People Are Sharing Their Favorite “Weird” Regional Desserts on Twitter. What’s Yours?

published Mar 16, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

The words “Twitter” and “heartwarming” are not often seen in the same sentence, but sometimes miracles happen. This week, journalist and author Talia Lavin asked people on Twitter to tell her “the most remarkable weird dessert” from their state, city, or country, and the results are just downright delightful.

The most surprising discovery in the thread is just how many people mentioned potato-oriented desserts. Philadelphia has Irish Potatoes, a cinnamon-coated coconut cream candy, and Scotland apparently calls potatoes mixed with icing sugar “macaroons.” I also learned that Idaho has a packaged “Spud” candy involving marshmallows (and now actual potatoes), New Mexico offers ice cream disguised to look like a baked potato, and eastern Maryland offers White Potato Pie.

Potatoes and my curiosity aside, the thread reads like a journey through quirky regional desserts: Grape-Nut pudding/ice cream from New England, Smith Island cake from Maryland, gooey butter cake from St. Louis, buckeyes from Ohio, and Nanaimo bars from Vancouver Island. Some are manufactured, like the It’s-It ice cream sandwich from San Francisco, and others are potluck staples like the strawberry pretzel salad from Iowa.

A lot of the answers fit the “remarkable” and regional parts of the original question, but not the “weird” part — and while I hate to call anyone else’s food weird, I know that pies or jams made of regional berries like Saskatoon aren’t at all weird, so much as limited by geography. Pine cone jam, though, I’ll grant was surprising, and a few dishes truly stretch the brain’s ability to imagine combinations of ingredients, like Utah’s frog-eye salad with pasta and marshmallows, and Baltimore’s predilection for peppermint sticks in lemons. But I would never yuck anyone else’s yum, and the next time I am in these places, I can’t wait for the opportunity to try them — and taste my way through all the regional desserts the world has squirreled away.

What’s a “weird” regional dessert from where you’re from? Let us know in the comments!