For the intrepid travellers of the world, new cuisines come every night and can be as varied as hot dogs to snake wine (a southern Asian delicacy). It just depends on where you go! For those who want to try food that is a little outside of the every day, at least for Europeans and the like, then trying an insect from every country can be a great little bug-cket list!
So, here are a few delicacies from the insect world which you can try on your travels:
In China, there are many different bugs that have become components of traditional eating. These include ants, bees, centipedes, and even scorpions. For some, you may consider that an ant is too small to be worth eating. However, as they are often found in large colonies together with the collection of hundreds of ants at a time is somewhat easy, making their addition to recipes a helpful protein boost.
Fried grasshoppers, centipedes and scorpions are a popular street food found in many Chinese markets. Sometimes these will be dipped in a potent liquor for extra flavour. Bee larvae are often served as an independent side dish, alongside more traditional rice dishes. For many in China, the bugs act as a cheap and environmentally friendly source of protein.
You won’t have trouble hunting down a creepy crawly treat throughout your time in China. As they can be found anywhere from the local street market to a fixture on some restaurant menus, depending on how you want to try them.
A plague of locusts is not just a Biblical curse, but a real life issue for Mexico’s farmers and inhabitants. They eat whole crops over their lifespan and can have a terrible effect on the economy as well as the environment. So, for many eating locusts in Mexico is not simply a yummy treat, but a necessity in order to protect their livelihood.
For this reason, the locust has actually been a traditional cuisine for the region from the days of the early South American peoples, as they have always been an issue for the inhabitants of the region. Spanish records reference the eating of bugs in their sixteenth-century expeditions and conquest - revealing the continuation of this unique cuisine over hundreds of years.
Recipes that include locusts and often chapulines (grasshoppers) include fried eggs, chorizo and locusts. Traditional Mexican dishes such as tacos also use these as a filling, depending on where you buy from. Locusts and grasshoppers are also sold on their own, lightly spiced, at local sports events and the like.
Surprisingly, the next food revolution to hit the UK restaurant scene may also have an eight-legged starring role. But, is the food industry ready for it?
Not only is there a potential for a new income stream for many more traditional livestock farmers, but also for a much more sustainable farming method. Crickets and mealworms are at the heart of this food revolution, so far. With high street chains such as Wahaca trialling the bugs on their menus for periods of time, to significant success. Does this herald a new age of food for a country equated more with bangers and mash than fried crickets? Perhaps.
The cosmopolitan nature of the country - with many nationals from across the world seeking British citizenship on a daily basis - the cuisine evolution is not surprising. Perhaps one day the fried cricket will be as beloved as a Tikka Masala. Only time will tell! If you do seek British citizenship, then speak with the Immigration solicitors London.
Now you know where to look for these insect dishes, only one important question remains: how do you eat them without throwing up? Often, our aversion to eating other cuisines is part of our upbringing. It’s very unlikely that you will find fried grasshoppers as a snack down at your local bar (unless you’re from Thailand, where this is actually very common). As such, it is very much a mental block that you need to push through in order to enjoy these varied dishes!
If you push yourself to try a fried scorpion, you may find that it is a taste that you thoroughly enjoy. Who knows, perhaps it will even taste like chicken. Trying is the only way to find out.
So, there you have it! There are a number of great things to eat around the world, even if at first you might be turned off by the alien nature of eating a cricket. New experiences are at the heart of travelling, so try not to be scared to try new things!