Looking to add a little variety to your daily diet? You can replace those fatty snacks and sugar-laden candy with something that is nutritious, packed with protein, and may even boost your immunity. Sounds great, right? Well, we have here ten tasty insects that you can munch on today. Some of these bugs are considered rare delicacies in parts of the world. Some are covered in chocolate, others in salt. A few of these insects are protein powerhouses, and one is even said to increase your energy levels.
These bugs can be eaten in so many different ways. The best part of all? You do not even need to travel around the world to take part in a new delectable dish. Thanks to the magic of the Internet, you can purchase these tasty treats online and have them delivered to your home. It is more convenient than ever to enjoy the crispiness of deep-fried tarantula, or the sweet flavor of a scorpion lollipop.
A lot of work goes into creating scrumptious critters for your dining pleasure. You may love sprinkling larvets onto your salad, or finding weaver ant eggs in your trail mix. Maybe you could even give your sweetie some chocolate-covered giant ants.
10 Giant Water Beetles
These insects are known for consuming just about anything, even their own kind. So, it's no wonder that humans may eat them as well. In parts of Asia, people capture giant water beetles, take off their shells, and cook them up. They can be deep-fried or roasted, it is a matter of taste. Some people also grind the bugs up and use them in sauces, such as the chili-based nam prik sauce in Thailand. Despite their name, these insects are not particularly big, but they look more like cockroaches than your typical beetle. People say they have a flavor similar to scallops. We will let you be the judge.
Just seeing these creatures makes us want to run away screaming, but in Cambodia, the residents bake and fry these babies and eat them all the time. In fact, this is considered a delicacy. Better yet, people all over the world can enjoy this creepy crawling – nice and crispy. That is correct, you can order pre-baked or pre-fried tarantula over the Internet. The fangs have been removed, and all you need to do is cook it to your liking. In Cambodia and Thailand, these insects are a sweet treat, and they actually pack some protein for a healthy diet. While people started eating tarantulas during the 1970s plague of the Khmer Rouge regime, they are delightful snacks now.
Most of us would consider locusts – swarms of crickets and grasshoppers – to be pesky pests. Yet, people across the globe use these insects as a form of sustenance. When the swarms come, people scoop them up to savor later, which is useful, considering that locusts are notorious for consuming crops. In different parts of the world, locusts are eaten in various ways: fried, baked, covered in chocolate, and many more. If you want to introduce locusts into your diet, try boiling them in some broth, coating them in flour and spices, and frying them up. Believe it or not, people are paying big money to savor the flavor of these insects.
Another protein source could be termites. If you live in Africa or Indonesia, chances are you need these insects to survive. In these countries, termites are often eaten slightly roasted, but other parts of the world are also serving up some tasty termites. For example, these insects have been incorporated into streusel and cobbler recipes. Depending on how you cook these insects, you can flavor them accordingly, sweet, salty, or savory. Their exoskeleton adds some crunch, if you are into that kind of thing. Even in Louisiana, people are dealing with a termite infestation as a chance to delight in a well-cooked meal.
6 Pregnant Crickets
Back in Thailand, another tasty treat are pregnant crickets. And why not? These insects are loaded up with eggs, offering more bang for your buck. The crickets are usually flash-frozen, cleaned, cooked, and salted. You can purchase these goodies in pre-packaged bags. Scientists support this source of nutrition, claiming that many insects contain more protein than fish or meat. They are also lower in fat and are full of vital vitamins and minerals. Who knew? Thailand is not the only cricket-eating country. Taiwanese cooks stir-fry these critters, and even five-star chefs state that crickets are clean and nutritious. We will let you decide.
Larvets are mealworms, the larva from a beetle that nestles into grain. Hit up Amazon.com for some pre-packaged larvets, in a variety of flavors. The insects are usually coated in a powder of spices, making them more palatable. They look a little like Cheetos, and offer that same crunchy texture. People are adding larvets to salads, soups, trail mixes, and more. You can purchase farm-raised larvets that are barbecue, cheddar, or chipotle flavored. They are dried out and provide an alternative to unhealthy, salty snacks. Still, you would have to eat quite a lot of these little guys to benefit from any sort of nutrition.
In California, the scorpion is used in sweet treats. The insects are usually covered in a candy gel or coating and sold. Think scorpion lollipops. They are sold in grocery stores, beckoning young children in colors of blue, yellow, and green. It is the grittier version of a tootsie roll pop – lick away the candy coating and nibble on the scorpion inside! Larry Peterman is credited with starting the “scorpion sucker,” and also sells scorpion brittle. He raises the insects on his farm in California, bakes them, and puts them in candy. Also, the candies are preservative-free! That should calm your nerves, right?
3 Weaver Ant Eggs
Thailand seems to be teeming with these delectable delights. There is only one month out of the whole year in which the residents of Thailand can get weaver ants. The process of collecting their eggs takes a lot of time and grit. The large, squishy eggs must be cooked thoroughly before consumption. They are added to salads and other snacks. They provide a decent amount of nutrition, and are quite big. Their flavor is likened to a nutty taste, but the eggs also provide that crunch factor. They are dehydrated to be packaged into bags and sold to folks around the world.
2 Casu Marzu
Who doesn't like cheese? In Italy, cheese just seems to make everything taste better. So, the next time you visit this European country, you may want to try out some Casu Marzu, which is a type of goat cheese. Nothing weird about that, right? Well, Casu Marzu is actually teeming with insect larvae. The reason for this is the long period of fermentation that the cheese undergoes. So long, that the cheese breaks down and starts rotting. Insect larvae make their home in the cheese, and take up residence on the surface. You can see the tiny maggots squirming around in their cheesy home. It is optional to pick out the larvae before eating the cheese, but hard-core Italians just eat them.
1 Giant Ants
Rounding out the list are giant ants, which are often served covered in chocolate. We all know that chocolate makes everything better, right? These insects provide a nutty and flavorful taste, and are said to boost immunity. They are prepared very nicely: toasted in a clay pot and coated in Belgian chocolate. Residents of Colombia have been consuming these ants for a long time as a source of energy, due to their formic acid. They are collected during the springtime rains and are considered a rare delicacy in parts of the world. These tasty critters can be purchased over the Internet.