Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Mmm... Meal worms

Over the last week or so I've been trying to introduce Ava's gecko Cookie to a variety of foods. He is used to eating only crickets every day however it's good for him to have a little variety in his diet. One such "food" that is supposed to be a delicious treat for geckos is the humble meal worm. But do you think I can get Cookie to eat a single one?

I've tried serving the meal worms up with his usual crickets, I've tried giving him nothing but meal worms, I've tried hand feeding him meal worms, I've tried coating the meal worms in vitamin powder in the hope that he'll recognise the smell/taste and eat them thinking they're crickets... So far none of it has worked. 

While Cookie isn't interested in the meal worms one bit there is one little person in our family who is: Lola!

Back in November last year we attended the Bay Area Science Festival Discovery Day at AT&T Park in San Francisco. One of the first stands that we came across when we arrived at the fair was offering samples of a strange treat. When she saw what the sample was Ava wouldn't go anywhere near it, but Lola, hearing the word "caramel" in the title, was more than happy to grab a sample. She crunched down on it, swallowed it happily and then asked for more. I thought it best that she know what she had just eaten: a meal worm. She didn't care what it was. It tasted good and she wanted more. So she went back for seconds. And then thirds. 

Caramel meal worm

Mmm... crunchy


Ever since she tried them at the science festival Lola has been asking to eat meal worms. So when I told her that we would be buying a jar of them for Cookie she was pretty excited!

Of course, they're not quite the same thing. Cookie's meal worms are alive, wiggly and regular meal worm flavoured - whatever that tastes like! The meal worms that Lola ate were cooked and coated in sugar giving them a sweet flavour and crunchy texture. And don't worry... Lola knows not to try and eat Cookie's meal worms!

Whenever I try giving meal worms to Cookie Lola hangs around, desperate to see if he will eat them. She loves to give him encouragement. "Come on, Cookie. Meal worms are delicious. I like eating them"...  So far Cookie hasn't been impressed by Lola's encouraging words. Maybe I need to caramelize his meal worms! 

Oh, and I made Kim try a meal worm at the science fair too. He wasn't quite as impressed as Lola was but not disgusted by the idea of it either. I, conveniently, used the excuse of my gestational diabetes to get out of trying the meal worms! I am a little curious to see what they taste like though so maybe one day after I have the baby I'll pluck up the courage. 

Ready to try a meal worm

Crunch


If you're interested in trying caramelised meal worms San Francisco based company Don Bugito sells them here

And if you'd like meal worms for a reptilian friend try your local vivarium store!

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