In fact, a person is an omnivore, many are simply not ready to accept this fact. And this should not be surprising - there is more protein in such creatures than in chicken meat.
Insects contain a lot of magnesium, iron, and other important elements. In the end, many people find such dishes just delicious! Experts estimate that there are 1462 species of edible insects in the world. Hardly anyone can try them in their entire life. After all, it will take a long time to travel around a bunch of places.
True, today, thanks to the Internet, it is no longer necessary to go to Thailand, New Guinea or Uganda for exotic insects. There are dozens of companies trading these creatures online. Thanks to them, you can cook some of the unusual dishes with insects at home.
Fried bamboo worms. This exotic dish can be tasted in Latin America, as well as in China and Thailand. It has long become a tradition for Thais to start their lunch not with soup or salad, like Europeans, but with a plate of bamboo worms fried in oil. This dish is reminiscent of popcorn in taste and texture. The worms do not have a pronounced taste, but they are very nutritious. Yes, and these are not worms at all, but the larvae of the grass moth of the family of fire-grass moths that live in bamboo. Usually, bamboo stalks are cut to collect them. But not so long ago, breeding of larvae has even become a commercial matter. There are whole farms where insects are raised and then packaged in bags like chips. As a result, the unusual products of Bizarre Food are sold all over the world, in particular, they can be purchased in England.
Shish kebab of barbel beetle larvae. This dish is expertly prepared in eastern Indonesia. But barbel beetles, long and shiny insects with large antennae, live not only there. They are common all over the world, and there are many of them in Russia. In the English-speaking world, insects were called ibex beetles, but in our country it is customary to call them woodcutter beetles. In the villages of eastern Indonesia, a dish containing the larvae of these beetles is very popular. They live in the roots of sago palms. In order to get juicy and fatty larvae from there, locals sometimes destroy entire groves. But then the insects are neatly strung on rods and fried over the fire. The larvae have tender flesh, but their skin is dense, so it must be chewed for a long time. The beetle tastes a bit like bacon. But the larvae have another use, very unusual. Locals use them as an ear brush. A live larva is located in the ear, a person holds it by the tail. The insect quickly eats up all the wax in the sink.
Cheese with cheese fly larvae. This dish proves that eating insects is a custom not only of "wild" Africa and Asia. Sardinia has its own attraction - Casu Marzu cheese. This product is made from unpasteurized goat milk in which live larvae of the cheese fly Piophila casei are placed. This casu marzu cheese will only appeal to gourmets who will find mature notes in a product with mold. But for most ordinary people, it is just something rotten with worms inside. By and large, it is. For cooking, a regular variety of pecorino is taken, from which the top layer is simply cut off, allowing the cheese fly to calmly lay its eggs there. When the larvae are born, they begin to eat the cheese from the inside. Their digestive system contains an acid that breaks down the fats in the cheese, making it specifically soft. Part of the liquid, which is called lágrima, or "tear", is even secreted outward. The popularity of this cheese in Sardinia is given by the legend that this product is an aphrodisiac. Italians do not hesitate to eat it right with worms. It is even believed that cheese is safe to eat while these same larvae are still stirring. And doing this is not easy and dangerous. After all, disturbed larvae up to a centimeter long begin to jump out of the cheese. As a result, insects fly up to 15 centimeters in height. It is not uncommon for an inept foodie to even get them in the eye. That is why the procedure for eating outlandish cheese usually takes place with glasses. In extreme cases, the sandwich with food is covered with food. However, no one bothers to preliminarily remove the larvae from the cheese. To do this, the easiest way is to put a piece of dairy product or a sandwich with it in a paper bag and close it tightly. The larvae will soon cease to have enough air, and they will quickly leave their former habitat. When the characteristic sound of shooting is over, you can safely eat the cheese. It would be naive to assume that such a product can meet any EU standards. So casu marzu cheese turned out to be banned. However, on the "black" market it was still sold at a price twice as high as that of ordinary pecorino. However, the Italians have ensured that since 2010 casu marzu is recognized as a cultural heritage of Sardinia and went on the free sale.
Dried mopane caterpillars with onions. If you decide to try dried caterpillars, then they are best prepared in South Africa. Dried caterpillars of moths, a South African species of peacock eyes, are an important source of protein for locals. They live in mopane trees. Collecting such caterpillars in the region has become a serious business. Caterpillars in various forms - dried, smoked, pickled and rolled up in cans - can be found here not only in markets, but even in supermarkets. To prepare a caterpillar, you usually need to squeeze the green insides out of it. For this, insects are either squeezed in the hand or cut lengthwise, like a pea pod. Then the caterpillars are boiled in salted water and dried. As a result, the caterpillars, dried in the sun or smoked, are very nutritious, and weigh very little. It is worth noting the long shelf life of such a product. Only they don't have any special taste. Dried caterpillars are likened to soybeans, tofu, or even dry wood. Therefore, it is not worth eating them without a side dish. Caterpillars are fried until crisp with onions, then added to soups, sadza corn porridge or stewed in sauces. However, insects are often eaten whole and raw. This method is especially common in Botswana. There, the insect is just torn off the head. In this form, the caterpillar tastes like a tea leaf. They collect insects by hand, entrusting this simple work to children and women. It is curious that forest caterpillars are considered common, but collecting them on a neighbor's trees is already considered a crime. This has led to the fact that in Zimbabwe, women even mark their trees for later collection, and move young caterpillars closer to their homes, arranging peculiar plantations.
Japanese variety of bee dishes. Although young people in Japan do not honor this dish, the dish of wasps and bees is still popular in the country among the previous generation. They are prepared in different ways. For example, hatinoco are bee larvae that are boiled with sugar in soy sauce. The result is a translucent mass. The sweet brew, like caramel, goes well with traditional rice. But the wasps are part of the jibatinoko. For the older generation, this dish is a reminder of how the country lived in the post-war years. Then in Japan there was a rationing system, dishes from wasps and bees came into fashion. Even today, such dishes, albeit as a nostalgic entertainment, are popular in the country's restaurants. In general, both jibatinoko and hatinoko are still considered a rather rare dish, special for the Nagano region. Fried black wasps are much more common. They are even served with beer in Japanese pubs. And in the village of Omachi they make their own unique dish with these insects - rice crackers with earth wasps. Small cookies have 5 to 15 bees stuck in there. It should be noted that such exotic dishes with bees are quite expensive in Japan. It is impossible to make such a food business a mass one, because it costs a lot of work to prepare each original dish. In order to catch live wasps or bees, hunters have come up with an original method. Long colored threads are tied to adult insects, which help to find their nests. True, canned bees can also be found in Japanese stores - local beekeeping farms sell their surplus.
Silkworm fried with ginger. This dish is usually prepared in China, Korea, Japan and Thailand. The city of Suzhou is especially famous for its rare silkworm food, which is also famous for its high-quality silk. We all know that such caterpillars wrap themselves with a thin and strong silk thread. Having created a cocoon for themselves, insects in it grow legs, antennae and wings. But the Chinese from Suzhou get insects out of their cocoons before they can pass this stage of their development. Silkworms are fried in a wok along with onions, garlic and ginger. But it is worth noting that soft tender larvae, crunchy on the outside, are well suited to any spices and vegetables. If cooked correctly, they will taste like crab or shrimp meat. Also, these larvae are popular in Korea. All over the country, you can find stalls that sell beondegas. This dish consists of larvae boiled with spices. In stores, you can buy a semi-finished product - canned silkworm. You can boil it before meals at home. Silkworms are also adored in Japan, Nagano Prefecture is especially prominent in this regard. The popularity of the insect in this country is so great that the astrophysicist Masamichi Yamashita suggested sending the silkworm along with the first colonists to Mars.
Fried ants. These insects are among the most popular among edibles, second only to grasshoppers. Ants are eaten in Africa and Australia, Mexico and Colombia. In the latter, in general, ants are offered right in the cinema instead of popcorn. Ant females with eggs are especially popular here. They are easy to catch in the rain. Vodka floods the nests, forcing insects to get out. In villages, ants are generally prepared quite simply - they are laid out on a sheet, wrapped and kept a little over the fire. This snack has a sweetish nutty flavor and crunches pleasantly on the teeth. But Australia stands out for its most delicious ants. They are also called "honey". The point is that these goosebumps are eating sweet nectar. To do this, insects transfer it in the stripped sections of their abdomen. We call them ant barrels. These transparent bubbles are adored by the Australian aborigines, for them it is a delicacy. But honey ants are found in small quantities in other countries - in South Africa and the semi-desert lands of North America.
Deep-fried water bugs. Large water bugs of the family Belostomatidae are widespread throughout the world. Most of them are found in Canada, Southeast Asia and the United States. However, if for Americans these are just large annoying insects, whose bites can itch for a couple of weeks, then in Asia, bedbugs are happy to cook and eat. The Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand stand out especially in this regard. It has its own Asian variety of Lethocerus indicus. She is the largest in the family, reaching as much as 12 centimeters in length. Thais love to deep-fry these insects, serving them with plum sauce. Bedbug meat tastes very much like shrimp meat. By the way, in different countries they are eaten in their own way. In Thailand - entirely, but in the Philippines, insects first tear off the wings and legs. The body of the bug acts as a snack for strong drinks. In Vietnam, insects are used to make a very odorous extract. It is added to sauces and soups, just one drop is enough.
Grasshoppers with avocado. These insects have been eating since ancient times. So, John the Baptist nibbled on akrid with wild honey. But this locust is a rather close relative of grasshoppers. Today, grasshoppers are in vogue in Mexico, becoming practically a national dish there. These insects are eaten in various varieties: raw and boiled, fried, soaked in lemon juice, or dried in the sun. The most popular dish in Mexico is guacamole with grasshoppers. They are fried as quickly as possible, while they quickly change their color from green to red. The insects are mixed with the avocado and spread over a corn tortilla. You should not expect an outstanding aroma from a grasshopper, like from any other small fried insect. Basically, the taste is given by the spices and oils in which the dish is prepared. The same grasshoppers sold right on the streets in Southeast Asia are essentially overcooked chitinous casings. But grasshoppers are eaten in all regions where they only cook people from insects. In the Middle East, they are boiled in salted water and then dried in the sun; in China, grasshoppers are strung on sleepers like kebabs. In Uganda and regions close to it, it is customary to cook soups with these insects. By the way, in this country until recently, women were generally allowed to eat grasshoppers. Indeed, according to local beliefs, this entailed the birth of children with deformed, like grasshopper heads.
Dragonflies in coconut milk. Considering that dragonflies can reach speeds of up to 60 km / h in flight, eating these insects can be considered a full-fledged fast food. Such dishes are practiced in Bali, it is there that these fast insects are caught and eaten. First of all, certain difficulties are caused by the very process of their capture. Locals use sticky sticks for this, on which sticky tree sap is smeared. It is only necessary with maximum dexterity to quickly and smoothly touch the dragonfly with a stick. After its capture, the wings of the individuals are cut off, and then either grilled or boiled in coconut milk with garlic and ginger. In Bali, dragonflies are even made a sweetness like candy. The insects are fried in coconut oil and sprinkled with sugar.
Bed bugs with chicken pate. They consume not only water bugs, but also herb bugs. For example, in Mexico, dishes from the representatives of the family of true shield bugs are popular. They, like most of their brethren, are very smelly. If in Africa, to get rid of the unpleasant odor, insects are soaked in warm water, and then dried and gnawed in this form, then in Mexico they are prepared differently. There, the strong medical smell of bedbugs is just appreciated. This is evidence of a high iodine content in the insect. In Mexico, bedbugs serve as the basis for a variety of sauces, they are added to the same, fried, added to chicken pate. In the American television series Bizarre Food, TV host Andrew Zimmern showed how to eat shit bugs. The foodie said they tasted like a tutti-frutti gum. In Viet Nam, bugs are also part of the cuisine. They are used to prepare a spicy dish "bọ xít". But in Laos, a special cheo paste is made from bedbugs, adding spices and herbs to them.
Charcoal-baked tarantulas. On the streets of Cambodia, tarantulas are very popular, baked almost to charring, they are so black and look like firebrands. The most agile tarantula catchers can catch up to two hundred spiders per day. However, they are sold out very quickly. Here they are fried in a wok with salt and garlic. As a result, the meat of the finished dish is somewhere between fish and chicken. In Cambodia, tourists are even offered entertainment - to catch a spider on their own, and then eat their prey. But in Venezuela, large tarantulas-tarantulas, which grow up to 28 centimeters in diameter, prefer to bake directly on the coals. In Japan, a more elegant way of cooking these insects is used.The spider's belly is first torn off, the hairs are singed, and then it is quickly fried in tempura. But it is believed that the most delicious spiders are not tarantulas at all, but spiders of the Nephilidae family. They are prepared in New Guinea and Laos. They taste like peanut butter when fried.