The World's Strangest Sweets

Who says desserts can't be weird?

When you think of weird foods around the world, your mind inevitably goes to things you wouldn't eat, probably insects. If you've never eaten insects you won't know how they taste, but I think we can all assume that most insects aren't sweet. With these facts in mind, it is reasonable to conclude that desserts aren't the first thing you think of when you think of weird food.

Yet, as you're about to see, desserts aren't always delectable or delicious. Well, most of these dessert are delectable and/or delicious, at least in their own ways, but they are more obviously strange. Many of them have ingredients that look like insects – and one of them even centers around insects.

Are you brave enough to take a bite?

  • 01 of 05

    Cendol in Malaysia

    Cendol.jpg
    ••• No, that's not worm soup. Icemoon via Flickr

    On the surface, a serving of Malaysian cendol might look like bowl of worm soup. The worm-like noodles are made of out food-colored jelly, however, while the broth is a sweet, delicious coconut milk. I don't think I have to name the substance the red beans in many variations of cendol look like, but trust me: They taste absolutely heavenly—it's just a shame they don't look like they do.

  • 02 of 05

    Jalebi in South Asia

    Jalebi
    ••• Found throughout south Asia, Jalebi looks like worms, but tastes like heaven. Amna kh via Wikimedia Commons

    If you're interested in trying more desserts that kind of look like worms, head on over to South Indian countries like India and Pakistan and get yourself some jalebi, a dessert that actually looks like worms. Thankfully, jalebi is not only made from deep friend, highly sweetened batter, but batters that deep fried to a hard consistency that belies its wormy shape. Again, just in case you're not 100% sure, jalebi is not worms—it just looks like it is!

  • 03 of 05

    Creme de Abacate in Brazil

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    ••• Brazil's Creme de Abacate looks like guacamole, but tastes like a sugar plantation. Kirsten Theborg via Pixabay

    When you think of avocados – certainly, mashed avocados – you think of guacamole, a dish that is delightful, but about as far from dessert as you can get. Sweet guacamole? Absolutely not, thanks.

    If you head a little (OK, a lot) further south of the (United States-Mexico) border to Brazil, however, you can try creme de abacate, a guacamole-like avocado cream that is guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth. Flavored with condensed milk and lime juice, and topped with nuts and coconut flakes, creme de abacate is the sweet cousin guacamole never knew it had. Well, unless it's tried avocado margaritas, which admittedly still aren't nearly as sweet as creme de abacate.

  • 04 of 05

    Chocolate-Covered Crickets in Thailand

    Chocolate-Covered-Crickets.jpg
    ••• Would you dare?. Ines Hedegus-Garcia via Flickr

    If you've ever been to Thailand, it will come as no surprise to you that one of the items on our list of the world's weirdest desserts comes from here. To be sure, chocolate-covered crickets are probably not the strangest food item you can purchase in a given Thai market, let alone the sweetest.

    Still, as insect-based food in Southeast Asia goes (the wormy appearance of cendol, of course, notwithstanding), chocolate-covered crickets are probably the most acceptable, if you can even use the idea of acceptability to describe something so profoundly bizarre.

    TIP: You might want to try eating these after you have a couple drinks in you, and by "drinks" I mean ordinary alcohol, not some of the weirder fluids I may or may not cover in a subsequent article.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Hazelnut Chocolate Pasta in Italy

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    ••• Nutella pasta? Yeah, basically. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    It's no secret that Italy is home to some of the most delicious desserts in the world and indeed, some of the most delicious food. Interestingly, Italy's entry on this list involves an odd juxtaposition of two of its most prized culinary exports: Nutella and pasta.

    Technically, Pasta al Gianduiotti doesn't have Nutella in it, but rather uses chocolate and hazelnuts – Nutella's main ingredients – as a sweet sauce for otherwise savory angel hair pasta. You canclick here to find a recipe for Pasta al Gianduiotti or, absent that, imagine a bowl of spaghetti next time you indulge in Nutella.

    Or don't – that's kind of weird.