And now, Scary-Crayon reviews...
Fluker's Chocolate Covered Crickets
by: Wes

Simpsons in the sky.So as I noted in a recent blog entry, I skipped town for a few days to look into some things in another town. The trip didn't go so well, but that's not the point of this introduction -- I merely mean to point out that when one is in a strange and unfamiliar place, one is likely to end up doing strange and unfamiliar things. Things like riding in speedboats and hanging out in piano bars until well past 3 AM. Things like buying DVDs from Thai women out of shopping carts in dark corners of subway terminals. Things like going to random walk-in acting auditions and job interviews on the thirtieth floors of skyscrapers. Things like watching "The Simpsons" in tiny hostel rooms on televisions elevated as high as basketball rims and then turning the damned things off not because one hates Seinfeld but because staring upwards for extended periods of time can become most uncomfortable. Things like eating chocolate covered crickets.

Which brings us to Scary-Crayon's review of Fluker Farm's Chocolate Covered Cricket(s), the photography and tasting for which I did out of an unassuming hostel in New York City's upper West side. Standing outside and staring up at the building, who could possibly have known that, within, someone was engaging in unspeakably gross acts of consumption befitting of a servant of the evil vampire lord Dracula himself? Well, I might've known, seeing as how I had the chocolate covered cricket in my possession -- but other than me, NO ONE! So once I had checked in, retrieved my suit from the gym bag in which I had folded it and hung it up in the closet, all the while cursing the fact that my spray container of wrinkle releaser had come undone, leaving my clothes soaked yet smelling fresh from the dryer, I retrieved the small plastic pouch containing one chocolate covered cricket from a compartment on my backpack and, with camera in hand, set out to document the experience.

Seriously, would you wear that in public?Bug and Gold.

Interestingly enough, the first thing I noticed wasn't the golden foil-wrapped chocolate containing "one oven-roasted cricket," but Fluker Farm's exclusive "I Ate A Bug Club" button -- my eventual reward for ingesting the damned thing. Why any guy (or girl) would wear a button that essentially says, "Yo, world, I'm one nasty motherfucker!" and ensures that no girls will ever kiss him (or her) is up for grabs, but it's nice that they give you a prize for your trouble. Everybody likes prizes. Everybody likes clubs (except baby seals). Best of both worlds.

Crickets are protein-free.I then flipped the package over to find the wrapped chocolate covered cricket and its nutrition facts, which really aren't even worth mentioning because these things have almost no nutritional merit whatsoever. We'd all heard that crickets were full of protein, but apparently that claim was as false as the lie you told your girlfriend last night to get her to swallow. (Shame on you.) I'm not at all surprised to find that these crickets don't contain any dietary fiber, though -- I once had an anole that fed exclusively on crickets and that fucker was always constipated, crawling along the side of the terrarium and leaving shit sticking to the glass the way he did. Rest in peace, Snap! I wonder if shit sticks to clouds.

Um... is that a piece of cricket sticking out?!Bloody hell.

And there it is, folks -- the chocolate covered cricket in all its unwrapped glory. As you can see, at first glance it almost looks like an ordinary chocolate... until you notice a slight bulge at the bottom and something apparently sticking out of it. Using that point as a seam, I broke the chocolate open to reveal -- holy fuck -- the poor cricket in all his oven-roasted glory, complete with a fucking leg sticking out of the chocolate. On the other half, you can see the imprint of his body and everything -- I almost felt like a paleontologist, except I knew that I was now expected to eat my decidedly unappetizing scientific findings. As you can tell by the look on my face in the photo below, that knowledge did not fill me with glee.

I don't wanna, Mommy!So how did it taste, you ask? Well -- to be perfectly honest with you -- I kinda lied in the introduction. This isn't the first time that I've sampled Fluker Farm's oven-roasted insect candy, so it wasn't an entirely new experience. On the previous occasions, I found that while the chocolate was okay -- definitely inferior to Hershey's, Dove, and other such commercial fare, but is there such a thing as bad chocolate??? -- the cricket itself had the inoffensive but relatively unpleasant taste of dirt with a hint of grass. So while they aren't terrible, the only reason to eat these as opposed to, say, a miniature Krackel bar, is so that you can go around bragging about how daring you are and forcing your friends to smell your "bug breath" -- hence the inclusion of the large and telling button in the package. Fluker Farm knows where its butter is.

However, the last time I tried a chocolate covered cricket, it had been stored at room temperature, as opposed to having been in my backpack all day while I navigated the streets of New York and Jersey City in fairly hot weather. So when I finally made it to the hostel room around 7:00 in the evening, the chocolate wasn't quite melted, but it was definitely soft -- and honestly, though I tasted the subpar chocolate and I felt the familiar cricket crunch, I can't say that I noticed the hint of dirt and grass to which I had previously become accustomed. It just tasted like an inferior chocolate -- the kind of thing you'd get at half price from the dollar store in the aftermath of a major holiday. And honestly I'm not sure what to think of that. I mean, if I hadn't seen this cricket in this candy -- you saw it; we all did -- I'd have been inclined to deny that a cricket had been inside in the first place. I'd have instead believed that perhaps Fluker's had delivered me a fluke, thereby sparing my tongue the displeasure of having an oven-roasted cricket pressed against its tastebuds. In concluding this review, I would've joked that the lizard on the button got to the cricket before I did, or perhaps I would've invented a story about how the missing cricket escaped from the oven and went on to lead a happy life with a cricket wife and beautiful, white powder-covered cricket babies, with all of them making beautiful cricket music by sawing their legs together the way they do.

But there's no denying it, folks -- it was there -- and that means that it's entirely possible for a cricket to have no distinguishing flavor whatsoever. Take a moment to consider the terrible implications of this fact. Every crunchy chocolate you've ever eaten could have contained a cricket. Assuming you didn't break open each and every one and thoroughly inspect it, how would you know? Combos crunch -- are you sure that there wasn't a cricket nestled within that pepperoni pizza-flavored filling? Anything that crunches could contain a cricket. Crickets could be everywhere -- in all manner of edible food. And considering that the FDA actually makes allowances for a certain percentage of food to be made up of stray insect parts... well, you see the horror of our situation.

We could all be members.We could all be members.


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