The Kushihara Wasp Festival

Even though Japan is often mentioned as a country where people eat insects, this practice pretty much remains confined to some rural areas.

In those places, insects – and eating them – are enthusiastically celebrated. The Kushihara Hebo Society (hebo meaning wasp) holds an annual festival in honour of the vespula flaviceps, or Japanese wasp.

Here, a contest is held to see who can present the heaviest wasp nest. The first prize is known to be given to nests weighing up to 8kg. Furthermore, an insect-y version of the locally favoured snack gohei mochi is served. It’s a form of caked rice on a skewer covered in a sweet–savoury sauce; and in this particular version, the sweet sauce is made from ground wasp.

When the Nordic Food Lab researchers visited Japan, they naturally had to go to the festival. Here's how they fared.

This footage was shot for (but not used in) BUGS the film. Want to know when you can see it where you are?

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