Eating bugs today is going mainstream, especially to those people who are health-conscious. At first, it may seem gross and unacceptable to put these bugs on your plate, much more inside your mouth, but these bugs are surprisingly edible. Some of these are actually traditional delicacies in many parts of the world.
While they were only popular with ethnic communities before, there has been a growing acceptance of these edible bugs even with gourmet restaurants. They are crunchy, healthy, and surprisingly delicious! What more can you ask for? Find out which bugs you can try serving next for family dinner in this list of 10 Disgusting Bugs That Are Surprisingly Edible!
Eating grasshopper is very common in Mexico. A very popular dish of grasshopper among the locals is roasted one. The grasshoppers are roasted until crunchy and then tossed with chili and lime to taste. Because of this, it usually tastes salty and spicy. Whenever you are travelling in Oaxaca, you can find these snacks sold at street stands and in the market. It is eaten just like you are eating chips!
9- Big-butt Ants
Big-butt ants are common delicacies in Colombia. It is locally known as “hormigas culonas”, a species of winged leaf-cutter ants the size of a regular cockroach. Often, they are roasted to crunch, salted, and eaten like peanuts. But they are also used as toppings for pizza or used as ant sauce served in beef tenderloin or pork cutlets. These ants are usually harvested during the months of March to May, when the princes and princesses of the colony fly towards the sun for mating.
8- Mopane Worm
Mopane worms are usually eaten in Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe. It is a specie of caterpillar, characterized by blue and green spikes all over its body. Its lives in Mopane trees; hence, its name. When it comes to eating it, it is most popular because of its high protein content.
Before being dried in the sun or smoked, the worm is squeezed first to eliminate the green slime from its gut. Then, it is usually served with sauce or stirred in the stew for some flavor.
7- Palm Weevil Larva
The Palm Weevil larva is commonly eaten in countries of Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, and Malaysia. Actually, it is already a rural staple in these countries because of its high protein content. Other than that, it is also rich in potassium and calcium. When raw, this larva usually tastes like coconut, but, when cooked, many people attest that it almost tastes like bacon! It is served in many different ways like roasted or fried in sago flour. But you can also eat it raw and straight from the tree!
One of the most common edible bugs is crickets. There are even branded cricket snacks that you can buy in markets! These bugs have an earthy and nutty flavor when roasted, but they are usually seasoned with other tasty flavors for marketing such as salt and vinegar, bacon and cheese, and sour cream and onion.
These bugs are popularly eaten in the northeast portion of Thailand, where “pregnant” crickets are very in demand as a delicious snack for only $6!
Despite its stink, stinkbug is actually a rural staple in Mexico and Southern Africa from which they are commonly referred to as jumbles. These bugs have high nutritional value, especially Vitamin B. But before it is prepared, it has to be soaked in warm water first in order to eliminate the stench.
Then, it is either beheaded to be eaten fresh and raw (like what they do in Mexico), ground up with chili for tacos, or boiled or dried under the sun like how locals do in Africa. When cooked, these bugs have a taste similar to cinnamon.
4- Witchetty Grubs
The witchetty grubs are commonly eaten in Australia, particularly by their ethnic communities. Because of its exceptionally high protein content, it often serves as a principal source of protein in the Aboriginal diet. This is not a surprise in edible bugs, because they are usually consumed as a protein alternative in rural communities.
These bugs are a species of moths or beetle larvae, characterized as being large and fleshy. They are often roasted lightly over coals but they can also be eaten straight from the white wood, which they consume as food.
While termites consume wooden houses, in Africa and some parts of Indonesia, they are consumed by the locals. Actually, they eating bugs like termites is already a way of life for them. But they are also eaten in Australia and some parts of South America as well. They are either eaten slightly roasted over coals or fried in oil, before being seasoned with salt. But if you have the guts, you can consume it raw! Interestingly, termites may even taste like carrots!
2- Bug Suckers
If you find munching on raw edible bugs as impossible, why not gradually introduce it to your diet as desserts? Bug suckers are basically lollipops with a bug inside it. These are commonly sold all around America, sold in shopping malls and candy stores. Some of the few insects and bugs that are encased in this sweet treat are scorpions, worms, crickets, and grasshoppers. Plus, they can also come sugar-free!
1- Casu Marzu
Other than bug suckers, you can also enjoy eating edible bugs in cheeses. One of the most popular types of cheeses with this interesting addition is Casu Marzu. It is a type of cheese made from sheep’s milk, filled with crawling worms or maggots. It is commonly made in Sardinia, Italy. Basically, this very soft cheese is fermented until it decomposes and larvae start to develop inside. On its surface, you can find crawling worms while the inside is abundantly filled with maggots.