It took some prodding and a side of mint ice cream to get Regan Meyer to even agree to try the Cold Stone Creamery's new delicacy.

"I can't believe I'm doing this," the 20-year-old said, but she stuck the spoon in her mouth and bit down.

"Eeuuuw! I can feel the cricket!"

Yes, crickets — baked, dipped in chocolate and mixed into ice cream. The national ice cream store chain with eight locations in Utah is trying to give its customers a taste of "Survivor," though somewhat sweetened from the television experience where the contestants ate insects straight.

Like the show, Cold Stone Creamery is dangling a prize to tempt the timid: free ice cream on the next visit and entry into a raffle for a trip to the Australian filming site of the CBS reality show.

"We just wanted to have fun with it," said Brian Curin, director of marketing for Cold Stone Creamery, based in Scottsdale, Ariz. He said the campaign is the most innovative in the company's 13-year history. All 142 stores in 26 states, primarily in the West and South, are participating.

Patty Gardiner, who owns a Cold Stone Creamery in Salt Lake City, said she had sold about 50 two-cricket servings since the store started the promotion a week ago. A serving costs 49 cents.

"One guy ate 10 crickets all by himself," she said. "He loved them; just kept buying them."

Meyer, after swallowing her sample and regaining her composure, said: "I guess it really didn't taste all that bad. It was just the idea."

Others sampling the crickets said they tasted like a Kit Kat bar — crunchy and chocolaty.

Gardiner's crickets come from a candy company called Hotlix that specializes in bug-based treats, like its Tequila lollipop with a worm inside. The company raises, bakes and sells crickets, maggots, cockroaches, ants and worms for general consumption. On special occasions it produces scorpions and mosquito larvae.

For chocolate-covered crickets, Hotlix raises about 10,000 crickets in cages until they are about six weeks old, then forces them into hibernation, or nearly frozen, and bakes them for about five minutes. Then they are doused in chocolate.

Hotlix owner Larry Peterman said the crickets could be "gut-loaded" or fed bananas, apples or grass to give them a different flavor.

The Utah Department of Health hasn't received any complaints from the Cold Stone Creamery's cricket eaters.

"I would be more concerned about people eating too much chocolate than too many crickets," said Stephen McDonald, the health department's marketing director.