Those who know me best know I have a bit of a sweet tooth, so it would come to no surprise if I told you I was browsing indulgent recipes last night to satisfy my cravings. Upon doing so I came across this bug treatâ€¦ This bug inspired snack:
While this particular lovebug treat only looks like a delicious bug, it got me wondering,
â€œAre there any sweet treats that actually have bugs in them?â€
In my search, I found that there are actually a lot of tasty treats out there that have insects as a main ingredient. These three seemed to look the most appetizing.
Here are three sweet bug treats you must try:
Chocolate Chirpie Cookies
3/4 cup dry-roasted crickets
1 12-ounce bag chocolate chips
>1 cup chopped nuts
2 1/4 cup flour
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
Preparation & Cooking
Preheat oven to 375. In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In large bowl, combine butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla; beat until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually add flour mixture and insects, mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded measuring teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Banana Worm Bread
1/4 cup dry-roasted meal worms
2 cups flour
2 mashed bananas
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
Preparation & Cooking
Mix together all ingredients. Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease baking sheets. In a bowl, stir together oats, flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl, beat together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer until light and airy. Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Add oat mixture, crickets and cranberries and mix until well combined. Place dough in spoonfuls, 2 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake cookies in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes total.
Transfer to racks to cool. Makes 30 to 40 cookies.
The next time you’re craving something a little sweet, indulge your adventurous side by making up a batch of one of these bug treats. Let me know what you think, and comment below if you have any other insect recipes you’d like to share with our readers.
Entomophagists are people who include bugs in their diet. While consuming insects is not for the faint of heart, there are some interesting recipes out there from various cultures which regularly incorporate bugs in their diet. Below is a list of ten unique insect dishes that you might want to try if you’re ever feeling adventurous or are simply looking for an additional source of protein.
1. BBQ Silkworm Chrysalises
These hard shelled pupa are a byproduct of the silk industry and are canned or sold by street vendors throughout Asia. They can be enjoyed deep-fried or barbecued. This Asian delicacy can be eaten whole or you can just enjoy the yellow meat inside, which smells like raw meat and tastes like tofu.
2. Mosquito Eggs and Tortillas
This Mexican delicacy involves drying and then roasting mosquito eggs prior to being served on a tortilla with a squeeze of lemon or lime. A small bottle of mosquito eggs is comparable to caviar at $50 a pop.
3. Katydid Texas & Thai Fusion
This dish combines Texas katydids with coconut oil, green onions, and Thai seasonings, with the concoction stuffed into mushroom caps to complete the exotic meal. Many people recommend removing the katydids’ legs, as they can be tough.
This snack is commonly sold by street vendors in China. While centipedes taste better, millipedes are more commonly used. Centipedes have to have their heads removed before cooking, since they use their pincers to bite, but the millipedes can be cooked with their heads intact. Millipedes on a stick are known to have a bland flavor, similar to a dry spaghetti noodle.
6. Waterbug Noodle Soup
Waterbugs and udon noodle soup is a popular dish in Taiwan, taking precedence over the traditional chicken noodle soup we enjoy in the U.S. Apparently waterbugs taste like a mixture of clams and potatoes. Who knew?
7. Chocolate Cricket Chip Cookies
This unique spin on chocolate chip cookies adds in crickets for a nutty flavor and crunchy texture. Crickets are enjoyed by people all over the world, and are known to have a roasted nut flavor, which makes them the perfect addition to chocolate chip cookies.
8. Fried Hornworms
Tomato and tobacco worms, also known as hornworms, have the distinct flavor of shrimp, crab, and green tomatoes when fried in oil. Although they must be put on a starvation diet for a few days prior to being eaten, since the plants they live off of are toxic for people to eat.
9. Tofu Grasshopper
Grasshoppers are a delicacy popular in Japan, Uganda, and Mexico, and are especially tasty when paired with tofu. Not all grasshoppers are edible, however â€“ only solid colored ones can be eaten.
10. Chocolate Covered Scorpions
It’s hard to resist any treat that’s been dipped in chocolate â€“ even scorpions. The toxins from these pests are rendered harmless once the creatures have been stir-fried or just plain fried in hot oil. It is said that scorpions taste like shrimp, and are extra tasty when dipped in chocolate.
It takes someone with a lot of courage to try these dishes, but if you have an adventurous spirit you may just discover that you love them!
About the author:Chris is a blogger for a el paso pest control company. He hasn’t tried eating insects yet, other than the occasional fly from a too-wide yawn, but he’d really like to try. Especially chocolate covered ones.
Most people agree that insects are unappetizing, but did you know that some people actually enjoy munching on them? It’s true- people who consume insects are practicing entomophagy, which is actually more common that you would think. Many insects are actually a good (and cheap) source of protein, and while most people eat bugs out of necessity, nowadays they are also considered a delicacy.
Below you will find a list of the top 10 edible insects, based on taste and popularity.
10. Weaver Ants Eggs
Weaver ants eggs are used as a tasty dip or topping for salad and tortilla chips in Thailand. However, they can only be collected one month out of the year, which is a very tedious and painful process. Weaver ants’ eggs are squishy and must be fully cooked before being enjoyed.
9. Giant Water Beetles
Also a popular delicacy in Thailand are Giant Water Beetles. These huge beetles are deshelled and then roasted or fried. Supposedly they taste like scallops.
8. Larvets Worm Snacks
These worms are baked so they have a crunchy texture. They come in a variety of flavors such as BBQ, cheese and Mexican spice.
7. Witchetty Grubs
These large, fleshy, white wood eating moths or beetle larvae are a principal source of protein in the Australian Aboriginal diets. They can either be eaten raw or lightly baked (typically over fire coals.)
Crickets (along with grasshoppers) are a pretty common bug to be eaten. The general consensus seems to be that they have a nutty flavor, although you can buy them seasoned (such as Crick-ettes brand Cricket snacks, which come in three flavors: Salt and Vinegar, Bacon and Cheese, and Sour Cream and Onion.) In the Northeast area of Thailand, egg-laden crickets (in other words, â€œpregnantâ€ crickets) are considered a popular and tasty snack.
5. Oven Baked Tarantula
Despite the fact that tarantula’s are arachnids, not insects, they are being included on this list simply because they are so closely related and commonly confused as being part of the insect family. At any rate, oven roasted tarantula is a popular menu item in Cambodia. The fangs must be removed before consuming; simply warm and enjoy. (Or not.)
4. Casu Marzu
Casu Marzu is a type of cheese made from sheep’s milk that is crawling with insect larvae, which is popular in Sardinia, Italy. The soft cheese has been fermented to the point of decomposition, inviting insect larvae to develop. Some people choose to pick off the translucent little worms crawling on the cheese surface, while others enjoy the maggots.
Eating termites is a way of life in Africa and some parts of Indonesia. They’re commonly collected at the beginning of the rainy season (when other protein sources are scarce.) Termites taste best after being slightly roasted.
2. Chocolate Covered Giant Ants
Ants are another commonly consumed insect, although they taste best encased in decadent Belgian chocolate. Giant Queen Leafcutter ants bathed in chocolate are said to have a nutty flavor, boost the immune system and give the consumer extra energy.
1. Bug Suckers
We’ve all (probably) seen the suckers housing insects at one time or another. These are a common treat sold across America in shopping malls and candy stores. Examples of insects which you can find encased in hard candy include scorpions (ok, these are arachnids,) worms, grasshoppers and crickets.
While eating insects is pretty much a novelty in our culture, in some places throughout the world it is a necessity. Just about any insect can be eaten, as long as it’s given a good, long boiling first. Although calling an exterminator is still recommended when you discover an outbreak of bugs in your house- technically you â€œgo greenâ€ and eat them.
There are more insects on Earth than there are human beings. Billions more. In fact, there are so many insects that they can sometimes swarm in the millions and devastate the landscape. Swarms are large numbers of insects that get together for a collective purpose. This purpose can be migration, mating, or eating. Swarming is a behavior that occurs more often than most people realize. Sometimes these swarms get so massive that they are positively biblical, as in the swarm of locusts that destroyed ancient Egypt’s crops. Here are a few massive swarms that have appeared in recent memory.
1931 Grasshoppers in the Midwest
Grasshoppers are famous for swarming and devouring miles of crop along the way. This usually happens as part of the mating drive, when certain conditions cause their wings and jaws to grow making them into hungry eating machines. They fly farther, and eat more as a result. The 1931 Swarm landed in the heartland of South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa in July. There are so many grasshoppers that they blocked out the sun and ate crops right down to the ground. People had to use shovels to scoop dead grasshoppers off the ground. This swarm was particularly bad because it occurred in the midst of the Great Depression and the Dustbowl, placing even more hardship on a strained nation.
2009 Ladybugs on Green Mountain
In Boulder, Colorado the residents experienced a very buggy summer of 2009 when millions of ladybugs landed to feast on a bumper crop of aphids. This swarm of bugs is mainly carnivorous, so the plants weren’t in too much danger, but the very wet spring provided plenty of green plants for the growth of other insects including aphids, slugs, snails, mosquitoes, and ants. The ladybugs were everywhere as they feasted on these insects. People reported seeing so many ladybugs on tree trunks that it appeared as if the bark itself were moving.
Double Cicada Hatching of 1998
Cicadas are large, winged bugs with massive eyes and no mouth parts. They live underground in a larval stage for a decade of their lives before emerging to develop wings as adults. These adults fly, mate, and die. They are not at all dangerous, but they are scary looking and sounding. Massive broods of cicada live under the North American continent, but they only come out once every 13 or 17 years. This is bad enough on its own when millions of bugs line the tree trunks and sidewalks, making chirping noises all night. However, once every 221 years, the brood hatchings will align and both 13 and 17 year cicadas crawl up out of the ground. This happened in 1998 and cicadas swarmed the northern and southern states of America in the millions. Luckily, this won’t happen again for another two hundred years.
Insect swarms are no joke. They can be quite annoying and cause lots of damage. However, not all swarms are locusts and grasshoppers. Some swarms are from normally harmless insects that in large numbers cause a lot of problems.
The CrossFit community is a passionate group to say the least. With all seriousness, you can definitely tell if somebody is avid about CrossFit, and has been doing it for awhileâ€¦ Their muscles will be bulging out of their shirt.
With this growing nationwide Crossfit trend, many CrossFit enthusiasts are practicing the accompanying Paleo diet.
As a bug guy, this Paleo lifestyle struck my curiosityâ€¦ â€œAre insects Paleo?â€
What Is Paleo?
You’ve heard it called the caveman diet. Others call it the ancestral, primal, real-food, or nutrient-dense diet. Whatever you call it, the Paleo way of eating mimics the eating habits of our ancient ancestors.
Paleo (short for Paleolithic) is about eating the foods that were prevalent during the Paleolithic era. Sorry, jelly-filled powdered donuts where not available back then. Needless to say, eating Paleo is very challenging for most. In terms of weight loss, and changing your body shape; results can be amazing.
Paleo foods include lean meats, seafood, grass-fed beef, veggies, roots, berries, various nuts, and eggs. Pasteurized dairy products, grains, legumes, and refined foods are strictly off limits. So where do insects fit in on the spectrum?
Are Insects Paleo?
While the thought of eating bugs is repulsive to some; insects are a healthy, protein packed, meat alternative food option.
So is this healthy meat alternative Paleo? Short answerâ€¦ Yes.
According to Paleo traditionalists, anything with a face is Paleo; and that includes insects. With this definition, apparently cannibalism is also Paleo.
A Paleo diet is less about avoiding grains, legumes, pasteurized dairy and refined foods; and is more about eating nutrient rich foods that work well with your body. Insects like crickets, scorpions, grubs, and grasshoppers are packed with protein and are actually very healthy when prepared correctly.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, some insects contain twice the protein of raw meat and fish, while others, particularly in their larval stage, are also rich in fat, vitamins and minerals. Now that’s Paleo!
Paleo Flow Chart
Entomophagy- The Practice Of Eating Insects
Eating insects might seem like a gross act, better left for â€˜Bizarre Foods’ host Andrew Zimmern. The truth is Entomophagy, or the act of eating insects, is a way of life for millions of people worldwide. People in less developed countries rely on insects for protein and other nutrients needed for survival. Scientists have long been touting insects as a protein-packed meat alternative that could help meet the world’s growing food demand.
While the practice of eating insects, may be unsettling for some people’s palates, different species of beetles, ants, bees, grasshoppers and crickets are eaten in 23 countries in the Americas, 29 countries across Asia, and 36 countries in Africa. In Thailand alone, 200 different insect species are consumed and are commonly sold as street snacks throughout the country.
Learn more about different country’s insect cuisine by clicking here.
I recently had a lot of fun putting together a Spotify playlist of popular bug songs. While putting it together, I found several bands that also shared their names with pests. Here is my top ten bands named after bugs or pests:
The Katydids reached stardom briefly in the early 90’s before guitarist Adam Seymour left the bad to play with The Pretenders. Before splitting, The Katydids released two moderately successful albums entitled Katydids (1991) and Shangri-la (1991).
Katydids, also known as long-horned grasshoppers, are best known for their appearance that mimics that of a leaf.
9. Adam and the Ants
Adam and the Ants, led by singer Adam Ant, became notable as a British cult band during the late-1970s punk rock era. Adam and the Ants have had a major influence on artists like Nine Inch Nails and Fat Boy Slim during the band’s short career.
Ants are one of the most successful groups of insects, and a common pest. They are social insects that live in underground colonies, but many enter buildings looking for food.
8. Iron Butterfly
Iron Butterfly rose to fame in the late 1960’s. They were even booked to play at Woodstock, but were unable to after getting stranded at the airport. Their album, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is one of the world’s 40 top-selling albums, selling more than 30 million copies.
While Butterflies are generally not considered pests, some species can damage domestic crops or trees in their larval stages. Traditionally, butterflies are a popular motif in the visual and literary arts across many different cultures.
7. Papa Roach
Papa Roach has sold more than 18 million album copies worldwide, and are best known for their songs “Last Resort”, and “…To Be Loved.â€ Their music is best described as rap metal. Their first album, Infest, reached triple platinum in 2000.
Roaches are one of the most common and hardy household pests in the United States. They invade our homes looking for their favorite foods like sugary sweets, salty snacks, and even hair or fingernails.
6. Alien Ant Farm
Alien Ant Farm got their name from a dream guitarist Terry Corso had about aliens cultivating the human race, like we were all in an ant farm. The band has had four successful albums, and has contributed to several Hollywood movie soundtracks; including 2002’s Spiderman. Their most popular song is â€œSmooth Criminal.â€
The United States hosts almost 1,000 different species of ants. While they are considered one of the most common household pests, only 25 species commonly infest homes.
One of the biggest bands in the early 80’s glam metal scene was Ratt. Their songs â€œRound and Round,â€ â€œLay It Down,â€ and â€œWanted Manâ€ helped to launch the band into superstardom.
Rats are very common household pests during the colder winter months. If you are seeing droppings, fresh gnawing, or tracks near your property; chances are you might have a serious rat infestation.
4. Buddy Holly and The Crickets
Even though Buddy Holly and The Crickets’ success was short lived because of an unfortunate plane crash, they may be one of the single most influential creative forces in early rock and roll. â€œThat’ll be the Dayâ€ is the group’s most popular recording; and in 2011 Buddy Holly was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Crickets are best known for their characteristic chirping noise, used by males to attract female crickets. As the temperatures rises, their songs become louder and faster.
Just by listening to â€œRock You Like a Hurricaneâ€ before any football game, one comes to the realization that Scorpions are one of the greatest hard rock bands of all time. In case you need any more proof, the band has sold over 150 million records, released 23 albums over the last 40 years, and played around 5,000 concerts in over 80 countries.
Much like the band, scorpions have been around a long time and are incredibly resilient. They require a focused pest control strategy. A testament to their durability was proven when lab experiments froze scorpions for weeks, leaving them unharmed when they were thawed. On top of that, after U.S. nuclear testing scorpions were discovered near ground zero with no adverse side effects.
2. Bee Gees
The Bee Gees, made up of brothers Robin, Maurice, and Barry Gibb were one of the biggest recording artists during the late 60’s to early 70’s. During the group’s 45 years of stardom, only Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney have outsold them.
While bees are considered beneficial insects by pollinating plants, they earn the title of pest by stinging and contributing to several deaths a year; common when a sting victim has a severe allergic reaction.
1. The Beatles
The Beatles are the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed act in the history of popular music. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr have sold 177 million albums in the US, more than any other artist.
Beetles constitute almost 25 percent of all known life-forms; more than any other order in the animal kingdom. There are some species of Beetle that have been awarded the distinction of pest. A few include: the Colorado potato beetle, the boll weevil and the Carpet beetle. They repeatedly create insect control problems when they invade and destroy household items and agricultural crops.
The turkey has been a staple of Thanksgiving since the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Natives ate it for their first Thanksgiving in 1621. Thanksgiving is colloquially called â€œTurkey Dayâ€ since turkey is the most common main dish of the holiday.
This year alone, American turkey growers have raised 270 million turkeys; which will correspond to the five billion pounds of turkey Americans will eat this Thanksgiving. That’s a lot of turkey!
While Americans love eating their turkey for Thanksgiving, turkeys equally love eating all sorts of bugs. Turkey’s raised on farms traditionally eat corn and seeds, but wild turkeys love eating insects and other creepy crawlies in order to get much needed protein. Some may even consider enlisting a turkey for scorpion control. (Have it your way, bugs or bird poop. Or call a professional.)
But really, as a bug guy, the whole turkey dinner thing got me thinking:
What would a turkey’s dinner look like on Thanksgiving?
A rustic arrangement of escargot featuring the Leopard Snail
A lovely Flowering Dogwood salad tossed with North American Millipedes
A large assortment of raw Grasshoppers, Field Crickets, and Black Carpenter Ants, served with a side of Wolf Spiders, and generously garnished with Dandelion.
A delectable Earthworm Mud Pie sprinkled withChiggers.
For Bulwark’s complete list of what turkeys eat, click here.
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, and the holiday season is in full swing, Bulwark Pest Control would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! No matter what your plans are or where you’ll be, there are many things to be thankful for. Take some time this week and reflect on all of your many blessings. Watch a lot of football, enjoy the company of your loved ones, and eat way too much pie. Have a Happy Turkey Day!
I was recently in San Jose, speaking a bit on the finer points of Local Pest Control Companies online. Well, sadly I was informed of a little San Jose Restaurant serving up a plate of bugs a little too late for me to partake. Lucky for me one of my SMX conference friends, Ryan Jones, did sample the Grasshopper Dinner and lived to tell about it:
Ryan Jones Show Us How to Eat Grasshoppers!
The other day I ended up at MezCal Mexican restaurant a few blocks from SMX with 3 lovely ladies from 352 Media (@erinever, @kellikimpton, and @jdallis) and some random British guy we found on the street. After a few sol’s and margaritas, the table decided that we had to order up a dish that consisted of grasshoppers, chips, and guacamole. As you can see from the picture, it was pretty obvious that they didn’t do much to them other than cook them.
How do Grasshoppers Taste?
The grasshopper taste was very odd. They smelled like sardines and were very salty and crunchy – with almost a prune style aftertaste. I’m not sure if it was the sauce or the actual grasshopper itself. By the way, when I say crunchy, I mean very crunchy – and you can definitely feel the legs in your throat when you swallow.
Definitely an experience, or as Bear Grylls says “a good bit of protein!”
– Thanks Ryan. You can find Ryan on twitter @RyanJones
Perhaps Bulwark can supplement their pest control business by offering up gourmet bugs after they are removed from people’s homes? KIDDING. Bulwark Exterminaitng won’t be serving grasshoppers or any other bug entrees anytime soon.