“The whole scorpion is edible and also it’s complete of protein,” the bartender assured me just prior to I popped the booze-soaked arachnid in between my teeth at Reyes Salón Cantina, a Guadalajara bar well known for that scorpion shots.

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"The entirety scorpion is edible and also it's complete of protein," Rafael de la Cuesta told me together he inside wall up 4 shots the mezcal v a scorpion submerged in each glass. He climate sprinkled seed of dried ice right into the shoot glasses, making the mezcal bubble and give off smoke while the inch-long scorpions danced together if they to be still alive.

"You have the right to either eat the scorpion first and then do the shot, or you can swallow it whole as if it to be a pill,"he defined helpfully. "I recommend eating it first. That means you acquire the complete experience."


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De la Cuesta, 33, is the heavily tattooed head bartender in ~ Reyes Salón Cantina, a bar in Guadalajara famed for its scorpion shots.

"When we opened the bar, we want to perform something different, to have actually a unique selling allude that civilization would understand us for," that told me together the bar began to fill up one Friday evening. "One of our partners discussed one day that there to be a many scorpions in ~ his farm, and also that was what offered us the idea."

That's all well and good, however shouldn't the cantina's customers be concerned about ingesting venemous arthropods?

"We walk a industry study and also we spoke to Mexico's federal environmental agency to make certain that everything was legal, and that there would certainly be no hazard of anyone gift poisoned,"de la Cuesta assured me.

"We learned several varieties of scorpion and also carried the end toxicology exams in ~ a breeding center to uncover out just how poisonous each type is. They told united state there are 120 types of scorpion in Mexico, however there are only 20 here in Jalisco state. Of these, just one is venomous, however if the stings you it will certainly only reason your skin to puff up for a few days. There's no peril of death."

The Reyes team finally settled on the Centruroides baergi, a small, sandy-colored types belonging come the Buthidae, or bark scorpion, family. It is one of the the very least venomous varieties around, de la Cuesta assured me.

The bar sources the scorpions from a breeding center in Tenzompa, a tiny village in Jalisco's north highlands, and also sells lock to customers at 50 mexican pesos ($3) each, to add the cost of a shoot or bottle of Agua Maldita, one artisanal mezcal made from espadín joven agave in the southern state that Oaxaca.


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De la Cuesta defined that they chose to offer the scorpions through mezcal, tequila's smokier and also often more powerful cousin, because it's currently enjoying a eight in popularity across Mexico's best cities. Agua Maldita to be an obvious an option because it currently comes through a scorpion in every bottle.

"They're really popular. We normally sell around 200 scorpions a mainly or also 250 in a great week," dehe said. "The sugars in the mezcal save the scorpions fresh and also prevent them from biodegrading, so girlfriend won't acquire sick from eating them."

A slick, modern-day take on the timeless Mexican cantina, Reyes is decked out through rows of wooden shelves behind the bar, all neatly lined with numerous bottles. Situated near Plaza Andares, Guadalajara's poshest shopping mall, it draws a group of affluent young Mexicans and foreign tourists eager to try the signature shot.

"They're more popular among men, that order castle to display off exactly how brave they are, however we also get ladies asking because that them the end of curiosity," de la Cuesta said.

"We also get a lot of foreign tourists due to the fact that there's a hotel throughout the street in front of us. Many human being know about us because of the scorpions. It's weird, we'll get people from Australia comes in asking, 'Where are the scorpions?'"

Reyes has proved for this reason popular due to the fact that its start in 2013 the the owners have opened various other branches in Tijuana, Aguascalientes, and also Culiacan. While Reyes stays the just bar in Guadalajara through a license to offer scorpions, several various other establishments, including upmarket restaurants in Mexico City and tourist bars in Isla Mujeres, have also begun offer them through mezcal or tequila shots.

To uncover out what all the fuss to be about, I chose it to be time for me come finally shot a scorpion or two. Reaching right into my still-steaming shooting of mezcal, ns pulled the end the arachnid and also popped it in between my teeth.

Having absorbed the earthy mezcal, the scorpion had actually no distinctive smell of that own. It was mostly crunchy in texture, however biting into its abdomen released a squishy liquid center. After about ten seconds of chewing the legs, stinger, and also pincers, i washed it down with the mezcal and bit right into a slice of orange dusted through chile powder. It to be a unique and not unpleasant experience.

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I climate downed another shot, this time swallowing the scorpion whole. The went under easily, favor an oddly shame pill—but without any taste or structure to appreciate, it was not half as fulfilling as chewing it down. Favor de la Cuesta said, if you're going to eat a scorpion, girlfriend might as well get the complete experience.