Is this traditional?
So why is there worms?
Reason # 1:
“A gastronomic genius named Jacobo Lozano Páez discovered in 1940 that the “worms” changed the taste of the spirit (makes you wonder, doesn’t it)”
And this is actually true as even though hardly perceived in the palate, the DNA of the insect is dissolved in the spirit!
Reason # 2: This is a remarkably low cost marketing tool but this is, good producers argue, also a sign of cheap Mezcal and it denigrates the whole category. At least the presence of scorpions without its stinger is forbidden by the Consejo.
Reason # 3: To prove the alcohol proof was high enough. It has indeed been argued that it is a proof there is enough alcohol in the spirit, for under 40% abv, the worm would rapidly disintegrate.
What kind of worms?
The most common type of larva is the Agave Snout Weevil and the larva of a moth named Hypopta Agavis.
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