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Candy Review: Hotlix – the candy with real bugs

Categories: Candy,Gross Candy,Lollipops,Novelty Candy

(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), Piña Colada, jalapeño (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.

Hotlix Watermelon Worm

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 Chocolate Ants

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).

Hotlix Bugs

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:

Cricket in mouth
Chewing on a cricket. Yum!

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).

Buy Hotlix online:

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32 Responses to “Candy Review: Hotlix – the candy with real bugs”

  1. 1
    Beck says:

    Gah! GAAAHH!!

  2. 2
    Sera says:

    Ooohhhh, you are *brave*.

    The Strawberry Horchata flavor sounds really, really good.

  3. 3
    Caleb says:

    Hey Brian!

    I eat Hotlix all the time! The first time I tried them was in Raleigh, where my friend dared me to try a choco-ant. I ate it and now I’m ADDICTED to their worms in lollipops. They add a distinct, not repulsive, but a nice flavor to the candy. You really should try one.

    Big Fan,

  4. 4
    zel says:

    The candy store in Pier 39, SF always has these at the check out counter and every time my fiance insists on trying them. We ask the workers there all the time if they’re good & most of them like them. But I think I’d freak out knowing I was eating a bug!

  5. 5
    MEGGERS-N-JANE says:

    OK really.. who wouldnt eat a bug if you had the chance iut would be in candy?? come on now…

  6. 6
    Sephorah says:

    It actually sounds really good to me, I will try
    it when i can find me some. I really want to try the
    scorpion lollipop? Is there anybody out there that can
    tell me what it tastes like?
    I love deep friend, dry, crunchy foods with powder salt and flavor, so I think I will LOVE the larvets and crickettes!

  7. 7
    Steph says:

    I tried the worm pop–It was actually good. At first I was like ‘bleh’ at the idea of eating a worm, but I ate it. Tasted pretty sweet.

  8. 8
    Pastor Phillips says:


  9. 9
    Anna says:

    I recently tried a strawberry scorpion pop, and surprisingly I found that the scorpion tasted exactly like mint chocolate chip ice cream! Has anyone else eaten one and felt this way?

  10. 10
    Bekah says:

    I have tried both the lollypop with a cricket and the deep fried worms. I prefer the worms to the cricket in a lollypop. I believe my worms were barbeque flavored!

  11. 11
    hannah says:

    I’m not about to indulge in scorpion treats or anything, but when I was younger they had these things at a parade and my grandma of all people convinced me to eat one of the chocolate covered crickets. I’m not into eating bugs, sorry.

    But that horchata flavored lollipop sounds delish, and the habanero flavor could always replace my sudafed. =)

  12. 12
    Ashley says:

    I’m sorry but when I see these let alone hear about people actually eating them I automatically cringe. I am a major bug-phobic and the thought of people eating ANY insects scares me.. especially crickets and scorpians. However you actually tried it the first time amazes me, and don’t let other people fool you, you guys are very brave and talented, seriously =] I’m still shaking.

  13. 13
    Stacy says:

    I find it silly that people in the western world get so squeamish at the mere thought of insects, let alone looking at them or, God forbid, consuming them. In every place BUT the western world, insects are commonly found in local dishes, and certain ones are are even considered delicacies.

    I find the concept of insect candy very interesting, and have used them as silly stocking stuffers (and have tried them myself, very cool and tasty). They are too pricey to be considered an usual sweet, though.

  14. 14
    Matt says:

    I cant believe it was a real bug and I ATE IT IM ALERGIC TO BEES!!! although it was very delicious.
    I first ate a scorpion yuck
    well at least i know what it is like to eat a bug just like my toads

  15. 15
    michelle says:

    can someone pls tell me where i can find a shop that sells hotlix crickets in nyc?!!!
    greatly appreaciated!!

  16. 16
    talia says:

    yal are nasty bugs are not food!!!!

  17. 17
    Sweepchase says:

    Have to second the comment by Stacy (#13). Most people in the US think nothing about eating shrimp, or lobsters, but suddenly become terrified by the idea of eating smaller arthropods. It does seem kind of silly to be willing to eat one kind of animal but not something closely related to it. Eating insects in the wild might be a little risky (they might not be clean, or they may have parasites or have been exposed to pesticides), but I don’t see a problem with eating ‘farm-raised’ insects that were bred specifically for consumption.

  18. 18
    Sam says:

    I just tried the larvets cheese flavor. They were okay, but you couldn’t taste the cheese AT ALL. It kinda tasted like really gross crackers. I think I’ll give them to my neighbor.

  19. 19
    Candice says:

    bug one sounds gross.. do you actully eat the bug if you dare?

  20. 20
    roro says:

    I ordered some cheese and Mexican spice larvettes, crickettes, and a scorpion pop. My family was grossed out so they left all the bugs to me.

    Cheese larvettes tasted like cheap-cheese coated pork rinds, Mexican spice larvettes had a pork rind-spice taste that worked deliciously together (highly recommend). They should sell bags of Mexican spice larvettes like spiced potato chips.

    The crickettes tasted like a mixture between fish food and a potato chip, I wasn’t a fan of those.

    The scorpion pop was flavored blueberry and the pop tastes nice and sweet, mostly normal but the scorpion added a delicious crunch it didn’t add any flavor that I could notice. It did take me a day to gain enough courage to eat though.

  21. 21
    Dragon-chan says:

    I’ve had other cheese flavored mealyworms, just like Larvets, and they were so-so. They weren’t spit-it-out bad, but I wouldn’t buy them again.

  22. 22
    Chanel says:

    my uncle came fr a party and told me it was fake so i believed him but when i was done he told me it was real i was really disgusted but it tasted really delicious actually.

  23. 23
    Katie says:

    I’m not sure if it was the packaging or not but the larvettes didn’t taste like much except stale, stale crackers, and the artificial flavoring was nasty. Scorpions were tasty but the candy was kinda mediocre (I know the candy isn’t the point). I’m sort of picky, and I really don’t like antenna or legs wedged in my teeth (I have tight teeth and flossing can be a pain).

    I will try just about anything at least once. I’m guessing the people all over the world eat insects that DON’T taste like cardboard or have them mixed in tasty dishes. It’s the high protein that really makes them valuable, but until I find some that actually taste like something decent, I’m not eating any more of these.

    I’m really curious to see what insects taste like when ‘done right’ without flavoring or candy that disagrees with me. They had a tasting day at one of the local museums with a really good chef but I was out of town and I missed it. :(

  24. 24
    Nestor says:

    Hello everyone, I am mexican and I got my hands (or tongue) on a scorpion lollipop and as the previous comment… the candy was not so good and the scorpion was just ok.
    I am surprised how a lot of people feels about eating insects.. but in some towns in México is quite normal.. just an experience to share… In Oaxaca they have this kind of crickets that are all red.. and they are delicious and crunchy, some natives prepare them as a salty snack with chilli and lemon (yiaak, I find lemon disgusting), but they are very good, also they have the same insects with a home-made chocolate cover… and they are just amazing. My father was once in the Sonora desert and the natives gave him something like a whitish drink.. It was desert tarantula juices they extract by smashing a group of tarantulas with a very big rock on a flat surface… my father said the drink was amazingly refreshing and with nice flavor.
    All in all, eating some rare animals is not that bad… and if they are well prepared and served they are quite good. And hotlix is just exploiting all the bug eaters market that no one dare to please. thumbs up.. they shold get better with the candy flavors.

  25. 25
    Elaine says:

    Bugs suck, you people are wierd!!!!! Brave, but wierd!!!

  26. 26
    Skye says:

    EEEEWWW I have a cricket from that co, and i just cant get mysekf to eat it!! im doing my reasearch and im thinking i should toss the pop


  27. 27
    Amber says:

    I just bought the larvets BBQ ones and they kinda taste like bbq potato chips :) i love them! and they are alot better for you then regular chips or anything!!!! Don’t knock’em till u try them!!!!

  28. 28
    Noam says:

    That sounds repulsive…. By the way, do we get to make reviews too? I know tons of delicious and disgusting candies in asia and japan and europe that you guys can’t find because I live in Hong Kong

  29. 29
    Eddie says:

    Newsflash people!!!! Sorry to disappoint you all, but bugs belong on the ground or under a rock! Absolutely NOT in your mouth unless you’re some kind of hairy savage! Insects are wild Bird and animal food. Why not eat candy and snacks without all the disgusting crap in it?

  30. 30
    Scott says:

    I agree with Eddie. If I wanted candy or snacks i’d much rather eat them with sweet, rich, and satisfying ingredients rather then eating candy and snacks containing filthy insects that feed on trash each and everyday and are then being eaten by hungry rodents and other small animals that need them more than we do! The person that created this disgusting garbage should go live in the woods far away from civilization. They’d be right at home!!!

  31. 31
    Carrot says:

    I have had bbq larvets and I love scorpion lollipops, you cant really taste the flavour of the scorp inside because of the sweetness of the lollipop. I love them also i love freaking my friends at uni out…. totally cool

    personally I think its good looking at bugs as a food sauce their is plenty out their, and our natural food sauces are depleting thanks to global change..

    oh well keep on licking and mind the sting hehe :-)

  32. 32
    Cezah says:

    For all those who have commented saying that only filthy savages would eat bugs, stop it. If you think that is true, then most other places in the world would be savages. Bugs are alot better for you than the evry-day snack, and are farm raised you can say, so aren’t dirty and don’t eat trash. I haven;t tried them, but would the first time I had a chance. I was going to eat an ant that my cousin brought from Colombia, but was eatien by someone else.

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