Delicate sensibilities aside, I could save so much cash could if I could make myself eat bugs. While bugs aren’t always the densest form of protein, they are abundant. More importantly, they’re free.
Despite what you may think, eating them is not harmful nor uncommon. Insects are the menu in over 80% of the world’s homes. Some see seafood like lobster and crab as large insects.
It’s no news that people eat some strange things. There’s a town in China, Yulin, that celebrates a festival of dogs. You can do the math.
What’s perhaps more interesting is to learn what other cultures find strange about our dining habits. It’s all perspective.
Speaking of which, brave is the soul who would try some of these delights.
You can find this one right at home, believe it or not. You may have enjoyed blood sausage at some point in your life. It is sometimes referred to as black pudding, depending on where you find it. The basic makeup us blood and seasonings mixed with grains, ground or otherwise, wrapped like a traditional sausage in most cases. Depending on the region, the grains could be oats, they could be rice, but the grains are what give the sausage it’s texture.
An Icelandic tradition, the process involves drying Greenland shark or similar shark for a few months. The meat is otherwise poisonous when harvested, but after curing is edible, technically speaking. It’s known for the strong smell of ammonia. The smell is so bad, people will gag when trying to for the first time. Plug your nose.
Found in Korea, if you like your seafood fresh, then this is the protein source for you. Preparation involves cutting octopus into pieces while the creature is still alive. The pieces of the octopus continue to move as they serve the dish. Alternatively, they may serve it as one whole baby octopus.
Like aged food? How about an egg that is a few months old? Pidan, as they call it in China, is a preserved egg from duck, chicken or quail. Prep is a matter of burying it in a mixture of earth, salt, and ash until the yolk turns green, the white part brown. In some cases, the salt creates glittering snowflake patterns on the outside of the egg.
A great source of protein, fried crickets sold as street food or in cans is a popular snack food in Thailand. Rumor has it they go great with a cold beer. It’s just what every sports fan has been craving.
Enjoyed for ages by Cambodians, the fried tarantula is a delicacy. To prepare this protein, mature spiders are fried in oil. Each spider makes a pretty hearty snack, about the size of your palm. While the head and legs are tasty, consuming the abdominals is up to each diner.
Named after the large, white, wood-eating larvae, Witchetty grubs are a treat enjoyed in central Australia. It is traditionally a food consumed by aborigines. The flavor is almond-like, but the texture is eggy or like a chicken.
For my protein intake, I’ll stick to eggs, chicken, and bacon, maybe the occasional protein shake. Until the zombie apocalypse, I see no reason to push what is otherwise desirable to my tastes. Sure, we could all save a few bugs plucking ranches from the ground to make a stew, but then who would ever kiss us goodnight again? Something to think about.