They say travel broadens the mind, but does it strengthen the stomach? You will often hear that one should travel and eat like a local. But will it bug you if the natives eat… insects? Even the most open-minded foodie will think twice before trying the 5 insect delicacies below. Which one would you dare to try?
1. Witchetty Grubs – Australia
The first of our insect delicacies might not look like the most appetizing thing you ever saw but, for the Aussie Aborigines, it is a must. They collect the moths from tree roots and roast them over open fire. Next time you are in Australia and have a craving for barbecue, you know what to do: Witchetty grubs!
photo credit: Kaptain Kobold via photopin cc
2. Deep-fried A-Ping – Cambodia
The “a-ping” is a variety of tarantula spider common in Cambodia. This edible spider is a popular delicacy in Skuon, a market-town north of Phnom Penh. This arachnid is fried with garlic and other local spices until it is crispy on the outside and gooey-yummy inside. This is a street dish is among the world insect delicacies that a true foodie must try at least once.
photo credit: Matthew L Stevens via photopin cc
3. Escamol – Mexico
The consumption of escamoles goes back as far as the Aztec era. It consists of ant larvae, harvested from Agave roots, fried or made into stew. Those who tasted it describe it to be nutty with a fine crunchy texture. Escamol is much appreciated around Mexico City where it is best savored with tortillas and guac.
4. Casu Marzu – Italy
Didn’t have enough larvae? What about “Maggot Cheese” for dessert! Sardinia has a traditional sheep cheese that locals consume only once it started decomposing. To speed up fermentation, they introduce insect larvae into it; hence the name which means “rotten cheese”. Note that some people eat the cheese along with its occupants. You must have a strong stomach to try this one.
5. Mopane worm – Southern Africa
The Mopane worm is a staple food in many countries of southern Africa: South Africa, Botswana, etc. Locals rip the guts out of the Gonimbrasia Belina worm before sautéing it with spices. It is a dish served in large boil and meant to be shared as a common meal.
Did these mouthwatering insect delicacies open your appetite? Which ones have you tried or have on your culinary bucket list? Have you tried the Mexican chapulines?