Global cuisine is full of surprises, especially when it comes to insects. Most countries around the world already enjoy bugs as a traditional part of their food culture but Americans have just never really gotten on board with bug-eating...at least, not that they're aware. But surprisingly innovative bug recipes are popping up every day, even in the US, providing even squeamish Westerners with inventive ways to eat bugs. The number of ways you can eat insects has expanded exponentially- they can be found in street food dishes, high-end restaurants, and even in new and innovative cooking products.
Check out some of these weird insect recipes - maybe trying out some new bug snacks won't be as scary as it seems.
Atlanta's NBA team, the Hawks, have made a head-turning addition to their concession stands this season. Along with the standard gameday foods, one stand will now be offering cricket tacos. The crickets are supplied by Texas company Aketta, who provide flavors such as Texas BBQ and Sweet-n-Spicy Cajun. The tacos are three for $12, and include sliced avocado, onion, queso fresco, cilantro, and Cajun-spiced crickets. The Hawks hope to be the first sports team to serve crickets at their games, though the Mariners are already serving toasted grasshoppers.
New Orleans boasts the largest free-standing insectarium in the country, so it isn't surprising that they've come up with some pretty innovative ideas to get guests even closer to the bugs. At their Bug Appetit cafe, insects are baked into cookies (chocolate "chirp," with crickets), folded into fudge, and placed on skewers to be dipped into a chocolate fountain. The cafe is a huge hit with kids, since it turns once-icky bugs into sweet treats.
Walk through the night markets in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and you'll see vendors with carts of fried tarantulas and scorpions on sticks, frogs, and piles of crickets. You'll also see a sign that says photos of the cart cost up to $1, since many curious tourists would rather gawk than buy anything.
Many visitors know that bugs are a traditional food in Cambodia, but are scared to try them. Thankfully, Bugs Cafe (just down the street from the markets) has solved that problem- the little Western-style restaurant offers a menu of tapas that feature local creepy crawlers, presented in a way that appeals to tourists.
There are spring rolls with red ants inside, a "Bug Mac" burger, even sweet potato soup with honey bee larvae. Their unique twists on traditional Cambodian snacks really give tourists a "local" experience, and one that is less intimidating than a fried bug on the side of the road.
In Mexico, ant are delicately collected and turned into a delicacy known as "ant caviar." The large, white eggs are cleaned and added to a frying pan with onions, garlic, peppers, and some herbs to gently cook. The mixture is served with lemon, guacamole, and warm tortillas to create a truly Mexican dish. The flavor is described as delicious and fresh, and similar to a "fresh vegetable."