12 July 2007

Eating insects in Thailand

From BBC News

Unusual appetiser
Areerat Jantao is one of the many food vendors plying their trade on the streets of Bangkok.
Her fare - fried insects - may not be to everyone’s tastes, but she certainly has no shortage of customers.
Many of the girls working in Bangkok’s bars and clubs come from northern Thailand, where insects are highly prized for their protein content.
But Areerat’s snacks are also proving popular with Asian and Middle Eastern tourists, and the occasional – usually drunk – Westerner.

Culinary tips
Areerat sells a variety of fried insects on her stall – including crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches, water beetles, bamboo worms and ant eggs.
“The bar girls like the bamboo worms best. But it’s quite difficult to fry them without the insides popping out. I know the secret, though – lots of oil and a low heat.
“The Vietnamese and Chinese like scorpions. They want to eat the tails as that’s where the sting is. They believe that eating the sting will make them grow strong.”

Personal favourites
Areerat's most popular offering is a 20 baht (50 cent, 25p) bag of grasshoppers. But she has her own personal favourite.
“I prefer a type of cockroach with lots of sticky eggs inside, which makes them very tasty,” says Areerat.
“My favourites are water beetles," adds her husband Udon, who also sells insects.
"They have more meat inside and they’re quite chewy. I eat them all the time. Sometimes I even eat dung beetles, although not many people want to buy them.”

Taste test
In the interests of research, I had to have some really, so I chose Areerat Jantao’s best-selling grasshoppers.
“They taste just like chips,” she assured me encouragingly.
They did taste like chips, in the sense that they were covered with oil, but the problem was that they were like chips with legs.
And no matter how nutritious these insects are, that’s something which might just put people off having insects for dinner.

Words and pictures by the BBC’s Kate McGeown
Instead of going 'ew', I find this quite interesting. Insects are a great source of protein and an essential part of the diet of people who do not have access to animal protein.

Might try some one day. Well lubricated with beer of course.

Emily and Neil came over for dinner tonight. I made a roast pork belly marinated in soy and balsamic vinegar with preserved lemon and marmalade. Served with mash potato and sweet potato and blanched broccoli.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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