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Those readers with a penchant for history will certainly know the story of the redoubtable Henry Wickham - the man who in 1876 "took" 70,000 rubber tree seeds from the Amazon, thereby laying the foundation for the British domination of the world's rubber trade.

Well, we're very pleased to report that the sort of spirit which carried fearless men in crumpled linen suits and Panama hats to the steaming jungles of Latin America is alive and well, in the form of Edible Ltd.

This intrepid outfit has just signed a three-year contract with a Colombian supplier to export 500kg of local culonas (fat-ass) ants to the UK, where they will compliment the company's impressive roster of edible invertebrates.

Among the delights awaiting the gourmet diner at Edible Ltd's website is the Vodkalix Lollipop, described thus:

A Vodka flavoured lollipop, which contains a real edible scorpion! The Scorpion is specially bred for human consumption and they are heat treated to remove toxins, so that they are safe to eat. The scorpion may even glow under ultra violet lights, so take them clubbing or you can enjoy them at home.

Scorpions are said to have many health benefits, and are also considered to be aphrodisiacs, so even more reason to lick on this exciting lolly!

Or if it's something for the kids you're after, check out the Cheddar Cheese Flavour Worm Crisps - 15 worms to a bag for £2.25. Sounds steep? Bear in mind that these are "farm raised specially for human consumption by Edible and are fed on a diet of select grains and cereals".

And as for the culonas ants, they sell at £10.95 per 25g bag and "taste similar to crisply fried bacon with an earthy taste".

Bootnote

Still not sold on the fat-ass ant? Here are further incentives to buy:

Hormigas Culonas are harvested in the Colombian Amazon by the Guane Indians, during the short rainy season between March and June. They are then toasted in a mud pot over an open fire by the Indians.

The Guane Indians believe that these Ants have youth giving and Aphrodisiac properties and they are often served as fertility giving marriage food during nuptial ceremonies.

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