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Exotic Eats Challenge!

Every now and then I like to step outside my comfort zone.  I like to flirt on the borders of what some deem abnormal and dance on the edge of bizarre.  My latest adventure was part of an Exotic Eats Challenge that I have with a magazine client.  He and I challenge each other to various exotic things to eat.  The first challenge was the Giant Toasted Leaf Cutter Ants.  My client responded by bringing to the table meal worms and crickets.  I in turn took it up a notch with Mopani Worms.

So today was Mopani worm eating day.  Take a look at the picture, these worms are MASSIVE!  Alive they are almost as long as your hand, cooked and dried they are as long as you thumb.  They’ve got little spikes covering their backs which you pick off before you eat them.  They’re native to Africa and are a delicacy to Botswananians.  So when I saw these at Edible.com they went into my shopping cart basket so fast!

So my client and I met for lunch and I brought out the worms.  He can’t believe how gnarly they are.  Reluctantly he picks up a worm and finally pops it in his mouth.  You can see his face turning a slight shade of red as he’s chewing the worm.  After a slurp of ice tea he manages to say they’re disgusting!   But as he chewed further he ends up saying not too bad.

My turn now… I pick up my worm and put it on my tongue.  Ice tea ready I start chewing it.  It’s got a texture of crunch spongy tofu.  The taste isn’t really horrible but it also isn’t pleasant.  It’s hard to describe the taste but a close comparison is a combination of tree bark and dirt.  I think I really expected the taste to be unbearable, but in reality it wasn’t so bad despite my facial expressions.  Now I won’t be snacking on these bad boys any time soon, but it’s just another exotic meal that I can put a check mark next to.

Eye Ball – Check

Giant Leaf Cutter Ant – Check

Meal Worm – Check

Cricket – Check

Mopani Worm – Check!

What’s next?  Not sure… I’m thinking the Giant Horned Beatle or Scorpions! Stay tuned for the next Exotic Eats Challenge!

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