Many people may be slightly disturbed by the idea of tucking into a bowl of creepy crawlies, but edible insects are one of the best sources of protein that we have available. When treated the right way, they’re not only a great way to fill your belly but they are so delicious they will have you begging for more.
The trend is older than you may think
There is a surprisingly long history regarding edible insects. In our early days, prehistoric hunter-gatherers would collect insects to supplement their diets in times when meat was scarce. Ancient Greeks and Romans would feast on beetles and cicadas from time to time. There is even mention of insects being consumed in the bible in the story of John the Baptist, who lived in the desert for months on end and survived on a diet of locusts and honeycomb. On the other hand, ancient Algerians made dried locusts a fairly significant part of their daily diets due to the nutritional value of these insects. In modern times, insects are often seen as a delicacy. In South Africa, Mopani worms are considered a treat when cooked in a tomato base with spinach. Indigenous nations in Australia are also known to incorporate insects into their meals and will often snack on the moths that are common in the region.
How to prepare these interesting morsels
You may never have imagined that edible insects could be prepared in countless different ways. One of the most common manners in which to cook these little critters is deep-frying. Scorpions, locusts and larvae are often covered in a light batter that is fried until browned and crispy. Alternatively, bugs can be incorporated into sauces and stews to add a protein boost that is second to none. It’s more common to find smaller bugs like ants added to these kinds of dishes, but larvae and worms that have been steamed in a fragrant sauce are equally tasty. Bugs are not exclusive to savoury dishes, and a number of sweet treats can also be crafted using this unconventional ingredient. The most common buggy dessert is ant brittle. To make this, you need to make a caramel and stir a few ants into the mix before letting it set and breaking it into bite-sized pieces.
Best ways to balance the flavour
Due to the crunchy, dry texture of edible insects, it might be a good idea to keep a drink close at hand. Depending on how you are eating them you may find that a cold beer is ideal for washing down these interesting dishes. Alternatively, a glass of milk is great when you are having a spicy creation.
Become a part of the trend
Although it might be rather difficult to find a restaurant that serves edible insects, you could always place an order at your local grocery shop to stock up on the ingredients you need to wow your friends and family with an adventurous meal they’re sure to remember.