The one great thing I love about travel is how it takes you out of your comfort zone and in doing so, allows you the freedom to experiment with new cultures, experiences and food. When I was in Bangkok and we were trying out some street food, I was offered up a big plate of bugs to pick from too.
Now, most of the people in the group I was travelling with were freaked out. Eating insects is not a completely foreign concept to me, mostly because mopane worms have always been a part of the South African story, but these guys were completely different to what I’ve seen before. These water bugs were big and fat and looked like they were going to explode when you bit into them.
Everybody just walked away, but I bit the literal bug bullet and picked up one of the medium-sized guys. I couldn’t mentally process the thought of the big ones, but I could handle the smaller guys. I don’t know if people around me thought I was crazy, or it was just intriguing that I was about to eat an insect, but suddenly every camera in our group was on me, snapping away, waiting for the face of revolt I guess.
I shoved the bug in my mouth, crunched down a few times and swallowed.
It was very different to what I expected. There was no green goo that exploded in my mouth for a start, there was no bitter or sour taste like I thought there may be either. The little bug legs didn’t seem to be trying to crawl their way down my throat. In fact, the only thing I thought was: “Hmmm… they just taste like the oil they’ve been fried in.”
That was it. Not very exciting, there was no face of disgust for the cameras. Afterwards, people actually asked me to pull a face for them, which I sorta did because it seemed like that was supposed to be my natural reaction. I even ate two more because people asked me to, and they all just tasted like deep-friend somethings.
Have you ever tried deep-fried water bugs, or would you?