So before you enjoy a romantic meal with your sweetheart, you check out the behind the scenes state of the play by looking at a Scores on the Doors star rating. Then when you arrive, what do you choose to eat? Well, how about eating what was meant to be excluded from behind the scenes… Let me explain.
I did some basic internet research regarding people eating what we here at Rentokil consider pests, I felt pretty queasy. Seriously, some of the recipes/menu ideas and images I found on-line were terrible! However, I also learnt a new word for the day: Entomophagy, (not to be confused with entomology) in other words insect eating. Gotta be honest, if I ever personally had to do something similar to a Bushtucker trial, I would probably give up at the first hurdle. However, even scarier is the phrase coined as Unintentional entomophagy, i.e. since it is impossible to totally remove all pests from food, you are probably eating them anyway.
Woodlouse fish sauce anyone? Apparently it is “equal, if not distinctly superior, to shrimp”. Vincent M. Holt extolled the virtues of this and various other insects in his book written way back in 1885 entitled “Why Not Eat Insects?” which is still available to purchase on Amazon today.
How about chocolate covered crickets? Yummy. Or the old favourite Insect Crunch? Its like peanut brittle except this particular crunch is down to the addition of stuff like grasshoppers, ants and crickets. Wasp/bee larvae? Popular in China/Japan either deep fried and seasoned with salt and pepper, or cooked with soy sauce and sugar. They’re crunchy and the locals eat them like popcorn. I’m in the sweet popcorn (rather than savoury) camp, but sweet bee larvae, nah, I’ll pass.
Now, how about a bit of extra protein after your delicious insect starter? How about fried rats? These are eaten in Vietnam or Thailand deep fried and seasoned with all kinds of delicious spices. The spices may be delicious, but it would be eating rats that I have the problem with. Spiders, snakes and scorpions also make the grade for Creepy Crawly Cooking – but I’m not entirely sure its for me. Call me a wimp but no thanks…
If you are desperate (!) to do some Entamophogy, visit the World Museum Liverpool website, or see the Entamophogy website recipes but if you want to learn more about what we call pests, look at our pest guides. Happy cooking!