Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eating The Worm

The state of Oaxaca is mezcal country. It is found everywhere, in 100's of varieties and names. It is strong stuff. Most bottles are in the range of 38-42% alcohol. It is direct cousin to tequila but has a much stronger, more robust flavor. Some people consider it the drink of the peasants since it is not as refined as its' cousin.

One of my favorite drinks here is called a Mulatto. I have to limit myself to two! It is made of a full shot glass of mezcal, a shot of lime juice, and Coke, all poured over ice. It is definitely a sipping drink!

We have friends back home who also enjoy the occasional shot or two of mezcal and we set out one day to buy a few bottles for presents. We ended up in this nice little shop downtown.

These were the sample bottles and they were more than willing to give you a taste from each one!

Other than in the above described drink, I don't really care for mezcal. But I sure like the varied bottles they come in.

Some, but not all, bottles of mezcal contain a gusano or two, the larvae that feed on the maguey plant, from which mezcal is made. It's interesting to me that mezcal is the only liquor that can official contain a worm. Despite popular folklore, there are no nutritional or aphrodisiac powers contained in the worm. If you eat it, do it only for the pleasure.
Did I say pleasure? Why anybody would want to eat a worm is beyond me. But they do. I talked our salesman into actually eating one so I could photograph it. I about gagged watching him. Again, what I do for my readers!
So here you go! Eating the worm!

Hope you enjoyed that. I about gagged just posting it.


lisa said...

No way no how would I eat a worm, but I am not that hungray either!! He,He, Boy, talk about a variety!

Sue said...

Ewwww. I hope you tipped him generously. I wouldn't eat a worm for a thousand dollars - maybe a million. :-)

Merida Mikey said...

If you think eating the worm from a bottle of mezcal is gross, try eating a taco made from the damn things! (I've eaten the worm, but not the taco!)

Also, if you want to purchase some mezcal for friends,I can recommend "Mezcal de Oro". They say it is the best! (I think you can also use it for airplane fuel.)

And don't forget, you have to try another local favorite, fried grasshoppers! (A little salty and slightly fishy tasting.)


Merida Mikey

jeanie said...

Wayne, Thank you so much for taking us on this journey. Absolutely amazing! I spent several days looking up the muxes of Juchitlan. I think I'll take your word on the worm thing though.

Jackie said...

Ick! I just about gagged reading about the man eating the worm. I can't imagine doing that.

Life's a Beach! said...

Ha! A friend of Craig's brought us a bottle with the worm in it when we were first married and ate it to gross me out. (He subsequently died, but I don't think it was from the worm.)

CancunCanuck said...

Loving your traveling tales my friend, thanks for martyring yourself for us and taking photos of the worm! (Maybe I would eat it, but only after a few shots of the good stuff and with a crowd chanting my name). :)

Steve Cotton said...

I really do not understand these odd food phobias. Protein is protein. I took a date to a restaurant in DC where the only item on the menu were bugs. She thought I was joking. But a majority of the people in the world get at least part of their protein from bugs -- including Canadians and Americans. Most of our processed foods are filled with bug parts -- especially peanut butter. Try watching a piece of fish filet grill under a broiler. If you look closely, you can watch small white worms attempt to escape. And we still enjoy all of them.

KfromMichigan said...

YUCK! No way would I eat a bug! Thanks for taking me on vacation with you. I am really enjoying the free ride.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy Steve. Once Sue reads about worms coming out of fish on the grill, she will for sure NEVER eat fish. haha. Maybe the worms are what gives it the sticky texture?ha

Anonymous said...

WOW...The pictures were one thing, but Steve's post created an even worse visual in my mind. I could become a strict vegetarian except I'm sure the bugs are just as gross.

Thanks? for taking one for the team to get that photo.

Avid lurker Kim

1st Mate said...

I hope after the guapo salesman gave you that demo you at least bought some mezcal. He could have faked it, I suppose. But he probably didn't.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Steve Cotton... now I'm gonna have to quit eating fish! Bleggghhhh!!!