How insects are eaten around the world

You’re not alone if you watched Timon and Pumbaa singing Hakuna Matata while eating big fat grubs in The Lion King, and thought: ‘I wonder what those actually taste like.’

In most Western countries, eating insects has not caught on (although you can order edible critters online, and the odd snack pack of crickets can be found in specialist supermarkets), but we’re somewhat behind.

But many countries and cuisines have been incorporating protein-rich (and largely sustainable) insects into their diets for centuries.

Here’s where to get your insect fix around the world.

Wasps and hornets

Where? Japan

How? In the mountain village of Kushihara, there’s an annual Wasp Festival, where the wasps are ground and grilled to use in gohei mochi, a snack of rice on a skewer, topped with a sweet-sour sauce.

Fried spiders

Where? Cambodia

How? Something of a tourist trap, crispy fried spiders are a go-to snack to try in Cambodia.

Grasshoppers and crickets

Where? Thailand, Ghana, Mexico and China (among others)

How? Crickets make for great on-the-go snacks, whether fried and scoffed in handfuls, or baked into cereal bars. Use in a crunchy topping for dishes too.

Roasted maguey worms
Where? Mexico

How? These little guys are actually edible caterpillars and can be found in bottles of mezcal, or served whole and fried (preferably to dip in guacamole).

Flying ants

Where? Guatemala

How? They can be used as a garnish or as a bar snack, liberally coated with salt and lime.

June bugs

Where? America (mainly Native American communities), Philippines

How? Fried and spiced, then knocked back like nuts or popcorn.

Have you eaten any insects? Would you add them to your diet for a sustainable source of protein?

– With PA

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