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Tucker in!

Byline: Will Sutton

Putting the bite on bugs from TV's Celebrity menu

SHOPPERS walked into a travel agents and found themselves in a Bushtucker Trial - with maggots, worms and grasshoppers on the menu.

The First Choice travel shop in Hartlepool staged a feeding frenzy just like on the ITV show I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!.

Customers who could stomach the challenge got to eat chilli maggots, Thai green curry grasshoppers and the biggest of the bunch - a large black Mopani worm.

Shoppers had to eat all three of the oven baked varieties to get their names entered in a prize draw for pounds 500 holiday vouchers.

Store manager Hannah Lakey said: "We've had a couple of near regurgitations.

"But some women have been really brave and have been eating them like sweets."

The challenge was open to shoppers over the age of 16 and each diner was told the bugs had been raised on farms and fed a variety of grains and cereals.

The Mopani worm is a sun-dried caterpillar from South Africa and is the brightly coloured caterpillar of the Emperor Moth variety, one of the largest moths in the world.

Assistant manager Rachel Shanks tried the chilli maggots and the Mopani worm along with customers. She said: "The maggots are all right but that big black horrible thing was disgusting. It tasted like wood or bark and you had to keep chewing but you couldn't swallow it."

WILL'S VERDICT

GAZETTE reporter Will Sutton tried all three: "I actually eat like Homer Simpson, despite my slim physique, so chomping on these bugs was no problemo.

"The grasshopper was dry and dusty but it was nothing I couldn't handle.

"The maggot thing was OK and I can imagine men across the Asian continent sitting down to eat those with a can of beer.

"But that big black Mopani worm just wouldn't go down - it was in my mouth for ages."
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Title Annotation:News Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Nov 29, 2005
Words:323
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