Meals made of insects may seem like a weird concept to many; however in some cultures entomophagy- eating insects, is a common practice. Perhaps it’s the look of the insect or the thought of swallowing something with crunchy little legs and a squishy inside that makes people get a bit grossed out (maybe just me?). Oddly enough most people consume insects unknowingly everyday… don’t believe me, just read this report from the Food and Drug Administration that shows a certain allowance of bug parts in our processed foods to be deemed acceptable. Perhaps after being made aware that it’s ok your canned spaghetti sauce contain 2-3 maggots in it, you might not think these weird meals below are so strange after all.
Eating cooked buttery snails, a French cuisine delight or a creepy slimy nightmare? Steamed snails prepared with butter and garlic are a simple appetizer you can find served in a number of fine restaurants throughout the US and Europe.
Tom Yum with Scorpions or Giant Silk Worms
In the mood for Thai? How about some Tom Yum or Tom Kha soup with a few high protein scorpions or giant silk worms? If you are not a fan of the soup you can eat these insects steamed or BBQ’d with a side of rice and a cold beer (actually I might recommend a cold beer or a few shots of tequila for the rest of the meals below as well).
Insect sushi is sort of the latest thing in Japan- its high in protein, rather inexpensive, and supposedly tasty. A few grub worms, some lightly fried crickets, a centipede of sorts all lay delicately on a bed of sushi. Not as scary as eating them on a skewer perhaps, but still not sure I could do it.
A stinky, weeping, larvae infested cheese mostly found in the city of Sardinia, Italy; casu marzu is a unique dish that some seem to enjoy… really? The dish begins as a large piece of sheep’s milk cheese in which larvae are deliberately added to promote a level of fermentation which apparently makes the cheese taste better? Help me understand this! These tiny worms can also jump 6 inches in the air if startled while eating… so avoid loud talkers and sneezing at all cost. Oh, and be sure to chew rather well because if the insects make their way to your stomach alive they will also chew on your insides much like the cheese they once loved. A shot of tequila would not be strong enough here… I’d go straight for the IV drip.
Crushed Giant Water Bug Paste
Giant water bugs are one of the larger known insects, growing in size from 1.5 inches to 4 inches long. A true delicacy in Asia and Thailand, many locals eat them steamed or mash them into a sweet or spicy dipping sauce for other edible insects, rice, or vegetables… nom nom!
Cooked Huhu Grubs
Huhu grubs are the larvae of huhu beatles and are pretty large. A traditional Maori food in New Zealand, these grubs are usually cooked and eaten as a snack. Apparently they either taste like peanut butter or chicken… go figure.
Nothing like gnawing on a deep fried, lightly seasoned, big fat hairy tarantula to curb your hunger. (sorry… I just threw up in my mouth a little bit)
Ant Brood Tacos
With enough hot sauce (or tequila) I suppose you could eat anything, right? How about these yummy looking tacos made with the larvae of ants? Tossed together with some peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, and sauce, wrapped in a flour tortilla, you’d probably never know you were eating ant eggs! (note to self: avoid late night taco stand trips in Mexico) Need the recipe?
Banana Worm Bread
I am not sure why you would want to add worms to banana bread, but apparently you can and some do! Army worms are a great source of protein, so perhaps if added to banana bread it makes a heartier dish. Fortunately the worms are roasted prior to being added to the batter so they aren’t alive, but there is just something not right about dead worms and an old fashioned comfort food mixed together that doesn’t sit right with me.
Crunchy Bee Larvae
Bee and wasp larvae actually contain one of the highest percentages of edible protein of any insect- around 80%! Perhaps there is something to be said about eating bugs after all. Bee and wasp larvae are usually fried in a sugary seasoning and taste sweet with a crunchy yet crumbly texture.
Fried Silk Worms
Silk is actually made by boiling the silkworm cocoons, so there are a large number of pupae left over and it seems that they make a nice little meal. These silk worm pupae are fried in oil and served with a delightful sauce- a true delicacy for some and a freaky nightmare for me.
Inago no Tsukudani (Grasshoppers)
Simmered grasshopper with a dash of sweet soy sauce is a traditional Japanese cuisine. Again, an insect high in protein and low in fat, it makes a popular meal for many bug lovers.
Digger Wasp Rice Crackers
These really weird looking rice crackers from Japan are made with LARGE digger wasps… whole, not even mashed up! I guess it was the end result of a wasp problem in a small town outside of Tokyo. I applaud them for their creative solution, but these look scary… really scary to eat.
Zazamushi is an aquatic insect larvae dish readily available in Japan, both canned and commonly found in restaurants. The Zazamushi meal includes all the larvae found at the river bottom so it is not one exact type of insect, but a multitude of them boiled and served with a bit of soy sauce… oh, yum.
Sign up for latest news and updates sent to your inbox for free!
itThing.com is run by a small group of people who cover things that are considered the “it thing” of the moment. Basically, if it’s something that is talked about by others, you’ll most likely find it here. From articles that dive into everything there is to learn about a particular subject to funny videos and pictures, you’ll find it all here. Oh and did we mention we regularly compile informational infographics that float around on the web. All in all, ithing.com is a platform where fun and information are merged together!