Minnesota Cooking: Bugs - Some Bugs are Edible According to Entomophagy
I Have a Story to Tell You
I'm not new to entomophagy. According to a book in the Bible, specifically Leviticus 11: 20-23, there are bugs that are okay to eat. It specifically says that winged bugs with four legs are no good, but that if a winged bug has knees, it's an ingredient for any recipe that you can come up with.Gives that expression, 'the bee's knee's' a whole new meaning to me.
My earliest memory of bugs, is a memory of sitting on a cement front step. I was five years old. I know this because we moved a lot and I recall sitting on the steps of a house on Broad Street and we lived there when I went to kindergarten. Anyways, I recall sitting on the steps eating some ants that were crawling by me.
From memory - and I confess, in sixth grade, when I related the story to a few of my friends - ate yet another ant to confirm the memory that I had from kindergarten.
I ate several ants to prove my memory. Red ants are sour. Black ants are not sour. Oh, and before you start analyzing this, know that black ants do NOT like to be eaten and do bite. Red ants are sour because they apparently contain formic acid. Which, incidentally is used to make formic acid. Of course, I was told it was not edible and can cause brain damage - which explains a great deal about me. Actually upon reading up about formic acid, it's used to kill e. coli chronic exposure could cause kidney damage.
Hopefully, the few ants that I consumed will not manifest in any horrible health condition.
I Did a Speech on Entomophagy
I admit it. In vocational school, back in 1981, I was in a class for speech. We had to prepare a five minute speeches on any topic and present them to the class. I must have been 'one of those students' and did mine on eating bugs.
I did my research. There were people who had eaten 'thousand leggers' on their pizza, and who hasn't had the occasional bug in their soda? People in the Bible ate grasshoppers, locusts and I know there are 'chocolate covered ant' recipes out there, too.
From My Research
To quote a few things from the speech I gave, I told my audience that nutritionally speaking, there is more protein in a mouthful of spiders, than there is in a mouthful of chicken.
Most people looked at me and grunted that they'd rather eat chicken, thank you very much. Well, yeah. Me, too! I know that there are recipes for earthworm casserole. Yeah, this casserole is made almost exactly like green bean casserole, except you use nightcrawlers instead of beans.
According to sources I cannot remember, earthworms taste like bacon bits. Hmmm. Okay, not judging you if you like the taste of earthworms. To each his own. But if you know a recipe for some bug, leave it in the comments below.
I may get brave enough to try them. Or, not.
How About You
Have you tried eating bugs, and/or do you have a recipe you like?
Upon looking up videos, I was just musing about which bugs or crawlies I have tried. I have eaten escargot or cooked snail. Those are yummy. As I said before, I have eaten ants, but haven't tried them coated with chocolate.
I know that food companies are allowed to have a certain percentage of their product be particles of bugs, so, I realize that I have probably eaten lots of bugs without even knowing it. This fact doesn't really bother me very much.
I would like to try earthworms. I'm sure that I would get no takers at my house, however. I don't know about spiders. I don't know if there is flavor in bugs. I know the ant was sour. When bugs hit my windshield, I know that they splat, so that stuff must cook up into something.
If ladybugs taste as awful as they smell, I won't be trying them. Actually, I think I have had one in my mouth. My first thought is that they'd be very bitter. And, how many bugs are in fruit?
What seasonings taste best on bugs? Any suggestions?
I Think I Have a Bug Joke
What's worse than finding a worm in your apple?
Half a worm.