Even though 80% of the world’s countries consume insects regularly, many of you in the Western world may not yet have had the pleasure of trying out entomophagy (the practice of eating insects). If that’s you, you may be wondering what each insect tastes like before you take the plunge yourself.
Bearing that in mind, we’ve listed the tastes of a number of our most popular items below. This way, you can begin to get an idea of what to expect before preparing your very own insect banquet!
Don’t worry, you won’t suffer any ill effects from their venomous tails as cooking them takes care of that. The standard comparison made by Westerners who eat scorpions for the first time is to that of beef jerky, thanks to its texture. In terms of taste, there are also subtle hints of seafood. These are great dipped in sauces such as sweet chili.
- Giant Water Bug
Unlike other insects, a giant water bug (sometimes referred to as a water scorpion) requires you to eat it much like a crab or a lobster. Once you peel off the outer wings, you can eat the delicious meat inside. Served fresh, they are said to taste much like a salted banana. But once dried, they have more of an oniony/garlicky flavor with a crispy texture that melts on your tongue.
For some Westerners, the tarantula is the most painful insect to get their head around eating, particularly for those easily scared by spiders. However, Tarantulas are considered a delicacy in many areas of Cambodia. The head/body has a slice of delicate white meat contained inside that tastes somewhere in between chicken and cod, whereas the legs are much closer to chicken.
Crickets are some of the most commonly consumed insects on the planet, thanks to their versatility. They can be fried, boiled, sautéed, or roasted. Crispy in texture, crickets tend to take on the flavor of whatever they are cooked it. Eaten on their own, they have a slightly nutty taste, similar to peanuts.
- Sago Worms
Hot on the heels of crickets, sago worms are some of the most popular insect snacks on the market, which is due to their great taste. When eaten raw, they have a creamy texture and flavor. However, when roasted, sago worms begin to taste much closer to bacon, which perhaps explains why they are so popular!
Mealworms are similar to crickets in the respect that they are incredibly versatile; they can be eaten raw, fried, boiled, or roasted. In truth, they have a mild taste with subtle nutty hints, which means they make a great accompaniment to many different meals. For example, since they have a crispy texture when dried, they make an excellent protein-packed substitute to croutons in a salad!
Here at Thailand Unique, we sell a wide range of edible insects if you want to finally dip your toe into the world of entomophagy. Alternatively, if you wish to learn more about eating insects, you can head over to our handy FAQs page here. We can’t wait for you to get started on your insect tasting journey!
My personal favourite insect is the mealworms, they go great with any food, they have a crispy texture and nutty (almond) taste.