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Tuesday, 23 April, 2002, 12:24 GMT 13:24 UK
'Waiter, there is an ant in my mash'
Scorpion lolly
A vodka-flavoured lollipop with an edible scorpion
A new restaurant in London is offering diners a new taste sensation - insects, worms and bugs.

The venture in the capital's East End is called Edible - but some may disagree.

Items on the menu include beer-battered insects, Kentucky fried bullfrog with gumbo gravy and Piranha fish and chips.

The restaurant is the idea of Todd Dalton, a 26-year-old entrepreneur from Louisiana, USA.

Is it good for you?
Pearls crushed to a fine powder are considered an aphrodisiac
Cobra is reputed to be a cure for rheumatism and helps sexual performance in men
Gold is said to bring riches and good fortune
Ants have a spicy & peppery flavour and are low in fat

The chef discovered and developed a taste for exotic foods when he travelled in the Far East.

Now he is offering London diners the chance to munch on chocolate-covered scorpions, alligator stew and 24-carat gold jelly.

Other dishes are rattlesnake spring rolls, stinging nettle soup and antelope steak with a side order of red ant mash.

Drinkers can have a glass of champagne with ground pearls added.

The menu includes Cobra Korma with pilau rice and ant popadoms for 30 and sweet and sour crocodile with ostrich egg fried rice.

And to finish dinner, how about a civet coffee?

The rarest and most expensive coffee in the world is made from beans picked from the droppings of the Common Palm Civet in Sumatra.

Mr Dalton says all the species are carefully farmed from captive animals, bred for the food market.

All products are imported under food standards guidelines and all meat is EU approved.

The new complex of bar, restaurant and shop will open in Exmouth Market on 29 April.

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See also:

10 Feb 02 | Health
Insects boost immune system
07 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
Crunchy bugs now in cans
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