Insects on the Culinary Schedule - A Serious Post

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Insects on the Culinary Schedule - A Serious Post

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:20 am

Sent to me by one of my faithful correspondents.....an interesting video talk and demonstration that asks the question: "Why not eat insects".

An interesting argument, for although there are only several hundred species of mammals on the planet there are virtually hundreds of millions of different insects, the vast majoritty of which are rich in protein and other necessary nutrients. And, once one gets past the "disgust factor" (which is, by the way learned and not innate), some are actually quite tasty.

Worth watching the video at http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/punct ... 0/dec/02/2

Comments and reactions?

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Re: Insects on the Culinary Schedule - A Serious Post

Postby Richard Tasgal » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:21 am

I saw this interesting news item
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4VxJecTOkM
about raising bugs for food in Laos.

Not for me, though.

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Re: Insects on the Culinary Schedule - A Serious Post

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sun Dec 12, 2010 8:43 am

Much a question of culture and how we are raised. Yemeni Jews and Sicilians, for example adore trapping locusts, popping them into a hot oven and cooking until they are crisp. Plain, with a bit of salt sprinkled over, or dipped in honey they are quite a tempting treat. On several of the Polynesian Islands, still popular dishes are based on grasshoppers and several kinds of caterpillars, those fried in deep oil, the first having the taste and texture of deep fried chicken nugets and the second similar to that of calamari. Throughout China popular insect dishes are based on grubs and several kinds of night moths. In Mexico the grub of the algave caterpillar is considered not only a delicacy but is said to be good for male virility and in many places in Africa several kinds of ants (but not the fire ants) are considered treats when a small handfull is popped into the mouth, the ants still alive.

As to trapping locusts, nothing is simpler. Simply make a box from tin, coat the inside with honey and the locusts simply swarm in to get the honey. Close the box, place over hot charcoals and cook away until one hears no more flapping of wings.

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Re: Insects on the Culinary Schedule - A Serious Post

Postby Richard Tasgal » Sun Dec 12, 2010 9:23 am

Based on my limited experience, not all of those people really like eating bugs. The Yemenite olim I've happened to talk to about locusts may not have doubted the kashrut, but they described the bugs as (paraphrasing) gross. In some travel in China (Xian and Beijing) a decade ago, I did not see bugs available to eat anywhere. I read that there were two exceptions in Xian, though I did not see them myself: one section of a street that was supposed to have a lot of bugs for sale to eat, but there was nothing on the day that I was there; and a gimmicky restaurant named something like Past Travails and Present Happiness, where the first half of the menu was supposed to represent food from during the cultural revolution. My guess is if bugs were widely liked in China, they would have been more available.

Not based on experience: if the algave caterpillar grub is considered in Mexico to be good for virility, perhaps it's partly because eating them is unappealing and therefore daring.

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Re: Insects on the Culinary Schedule - A Serious Post

Postby Charlie Dawg » Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:06 pm

I grew up with this kid who loved bugs, ok he was really weird. He would just pick them up from flour or a plant and pop it in his mouth. I don’t think I would be able to overcome the disgust of eating any bug, I do not care how nutritious they are might be. Thank G-d I never had to starve, really starve.
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Re: Insects on the Culinary Schedule - A Serious Post

Postby David Raccah » Tue Dec 21, 2010 3:54 am

I would starve - forget that it may be kosher or that it may not. Starving or not, bugs are something that gross me out at sight - no thanks boss!!!

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Re: Insects on the Culinary Schedule - A Serious Post

Postby Richard Tasgal » Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:37 am

Story about a pocket of ant eaters in Brazil:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/05/world ... wanted=all .
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