Pickle-in-a-Pouch, Zombie Blood and Other Snack Horrors

Gross-out products from the Chicago Sweets & Snacks 2010 Expo

At the Sweets & Snacks 2010 Expo in Chicago, somewhere between my first Haribo gummy strawberry and my last Castries Peanut Rum Martini garnished with a dark chocolate Cholive, I was confronted with some candy and snack monstrosities, the likes of which I wouldn’t sic on my worst enemy’s hyperactive child. Mixed in among the whimsical Wonka chocolates and the massive Dove chocolate fountain were some of the craziest, nastiest, or most bizarre examples of gastro-invention I’ve stumbled upon. Among the horror:

Grillz Sour Candy 
Why should rappers have all the shiny fun? Stick one of these faux tooth covers in your mouth. A sour hard candy is attached for you to bite on and impress friends with your new rhinestone-enhanced chompers. Until they rot away because, you know, you’re mashing a giant ball of pure sugar against your front teeth.

"Man Bait" Maple Bacon Lollipop
As a veteran PMS sufferer, I totally get the whole sweet and salty thing. But sucking on a lolli with real smoky bacon bits embedded in it? I just can't go there. I also hope they sell these things with a pack of Mentos, because bacon breath does not a romantic kiss make.

Pickle in a Pouch
Who needs an apple for a quick pre-workout energy boost when you can toss a dill pickle in your gym bag? They’re low-cal and fat-free, but for some reason, the idea of tearing open a warm bag of pickles in juice (no refrigeration required) weirds me out.

Hard Cracklins Fried Out Pork Chips with Skin Attached
Honestly, I don’t even want to know what these onion ring-looking things are, nor am I interested in noshing on a snack with the words "With Skin Attached" in the title.

Zombie Blood Energy Potion
Packaged in an IV pouch and boasting a similar nutritional profile to real blood (iron, protein, B Vitamins, etc), this caffeine-enhanced fruit punch energy drink is banking on the current obsession with all things vampire. We'll stick to ogling Taylor Lautner, thank you very much.

Cheaters Squeeze Candy
These packs of sugar-free, fat-free liquid candy come in flavors like Blueberry Cobbler and Banana Cream Pie for only 11 calories. I’m all for preventing obesity and diabetes, but this seems too similar to the packets of sugar actual diabetics keep on hand in case their blood sugar goes out of control.

Microwave Bacon Krisps
Take a bag of these bacon-free wheat-and-oil bits and nuke them for a few minutes. Like meat magic, they puff up into small rectangles of air-popped bacon. I wanted to hate them but I have to admit, they tasted kind of good. And a whole bag only has 200 calories (two servings) and almost zero fat.

These sugar cookies come pre-printed with patterns printed on the icing; kids can use the enclosed edible markers (they use food-safe color) to draw on their food. Then they eat it.

Hissee Fit Snake Spray
Because nothing helps calm your kids down after a long day at preschool than a snake-shaped bottle of green apple-flavored aerosol sugar.


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