Peculiar Snacks: 10 Edible Bugs That People Eat As Food

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There are many edible bugs out there that are common snacks for many people around the world. Bugs are the source of protein, and they are actually delicious with proper cooking and seasoning. Although many of us find it difficult to eat them, there are many people out there who love consuming bugs. Let’s take a look at some delicious edible bugs in the list below and see which one you would eat.

1Ant

Most ant species are edible, and people eat ants as food in many parts of the world. The delicacy of the taste is especially the eggs, but both the adult ants and broods also go to the plate. In Southeast Asia, people usually eat ants as a salad of ant brood and eggs with vegetables or fry everything together. The ants themselves usually have a pleasantly sour taste because of the acid that they secrete when threatened. As for the larvae of these edible bugs, they have no sour flavor at all but they are still delicious. The best ants should be from the wild because they are believed to have aphrodisiac, fertility increase, and vigor enhancing properties.

2Bee

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We love honey, but not all of us know that bees are also one of the bugs that people eat. In Asia, people usually sell the whole honeycomb because sometimes people want the 100% pure honey since fake ones are common. The whole honeycomb also includes the brood and the bees, and Asians have their special ways to eat those. Usually, they extract the honey from the honeycomb for further use in drinks, food, and more. As for the bees, they season and fry them because they are crunchy and tasty that way. People also eat the larvae, either boiled or fried with salt or sugar. Asians don’t usually eat bees alive because they still can sting, so cooking them up is the best way.

3Beetle

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Over 300 species of beetles among 400,000 are edible bugs, and people love eating them for some reason. Just like other edible bugs, beetles are the abundant and sustainable sources of protein and micronutrients that you can easily find. Not different from ants, tasty beetles are found in the forests where they consume organic food such as grains and leaves. The best way to eat beetles is to fry them so that their hard shells become crunchy and easy to eat. Some people described the taste of beetles as smoked bacon, you might want to try to see if that is true.

4Caterpillar

Unbelievable as it may sound, caterpillars have been one of the most common food and snacks for quite a long time. These slow-moving creatures are a delicacy to people in East Asia, Southern Africa, and more where they are harvested daily. Caterpillars are rich in fat and protein, and their high nutritional value makes them even better than beef and lentils. In term of taste, it depends on the people’s favor but the nutrients that they contain is super rich.

This is probably the reason why caterpillars are one of the food in the future around the world. Currently, there are also farms that breed caterpillars for consumption purposes. The factory sells 10 tonnes of caterpillars every year to the markets and shops in West Africa. You can find processed and packaged shea caterpillars with high quality to try. There are different species of caterpillars that people eat in various countries, and you might like them.

5Cricket

Although from Southeast Asia myself, I am not a bug person. Crickets are very common and famous snacks in where I come from though, and they are very easy to find. These edible bugs are rich in protein, and they are so cheap to buy as well. In here, we deep fry the cricket so that they have this crunchy texture the moment you bite them. Plus with the seasoning and some chilis, crickets simply give you the unforgettable taste.

For those who catch them in the rice field or in the wild, they usually roast and eat them right away. Taste is one thing, but another great thing is that crickets contain high iron, protein, and zinc which is beneficial to our health. At the same time, it is also nice to try something different when you travel to Asian and Southeast Asian countries. Eating bugs is one of the fun ways to dive deep into the culture, so why not give it a try?

6Dragonfly

Beautiful to look at and delicious to eat, dragonflies are also common snacks in Asia especially in Bali, Indonesia. Dragonflies have two stages of life cycles which are nymph and adult, and both stages are edible. The former stage is often green in color with the size of the first two segments of your forefinger. This stage is water-borne which is very easy to find and catch because they remain in one place. The later stage is quite challenging and difficult to catch because they are fast so you will need a net. To eat them, you can cook for a few minutes to kill the germs, pull the legs and wings off, and that’s it.

7Mealworm

Mealworms are not only common as food for pets but also great snacks for humans once they are cooked. These bugs contain both healthy fats and proteins, and proper preparations give you a tasty food or snack. There are many ways to cook them, but the most common one is deep fry because people love its crunchiness. According to the EU Food Safety agency, mealworms are approved safe for consumption across Europe in various forms. You will find yellow mealworms in a wide range of styles such as biscuits, burgers, pasta, smoothies, and more. Sounds fancier than in Asia, and that is a great way to encourage people to try these nutritious edible bugs.

8Roly Poly

You love shrimps, don’t you? Would you like to try “land shrimp” then? Woodlouse, pill bug, or roly poly is actually not a bug, it is a terrestrial crustacean. In fact, roly poly is the only terrestrial crustaceans in North America that has a similar flavor to a shrimp. Roly poly is known for its ability to curl up into a ball when disturbed, and of course, its taste. These edible bugs taste best when they are fried or roasted, giving you the shrimp-like taste that you will enjoy. You can find them in the damp soil under rocks or in rotting pieces of wood. For first timers, make sure to drop them in boiling water to get rid of nematodes (parasitic roundworms) before cooking them.

9Termite

Many people hate termites because they eat doors, furniture, and other wooden objects around the house. However, termites are incredible sources of proteins and great survival food in the wild. Some people living in rural areas or places where malnutrition is common in Asia, Africa, and South America eat termites. This is to increase fat and protein consumption because they are rich in amino acids and easy to find.

Termites don’t carry diseases that are harmful to humans, and we can eat them at any stage they are in. Those include larvae, adult, nymph, soldier, and worker, especially the queen. You can eat them raw, and there are also many ways to cook them such as frying, smoking, steaming, sun-drying, etc. In some cultures, the queen is considered a delicacy due to the number of nutrients that she has. Because of the high oil content, termites give this nutty flavor once cooked which is not so bad at all.

10Water Bug

The giant water bugs or water bugs are famous snacks in Thailand and many other countries throughout Southeast Asia. People usually deep fry or light boil them then heavily salt them for taste. The large size of the water bugs looks quite intimidating and scary to eat for first timers. One bite, and you might find them interesting enough to grab some more.

To eat giant water bugs, first remove the wings from the body because they are inedible and tough to eat. Then disconnect the body from the head, and eat the body by sucking all the meat out of the body. As for the head, use your finger to get the chunk of the edible meat. People describe the taste of the body as similar to water scrambled eggs with a strong black liquorice flavor while the head tastes like mushy crab.

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