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Tricks

October 27, 1999

Some cultures' idea of sweets might seem strange to most Americans. Cui Cui Durian Candy and Banh Quy Ken Durian Cream Biscuits are both made from the notoriously smelly Southeast Asian fruit known as the durian. The flavor is like a cross between mango and apricot with a sulfurous overtone, like a whiff of stale garlic or perhaps the flavor of a match head.

Even odder is the Malaysian treat Oceanic Prepared Cuttlefish, which is sheets of dried squid dosed with sugar and red pepper; it comes with a packet of sugar if you like your dried cuttlefish sweeter.

There is enough strange candy in the world that a couple of guys who might have a bit too much time on their hands have started the Ultimate Bad Candy Web page, on which they express overwrought horror at Dutch salty licorice, a Southeast Asian gum ball in tamarind syrup and the like. The site address is http://www.geocities.com/napavalley/2066.

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