On the one hand, it’s fashion, and on the other, worms are not only a curiosity on the plate, but a valuable source of many valuable nutrients. Why is eating insects becoming more and more popular?
What you should know about eating insects
Edible insects are an absolute novelty on the food market. They are referred to as the so-called new food, although in fact eating insects is not unusual. Insects are an integral part of the diet of residents of Thailand, Australia or African countries.
There are more and more restaurants serving insects to the world. Already in almost every European capital you can find a place where instead of lobster in the aquarium there are, for example, fresh mantis.
Which insects are most often eaten
The most commonly consumed insects include grasshoppers, crickets and beetles. Importantly, all insects released for sale are subjected to veterinary control. They are prepared in different ways – most often they go through the process of dehydration, freeze-drying and frying. They keep a pleasant, slightly crunchy consistency. To emphasize the taste, they are often seasoned with various herbs. Powdered flour insects are very popular. It works perfectly as an addition to baking, you can also find interesting recipes for bread based on edible crickets flour.
Nutritional values of insects
In terms of nutritional value, insects are unrivaled. They provide a solid portion of wholesome protein, contain low carbohydrates, are a source of minerals important for health, such as iron, zinc and calcium. They can successfully replace meat of animal origin.
How to eat insects
Before frying, their wings and legs are torn off, and then soaked in salted water. They are then roasted in flat clay dishes. Indians think they are a great aphrodisiac and ensure longevity. In China, everywhere you can buy fried grasshoppers, which are served in the form of mini-glasses, on wooden sticks. A well-known Mexican dish is chapulines, i.e. fried insects similar to grasshoppers seasoned with salt, lime juice and chili.
In Thailand, which is a mecca for insect gourmets, you can eat locusts, including on the streets of Bangkok. Fried in butter, they resemble shrimp. Some even say that the only difference between shrimps and locusts is that some live in the water and others live on land. Baked locusts are crunchy and some eat them like chips. The basic rule when preparing these insects is to clean them of wings and legs. Locusts are reportedly the best with garlic and herbs. Lovers of sweet flavors can try chocolate-covered locusts.
In Mexican cuisine, ant larvae are used to prepare the popular escamoles. The eggs of giant black ants from the Liometopum family are collected from the agave roots and then cooked to the consistency of cottage cheese. It is a very healthy dish, full of high-quality, fully digestible protein. The eggs are said to have a pleasant nutty taste. During your stay in Mexico, you can also unknowingly eat tacos full of hot seasoned ant eggs.