In some parts of the world, don’t complain to the waiter if you find a fly in your soup. The chef may have put it there intentionally. Many cultures consider insects, larvae and other creepy crawlies to be a delicacy, dietary staple or casual snack food. In fact, a U.N. report says over 2 billion people around the globe regularly consume bugs, and that’s not a bad thing. Most are low-fat, high-protein, fiber-rich and eco-friendly munchables full of vital micronutrients like magnesium, copper, iron, selenium and zinc. Some are surprisingly appetizing, or will at least give you that smug sense of satisfaction for being a daring consumer. So don’t turn your nose up when you see these little critters on the menu or on the table when you travel. Open your mind, prepare your palate (perhaps plug your nose) and give these a try. Once you get over that initial yuck bias, you might actually like these edible bugs.
1. Chewy Witchetty Grubs
This is a classic delicacy of Aussie aboriginal bush tucker, and one that adventurous gourmands can sample on tours in the Outback. High in protein and fat, these chewy larvae can be eaten raw or can be roasted over a fire. They have a rather bland taste like scrambled eggs but with a slightly nutty note. Doesn’t a rubbery peanut butter omelet sound appealing?
2. Sweet Honey Ants
This edible bug is another favorite among indigenous Australians, and a sweet treat you might want to try yourself. As the name implies, the abdomen of this ant swells up with a honey-like nectar which other ants can feed off like a self-sustaining community larder. Try to get over the ticklish fact that you’re eating a live insect, as a freshly dug-up honey ant (also called honeypot ant) is like a bug candy with a sugary squirt of flavor.