would you like flies with that?

Every now and then, at dinner parties, over hors d’oeuvres and desserts, I like to raise the question: what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? The answers are memorable. One friend snacked on groundhog in Ecuador while another sampled rotten shark, a delicacy in Iceland.

And then there are the bugs.

It seems a lot of people have eaten bugs while traveling. While in South America, I snarfed down a giant maggot sauteed with wild onions before being baked in a banana leaf.

A long-time later, I don’t exactly crave it, but the taste-test wasn’t so bad. And lots of people have tried chocolate ants or crunchy locusts.

Since only some twenty percent of the world doesn’t eat bugs as part of their regular diet, eating creepy-crawlies while on vacation is a common “when in Rome” activity. But some enterprising cooks, biologists, locavores and environmental activitists are starting to point out that a snack of insects is actually a very smart source of plentiful and sustainable protein.

I go into depth in my latest piece for Celsias.com, a story that made me ask myself ‘could I do it?’… What do you think? What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten and could you do that dish on a daily basis?


10 Responses to would you like flies with that?

  1. the destination india August 10, 2010 at 5:38 am #

    nice write up

  2. Termite Bible January 17, 2010 at 1:13 am #

    ohh?nice post but really?/?

  3. janice July 13, 2008 at 8:50 pm #

    Fried bamboo worms and crickets and grasshoppers…crunchy and slimy to varying degrees. I had these from typical street carts in Thailand and Vietnam. Actually not too bad, considering. Just avoid the wings. 🙂

  4. Roberta Beach Jacobson July 10, 2008 at 2:38 pm #

    My parents liked chocolate covered ants (at restaurants). I tried just a bit, but couldn’t really eat. I once ate something in Romania that I’m pretty sure wasn’t a “normal” hamburger. I don’t like to think about it.

  5. Bobbi July 8, 2008 at 11:58 am #

    Hippo-very tasty but tough. Termites-We used to catch them flying after a rain and fry them in butter. Really good then, but would have to overcome sqeamishness now. Monkey made into spaghetti sauce. Dik Dik, a tiny little antelope, roasted over a fire in a desert in Africa. Stuff of dreams!

  6. Nomadic Matt July 6, 2008 at 8:43 am #

    Nutmeg will make you high. you just need to eat a lot of it!! a real lot. it takes awhile to kick in too.

  7. Cristel July 4, 2008 at 9:08 am #

    I haven’t eaten anything too weird, compared to some people:

    Deep fried maggots at the University of Guelph…tasted like popcorn.
    A milkshake with 4 Tablespoons of nutmeg in it, cuz we heard it would make you high (it didn’t)
    Black bear…tasted like skunk. Awful!

    A note to Monto: what you ate might have been a lesser mouse deer. You can check them out on Wikipedia. (Don’t worry, they’re not endangered.)

  8. morto July 2, 2008 at 11:18 pm #

    To tell the truth, I’m a little wary of answering this question. It has already got me in trouble from those rightly concerned with the treatment of our furry brothers and sisters of the hinterlands. Let’s just say that backpacking alone in the remote northern Phongsali province of Laos makes one very hungry and willing to try anything at least once.

    I ate at the only “restaurant” available in the small village I was passing through. I asked what was “on the menu” but with my limited Lao I did not understand the answer. I was then led outside the wooden shack and there, against the wall, was a fairly large cage.

    Inside the cage was something I had never seen before nor have I seen it since. It was a live mammal, fairly cute really, some sort of a large rodent but with the longer legs and small feet of a deer. I still have no idea what the name of this animalis. I have not been able to find a picture of it. I am afraid it was of some endangered species and that is why I’m a bit sensitive about this story. But like I said, I was hungry, alone, and wiling to try new things.

    “I will eat it?” I asked. “No not it, another one already prepared” they assured me. So I went back inside, waited for it to be cooked, and ate it up. It was delicious, lean, a lot like venison, with a gamey taste. All in all no regrets.

    Anybody know what this critter was?

  9. writerspice
    writerspice July 2, 2008 at 9:04 pm #

    Thanks, Matt! I know. I felt that way when I was chowing down on the one and only maggot I’ve ever eaten as well 🙂

  10. Nomadic Matt July 2, 2008 at 9:01 pm #

    Found your blog via TravelBlogs. I like the lay out (and content too)

    The weirdest thing I’ve ever had to eat were maggots. They tasted like salty french fries but I couldn’t get over the fact I was eating maggots. Andrew Zimmerman I’m not.

I would love to hear what you think!

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