Top 10 Edible Insects Worldwide

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In many societies, insects are considered a delicacy. Even stateside, the concept of insects as food has slowly been gaining ground. In fact, history has shown that insects were a popular source of food even back in the times of the Romans and Greeks. A recent study has shown that over two billion people across the world eat insects.It’s not uncommon for people in South America, Europe, and Asia to not only eat insects but grow them for that purpose alone. Insects can be of different varieties and can have different cooking methods than others.

10 –Termites – Kenya

insects we can eat

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Termites are considered to be the most destructive insect pests in the world. Many buildings and structures are damaged by these pests each year resulting in huge financial losses. Although there is no such problem in some regions of Kenya, they just eat their problems away.In Kenya, these termites are taken out of the wood they’re inside and harvested and sold by the pound. Many Kenyans have taken to harvesting termites for both food and profit. In Kenya, the easiest way to prepare termites is to roast them over an open flame. Others add termites into a cornmeal porridge known as ugali, and some even add them into their tea. In smaller, rural areas, grinding termites up and feeding them to babies has been a tradition for villagers, who believe that the abundant amount of nutritional benefits that termites provide will aid in the children’s growth.

9 –Mopane Worm – Zimbabwe

insects we can eat

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The mopane worm is a daily part of the diets of many in Zimbabwe, both in rural and urban communities,it is found in the Mopane tree.They are cooked in a variety of different ways but before cooked, they are squeezed until they no longer have any of their liquid green entrails left inside. Once they are emptied, they are laid out to dry in the sun.Mopane worms can be eaten dry, flattened like potato chips, or can be smoked and added to a sauce or used as the protein option for a hearty stew.

8 –Ants – Brazil,India

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Ants are considered not only a gourmet food but also one rich in protein, calcium, iron, and vitamins. Ants are one of the most easiest to find insect in this list.The ants are cooked in different ways. Sometimes, they’re fried,other times, they’re sauteed. Often, they’re used alongside a green vegetable or placed in a salad. Ants in Brazil tastes similar to mint,in other countries, ants are supposed to have different tastes, ranging from bitter to sweet.Their small state also allows for them to be used in meals, for toppings, and as an easy snack on their own. While in tribal parts of India they are crushed together and are served as chutney.

7 –Wasps – Japan

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Wasps which terrify us are a seasonal delicacy in Japan.The people of Kushihara have an age-old obsession with wasps. Japan serves wasps in various different ways, one being where a wasp is ground up and turned into various different flavors of sauces, which are used to top such things as rice cookies. A specific wasp delicacy in Japan is wasp crackers.These crackers, which seem similar to American cookies, are filled with surprises inside. These cookies are sold in packs of two and are said to resemble a treat filled with raisins—if those raisins were bitter and had wings.

6 –Crickets – Thailand

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In Thailand people find crickets as an accessible snack. Sometimes edible crickets are cooked within certain Thai dishes, but most of the time they are deep fried until reaching a complete state of crispiness. Crickets are not only used in Thailand because of their abundance but also because they offer a variety of minerals, such as calcium, copper, and zinc.Those who have tried this delicacy says that they taste similar to popcorns and are best enjoyed with beer.

5 –Stinkbugs – Mexico

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One insect that is commonly eaten in Mexico, whether live or cooked, is the stinkbug. This insect even has a festival held for it.The Jumil Festival honors stinkbugs, which are believed to hold medicinal, as well as aphrodisiacal, effects, along with high amounts of protein and minerals. They are actually beetle larvae and can be fried, raw, sautéed, boiled, and roasted. They have a super mild flavor (they don’t taste like much), so they can make great protein additions to any dish! When roasted, they have a slightly nutty flavor.

4 –Scorpions – China

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Also technically an arachnid, not an insect, the scorpion is usually served as street food in China. Scooped up alive and wriggling, skewered on a kebab, and deep-fried in scorpions are served in finer restaurants, they are first dunked in a fine white wine sauce before being fried, providing patrons with what is supposedly a sweet yet a crunchy experience.

3 –Dragonflies – Indonesia

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Dragonflies, which feed on mosquitoes, are beneficial to keeping them away and keeping them from biting—but these insects serves another purpose. In order to catch the dragonfly, a stick is dipped in tree sap and then laid out for dragonflies to land on. To prepare them they take off their wings.The dragonflies are then either boiled or, if they’re intended for a dessert, fried before being served. The taste of a dragonfly, some say, is akin to that of crab, as is its nutritional value.

2 –Locusts – Israel

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Locusts are the only insect that is considered kosher, and in Israel, where locusts are swarming at an increasing rate, turning them into a meal seemed to be the only logical option. Despite their bad reputation, the people of Israel have found a way to give locusts a positive spin, by turning them into food. Locusts can be eaten in different ways, but the most common is to fry them—whether it be in a pan or deep-fried. This is done in order to keep their “crunchy” texture. The locusts can first be rolled into flour, spices, and garlic before being fried, or they can be sweetened by pan-frying them and topping them with meringue.

1 –Silkworm Pupae(Beondegi) – Korea

insects we can eat

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Beondegi, literally “pupa”, is a Korean street food made with silkworm pupae. It is usually sold from street vendors. The boiled or steamed snack food is served in paper cups with toothpick skewers. Canned beondegi can also be found in grocery stores. Not only are silkworm pupae increasingly popular in Korea, but they can also be purchased online and shipped to your doorstep. They are recommended to be paired with a glass of white wine.