The Incredible, Edible … Insect!?
10 Insects You Won’t Believe Are Edible
The act of eating insects is formally known as entomophagy and while many might consider this to be utterly disgusting, it’s actually old hat to many cultures around the world. That said, we’ve compiled a list of insects and creepy crawlers that you won’t believe people eat – a list of incredible, edible insects!
Although there are many varieties of grubs in nature, all of them have one thing in common – they couldn’t look more inedible. Between their slimy skin and their plump bodies that would likely ooze in your mouth, you’d think they’re off limits; however, both Huhu grubs and Witchetty grubs are eaten across the world and, despite their vile appearance, apparently they taste like peanut butter and/or nut-flavored scrambled eggs!
Very few things strike more fear in the hearts of men than the average spider but when it comes to tarantulas, forget about it! With that, you’d think that people would want to be as far away from these creepy crawlers as possible but, on the contrary, they’re considered quite the treat in Cambodia. Although food critics claim that there aren’t words in the English language to describe the taste of a deep-fried tarantula, their bodies are reportedly hairy, greasy and gooey. Gross!
3. Giant Dragonflies
Speaking of prehistoric, Giant Dragonflies, with their enormous wingspan and worm-like torsos, could easily conjure up some of the same over-sized worries; however, the folks in Indonesia love to fry these fearsome creatures in coconut oil and snack on them without a worry. You’d never guess it, but apparently they taste something like soft-shell crab!
Although the name is an immediate disqualifier for obvious edibility (no one wants to associate stink with food), people all around the world have been known to use Stinkbugs in their cooking. Because their taste is no more offensive than a sunflower seed (it’s more about the texture), in Indonesia a toasted batch of Stinkbugs is a common treat, while in Mexico the crispy critters are ground up with chilies and used as taco filling.
With the primary purpose of manufacturing the silk that clothes us, humans have managed to find a secondary purpose for the silkworm – satiation. Yep, although they look utterly disgusting, deep-fried silkworm pupae is a rubbery snack in China and while it may taste like “decomposing leaves,” it’s a valued source of vitamins and minerals … so much, in fact, that they’re used to feed malnourished children and as a health supplement for pregnant women.
When the mealworm was given its name because it feeds on grain meal, who would have guessed that they could also be used as an entire meal for humans? Well, much like grubs and silkworms, mealworms look squeamishly inedible but, because they fully take on the flavors in which they are cooked, they are used in many exotic dishes, such as mealworm spaghetti and a few Mexican recipes, as filler. If you can deal with the texture, the taste is whatever you want it to be!
7. Wasp and Wasp Larvae:
Any mention of the fear-inciting ingredient wasp is typically enough to land any dish in the inedible category and when you throw larvae into the mix, the case doesn’t get any stronger. However, as unappealing as it may seem, the Japanese commonly cook both adult wasps and wasp larvae in a soy sauce and sugar mixture to create a crunchy snack that is served over rice. If this doesn’t get you excited, wasp and wasp larvae are also boiled, sautéed, roasted and fried.
Jokingly referred to as The Lobster of the Desert, Scorpion-on-stick is an extremely common delight in China and many other foreign countries. With the stinger and the poisonous portion of the tail removed, these creepy crawlers are skewered on a kebab while still alive and fried in boiling oil to create a unique treat for only the bravest foodies around. As an added bonus to their “fishy taste,” the scorpion is said to possess immense healing powers against paralysis, cancer and much more.
If you’ve ever heard a swarm of cicadas chirping in the early hours of the morning, you’ve more than likely wanted to put them out of their misery but surely you didn’t consider the thought of eating them!? Well, whether you’re in select parts of the U.S. or in an Asian country, such as Japan, Thailand, or Malaysia, these cricket-like creatures can be boiled or fried to bring out the flavor-lacking gooey insides and the crunchy shell.
10. Walking Sticks:
If you’ve ever seen Indiana Jones reach his hand into that bug infested cubby hole in The Temple of Doom, you’d know full well that you’d never let an over-sized Walking Stick within 10 feet of you, however, folks in Asia and Papua New Guinea eat them willingly and somehow look past the prehistoric armor to enjoy the Walking Stick’s “leafy” insides.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of edible insects and were surprised by some of the bizarre options. Of course, now that you’ve seen this list, we trust you’ll look at insects and food a little differently than before.