Entomophagy (eating insects) is a common tradition in many cultures and households. While the majority of people in Western countries are freaked out by the idea of engorging themselves with creepy crawlies, people in other countries find bugs to be a delicacy. So hold on to your gag reflexes, here are 15 bugs humans eat around the world.
1. Dung Beetle – Thailand
After a day of excessive turd foraging, villagers like to collect a bowl full of dung beetles. Eventually, the beetles are cleaned off and grilled until they’re nice, crispy, and ready to eat.
2. Grasshopper – Mexico
Because these hoppy bugs are high in protein, they make an excellent nutritious meal in Mexico. The people of Mexico get creative with grasshoppers — eating them raw, stuffed in tacos, flavoring the insects with spices, or boiled.
Other countries that also eat grasshoppers: Uganda and China.
3. Scorpion – China
And we ain’t talking about no baby scorpions in a whiskey lollipop! Believing scorpions to be a natural medicinal remedy, Chinese people eat the cooked insects on a stick (stinging our nerves).
4. Silkworm – Korea
Beondegi is a popular Korean snack consisting of boiled or steamed silkworms. People love them so much that you’d think they were eating Cracker Jacks.
Other countries that also eat silkworms: Assam, Vietnam, Japan, and China
5. Tarantula – Cambodia
Arachnaphobics beware! Despite being a poisonous bug, Cambodians devise a specific way of preparing them and love to munch on these hairy spiders. If it helps, tarantulas are reputed to taste like chicken.
6. Cricket – Vietnam
Jiminy Crickets! Closely related to grasshoppers, crickets are also considered luxurious snacks when deep-fried.
Other countries that also eat crickets: Cambodia and Thailand
7. Weevil Larva – Philippines
Not even this dish can worm its way into our stomachs. Found in most Southeastern Asian countries, weevil larva makes a nice, plump, and juicy meal that can be eaten raw or roasted.
Other countries that also eat weevil larva: Malaysia, Vietnam, and Papua New Guinea.
8. Cicada- China
Skewered, fried, sauteed, or boiled. You name it, China does it to cicadas.
Other countries that also eat cicadas: Congo, Burma, Japan, and Brazil
9. Honeypot Ant – Australia
Like a Winnie-the-Pooh Goes to Australia episode, the Aborigines of Australia find honeypot ants to be a sweet dessert (especially when the ants’ stomachs are engorged with honey).
10. Hissing Cockroach – Madagascar
Eating a cockroach is bad enough, but a hissing cockroach? Fuggedaboutit.
11. Stink bugs (Jumiles) – Mexico
Pee-yew! Prepared in salsa, stink bugs are a common nutritious ingredient in the Taxco region of Mexico. The stink bugs are reputed to smell like cinnamon and can be eaten fried, grounded, or raw.
12. Midge Fly – West Africa
In Western African countries, midge flies are collected to be compressed into a Kunga cake for adventurous eaters.
13. Termites – Kenya
Apparently termites are not just for the anteaters and honey badgers, Kenyans love to dine on these bugs, claiming the insects have a distinct nutty flavor.
Another country that also eats termites: Aboriginal Australia
14. Centipedes – China
With a bite that is potentially fatal to humans, centipedes are eaten like it’s nobody business in China, making this creepy crawly a popular street food on a stick.
15. Cochineal – United States of America
Sorry to forever ruin your love of red velvet cakes, but cochineal (scale bugs) are used for their crimson-colored natural dye that you would often find in your favorite cake (and in red lipsticks). Enjoy!