What's for dinner? How about starting with grilled scorpions on a stick, followed by barbecued grubs, and roasted tarantulas? And for dessert, you can snarf down some chocolate-covered ants. In many parts of the world, people gobble up insects and arachnids such as spiders, scorpions, and ticks. Insects are an excellent source of protein as well as vitamins and minerals. What's more, there are lots of them. Insects make up fourth-fifths of all the species on Earth. Who know? One day, old saying "butterflies in your stomach" may become more than just an expression.
If you like almonds, then you may like the taste of witchetty grubs, jumbo-size larvae from moths that feed on the roots of witchetty bushes. Native Australians have eaten the grubs for thousands of years. They are traditionally enjoyed raw, but when they are cooked, the skin crisps up, leaving the delicate flesh Inside creamy and tender.
Crickets, besides being packed with protein, are high in calcium. With nutty, crunchy taste, crickets can be a problem to eat whole as their legs, wings, and antenna often get stuck between teeth or, more dangerously, in the throat. That's why many cricket crunchers grind them into a fine powder.
In the United States, stink bugs are pests that devour crops, but in Mexico and in parts of Africa, they are enjoyed in stews and sauces. The bugs give off a stinky liquid when they are disturbed, so they have to be handled with care. In Africa, people place the bugs in warm water and stir them until the bugs release their liquid. After several rinses, they are ready to be boiled. In Mexico, one type of stink bug has a spicy cinnamon flavor that comes from the plants it feeds on. Rich with vitamin B, the tiny bugs are added to sauces and used as a filling for tacos.
A Mouthful of Mealworms
About an inch long, mealworms, the larvae of the darkling beetle, are found throughout the world. They taste like whatever food they've been raised on. So, if mealworm fed on corn flour, it would taste like corn. If it feasted on wheat flour, it would have a doughy taste. Above image shows mealworms do really like potatoes.
Imagine coming home from school to munch on a snack of fried tarantula. Many kids in Cambodia, a nation in Asia, do just that. The spiders are dusted with salt, sugar, and seasoning and then fried in oil and garlic. The size of an adult's palm, a protein-packed tarantula is eaten whole, although it's okay to pull off the crunchy legs and nibble them first. Save the gooey abdomen for last.
[spoiler title="Exotic Facts For Exotic Foods"]
Insects are arthropods, animals with a hard outer skeleton and limbs with joints so they can bend. Shellfish such as shrimp and crabs are also arthropods.[/spoiler]