REVIEW: Archie McPhee Fried Chicken and Lobster Candies

Archie McPhee Fried Chicken Candy

Fried Chicken and Lobster Candy are the latest “I dare you to eat this” candy from Archie McPhee, which offers a wide variety of wild and weird products. Previous confectionery offerings included coal, bacon, wasabi, and gravy. And now you can save all the hassle of preparing fried chicken or lobster and just eat them as candy instead.

Archie McPhee Lobster Candy

How are they? They’re bad. Epically bad. (Even Archie McPhee categorizes them on the website as “bad candy.”) Of course, I didn’t expect these to be good, but last year I tried Mr. McPhee’s candy canes that were clam and mac & cheese flavored (not together; that would be gross). They were somewhat palatable, even if they missed the mark as far as replicating the intended taste. These varieties do bring out the stated flavors a little more, but they are truly awful.

Archie McPhee Fried Chicken Candy 2

Besides having a less-than-pleasing appearance, the fried chicken version had a bit of burnt, sitting-out-for-three-hours smell to it. These made me think of when you go to your favorite fast food chicken joint just before closing time — which as a former fast food worker I highly recommend against — and you get whatever was sitting under the heat lamp about to be tossed in the trash.

Archie McPhee Fried Chicken Candy 3

As for the taste, it reminded me of overcooked fried chicken skin, and not even good fried chicken. I’m talking school lunch or low-level buffet fried chicken.

Unfortunately, things got even worse when the lobster version entered my mouth.

Archie McPhee Lobster Candy 2

It had no real smell at first, although after sucking on it for a bit, it exudes a rather fishy odor. The taste was almost indescribable. Granted, much of my recent lobster-eating experience involves either a fast food seafood restaurant or food truck, which may or may not be serving actual lobster, but I have done the whole wear a bib and use that fancy lobster claw crushing thing in the past.

Archie McPhee Lobster Candy 3

This taste did not bring me back to any of those, but I imagine it might be what lobster would taste like if you left it in the fridge for a month and then decided to take a bite. This one got spit out even faster than the fried chicken flavor.

Archie McPhee Lobster Candy Top

The only positive thing I can say about this experience is that the package designs are pretty solid. The image of the smiling lobster dousing him or herself with butter is both disturbing and delightful.

Are you curious what would happen if you tried both candies at the same time? Because I care deeply for your gastrointestinal safety, I decided to answer the question for you. The answer: gagging and near vomiting. But if you need to produce some actual puke to get out of going to school or prove to your boss that you need to leave work early, this might do the trick.

As harsh as this review might be, I’m a fan of strange, disgusting and creative food, so I do have to give Archie McPhee credit for putting these out. They would make a good gag gift, or if you are truly evil, maybe mix a few of these in with some regular wrapped hard candy and set up a hidden camera. Hilarity will surely ensue.

Purchased Price: $5.95 each
Size: 2.5 oz. box (about 12 pieces)
Purchased at:
Rating: 1 out of 10 (both flavors)
Nutrition Facts: The packaging says to call Archie McPhee for nutritional info. Since I didn’t finish a single piece and don’t ever intend to, I felt no need to call.

REVIEW: Archie McPhee Clamdy Canes and Mac & Cheese Candy Canes

Archie McPhee Clamdy Canes

Except for starting with the third letter of the alphabet, there is no reason whatsoever for clams and candy canes to go together. But don’t tell that to the folks at Archie McPhee, a Seattle-based company that specializes in all things weird, including candy canes. They have unleashed a diabolical digestive debacle known as the Clamdy Cane (yes, it’s clam-flavored candy).

Archie McPhee Mac & Cheese Candy Canes

The company also birthed a sibling, a slightly less heinous mac & cheese-flavored variety, which joined a candy cane family that already included bacon, pickle, rotisserie chicken, coal (apparently smoke and cinnamon-flavored) and Krampus (also cinnamon).

For this review of the two new flavors, I tackled the challenge with equal parts excitement and fear. I consider myself to be open-minded about a great many things, including trying unique foods. Even so, it was hard not to be a little concerned that these would be biblically bad.

With that said, let’s establish that this review is not really about if these, particularly the clammy concoction, taste “good.” You don’t buy barf-flavored jelly beans or turkey and gravy soda because you think it will be delicious (trust me, it’s not), you buy it so you can say you did and that you tried it. So I did, and I did.

Clamdy Canes

Archie McPhee Clamdy Canes 2

The McPhee website says Clamdy Canes are “gray and white.” However, I found that woefully insufficient and humbly suggest a more accurate white and “dirty paint water.” I know, that probably won’t fit on a crayon, but I couldn’t help thinking the color looked like that nasty slurry after you’ve rinsed a paint brush a dozen times.

I’m happy to report that the Clamdy Canes do taste better than dirty paint water (don’t ask how I know), but it’s not exactly a convincing victory. Surprisingly, there was not much of a smell to these, at least at first. If you really try, you can get a whiff of something if you almost put it up your nose. I couldn’t place the smell, but I wouldn’t call it pleasant. Oddly, after a few licks, the scent comes out, and it’s still not pleasant. I wouldn’t say it smells like clams; it reminded me of warm, flat beer.

As for the taste, it wasn’t bad, and it was certainly better than I thought it would be. There was a hint of a fishy-like taste, but it wasn’t overwhelming or off-putting. It had a subtler sweetness compared to a traditional candy cane, and after you get past the initial thought of “ewww, I’m eating a clam-flavored candy cane,” it was palatable.

But I was a little disappointed that it didn’t taste a bit clammier and grosser. Instead, it was almost like one of those mucous-colored hard candies you see sitting in a bowl on a reception desk that you grab because you can’t pass up free candy. You pop one in your mouth but have no idea what flavor it is and would struggle to describe it to someone.

Did I finish the whole Clamdy Cane? No, but if I didn’t have the mac & cheese flavor to look forward to I could have.

Mac & Cheese Candy Canes

The mac & cheese variety had the same sneaky lack of smell at first until after my tongue caressed it. For this one, the smell is spot-on, at least for the fluorescent orange powered mac & cheese in a box, not your grandma’s homemade stuff.

Archie McPhee Mac & Cheese Candy Canes 2

But for as much as it nailed the smell, the taste was a letdown. If not for the aroma and the packaging, I’m not sure I’d even be able to place it as mac & cheese. Like the clam one, the flavor wasn’t bad. It had a nice, mild sweetness to it, but no real discernible taste and not one that reminds you of creamy, cheesy dish. The best description I can do is if you licked a regular candy cane and swirled it around Fun Dip-style in a bag of Cheetos.

Archie McPhee Mac  Cheese Candy Canes and Clamdy Canes

Overall, it’s tricky to score these. On taste alone, they are not bad, but neither one hits the mark as far as what was advertised on the box, though it could be argued that’s a good thing, particularly for the Clamdy Canes. And I do give Archie McPhee points for coming up with a couple of new flavors that stand out in a crowded field of crazy candy concoctions. So as a tasty treat that satisfies your craving for mac & cheese or clams, these are a hard pass. But as a fun holiday gift or prank, even Santa might be tempted to have a box or two on hand.

(Nutrition Facts – Not listed on package.)

Purchased Price: $5.95 each (plus $4.95 total shipping)
Size: 3.8 oz. box for a 6 pack
Purchased at:
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Clamdy)
Rating: 4 out of 10 (Mac & Cheese)
Pros: Not nearly as disgusting as you might expect. Would work well for those stupid gift exchanges at work or among family.

Cons: Bad wordplay on the McPhee website for the Clamdy Canes, including “your family will clamor for them” and “one shell of a candy.” The dancing clam with a Santa hat is a bit disturbing.