At the beginning of this year, I accepted to do The Food List Challenge, a list comprised of 100 different dishes. I have decided to modify a few things due to accessibility or replace some dishes to which I think are much more interesting. Number 26 on the list was Cricket…
If I were in the Philippines or China, this would have been easy enough to find, I can probably just stroll on down to a local food market and find these crunchy critters. However, finding them in New Zealand is a completely different story… I initially did a search online (I think I was feeling particularly optimistic that day) and my search came up with Weta. Thankfully it just happens to be the most protected insect in NZ… Anyway, even if it was edible, the thought of munching on a giant insect is not that appealing to me, so I parked my search in the meantime…
The Candyman had recently opened in Devonport, a girl friend and I popped in curious of what was in store. After reminiscing over childhood sweets with the likes of Nerds and Chupa Chups, sitting on the counter were Scorpion Suckers by Hotlix. Hell, I think Scorpions are much more interesting to try rather than crickets so I made the replacement. It came in four different flavours: blueberry, banana, apple and strawberry. I played it safe and went with strawberry.
It took me a grand total of about 1hr and 30mins to consume the whole thing. Admittedly it was hard work as I’m not much of a sweet-tooth. The strawberry flavour, kinda tasted a bit like melon as well, was strong and sweet (as to be expected). It was all going fine until I started to feel parts of the scorpion… My strategy – eat the scorpion as I progressed through the lollipop to make it palatable.
As I was getting closer to the scorpion, the lollipop fell off the stick so I started with the tail. It was crunchy, not really a surprise, but I wasn’t expecting the soft insides… It was pretty vile, I’m thankful that there was still plenty of the syrupy lollipop to counteract the taste. Looking back at it now, the tail was the easiest to eat.
The legs weren’t too bad, I just started crunching to get it over and done with. I couldn’t tell whether what I was crunching was the candy or the legs.
The body was the most traumatizing… Licking the spiny back was bad enough. By this stage, all the candy was gone and it was just me and the scorpion. I thought the best thing was just to shove it in and swallow. Not the case as the shell was quite hard. So I did the next best thing, bit it in half and drink water to help it go down. First half went down ok, second half went down but I could still feel it in my throat. A mini chocolate fondant with vanilla bean ice cream afterwards did the trick and dislodged the scorpion from my throat.
Reflecting back at it now, I wonder if it would it be easier to eat deep fried crickets or the Scorpion Sucker? I guess I’ll just have to try both and see. One down. One thing I know for sure, good thing I ate it at home because eating the body was not my most dignified moment.