The thought of consuming spicy grasshoppers or fried tarantula might turn the stomach, but the practice of eating insects is quite popular across most of the parts of the world mainly due to the nutritional benefits present in them.
David Gordon Fried: The Bug Chef explains some exotic recipes with insects
Among the various types of insects that are consumed beetles are the most commonly consumed ones which is further followed by bees, caterpillars, ants, wasps, locusts, grasshoppers, and crickets. In fact it is said that close to 1,900 insects are considered edible.
David Gordon Fried often referred to as the Bug Chef says that he used to wonder why people of Western culture don’t eat insects whereas people from certain other countries in the world eat insects. And this is when he has started writing the book Eat-a-Bug Cookbook, which has been published in 1998 by Ten Speed Press. The book contains forty recipes that use ants and grasshoppers to termites, tarantula spiders and scorpions.
As stated by David rightly, these insects are extremely high in protein and are also high in essential fatty acids, especially omega-3s. In addition insects, such as grasshoppers, crickets, ants, and certain caterpillars, are exceptionally high in calcium. Mentioned below is one of the recipes of the Bug Chef which has become quite popular in the recent times.
Huge, hairy tarantulas can be used to prepare an exotic delicacy. In order to prepare this dish apart from tarantulas, tempura batter, oil, garnishes, condiments, salt and garlic are required. The first thing that needs to done to prepare this delicacy is to remove the abdomen of the tarantula and also the hair. Then dip the tarantula in the tempura batter and place it in the deep fryer for one minute until it is crispy. Once it is prepared well, place it on the paper towel so that excess oil can be removed, garnish it with condiments and add some salt and garlic to enhance the taste. The dish is known to contain a lot of proteins and when flavored with salt, garlic and sugar, they become a complete healthy snack.
The taste of the dish is interesting and something like a mixture between cod and chicken. The exterior is crunchy and the interior is very soft. The body and the head have some meat although the legs are thin and have very little meat. But the abdomen is not that tasty as it contains a number of organs and thus it is removed when preparing the dish. As stated by David these dishes taste the best when they make the snacks using tarantulas that are fresh. After the frying process they can be dipped in lime juice and pepper sauce and can be enjoyed as a quick and healthy afternoon snack.
David Gordon Fried is the award-winning author of The Sasquatch Seeker’s Field Manual, The Compleat Cockroach, The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook and eighteen other titles. At present he lives in Seattle.