Phil reviews yet another tasteless but tasty tidbit from the wide, wide world of trashy delicacies.
K, I know I said I'd try anything edible at least once, but I didn't mean to get everyone in the world scrounging up disgusting foods to test me with. Lately, in order to keep my reputation, I have had to sample some items that would gag a yak.
Here's the one I'm most proud of: Hotlix® Amber InsectNsideTM Candy with a real scorpion inside. Hotlix® is my kind of candy company. Not only are they justly famous for their wonderful Hot Cinnamon Toothpix (which I have enjoyed since childhood) but they also are the only candy company I know who are forward-thinking enough to experiment with putting bugs and worms in their candy. I recently tried a Cricket Lick-itTMa lollipop with a real cricket ("the other green meat") inside. (It tasted about like you'd expect a candy-coated cricket to taste.) And my review of their freeze-dried tequila worms is already familiar to anyone who visits my Web site regularly.
So naturally, when a friend gave me some Hotlix® candy with a real scorpion inside, I could hardly wait to eat it.
Why? One reason: because I don't know anyone else who would.
Well, OK, there's another reason. People keep begging me to add more stuff to the culinary pages of my Web site, and I figured everyone had waited long enough.
So I enlisted my friend and co-worker, Bill Fickett, who is the only one I know who knows how to use a digital camera. And after a light lunch at Coupla Weenies (a hot dog restaurant nearby), I decided to eat the scorpion bar for dessert.
My only criticism is that the candy-to-bug ratio is too high. It was far too much sugar for my afternoon snack, and the scorpion could have been encased in about a third as much "amber." (According to the packaging, the actual ingredients are hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, a scorpion, and artificial color and flavoring. I'm guessing that "hydrogenated starch hydrolysate" is a fancy clinical name for "super-sugary goo that hardens into an amberlike consistency.")
Here are some video clips to help you share the experience with me:
(NOTE: The following files are in .mpg format and are about 475K each.)
Co-worker Jay Flowers, a nutrition-conscious friend, replies to my remark about the size of this block of "amber." He's concerned I'll eat too much sugar. Note that he expresses no such concerns about any poisons that might be left in the scorpion's stinger.
Would I eat another one? Not unless I became hypoglycemic and had to have a radical fix. It's just too much sugar and too little scorpion for me. I haven't been able to get the sweet taste out of my mouth all afternoon.
Some of those freeze-dried tequila worms ought to do the trick, though. Let's seeyes, here's a packet of the Mexican spice-flavored worms.
I was, however, curious about what a scorpion would taste like without all that amber candy coating. I pondered that question for a full decade. Then during a trip to Beijing 2013, some friends and I passed a food stall where vendors were deep-frying live scorpions. Of course I had to try it. My friend Travis Allen and I shared a skewer of scorpions: