT SUBSISTUTE – Really? I mean really?! This is up there with the veggie bacon and hot dogs you find in the fridge section…except even more frustrating.

Of course, there is the “Corned” section of the canned goods isle. I am not really clear on the corning process (nore do I want to be) but it has included beef, mutton, lamb, chicken and tuna.

And speaking of tuna we have a tie for the weirdest can of tuna ever found; Chili con Tuna  (yep, with kidney beans and tomato sauce), and Tuna in Peanut Butter Sauce.

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And yes, we bought and ate them both…and then went back for more, TASTY!



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