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April Fools’ Food: 10 Dishes That Aren’t What They Look Like

April Fools’ Food: 10 Dishes That Aren’t What They Look Like


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These foods look like one thing, but are something completely different

Ferran Adrià's "spherified olive" looks like an olive and tastes like an olive, but is definitely not an olive.

You might not be familiar with the term “trompe l’oeil,” but it generally describes art that “plays with the eye” in some form or another, usually as a two-dimensional painting that looks three-dimensional. But the phrase also has a culinary use: for food that looks like one thing, but is in fact something completely different.

April Fools’ Food: 10 Dishes That Aren’t What They Look Like (Slideshow)

The element of surprise is one of the most exciting aspects of eating, but it’s also one that most cooks tend to leave off of the plate. When you bite into something that looks like one thing but tastes like another, the cognitive dissonance can be a little surprising, a little unsettling, and a whole lot of fun.

In honor of April Fools’ Day, we’ve tracked down 10 of the most legendary trompe l’oeil foods that have ever been devised. Some are so simple that even little kids can make them; some are so complex that they push the boundaries of what’s possible to create through molecular gastronomy. But they all have one thing in common: They aren’t what they appear.


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!


Recipe Ruse: 10 April Fools' Day Foods

When scraped out with a fork, cooked spaghetti squash looks a whole lot like spaghetti. It's got a textured bite and lots of fiber and vitamins. It's a way to trick your kids and make sure they get a nutritious meal.

Offer an unexpected twist on an afternoon snack of raw vegetables &mdash wrap them up in bread to look like sushi.

The Japanese seaweed hijiki, mixed with fried tofu and tossed with sesame oil dressing, just happens to look like worms in a freshly dug grave.

There's actually no egg at all on this treat &mdash it's just an embellished slice of pound cake!

These berry pie cupcakes are as easy as. pie! The blueberry and cherry filling is blue or red candies, and the frosting is tinted to look like a lattice crust.

Looks are deceiving! These cookies appear to be Dracula's fingers, but they taste like rich, dreamy peanut butter.

Mangia! This cupcake is decorated to look just like a favorite pasta dish.

Is that a pumpkin on my plate? No, it's actually a spice cake topped in orange glaze and adorned with a dark licorice "stem."

Don't run away just yet &mdash this isn't a pot of creepy crawlers, but rather crumb-and-gummy-worm-covered pudding!