Do insects taste good?

Do you like the sound of a delicate, blue-goat’s-cheese-flavoured taco filling? This is a bit like what Escamoles taste like; eaten in Mexico since at least the time of Aztecs and now becoming popular in the U.S. It happens to be fried ant larvae. But why let that put you off? Arguably, it’s just caviar... from a slightly different source.

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Photo: Nordic Food Lab, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

It seems that there’s actually a huge range of extraordinary flavours and tastes that people are missing out on, just because western societies aren’t big on edible insects. Many are very high in fat, and though we might not all admit it, we know that things with lots of fat tend to be delicious. The good news is that insects are a source of the ‘good’ fats - omega 3 and others.

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Photo: Nordic Food Lab, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Take the Witjuti, or Witchetty, grub. This moth larvae is eaten by Aboriginal people in Australia. It is full of fatty acids, especially omega-9, and is a prized delicacy. When roasted on a fire the skin crisps up like roast chicken, and the flesh is said to taste like almonds, or peanut butter.

There’s a huge variety of species being cooked in totally different ways, and that’s what we think is so exciting.

The world of edible insects is vast. No one can say “insects taste like this” - it would be like saying all mammals taste the same. Certain ants are said to taste like lemongrass. The larvae of the Capricorn Beetle is apparently similar to ‘a sweet, oily piece of shrimp’. Mealworms and other larvae are often described as tasting ‘nutty’ or like roasted seeds - this makes sense given the high fat content of these foods.

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Photo: Nordic Food Lab, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The aim of BUGSfeed is to explore the incredible diversity of insects as food. There’s a huge variety of species being cooked in totally different ways, and that’s what we think is so exciting.

An Escamoles Extravaganza

An Escamoles Extravaganza

Around the world premiere of BUGS at the Tribeca Film Festival, two impromptu insect tastings took place in New York City – and both involved escamoles, our current Bug of the Week.

 Dig even deeper →

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