Maybe you’ve been seduced by my other articles or your curiosity has finally gotten the best of you. Or maybe you’ve watched a little kid munch a bug or two and want to vicariously understand what she’s tasting. Do you want an idea of what they taste like first? Here’s my best attempt at describing my Bugible culinary experiences.
*keep in mind that insects are, for the large part, taste-malleable. Insects, especially crickets, tend to both adopt the flavor of what they have been fed (mint-fed crickets will have a minty taste) or what they are cooked with (chili powder crickets vs lemon crickets vs crickets in a salad will all taste WAY different). I’ll be doing my best attempt to describe the unique flavor of insects, given these variations. Most of the bugs I have consumed have been either cooked at home or encountered at street vendors in Mexico or Thailand.
Scorpions: My favorite. Cooking them destroys the venom, so don’t worry. A scorpion tastes like really good beef jerky. A scorpion also has a slight fishy taste. These can be consumed friend, roasted, grilled, or live(!). Live scorpions are usually eaten with their stingers cut off and dunked in some sort of wine.
Giant Water Bug: I had no idea how to describe this bug, but I read somewhere that it tasted a bit like a salted banana, and I agree. One thing I did not like about the giant water bug was how difficult it was to eat – you have to peel of the wings and suck out the meat.
Tarantulas: The thorax was a little too meaty for me – it tasted a bit like how you would expect a bug to taste, to be honest. But the legs tasted like chicken wings, no joke! They are generally consumed whole.
Large Crickets: Tastes like nutty chicken. See below for the more common variety of cricket.
Sago Grub: Sago Grubs: I LOVE these. They are eaten widely across Southeast Asia and taste a bit like bacon. They are hearty, for a bug, and don’t have any of that slightly…”buggish”… taste to them. These are usually roasted but can be eaten raw.
Grasshoppers: Grasshoppers have intimidating legs. If you can get past that, they prepare for a crunchy, peanut-chicken leg sensation in your mouth.
Crickets: Crickets are one of the more popularly consumed insects. They are often made into a flour and used in cooking. When not, crickets are usually prepared friend but can be boiled, sautéed, or roasted. Crickets are generally prepared until crispy and tend to take like what they were cooked in. Many compare the taste of crickets to popcorn or nuts.
Mealworms: Mealworms can be used in everything. They are actually beetle larvae and can be fried, raw, sautéed, boiled, and roasted. They have a super mild flavor (they don’t taste like much), so they can make great protein additions to any dish! When roasted, they have a slightly nutty flavor. I like to use them instead of croutons in salads or as trail mix.
Lemon Ants: Their tiny bodies are extremely acidic. Eaten raw, these little fellas have a vague lemon flavor.
Stink Bugs: They smell bad, but they taste slightly like apples.
More to come!