National Chocolate-Covered Insects Day
On October 14, 2015 Celebrate National Chocolate-Covered Insects Day by Snacking on Your Favorite Bug Smothered in Rich Chocolate
How about a cricket, roasted to perfection then covered in creamy milk chocolate? Or a dried cluster of ants coated with dark chocolate? Or -- ooh! -- what about a fried grub nestled in a thick layer of white chocolate? I know, your mouth is watering.
Yes, there really is a National Day of Chocolate-Covered Insects. So, mark your calendars for October 14th and stock up on your favorite chocolate-covered bugs and invite all your friends to commemorate the occasion and partake in the deliciousness.
Here, I'll share with you some information about eating insects, recipes for making your own chocolate-covered delights for the special occasion on October 14th (or any time you're inspired) and how to prepare said bugs for cooking. There are also some ready-made chocolate-covered insect confections you can purchase, videos, photos and, for those who want to celebrate National Chocolate-Covered Insect Day but without that inner crunch, some alternative confections that are still in the spirit of the holiday.
A Visitor Poll: Have You Ever Eaten a Bug?
Or, perhaps I ask, are you an entomophagian? (Yep, that's the fancy word for "one who eats bugs.")
Which of these statements best describes you and your insect-eating experience?
C'mon, Try Some Chocolate-Covered Bugs! - They say they taste like chocolate-covered popcorn. So go ahead, try it. You MIGHT like it.
The Short Story of Eating Bugs
Once upon a time in a cave far, far away, a long-haired, long-bearded early human watched a bear eating bugs. "Hmm," he said aloud to no one (but not exactly in these words; it was more of a grunt), "I wonder if those insects taste good. Perhaps I should try some, myself." And he did. And, by george, they were good!
In turn, that caveman shared the insects he collected with others, and their palates were happy and their bellies full of bugs. Many years later, this culinary practice was likewise enjoyed by the Greeks and Romans, who dined on locusts and beetle larvae. Even Aristotle wrote about collecting tasty cicadas. (Source: History of Eating Insects)
And somewhere along the line many years later, a big, juicy insect fell into someone's melting chocolate, and she (I'm sure it was a woman) discovered something new and delicious, which she immediately replicated and shared with the masses in her new cookbook.
Perhaps, to you, the idea of eating an arthropod, even if it's well hidden in rich, creamy chocolate candy coating, actually makes you gag. In some countries, though, like China and Thailand, chocolate-covered insects are considered a delicacy. In fact, even without the chocolate coating, millions of people around the world eat insects as part of their daily diet.
In Southern Africa, for example, caterpillars are an important source of protein for the indigenous people, as well as a good source of calcium and iron too. Globular Huhu grubs are a traditional Maori food in New Zealand, and in a town north of Phnom Phen in Cambodia, tarantulas are often eaten by the locals. Popular bugs for the eating also include ants, spiders, lice, termites, beetles, crickets and bees. There's even a link below to a recipe for chocolate-covered scorpions and a photo of a tray of these crunchy and sweet delights for sale in a California candy shop. (See a slideshow of edible insects.)
For more examples of specific bugs eaten around the world -- where and how they're prepared-- and some interesting recipes you MIGHT (or might not) want to try, see Weird Foods from Around the World.
Fried dragonflies, anyone?
The most nutritional of all bugs is said to be the Waterbug, with 19.8 grams of protein, 8.3 grams of fat, 43.5 g of calcium, 13.6g of iron, and 2.1 grams of carbs.
Insect Nutrition Table
for more information
Video: An Overview of Different Types of Chocolate-Covered Insects by a Conoisseure - An interview on National Insects Day
The reactions by the interviewer -- a rather reluctant taster -- are quite funny.
And if you've ever wondered, do vegetarians eat insects? That question is addressed in this video as well.
More Chocolate-Covered Delights with Multiple Legs - Special treats for special people and special occasions ... like National Chocolate-Covered Insects Day!
But any day is the perfect day for one of these unique and delicious treats!
A Special Sampler Platter
Chocolate-Covered Crickets & Other Insect Dishes
Photo Credit: By Mhowry on Flickr / CC
This sampler platter, eaten in New Orleans, also includes Cinnamon Bug Crunch, Southwest Waxwords with Chili Powder, and Crispy Cajun Crickets.
And take a look at these....
- Chocolate Covered Insects Packs: 24-Piece Box
From Candy Warehouse Grubs worms, slugs, and grasshoppers have been dried and then smothered in either milk or white chocolate. Yummy deliciousness!
- Chocolate-Covered Crickets
From Flukers These delectable crickets are oven roasted and then covered with fine, rich chocolate to create an unforgettable, exotic snack. Each individually wrapped, chocolate-covered cricket comes with a brightly-colored "I ATE A BUG CLUB" butto
- Chocolate-Covered Ant Candy
From Candy Favorites Just think Nestle Crunch!
- Gourmet Chocolate-Covered Meal Worm and Cricket Combo
From Candy Favorites Each individual container has one of each. There 24 containers of two per box, so you could hand them out to all your friends. Or use as wedding favors, perhaps?
- Chocolate-Covered Insects
From Educational Innovations Each package contains 4 farm-raised chocolate-covered insects -- 2 crickets and 2 larva. Note I said "farm-raised," so you KNOW these insects were raised humanely, with lots of room to roam. You know, free-range bugs!
WOULD You, Could You, Might You Eat a Chocolate-Covered Insect?
If, say, you'd be given a nice chunk of change for the eating. Or maybe just to do as the natives do while traveling? Or simply to be a little adventurous?
Make Your Own Chocolate Covered Grasshoppers
Prep Time: Oh, maybe 20 minutes, give or take an hour
Total Time: Depends how long it takes you to collect the grasshoppers
Serves: 1 to 25 depending on how many you each want
- 2 squares of semi-sweet chocolate
- 25 dry-roasted grasshoppers (or crickets will do)
- Somehow, get 25 grasshoppers (or crickets), whether you collect them yourself, pay the kids ten cents a grasshopper, or buy them.
- Dry roast the grasshoppers and THEN remove the legs and wings. (I wouldn't recommend the other way around.)
- Melt the chocolate according the directions on the package.
- Dip the insects in the chocolate, and place them on wax paper.
- Serve with celery, a garnish of tall grass, or a glass of milk.
A Video How-To: Making Chocolate-Covered Ants - Watch this quirky lady make a wee small serving
She gives some very important tips as well. One thing, though, that she doesn't mention is to avoid using red ants, unless you really want to spice up the dish. They're hot!
Try These Other Chocolate-Covered Creepy Crawlies Recipes
- Chocolate-Covered Ants Recipe
This one is a lot of fun. But be forewarned! You'll need 1742 large ants OR 2,044 if they're small.
- Chocolate-Covered Scorpions
From the BBC website, I kid you not! As a bonus, you'll find recipes for a worm omelette and deep-fried crispy crickets. Yummers! See a photo of a tray of chocolate-covered scorpions in a candy shop in Pismo Beach, California.
- Chocolate Chirpy Chip Cookies and More
Here you'll find a very interesting article about eating bugs, followed by several a-MA-zingly wonderfully delicious recipes (I assume). The farmers market photo at the top is sure to get your appetite going!
An Edible Insect Cookbook - More than Just Chocolate-Covered Bugs
Try each one -- more than 50 gourmet recipes with full-color photos
Dried, Edible Stink Bugs | Encosternum delegorguei
Dried, Edible Stink Bugs | Encosternum delegorguei
Photo Credit: By Obsidian Soul on Wikimedia Commons / CC 3.0
Photo was taken in South Africa
These dried stink bugs are ALMOST ready for chocolate-dipping. Just a few body parts need to be removed first.
Want to Celebrate National Chocolate-Covered Insects Day Without the Actual Insects? - Here are some alternatives....
Get Into the Spirit of National Chocolate-Covered Insect Day without the "Crunch" - These look the part but are really just chocolate through and through
- Chocolate-Covered Cockroach Caboodles
These are not real cockroachs but rather oversized chocolate ones filled with Caramel, Coconut, Peanut Butter and Macadamian Mint fillings! Each box contains an assortment and the huge candies measures approximately 3.75 x 1.75
The Chocolate-Covered Ants Book - If your child doesn't believe people really eat chocolate-covered ants, give them this book for National Chocolate-Covered Ins
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