(yes, I realize scorpions aren’t bugs)
WARNING: those with weak stomachs should go watch a video of a singing fluffy bunny and skip this article. You have been warned.
Normally, you would avoid candy with bugs in it. In the case of Hotlix, it’s perfectly acceptable for them to make candy with real bugs. Hotlix has been making bug-filled candy for over 20 years – surprisingly, people have been buying it!
The gang at Hotlix sent me a big package of a bunch of their candy with bugs in it and to be honest, this is probably the one review I have dreaded, but I sucked it up and gave (most of) them a try. The things I do for you, my readers!
Let’s start with the non-buggy candy first (yes, they do make some candy without bugs). They make a wide variety of lollipops in traditional flavors such as cherry, apple, butter rum, orange, watermelon, and many others. Some of these flavors come in sugar-free versions too. They also have some interesting flavors like Margarita (with a salt pocket in it), PiÃ±a Colada, jalapeÃ±o (green and pepper-shaped), Chililix (clear cinnamon-flavored, chili-shaped with a genuine chili pepper inside), cinnamon, and Horchata (a rice-water drink lollipop, with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla). Here are some quick reviews of a few:
- Sugar-free Butter Rum: Very nice butterscotch taste – not too sweet – very good flavor
- Sugar-free Cinnamon Apple: The cinnamon flavor is a bit stronger than the green apple flavor – you can just barely and every now and then taste the apple. It’s not overpoweringly sweet like many lollipops are. Very nice. the cinnamon is spicy enough to make the corners of my mouth burn a bit, but not excessively. it didn’t taste sugar-free at all. Nice.
- Strawberry Horchata: A nice, subtle strawberry flavor. Sweet and creamy. Lots of subtle flavors behind the scenes. Very nice.
- Habanero: Ouch. I can’t really say how it tasted since my mouth is on fire. I tried it for a minute or two but the pain outweighed the pleasure and I gave up. Damn that was hot. It made my nose run too and now it hurts when I swallow. Not fun. Don’t try these unless you are a masochist. I usually say I like spicy foods, but I’m re-thinking that now.
- Margarita: A decent, but not great limey flavor. The salt in it adds a unique twist. Might be good to suck on after a shot of tequila.
Overall, the lollipops are excellent and highly recommended.
Most of the lollipops can also be had with a creature inside: a worm (like a tequila worm), a cricket, or a scorpion. I tried two of these but threw them away once it got to the point where the “bug” was beginning to stick out. Yes, I’m a wimp. Well, maybe not….read on….
They also have some other cool candies with bugs in it made with the same lollipop candy – they take the lollipop sugar candy and make rectangles about 1.5in x 2.5in. In these they embed ants and package them like an ant farm, embed a small worm with some edible flower to make it look like a butterfly, or embed a cricket with a small fern and call it Amber InsectNside. All three look very cool/artistic but I didn’t actually try any of them.
Hotlix also does chocolate-covered bugs. I tried the chocolate-covered ants – I figured the ants would just crunch and wouldn’t add any flavor. They come in disks of a mix of white and milk chocolate. The chocolate was average and just as I suspected, you can’t even taste the ants. I was picking ants out of my teeth for about five minutes afterward – that was pretty weird. They also make chocolate covered crickets and worms but they are naturally shaped like the creature they cover and I was not about to try them. I an handle eating tiny little ants but the thoughts of worms or crickets squishing in my mouth was too much for me (even though the bugs are dry and don’t squish).
In the non-candy but still buggy arena, they make flavored Crick-ettes and Larvets. These are fried or dried (not sure) bugs that are then flavored with powder like on potato chips. I had no intention of trying these since they weren’t candy, but when I took them to work I said I would if someone else tried it with me. Ryan said he would so we both tried a Crick-ette and Scott decided to have one too. We have the pics to prove it. Before it hits my mouth and after:
It didn’t really taste that bad, kinda peanutty, it was just the fact that I was eating a cricket that freaked me out. I managed to keep it down and didn’t spit it out. I didn’t get any kisses from my wife that night once I told her about eating bugs. I didn’t try the Larvets – that was too much for me.
The thing about Hotlix that I don’t understand is who is buying these? I can’t imagine people are eating candy with bugs in them because they like the taste (though I could be wrong) – it must be for the novelty of it. It is definitely novel to intentionally eat candy with bugs (at least here in the U.S.). I’m hoping that’s the last candy I eat that has bugs in it (well, except for the usual bugs in candy).
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