Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2003 15:08:02 -0500

Author: Gregory Mulhollan

Subject: Re: sulfur hexafluouride HAZARDS



Another interesting error is an urban legend related to a worm. The
worm-in-the-bottle myth is old and tired. The truth has been broadcast
and expounded for years by the cognoscenti of tequila, in newspapers,
magazines and on the internet. Yes, it’s true, some American-bottled
brands put one in their bottle to impress the gringos and boost sales,
but it was a marketing ploy developed in the 1940s, not a Mexican

Sometimes however, there is a worm, properly a butterfly caterpillar, in
some types of mezcal. You may also get a small bag of worm salt and
chile powder tied to a mezcal bottle. There are two types of worms in
mezcal: the red, gusano rojo—considered superior because it lives in the
root and heart of the maguey—and the less-prized white or gold gusano de
oro, which lives on the leaves. The red gusano turns pale in the mezcal,
the gold turns ashen-gray. Both larvae are commonly eaten as food and
are sold in Zapotec markets.
Yes, you’re supposed to eat the worm in mezcal. Don’t worry: it’s quite
well pickled and free of pesticides (they’re often raised just for use
in mezcal, cooked and pickled in alcohol for a year). But dispel any
idea it has any magical or psychotropic properties, that it’s an
aphrodisiac or the key to an “unseen world.” It’s merely protein and
alcohol—but it’s very rich in imagery.
On Friday, September 5, 2003, at 02:45 PM, Anthony Lapinski wrote:

> Taking a break from the SF6 discussion, my chemistry colleague and I
> were
> talking about the "worm" at the bottom of a certain brand of tequila.
> Not
> sure about the physics of this question, but does anyone know the
> history/reason behind this unusual thing? Was the worm placed in to
> check
> on the "strength" of the alcohol in the old days?

From Fri Sep 5 16:05:13 2003
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2003 15:08:02 -0500
Subject: Re: sulfur hexafluouride HAZARDS
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