By Jennifer M. Wood, CNTraveler.com
Let’s face it—everything tastes better on a stick, and it appears that almost every culture in the world agrees. We’ve gathered a list of our favorite skewered treats from across the globe. (Yes, that includes the fried scorpion).
The corndog is undoubtedly one of America’s most ubiquitous stick foods, so well-loved that there’s even a National Corndog Day (which just passed, on March 22). It’s a staple item at state fairs, carnivals, and classic American eateries like Nathan’s Famous—so it’s only fitting we start with it.
Corn-on-the-cob might be a popular summer food in America, but stick a skewer in that juicy, buttery golden goodness and you’ve got one of Mexico’s most popular street foods. It’s even better in Mexico, where the freshly-grilled corn is slathered with mayonnaise, cotijia cheese, and chili pepper.
When the sun sets in Beijing, the more adventurous foods come out at a string of wild “night markets,” where you can sample skewered delicacies like seahorse, starfish, and even fried scorpion (which is surprisingly tasty; salty, crispy, and similar to chicharrón).
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Yes, they’re naturally handheld. But hard-boiled eggs on sticks are a popular item at street food markets throughout Thailand—and you know how much everyone loves an #eggonit.
FRIED POTATO SLICES
What’s even better than a bag of crispy potato chips? Crispy potato chips on a stick! You’ll find many street vendors slinging freshly-fried potato slices all over Seoul.
You won’t find a Tootsie roll in the middle of this savory take on the lollipop, no matter how many licks it takes.
See Also: The Best Desserts Around the World
Paletas, a cream- or water-based ice pop, are made in a variety of flavors, most often from fresh fruits like strawberry, mango, or lime. They’re so prevalent in Mexico that there are names for the people who sell them (Paleteros) and the places where they’re sold (paleterías).
Leave it to America to fry, well, everything. Over the course of 150 years, vendors at the Minnesota State Fair have put basically any kind of edible entity on a stick. Some of them straightforward—grilled shrimp, caramel apples, corn dogs, fried candy bars, beef and lamb kebabs—others, well, not so much. Alligator sausage, pancake-battered maple sausage, ostrich teriyaki, and foot-long pizza kabobs were just a few of the items available at last summer’s event.