Ishtar gave me the idea of doing a blog post on edible insects.
The very first insects I ate. According to my mom, I became very adept at hiding them from her, tossing them into my mouth when she wasn’t looking. I can’t remember how they tasted but they must have been good — I hope…
I almost tried these once back when I was little and loved to eat every creeping thing. My mom slapped the poor insect out of my hand — the way she did when I attempted to eat a cockroach (if you’ve ever eaten a roach, I’m still curious as to how they taste). I heard they’re good though.
As the house captain in secondary school, I got a lot of presents from parents and their kids alike. I really think it was during this period I ate the greatest variety of food. Roasted grasshoppers were crisp, but that was that. Most of the taste came from the sauce I had them with.
Larvae of some insect (don’t ask me which) found in rotting palm tree logs. On a tastiness scale of 10, I’d give them a 12. If you haven’t seen them before, they’re what Timon of Lion King fame relishes, and no, you won’t have to spit them out like Pumbaa does.
They’re found mainly in the South (at least I didn’t see them when I was up North) and very popular in the Niger Delta. People traveling a lot by road have probably come across brown ‘things’ on sticks sold by the hawkers chanting ‘edible.’ I guess most people decide not to try it when they discover ‘edible’ means ‘edible maggots.’ They’re not maggots…
I still don’t know how to differentiate between locusts and grasshoppers, but if you asked me, my answer would be along the lines of ‘locusts taste better’ — especially with palm oil and pepper. I’d give them up only for termites or grubs.
I ate a handful of these only once when I was hungry in secondary school. A friend of mine had a bag of roasted termites. On the tastiness scale, I’ll put them right behind grubs. They’re simply awesome and crunchy.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had any opportunity since then. The same friend ate them raw when it was time for them to swarm. According to him, they were just as tasty, but I couldn’t be persuaded to try stripping the wings off one and throwing the wriggling, very-much-alive ‘mite into my mouth.
What insects have you eaten?