Sunday, March 25, 2007

What's ina worm!

It was a student f mine who asked me this question: "How does the tequila worm taste like?"

Having no clue at that, I wanted an answer. since I consider myself as a meat eater who eats more or less anything, I still was a virgin when it came to experiencing worms!

I remember seeing that gross lil thing in a bottle brought home by a friend of mine. In that fiery liquid, the worm looked more like an freaky accident than a creative garnish. Who would want a worm in his drink?

Jacobo Lozano Paez wanted! This Mexico City entreprenuer had seen some of these worms get cooked up along with the brew that was used to make mescal (mescal is a generic term meaning any distillate of the many species of agave (or maguey) plant, tequila included) The agave worm, which is actually a butterfly larva, bores into the agave plant's pineapplelike heart. All those unfortunate critters who remain there during harvest, get cooked! So in 1950, this man realised that the worm was an essential component of the liquor's flavor and color.

He may also have figured out that mescal is about as tasty as varnish and you have to be senseless to pour this down your own throat. So why not add some drama to the whole thing, even if the actor looks like acritter!? There was also another non contested popular hear say that the worms had aphrodisiacal properties. Most men would eat/drink anything if it could do wonderful things down under, rt!?At any rate, the ploy worked and the worm in the bottle is now a firmly established tradition, though not in every bottle.(thanku for small mercies, amigo!)

The actual agave worm is a bright coral color, which fades to pink in the bottle. Some bottlers substitute a species of white worm that lives on the leaves of the agave plant. Connoisseurs complain that the white worm isn't as tasty as the red one(!!) which is like complaining that your chicken's got the wrong kind of flu!. I have had a few tequilas and my doubt is this: This drink can knock you out with a mule's kick; why would u need a worm in between!?

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