In several parts of the world from East Asia to West Africa, various types of ants, worms and insects have been popular delicacies.
When we see a lot of these animals around us, they do not look like what we would order at a restaurant, but when raised cleanly and prepared with a good recipe, they are some of the tastiest sources of protein.
Also from an ecological standpoint, insects are very environmentally friendly. A United Nations report found that the livestock industry is responsible for generating more greenhouse gas emissions than transport. That means the burgers, chicken, and pork we are eating are technically worse for our environment than our cars. Insects require much fewer resources in terms of food, water, and land space that, as David Gracer of SmallStock Foods puts it, “Cows and pigs are the SUVs of the food world. And bugs—they’re the Priuses, maybe even bicycles.”
Here is a list of popular edible insects
Agave worm: Also known as the maguey worm, these larvae of either the Hypopta agavis moth or the Aegiale hesperiaris are sometimes included in tequila bottles as proof of authenticity and alcohol content (tequila must be of high enough proof to preserve the worm). In Mexico, they are also eaten as part of a meal and are highly nutritious.
Bamboo worm: Often eaten fried in Thailand, they are the larvae of the Grass Moth, and eat their way through bamboo before metamorphosing.
Leafcutter ants, also known as Hormigas Culonas in Spanish (which means big-butted ant) are eaten mainly in South America. They are said to taste like a cross between bacon and pistachio, and are usually eaten toasted. In Colombia, they are sold like popcorn at movie theaters.
Lemon ants are found in the Amazon jungle and are said to taste like just that: lemons.
Bee: Bee larvae, especially, are prized in many cultures as tasty morsels. Think about it, all they eat is royal jelly, pollen, and honey! The larvae, when sauteed in butter, taste much like mushroomy bacon. Adult bees may also be eaten, often roasted (roast bee!) and then ground into a nutritious flour. In China, ground bees are used as a remedy for a sore throat.
Centipede: they are often found as street food in China.
Cockroach: Yes, you can eat cockroaches! Just not the ones you find around your house. Contrary to popular belief, cockroaches can actually be very clean and tasty insects, especially if they are fed on fresh fruits and vegetables. They can be eaten toasted, fried, sauteed, or boiled. Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches even have a taste and texture like greasy chicken.
Cricket: eaten fried, sauteed, boiled, and roasted, these are amongst the most common insects eaten. Eaten in Mexico, Thailand, Cambodia and Nigeria
known to be high in protein and iron, eaten by various peoples such as the native Yekuana of Venezuela.
Grasshopper: in Mexico, these are eaten roasted with chile and lime, and are known as chapulines. They are high in protein and calcium. (image via)
Hornworm: Every tomato farmer’s enemy, tomato Hornworms can be fried up much the same as the fruit of the plant on which they feed. They taste a bit like green tomatoes, shrimp, and crab. Now you can eat that worm eating up your tomato plant.
Locust: the locust is one of the few insects condoned by the bible. Leviticus 11:22: Even these of them ye may eat: the locust after its kind, and the bald locust after its kind, and the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind. Do i need to say more!
Mopane worm: largely eaten in Southern Africa, during their season, mopane worms can fetch a higher market price than beef. When dried, they are said to taste like an earthy jerky.
in East Africa, these are pressed into solid blocks and cooked into Kunga Cake.
Nsenene: This tasty grasshopper is a Ugandan delicacy.
Usually prepared fried. David Gracer suggests that they taste like “a cross between chicken, shrimp, and croutons.”
Scorpion: Often found skewered and fried in Thailand and China. Scorpions tend to have a flavor like soft-shell crab.
Termite: Termites are often eaten raw straight out of the mound in places like Kenya.
Have you ever eaten an insect? which of these would you like to try? share your experience in the comment section