Scorpion snacks that bite you back
So a good while back, my old boss John contacted me. He was my boss in my first job straight out of school, when I wrote reports for a small telecommunications consulting firm. It was a good place to work for a twenty-something, because there were a bunch of other twenty-somethings, and we would put our heads down and work when we had to (let’s just say I knew which copy places were open 24 hours), but we would also soothe our hangovers with most-of-the-day lunches otherwise. It was a work hard, play hard kind of a place. No matter what it was like I was just grateful I wasn’t selling vacuum cleaners, which I nearly did, literally (not as sexy as it sounds, even if they had been Dysons, which they weren’t), or wasn’t telemarketing to sell newspapers — I lasted doing that one for a week, prior to the consulting firm gig. There was one woman who was scary good at getting people to sign up for the paper. Used a creepy-high Kindergarten-teacher voice, and I was always shocked when she got to ding the call-centre success bell. I was so damn jealous of Preschool Patty. Did I mention I graduated in Neuroscience? Oy. Sucks to be a new grad — if you are one, I feel for you.
But anyway — John. John was not in the twenty-something crew, he was responsible. He was a very nice guy; smart, supportive, and I liked working with him. He is a guy who taught me that even the most even-keeled have their limits, though. One night he was trying to get something done so he was working into the wee hours at the office on the tenth floor. The next morning when all of us came in (likely hung over), he informed us that no one would be printing anything that day. He had chucked the printer out the window when it refused to do his bidding at 2am. To this day, every time I have printer rage (in my experience this condition is at least 1000 times stronger than road rage), I think of him. And yes, a guy trashed a printer in the movie Office Space, but John did it first. I think he should go after royalties. Now that I actually think it through, though, maybe I’m remembering it wrong and he just smashed it and didn’t chuck it from the 10th floor of a downtown office tower, because dropping it from that high might have killed someone, even at 2 in the morning. Or I do remember right and he actually did lose it, and there was an accidental office-equipment homicide, but he didn’t want to tarnish his nice-guy image by coming clean about it. Quick, somebody check for cold cases of “death by printer.” This blog gets more and more interesting by the minute.
One thing that is clear is that John is not currently in prison, because he contacted me on LinkedIn (do prisoners have access to LinkedIn?) to say that he had read my blog and purposely ordered scorpion when he was in Hawaii just so that he could tell me he had eaten a *literally* dangerous food. He said it tasted spicy. Isn’t it cool to think that a scorpion would taste spicy? But then he said that later he was disappointed to find out that he had actually eaten a scorpion pepper in the dish, rather than a real scorpion. Disappointed! Look at what this blog does to people, people!
So don’t you just know that I had to message him back saying I had eaten a real scorpion? To do this, I needed to procure said scorpion. The good ol’ World Wide Web can make anything happen.
I went for the “Jungle Trial Mix” from Thailand for the bargain-basement price of $20 Canadian. I was convinced it would never make it past customs, but lo and behold, it did.
Scorpions aren’t your bag? Maybe go for their earthworm jerky instead! Or maybe dung beetles are more your thing! Can’t decide? Go for the mixed pupae! Still feeling peckish? Why not a full zebra tarantula for your main course! Please, take a moment to browse that site. And let’s take a second to imagine their “farms,” and the cleaning and drying process.
After this, I’m totally going back to eating ocean-dwelling arthropods like a normal person.
But thanks to John, just this once, I decided to give scorpions a shot.
First I let my kids pose them for some photos ops. This will give you an idea of just how big these bugs were.
Then I deep fried them, of course. The website says you can grind them to add protein to your foods, but what fun is that? Bugs are all about the presentation. I used this recipe for batter and popped a scorpion atop a crap cake (I cooked this separately, cheating by buying a prepared one from De La Mer fish market — this was an all-arthropod meal).
And how were they?
Sorry, John, but they sucked. It was like eating a dried, deep-fried crayfish. Crunchy to the point of inedible. I couldn’t even get past eating one leg. I was eating the bits I thought I should have been throwing out. If you should choose to slurp up what comes out of your bug zapper, have at ‘er, but this shall be my final buggy breakfast. Maybe they’re the perfect snack if you’re lost in a Thai forest sometime (don’t try it unless you’ve been gone at least 2.5 weeks and you’ve cleared the area of tasty cobras), or maybe if your printer has taken you to the brink of insanity and you’re starting to question up and down, right and wrong, delicious and disgusting, but otherwise…
Spend your $20 on scorpion peppers.
(My son did give them a try, though. The guy won’t eat broccoli, cheese, fish, tomatoes, or squash, but scorpions? Children can be rather frustrating.)