Friday, July 24, 2020

Eating Insects!

Spider, Tarantula, Creepy, Scary Insects are eaten in many countries around the world.  Many people in African countries such as The Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Congo,Cameroon, South Africa, and others regularly each catapillers, termites, grasshoppers, and more.

In Mexico, they eat a variety of bugs fried, dipped in chocolate, or in Mezcal and in certain Asian countries like Thailand, they also consume insects.  Insects are not a normal part of American cuisine.

Most Americans when faced with eating bugs are likely to turn green and refuse but there are people and cultures out there where insects provide protein in the diet.  I had a friend who stated chocolate covered grasshoppers are quite good.  No, I've never tried them as I'm a vegetarian.

1.  Let's start off with grasshoppers.  Grasshoppers are a common food in Mexico especially in the Oaxoca region. These creatures are eaten straight or used as topping.  Clean the grasshoppers before grilling them with lime and chili and then enjoy.

2.  Check out deep fried tarantulas for dinner.  To prepare, freeze the spiders first before removing the abdomen sack and singe the hairs off using a butane torch.  Finally, make a tempura batter, dip the tarantulas in the batter and fry in hot oil till nicely done.  Quick and easy to fix.

3. Mealworm Arancini is another possibility.  Arancini is a fried ball made up of rice, covered in breadcrumbs and fried till done.  In this case, mealworms are added into the mixture to increase the protein level.

4.  You can also take the grasshoppers, saute them with chopped garlic, chili de arbol oil, salt and Spanish peanuts.  It's a traditional snack in Mexico and it is often served with mezcal.

5. Dragonflies are easy to prepare.  They are prepared in the same way as fried fish.  You dip the dragonfly in an egg wash, cover in a seasoned flour mixture and fry in hot oil till crisp, about 30 seconds on each side.  Serve with a sauce made out of butter, soy sauce, and Dijon mustard and a side of sautéed mushrooms.

6. Get your hands on Mescal worms also known as Gusanos de maguey.  Sautee them up white onion, butter, olive oil, till nice and crispy, then finish off with Serrano peppers and fresh parsley.  Wrap a scoop of the mixture in a corn tortilla and enjoy as a taco.

In Thailand, a favorite way of cooking is to season grasshoppers, crickets, and woodworms before frying them till crispy.  This is a favorite street food there.  On the other hand, many people in Ghana rely on termites to get enough protein in their diet. They even add the termites to bread to raise the level of protein.

If you are interested in adding insects to your cooking but are not up to the eating them whole or you have a member who is a bit squeamish, you can purchase something like cricket flour and use it in any recipe that calls for flour.  You only replace part of the flour, about 1/3rd with the insect flour and continue as normal.  You can get locust flour, silkworm flour, or other type of flour.  You can order cricket flour from Amazon.

If you don't feel comfortable trying to make things from scratch you can purchase ready to use mixes such as chocolate chip cookies or brownie mix with cricket flour and such from Amazon.  You just add eggs, vegetable oil, and water, mix and bake.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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