|Edible Insects, Part 2
||[May. 21st, 2008|07:48 pm]
[I'm reposting this to here since it sounds like you're looking for unusual topics.]|
After reading Eating Insects, Part 1, have you been waiting to see whether or not I chowed down on any bugs? I thought about it a lot for a week, surfing websites, talking to friends about it, and being reminded of bugs by lots of other things. The fennel fronds in my pasta looked a little like little squished long-legged bugs. The red adzuki beans reminded me of insect larvae. Spicy salty shrimp with their heads on reminded me of many-legged bugs. I saw an ant crawling around on our back porch and considered catching it and frying it up to see what it tasted like. Then I remembered the ant traps we put in the back stairwell and worried that the ant was carrying a poisonous payload back to its home so I passed on trying to eat that ant.
A week later, I was still excited to give these a try so after work, I headed down to the library where they were hosting David Gracer for an Edible Insects Talk and Tasting. His bio could sound kind of Indiana Jones. He teaches expository writing by day and then goes hunting for wild mushrooms and edible insects. He's even gone all the way to Thailand to try the local entomophagy cuisine (while also giving a presentation at a conference for the United Nations).
I was late so I missed the bulk of his talk. When I spoke to him afterwards, he was bummed he had forgotten to talk about how insects were an environmentally friendly source of protein and minerals and other nutrients. (But you can see the short segment of David Gracer on the Colbert Report.) When I arrived at the library, they had moved on to taking questions from the audience. One kid asked what his favorite insect to eat had been. I've already forgotten the specific bug (maybe grilled scorpions from a street vendor in Thailand?) but he finished by saying, "Those were so good I could've eaten another 25 of them right there."
Man in audience: "Do you get a lot of dates?!"
Gracer: "Well, I DO get asked that from time to time. But my wife is actually understanding about it even though she doesn't care for them that much herself. But we live in 'the Ocean State' and she doesn't even like to eat seafood so.... yes, Miss. You have a question?"
Girl in Front Row: "Yes. I was wondering if that last story was true because I notice you're not wearing a ring."
Keen observer, eh?
Gracer: (smiling) "Yes that's true even though I'm not wearing my ring. My life is pretty interesting as it is without needing to make things up."
David Gracer, presenting and cooking While we had remained seated during the talk, once it came time to try the bugs, much of the audience crowded around the front to get a taste. Fry the crickets up with a bit of oil and then add in some rice.
I was a little nervous still about eating any of the bugs. It just sounds a little weird doesn't it? But when he started cooking some crickets, after a few minutes, you could smell them and I swear it smelled like french fries to me. It smelled like fries and I hadn't had a chance to eat dinner yet. Suddenly, I couldn't wait to try them.